(May 23) When Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) received the Profile in Courage Award from the John F. Kennedy Library on May 22, she appropriately deflected the praise to the law enforcement officials who fought off last year’s Capitol rioters.

Better yet, she put that praise into a broader context, focusing less on President Donald Trump’s specific effort to overturn the 2020 election than on the importance of defending the peaceful transition of power and on “the defense of our republic, the defense of the constitutional foundations of our nation.”

Cheney described the scene in the Capitol on the night of Jan. 6, 2021.

“I left the House floor that night, and I walked to Statuary Hall,” she said. “Law enforcement officers in black tactical gear were sitting on the floor, leaning up against the statues, exhausted from the brutal hand-to-hand combat in which they had been engaged for hours. Water bottles — with water they had been drinking and using to wash away the chemical spray deployed by the rioters — littered the floor. These men and women had spent hours battling a violent mob, a mob of our fellow countrymen, attempting to stop the transition of presidential power. For profiles in courage, we need look no farther than those men and women.”

And in the Capitol rotunda, she said, “Against almost every wall encircling the room were SWAT teams — more men and women in riot gear, helmets, carrying long arms — some resting from battle, others standing watch — ATF, FBI, federal agents — deployed inside the United States Capitol building.”

In a bit of profound symbolism, she said that among the eight murals above the resting SWAT teams was one that “depicts George Washington resigning his commission. At this moment in 1793 depicted in the painting, Washington voluntarily relinquished power. He handed control of the Continental Army back to Congress.”… [The full column is here.]


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