No Unity With Seditious Extremists
Editor's Note: Steve Schmidt is one of the founding members of the Lincoln Project. He is a communications and public affairs strategist who has worked on several Republican campaigns, including John McCain's 2008 bid for the White House, and he is now a regular political contributor to MSNBC. On Thursday, Schmidt unleashed a 14-tweet thread in which he rejected calls for unity with those who sought to overturn the election and sparked last week's storming of the U.S. Capitol. MaxNewsToday has assembled these tweets and reprinted them as one easy-to-read op-ed for our ongoing segment, Schmidt Storm. It has been edited for grammar and clarity. The abuse of Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural speech by GOP seditionists who are making bad faith calls for unity is appalling. Lincoln did indeed say with “Malice towards none and charity for all....” He said it in the context of finishing the war, which had killed 600,000. The preceding paragraph of the speech is important. It reads: “Fondly do we hope - fervently do we pray - that this mighty scourge of war may pass speedily away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all of the wealth plied by the bondman’s 250 years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn by the lash shall be paid with another, drawn with the sword as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said, the judgments of the lord are true and righteous altogether.” Lincoln was making clear that he would not yield in the prosecution of the war and the military destruction of the Southern insurrection. There would be charity after victory. That charity was offered without compromise or condition. It followed unconditional surrender. One month after Lincoln delivered this speech, he sat behind Jefferson Davis’s desk. He sat there as a conqueror. The South’s slave autocracy was destroyed. Robert E. Lee would surrender within days. American democracy was poisoned by a “Big Lie” during November and December. 147 Members of Congress embraced the lie and betrayed their oath. They rose on the floor of Congress to throw away the votes of millions of Black Americans. They voted to end the American Republic so the loser, Donald Trump, could remain in power. Many of them incited violence, and on Jan. 6th the cancerous cynicism of Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz, Kevin McCarthy and dozens more exploded into fascist violence that killed 6 people. The American flag was used as a weapon to bludgeon a policeman. The American was flag torn down, and the Trump flag raised above it. The flag of treason, the Confederate Flag, was carried through the Capitol Rotunda by an enemy of the Republic for the first time in history. The floor of the United States Senate and House were taken over, vandalized and desecrated by a fascist mob, which included people celebrating the genocide of the Jewish people under Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany. This did not happen providentially. It was incited by the Trump propagandists at Fox News, Newsmax, One America News Network, Breitbart, Red State, et cetera. It was stoked by the highest ranked political leaders in the country. It was financed by America’s richest citizens and corporations. The inciters of violence and the spreaders of the Big Lie are now making shallow and insincere calls for unity. They must be rejected. No accommodation can be made with these seditious extremists. There is no compromise with people who want to throw out millions of Black votes and impose a new Jim Crow. There is no compromise with the white nationalists and supremacists. There is no compromise with the fascists and the militias. Democracy will be defended under the rule of law and the U.S. Constitution. We do not seek retribution. We demand justice and accountability under the law. This autocratic movement must be crushed. Trump is the worst president in history. He didn’t do it alone. He is surrounded by liars, thugs, seditionists, racists and opportunists. Know their names. Understand their treachery. This rancid movement that has grown around Trump's malignant personality must be eradicated as a serious threat to take political power in this country. All decent Americans who love liberty are stakeholders in that fight, and there is no fight more important than that one, because all other progress is dependent on democracy prevailing.