Mike Gallagher sounds like a pretty smart, perfectly normal American and a pretty good guy-- except for one thing: he's turned out to be a knee-jerk Republican. A former Marine captain from Green Bay, Wisconsin, he got his BA from Princeton and has since earned a doctorate. When mainstream conservative Reid Ribble retired in 2016, Gallagher ran for his seat (WI-08) and beat Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson in a 63-36% landslide. Relative to other congressional Republicans, Gallagher is a deep thinker and a reformer and, on rare occasion, has even demonstrated a bit of an independent streak-- but very rare occasion.
One of those occasions was on January 6 when he made the above video while sheltering in place in his office as a mob of bloodthirsty domestic terrorists-- short bus types or not-- rampaged through the Capitol looking for someone to murder. "We have protesters," said a visibly disturbed Mike Gallagher, "who have stormed the Capitol, clashing with Capitol police, forcing their way into Statuary Hall"... gee, doesn't sound like Andrew Clyde's description of just some normal tourists. Gallagher continued, brow furrowed and with an incredulous intonation in his voice, "The vice president of the United States was just rushed off the floor of the House by the Secret Service... this is banana republic crap we're watching happen right now..." Addressing McCarthy, he said, "This is the cost of countenancing an effort by Congress to overturn the election and telling thousands of people that there is a legitimate shot of overturning the election today-- even though you know that is not true." Addressing McCarthy's puppet-master, he went on, "We have got to stop this. Mr. President, you have got to stop this. You are are the only person who can call this off. Call it off! The election is over, Call. It. Off!"
That sounded promising, didn't it? And, after all, Gallagher is a member of the so-called "Problem Solvers Caucus," which endorsed the sedition commission and almost all of whose members voted for it. Unfortunately, Mike Gallagher was not one of them, nor one of the 35 Republicans who voted to set up the independent nonpartisan commission yesterday. He voted the way Trump demanded instead. Right now, midterm voters in WI-08, but especially in Brown, Outagamie, Calumet and Door counties, should be reassessing their support for Gallagher. He doesn't deserve it.
Wisconsin state Senator Chris Larson saw right through Gallagher's bullshit. "The Mike Gallagher of today could really benefit from the advice of Mike Gallagher of January 6th: 'Call. It. Off!' This should be the easiest bipartisan vote of all time: moving forward an independent investigation of the insurrection on January 6th. If a politician can't take the patriotic stand against domestic terrorists trying to overthrow our democracy, they shouldn't serve in public office."
In fact, even earlier, Gallagher came up with some pompous, self-serving and lame excuses for why he voted against impeaching Trump. "I strongly opposed the unconstitutional and dangerous effort to overturn the election on Jan. 6, but I think impeachment accomplishes nothing. First, let’s be candid. President Donald Trump bears responsibility for the tragic events of Jan. 6. He lied to his supporters, insisted that his 'sacred landslide' election was stolen, and suggested that Vice President Mike Pence should or even could reverse the outcome. He then dithered for hours as the vice president, the Congress and its employees were in mortal danger, castigating Pence as a coward. Many of my colleagues carry a heavy share of blame as well, jumping into the fray for political advantage. And of course, those in the insurrectionist mob who chose to desecrate our seat of government, attack our police and embarrass our country must face the full force of the law."
He advocated for "a swift and strong censure from Congress" --a virtually meaningless gesture-- instead of impeachment and blamed the Democrats for not going that route. He also wrote on that day that "We do not know all the pertinent facts about Jan. 6, and we likely will not know them until well after President Trump has left office. We know that the president enflamed the crowd and encouraged them to march toward the Capitol in a show of resolve. But we also know that he did not tell them to lay violent siege to the Capitol." He said that Americans need to hear the truth about what happened that day. "To give them justice," he wrote, "let us start by telling the truth. Why was security at the Capitol so light? Why did it take so long to call out the National Guard? What happened to the chain of command? Did anyone in the White House speak to participants in the riot? If so, who and when and to what ends? What did the president say and do during the multi-hour gap between his speech and his tweets telling the rioters to go home? The American people want to know the real answers to these questions. They deserve to know. Congress should empanel a special investigatory committee, with subpoena power, to establish and then publish the facts surrounding Jan. 6. The committee should have an equal number of Republicans and Democrats. Its meetings should be closed to the public and its members and staffers should commit to a gag order. Service on this committee must not be an opportunity for grandstanding."
That's what Mike Gallagher voted against yesterday.