MOORHEAD, Minn. — Minnesota Republican congressional representatives Michelle Fischbach and Jim Hagedorn aided in the insurrection that damaged a symbol of American democracy, our U.S. Capitol by voting to overturn the results of a free and fair election. They don't deserve to represent Minnesota.
DFLers were right to call for their expulsion from Congress. Fischbach and Hagedorn, as state Democrats pointed out, broke their oaths to defend the U.S. Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic "by lending aid and comfort to an insurrectionist mob."
Fischbach's and Hagedorn's fellow Republican congressmen, Tom Emmer and Pete Stauber, also don't evade blame. They, too, were in favor of voting to overturn Joe Biden's victory over Donald Trump until the last moment, when they apparently changed their minds.
Was it the better angels of their nature? Did they recognize the danger in the Republican coup? Or was it a political calculation, that perhaps Emmer and Stauber want to run for governor or the U.S. Senate someday and figured signing on to the overthrow would look bad on the resume?
The latter is most likely, but that at least exhibits self-awareness and a dose of cunning.
That's small consolation, but it's more than Minnesotans can say about Fischbach and Hagedorn. Both are hopeless Trump loyalists and, like the president, they chose power over country.
The Republicans' effort to end our democracy failed, but it led to the storming and desecration of the Capitol. Like their Republican colleagues in North Dakota and other states, the words and actions of Fischbach and Hagedorn helped incite the insurrectionists.
In that, they are as guilty as Trump.
"At the core of any democracy is the agreement to resolve political differences through the ballot box, rather than the use of violence," DFL chairman Ken Martin said. "By perpetuating the false notion that the former is no longer possible, representatives Hagedorn and Fischbach have made the latter inevitable. If shortsighted and irresponsible politicians are allowed to continue leading our nation down this dark path, we may never recover. It is time for Congress to act in order to safeguard the future of American democracy."
Little will likely come of the DFL's demand, which is too bad. Unfortunately there will probably not be a price paid for Fischbach's and Hagedorn's cynicism. Signing on to an attempt at not certifying Biden's election was a cheap political stunt at best, sedition at worst. What Trump has been trying to accomplish is a coup, period. Fischbach and Hagedorn gave credence to that.
Like all Republicans who blindly support Trump, Fischbach and Hagedorn seem oblivious to the danger in their words and actions. They seem unwilling to acknowledge they helped push the Capitol insurrectionists to their deeds. They, like Trump, gave a green light to the violence.
Saddest is that not only will there be no definitive punishment for what they did, Fischbach and Hagedorn won't own up to their responsibility. Like so many modern Republicans, they are wholly without conscience when it comes to partisan battles.
Minnesota deserves better than these two, and they don't deserve to represent us.
Readers can reach Forum News Service columnist Mike McFeely at (701) 451-5655