I'm on an adventure to try and understand why hundreds, yes HUNDREDS, of federally elected officials voted against certification of an election in which many conservative judges appointed to the bench by President Trump himself have declared there is no widespread election fraud. I want specifically to use someone from Wisconsin, so I have two options: Rep. Scott Fitzgerald or Rep. Tom Tiffany. I don't need to explore Scott Fitzgerald's objection vote; he's an obstructionist, pure and simple. We've seen what he's capable of in his Wisconsin Senate Majority role: nothing. Senator Ron Johnson didn't end up objecting, although he's spent months undermining democracy in the media. He simply cares about money and a Ted Cruz-ian like need to make sure the President is comfortable at all times.
But I noticed northern Wisconsin Representative Tom Tiffany voted against certification. I know Rep. Tiffany to be a conservative Republican representing a conservative district. But there are also hundreds of conservative Republicans who voted in favor of certification, including many from his own state. What specifically brought Tiffany to this conclusion? From the Wassau Herald, "In a statement Tuesday Tiffany said the Wisconsin Supreme Court failed to uphold the law and claimed 'unscrupulous' officials in Dane County and Milwaukee County allowed 'hundreds of thousands of illegal votes to be cast and counted.'" My guess is that Tiffany doesn't actually believe any of that, but it's a nice pandering job to his conservative base and lays a foundation of voter disenfranchisement that Republicans can rally around for years and decades to come. But let's assume Tiffany is being sincere in his statement that he actually thinks hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites voted illegally and that the Wisconsin Supreme Court is failing in their role. Tiffany must also believe that the other federal and state courts, federal and state appellate courts, the Supreme Court of the United States, and countless government officials including former Attorney General Anthony Barr are all in on the supposed "steal" of the election. Either Tiffany believes in the processes we have in place to administer the cornerstone of our democracy, a fair election, or he doesn't. And if he doesn't, it's understandable why thousands of supporters who think exactly like Representative Tiffany would storm the United States Capitol, risking and losing their own lives while endangering the lives of the Capitol Police and other law enforcement groups tasked with protection. If they believe the election was rigged and there's no proper recourse they can take because all of the factors (read: facts) that are working against them, then what other options do they have but to storm the Capitol? Only that's where things go awry. From the same Wassau Herald article, "Tiffany said he has no regrets about contesting the election results and that challenges to the election's legitimacy are 'not why we saw this protest, why some people turned violent.'" Excuse me, what? What do you think the 'protest' (also note how conservatives like Tiffany call a looted Walmart a "riot" but this was just a "protest" despite four people being killed) was about Representative Tiffany? Do you think the group of insurrectionists chanting "stop the steal" as they barged into the chamber, anxious to be shot in the neck by the cops they admire so much, were marching for racial justice? It is this type of dissociative reality Republicans like Tom Tiffany have created that allows for what happened yesterday. Representative Tiffany can take his rightful place in Wisconsin political history next to Joseph McCarthy and Scott Fitzgerald: openly hostile towards democracy.