Steve Schmidt: 'Shame on Them All'
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 Saturday, Schmidt unleashed a 16-tweet tirade directed at the Republicans in Congress who plan to object to the certification of the Electoral College on Jan. 6. MaxNewsToday has assembled this thread and reprinted it as one easy-to-read op-ed for our ongoing segment, Schmidt Storm. It has been edited for grammar and clarity. 2021 will be a hard year in the life of the American nation. There is a great struggle that lies before us, and our disbelief at its arrival must not blind us to the lethal danger it poses to the American experiment. The poisonous bounty of Trump’s catastrophic presidency is ready for harvest, and the whole world will get to watch his seditious antics play out during a joint session of Congress on Jan. 6th. It will play out as a farce, and it will fail. Nearly 100 years on, America will have its version of the Beer Hall Putsch. The danger lies in the act, not the outcome. We are in a dangerous moment, and I’d like to try my best to explain how I see it. Before I start, there is an important matter of fact which unfortunately needs restating. Joe Biden won the presidential election decisively. The election was free, fair and legitimate. There is no evidence of any widespread fraud. Allegations of fraud are premeditated lies being made by a rancid assortment of Trump’s stooges and propagandists. With the exception of a few of the more addled House GOP members, like Louis Gohmert, every single House Member and every U.S. Senator that participates in denying this reality, and thus the legitimacy of our election, does so as a cynical act, which they know for certain has no legitimate basis. Such actions are a grievous sin against American democracy and a brutal betrayal of their oaths of office and duty. They will be desecrating the blood sacrifices of 13 generations of American patriots of all creeds and origins who died so that our children could be free. They are fighting to maintain the power of a defeated president against the sovereign will of the American people, as lawfully exercised under the Constitution of the United States. They are fighting to establish a tyranny. They are deliberately poisoning faith and belief in American democracy. Democratic Republics cannot survive such a collapse. The system is rooted in the willingness of one side to cede power to another at the will of the people. There are no other systems of government except for this type that are free. The legitimacy of that system is being strangled by Trump's lies and the lies of his movement. That movement is an autocratic one with fascistic markers. It is hostile to the American Constitution, the rule of law and the highest ideas and ideals of American liberty. Jan. 6, will be an historic day in America. The battle lines will be drawn. The autocrats will step forward into the light. They will include a majority of the House GOP conference. After the 6th, Kevin McCarthy will be the leader of House autocrats, and Liz Cheney will be the leader of House conservatives. They will include a substantial number of GOP Senators, and almost all of the known GOP presidential aspirants. The Rubicon will be crossed on the 6th. The ruthless and amoral cynicism of Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio and James Lankford and Josh Hawley will be on appalling display. It must be opposed fiercely. It must be recognized for what it is. Another storm is gathering in the constant struggle between liberty and her enemies. Trump has unleashed the fury and has found his following. It will be a long fight. At the hour of his defeat and defenestration, Trump has done his greatest damage. This is a movement that is fueled by lies, conspiracies, corruption, greed, extremism, racism, grievance, resentment, cynicism and a profound absence of love for America. It is right to feel anger and contempt toward its leaders and enablers. There is only one proposition that America’s pro-democracy coalition can offer to these people. “We win-you lose.” It’s that simple. Sedition is the precise word, and the right word, to describe what we have been witnessing. Never before have so many American leaders betrayed their country. We will watch their eternal disgrace on live TV. The evidence of their ignominy will exist forever, as will the memory of their monumental betrayal. Shame on them all.