My column for this week’s Reader. I don’t see it online but its what I sent in

Betraying his past by “continuing to serve”

Pete Stauber’s billboards show him standing shoulder to shoulder with himself – the young cop Pete Stauber. I wonder what the younger Stauber, would make of the older man now a United States congressman sworn to protect and preserve the Constitution?

The Oath of Office is administered to federal workers to remind them that their allegiance is not made to a supervisor, agency, political appointee, or even to the President. Their oath is to support and defend the U.S. Constitution. It’s the same oath taken by Federal employees like the capital hill police officers who protect Congress. Pete Stauber’s fellow officers.

My last memory of a real Republican was John McCain. Tortured in Vietnam he returned home with ruined arms and was elected by grateful citizens to the US Senate. Running for president in 2000 he was sabotaged by fellow Republicans who robo called every Republican in South Carolna to tell them McCain had fathered a black child. It cost McCain and shows how low the Party of Lincoln has fallen.

McCain got a second chance to run for president but it came during a Republican housing crisis that nearly bankrupted America and caused a world wide depression. Losing to America’s first successful black presidential candidate McCain quieted an angry election night audience by telling him Barak Obama was a good man who loved his nation. Donald Trump would follow McCain’s example by throwing fire on America’s worst fears. He would dismiss McCain as a loser because he was captured. At the Senator’s death Trump spitefully resisted lowering the nation’s flag in honor of McCain. Which of these men is Pete Stauber’s model? January sixth 2021 was a test.

Stauber’s constituents don’t know where Pete was as the capital was being stormed to keep Donald Trump President. His first response was judicious; the attack was “unacceptable” and Pete was “disappointed.” But Stauber grew evasive. Then he voted against a Congressional investigation to find out what the hell had happened. Like his minority leader, Kevin McCarthy, Pete turned tail. During the attack Trump took a call from McCarthy who begged him to call off the dogs. Trump sneered , “Well Kevin, I guess they are just more angry about the election than you are.” Soon McCarthy was scurrying to Maralago, to placate the would-be election thief.

Finaly, disgracefully, Stauber voted to join a Texas lawsuit to overturn the people’s election. As the Duluth News Tribune editorialized Pete became “part of the same coup” that led to Jan. 6th’s deadly violence. It took the lives of six men in blue, men like the young Pete Stauber.

Evidently keeping Donald Trump appeased is more important than the memory of crowds chanting “Hang Mike Pence!” “Hang Mike Pence!”
We were recently shown the video of the congressional leadership asking for the National Guard while in hiding as Proud Boys searched for them with zip ties. Maybe Pete is just afraid of what Trump supporters will do to him. Is the abandonment of our nation’s long history of “peaceful transfers of power” what we should expect from an officer of the law?

As the rioters surged through the Capital POTUS Trump tweeted that it probably wasn’t going to be good for Pence. In the next two minutes this tweet got 24 thousand likes and many calls for the execution of the Vice President. Attackers posted videos screaming “Mike Pence has screwed us.” Maybe this is the information Pete didn’t want exposed when he voted against a January sixth investigation. This week that committee made it clear how Donald Trump began planning to prevent an honest election months earlier when internal polls looked grim for him. He groomed his twitter army to take up arms. It didn’t work.

No one can say Trump didn’t have his day in court. 61 of 62 cases brought by election deniers were dismissed, dismissed quickly and often by judges Trump appointed.

Pete wants us to be as afraid as he has been. He’s campaigning about street crime rather than his flimsy defense of our Democracy. However, this doesn’t include regulating the firearms of school shooters. Crime is really a Republican joke. For decades Republicans have crammed more people into American prisons than any other nation. A lot of ex-cons are back on the streets today because Republicans calculated keeping them behind bars was bankrupting America……until they needed to win back Congress. Now they want to fill jails up again. I’ll bet street smart cop Stauber knows what a load of crap it is for him to be screaming about crime. He’s just looking in the wrong direction.

Donald Trump once scoffed at men who took the Fifth Amendment. “The Mob takes the fifth,” said the President before recently “taking the fifth” himself. And so have the men Trump pardoned for plotting the overthrow of America and other sundry crimes – Roger Stone, Michael Flynn, John Eastlund, Jeff Clark.

Twice Pete has sworn:

 “I, Pete Stauber, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.””

Let’s hope its not. God doesn’t like it when people deny him three times.

Welty also shoots his mouth off at

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