In Amsterdam there is a statue of a little boy with his finger in a dike, stopping leaking water which undeterred could wash away the entire dike and flood the lowlands. The statue depicts a legend but it also celebrates the action of one individual saving countless others.
We have experienced similar, dramatic events. No breached dam but a constitutional government on the verge of collapse, about to be swept away by the floodwaters of authoritarianism.
There are numerous candidates for the role of the little boy. Capital Policemen who pushed back against surging numbers of insurrectionists. The Secretary of State in Georgia who declined to “ find”, i.e. create enough votes to alter election results in Georgia and perhaps of the entire 2020 Presidential Election.
Now we are discovering a whole new set of unsung heroes who stood up to and stopped the big lie and who thereby saved our democracy. Jeff Rosen, the acting Attorney General in the waning days of the last administration and others on his staff kept the former President from replacing Rosen with another DOJ attorney who was prepared to issue a series of letters to battleground states, asserting without any evidence that the elections had been compromised, encouraging Republican led Legislatures in those states to replace the duly elected delegates to the Electoral College with delegates supportive of the defeated former President. But for the action of Rosen and other career attorneys at DOJ, the results of the election could have been thrown into doubt and a coup accomplished by the candidate who lost the election, forcing out President Joe Biden.
As the onion of the insurrection is peeled back, layer by layer we are seeing the reasons why our federal representatives, Congressman Matt Rosendale and Senator Steve Daines have refused to vote for an independent commission to probe the insurrection. They know because they were there and were involved in actions leading up to the attempted coup seeking to overthrow our constitutional democracy. And the coup almost succeeded, due in part to the help our Republican representatives in Congress, Rosendale and Daines provided.
By January 6, the former President had run out of options. He had failed to intimidate local election officials and as Rosen has testified, he failed to get the Department of Justice to intervene on his behalf to disrupt state election results. The final option, which almost worked was to send a mob to the Capital to interfere with the tabulation of the election results by the Electoral College, a largely ceremonial process. However if that tabulation could be interrupted then the mob could be in-sighted and legislators seized, providing the then President with justification to invoke the Insurrection Act, bringing in the military to halt all governmental activity.
Daines and Rosendale each took up the cause of objecting to certifications of different state tabulations, without any evidence of voter fraud. They and others created delay, allowing the mob to become fully infuriated and directed towards the Capital. It almost worked, save for the heroics of the Capital Police and the Metropolitan Police.
Now that the coup has failed, Rosendale and Daines don’t want voters to learn how close we came to a coup nor their role in this coup attempt. To their shame and discredit they don’t want voters to know that they were an essential part of an attempt to cancel the results of a democratic election and of the votes cast in the 2020 election. They don’t want the voters to know; my hope is that our Montana voters will remember as each of these individuals return to Montana asking to be re-elected to office. Insurrectionists, even those assisting as elected officials should never be returned to office given their conduct in participating in an attempted coup.