My column in the Hill addresses how Democrats are increasingly adopting the rhetoric and tactics of Donald Trump. There is a sense of immunity — or Trumpunity — being exercised by former critics in using language once denounced in Trump. An example is Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H. The Senator went on CNN where Trump was regularly (and correctly) chastised for calling opponents “traitors” and “enemies of the people.” Now however Shaheen is declaring that any members of Congress who continue to question the victory of Joe Biden “are bordering on sedition and treason.”
It is an increasingly heard charge from political and media figures who are insisting that questioning the election results constitutes an attack on democracy. Of course, it was not an attack on Democracy for Hillary Clinton to insist that Biden challenge any Trump victory. It was not treason when Democrats sought to block the elector votes of Ohio in 2004. They were defending democracy. However, when a challenge was filed before the United States Supreme Court, Pennsylvania Attorney General Jeff Rosen declared the very petition to be a “seditious act.”
As I have said before, filing in courts and raising objections in Congress is operating within the court and constitutional systems. Sedition is trying to overthrow such legal systems. Filing court challenges is the antithesis of sedition; it is relying on the rule of law.
Yet, Shaheen declared on CNN “These senators and members of Congress who have refused to acknowledge that we had a free and fair election in which Joe Biden beat Donald Trump by over 7 million votes, are bordering on sedition and treason.”
Shaneen and her colleagues denounced Trump for calling people traitors and sought to protect officials who denounced his use of the label “enemies of the people” against reporters. Just two years ago, Trump was called a Stalin for using such labels by Democrats.
Polls show that over 70 percent of Republicans and many independents and Democrats believe that this election was flawed or even rigged. Are they all traitors?
We have a constitutional system that allows for such concerns to be raised in the courts and in Congress. That is part of our rule of law. It is designed to allow people to work within the system. It is the very thing that combats sedition. While we often disagree with courts or Congress, we yield to the ultimate decisions as the result of a system that we all support.