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Where are the January 6th Anti-Democracy Legislators Now?

They voted against certification. How long will it take for the voters to clean up their mess?

I’ve seen a few stories about Repubs who voted to impeach Donald John Trump, but haven’t seen any kind of overview of those who voted to overturn the 2020 election. So I looked around. It’s kind of tricky since this is a redistricting year, and it’s still early so some states are still holding primaries. But here’s an overview.

There were 147 Repub members of Congress (eight in the Senate, 139 in the House) who voted to overturn the election results in either Arizona (2), in Pennsylvania (20), or in both.

Only one of the eight senators is up for reelection this year (Kennedy of Louisiana). But 130 in the House are up for reelection in 2022. Two have already lost primaries from the right. Only 15 are unopposed by Democrats (though several still have primaries or primary runoffs, and some will face third-party opponents in the general election).

Five House Repubs opted to run for the Senate. Odds have it that maybe two of them (Mullin in Oklahoma and Budd in North Carolina) will win their races and move to the cooling saucer. One has already lost in a primary runoff (Brooks in Alabama), and the other two probably won’t win their primaries.

One ran for the state’s attorney general (Gohmert in Texas, who lost the primary), one for secretary of state (Hice in Georgia, who lost the primary), and one for governor (Zeldin in New York, whose primary is on 28 June, and who has a decent chance to be nominated, but low prospects in November against the incumbent Democrat).

Two died, and four quit (including one, Jacobs in New York, due to NRA backlash over suggesting we should adopt reasonable gun regulation).

But the vast majority will be reelected. There are a handful in competitive districts, and depending on how the races break (with expectations this will be a bad year for Democrats), chances are that at least 119 will be back in the House next year. Chances are that they will form a majority of the Repub majority. That doesn’t mean they will be there in January 2025 for the next counting of electoral votes; that will depend on the November 2024 elections and all the happenings between now and then.


From the Senate:

StateName
AlabamaTuberville
FloridaScott
KansasMarshall
LouisianaKennedy
MississippiHyde-Smith
MissouriHawley
TexasCruz
WyomingLummis

And from the House, and likely returning, as follows:

StateNumberReturn
Alabama65
Arizona43–4
Arkansas11
California74–6
Colorado22
Florida1212
Georgia65
Idaho11
Illinois21–2
Indiana44
Kansas33
Kentucky11
Louisiana44
Maryland11
Michigan32–3
Minnesota21
Mississippi31–3
Missouri53
Montana11
Nebraska11
New Jersey10–1
New Mexico10–1
New York42
North Carolina75
Ohio53–4
Oklahoma54
Oregon11
Pennsylvania87
South Carolina54
Tennessee77
Texas1612–14
Utah22
Virginia43–4
West Virginia22
Wisconsin22

The Approach to Guns and Government

There are two basic ways to protect ourselves from guns: who owns them and the types they can own.

How we approach gun laws is a reflection of how we approach government. The standard line from conservatives about government is that they want small government, limited government, drownable-in-a-bathtub government. The background to their zeal is the idea that citizens must be protected from the dangers of government, and the key to protecting us is to keep government as weak and small as possible.

Of course, conservatives discredit the position by going big on military spending, on law enforcement and prisons, and on forcing pseudo-Christianity on everyone by government mandates against abortion, against gay and transgender people, and so on. But it’s a position that can be examined separately from their failures to steward it.

The rules to protect society against weapons, or against anything, can be broken down along the same lines as protecting against bad government. You can seek to shrink the quantum of harm posed, as conservatives claim to want to do with government.

In the case of guns, that would mean rules to limit ammo capacity and type, rates of fire, ease of use (concealability, mechanism of firing, etc.). You shrink the guns down so they don’t pose the same level of threat even if they are broadly available.

The other argument is that government shouldn’t necessarily be small, but it should be run by people of good character, and we should do more to ensure that we elect and appoint people who have the national interest at heart. This is what Democrats try to run on. They try to appeal to reason and sanity, compassion and science.

Of course, it can be hard to detect bad actors, as the wolf disguises itself as a sheep. But that’s the other method: ensure that people are educated and wise and that they will not try to be abusive jerks.

And again, in the case of guns, you have that other way of making them safer: background checks, licensing requirements including training and safety classes. You add red flag laws and follow the military method of disqualifying people who have shown flawed morals or dangerous behaviors.

I want to reiterate these two methods both work for other problems, be they financial fraud (limit access to funds, vet those with access), drugs (limit potency, vet those with access), or whatever problem you might seek to solve.

But in every case, the answer is obvious enough: do some of both. Adjust over time based on changing needs and circumstances. That’s what the founders did. They tried and failed with the Articles of Confederation, so they tried again. And they elected George Washington the first president, picking someone of (by that day’s standards) good morals and a commitment to good government.


I don’t particularly care about the guns themselves. But I do buy the argument that changing the types of guns available will shape what is done with them. I also think licensing makes sense, particularly if well-maintained licensing cuts some of the red tape for honest folks so they can buy or sell guns with less bureaucracy. But if that’s not possible, if the pain of bureaucracy is required to keep citizens safe from guns, that seems worth it.

And I do care when the ATF can’t use computers to trace gun crimes. I care when any organ of the government is made to act stupidly because it helps get idiots elected. It’s a stain on our nation that we would intentionally fund stupidity because Republicans can’t be honest with their voters and legislate reasonable government.

We have problems with law enforcement. Among the many problems is that we send them out on the streets to deal with gun crime, to effectively bail water from a boat with an unpatched hole that the Republicans know about and won’t lift a finger to deal with. It’s throwing cash into the graves of citizens.

We need to change the laws, but the Republicans hold a veto. The media should never let them pretend there weren’t options to protect people in the face of these massacres. It is Republicans’ choice if America does nothing. I once again ask you to register to vote. Please register to vote (Vote.gov). Please vote for candidates who will fight for smarter rules on guns.

The Road to the Constitution

The high (as in positively blotto) court’s decision would invite Constitutional reforms big and small.

Not going to go into the actual process in detail, what’s required in terms of fractions and votes. This is more about the idea of a movement to fix in the Constitution the right to choice in pregnancy and abortion. But it’s also about the movement that will be needed, and the ways to help that along.

If you want to amend the Constitution, state-level support is necessary. All amendments must be ratified by the states (at least three out of four). But if you want to amend the Constitution, that’s a feature! Yes, a number of states are domineered by anti-rights Republicans who hold power by a number of mechanisms including gerrymandering, voter suppression, lack of public-access laws, so the road to ratification has to drive through at least a few of those, requires their rectification.

But a campaign for the Constitution is an asset in building those roads! It draws media attention, and if done properly, it magnetizes different groups to pitch in. So let’s start with that second thought: this isn’t about an abortion amendment by itself. This is about renewal. It’s about taking up that mighty pen and fixing the holes that have developed over the past decades.

So in the states, you don’t only push an abortion amendment, you also push for gay marriage and civil rights for LGBTQ persons. Rally for the Equal Rights Amendment for women, for a piece to fix campaigns and gerrymandering. Update the second amendment! Term limits, number of seats in the House, abolish the filibuster, and so on. Whatever the mix. Not all of them will pass. But the commitment and the collaboration are important.

More important is many things deserve to be in the Constitution, if only to memorialize the struggles it took to make progress. The Constitution should be not just a record of the highest law, but it should be a teaching tool, a history of America’s progress toward liberty and justice. It was written “to form a more perfect Union,” and each major step we take to improving its perfection deserves to be added to that.

What can states do to help this along? They can signal willingness to ratify, they can push state-level amendments ahead of the effort for amending the federal constitution, and they can call for a constitutional convention to attempt to propose the amendments for ratification, going over the heads of Congress. They will also garner media attention, help spread the word.

The media attention is key. People need to know about the road to use it. It’s not a shortcut, it’s not a dead end, it’s the way forward. People need to know a road is being built to get our country back into the future. In some states, those which already will codify and protect their citizens’ rights, it will be an easy sell. They’ll pass state-level protections, pass a resolution calling for a convention, but some of them will also help organize neighboring states where the path for the road needs clearing, or where a bridge needs to be built.


We’ve never had a constitutional convention other than since the one that created the Constitution. That may be another amendment that’s needed: that we hold conventions every ten years, or every 20 years. It is a document that needs more tending than we have given it. The Constitution was written with an expectation that it would be amended over time, but perhaps they were too generous in expecting the convention mechanism would see some use by accord of the states rather than as a requirement. That is among the mistakes they made for which we owe our current crusty impasse on political progress.

There are risks to a convention, that conservatives want an amendment to require the federal budget be balanced in terms of revenue and spending. We’ve almost never had a balanced budget, going back to the founding. It’s a bad idea. But would it pass the states? If proposed, we’d find out. All the while, it would keep the other amendments in the news, for gay rights and abortion and all the others that might be proposed.

And in the worst case, that such a dumb amendment was to pass, the federal government’s hands unduly bound by its budget, it would surely be repealed as prohibition once was. The risks of conservative amendments being ratified simply does not rate against the need to protect our citizens and renew our Constitution to protect the nation’s future.

Or maybe the conservatives at a convention would rally for some other dumb idea. We cannot let fear of more bad law stop us from seeking good laws. We already have more than our share of bad rulings and laws, thanks to the conservatives. We already have failed in environmental protections, in education, in civil rights protections, in blocking corruption, in all these things, for the Republicans have used their fiats and their vetoes to see to it.


As women’s rights are stripped away in some states, as women suffer, the media will be covering that issue until the right is restored to the whole country. Advocates are already poised to use that attention to keep pressing the issue, but if they can wed it to the broader movement of constitutional reform, it will help people to understand the difference. We can no longer rely on statutory protections or precedents that may be gone by the end of the court’s next sitting.

The anti-abortion movement has not prepared for a post-Roe world. The things that a good government would have already done, regardless of abortion politics, have not been done. (On 18 May 2022, a mere dozen Republicans voted to spend $28 million to alleviate the baby formula shortage! See US House: 18 May 2022: Roll Call 220.) These include:

  • Family leave
  • Reducing poverty
  • Clean air policies to reduce miscarriages and stillbirths
  • Healthcare access, including Medicaid expansion (especially prenatal care)

Indeed, they would have long been done by empowered Democrats, but even as Republicans have agitated to ban abortions, they have sought to make abortions all the more attractive to those who are left unsupported, and their pro-pollution policies have resulted in large numbers of miscarriages and stillbirths.

The media hasn’t done enough to tell those stories, but in a post-Roe world, the media will start telling them, and it should relate them to women’s rights and the failures of the anti-abortion movement. At the same time, if the reform movement advocates for some change, it will do well to prepare by pushing for any laws or programs that would be needed should their goal be reached.

A constitutional reform movement will make it clear, as the robed Republicans would do in overturning Roe, that we must memorialize our nation’s progress in the Constitution. Nothing less will do. They will steal our rights away from us if we do not put them out of the reach of those spoiled children.

The Voting Rights Act—a statute, a codification—was constitutional until the court decided a Black president meant racism was through. And now the states are using their power to make voting harder, even banning handing out water to the thirsty people waiting to vote. Abortion was protected until Republicans stole enough seats to tear it away. It needs to go in the strongbox of the Constitution, where it can be amended out if need be, but it can’t be taken out by the black dresses.


There are those who say codifying Roe, much less amending the Constitution, is all but impossible. Today it is. Today we suffer under the regime of the past, under the shadows of bygone sins, the remnant pollutions of racism and sexism. But tomorrow? Are we forever stuck in this moment? Do our clocks no longer tick? I say they do.

If trampling rights signifies anything, it is that politics do change, and that we have the choice and the right to alter or abolish governments—through voting—that have become destructive to our liberty. Journalists and writers who don’t remind you of that do a disservice to the document protecting their right to write.