Kinzinger Calls Out GOP Colleagues For Betraying American Values

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In a tweet that he posted this Monday, Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) touted the ideals of former Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan, who were Republicans but whose expressions of conservatism were decidedly distinct from the cultish fanaticism that defines so much of what goes on within the political Right today. It’s difficult to have a discussion about policy issues when one side — the Trump-aligned wing of the Republican Party, which is most of it — sticks to either directly participating in or trying to excuse literal violence.

As Kinzinger observed:

‘I think if Reagan and Lincoln were alive today, they would issue a joint statement telling people that vaccines work, infrastructure is good, and the electoral count act needs reformed. Maybe they are RINOS now, but I’d be proud to Join them.’

“RINO” is an abbreviation for “Republican in Name Only,” a moniker that pro-Trump conservatives have used against their less Trump-inclined Republican counterparts for supposedly failing to show sufficient devotion to the cause. The issues that Kinzinger mentioned have all, of course, become points of contention within the present-day, national political conversation — somehow, opposition to using vaccines has appeared to surge, at least in terms of the vitriol and overall loudness of those going against the shots, while Republicans in Congress who took the simple step of voting for a bipartisan infrastructure agreement (which is now law) have been subjected to withering criticism — including death threats. The freakishness reaches so far that even these mundane things, like roads, aren’t untouched.

As for the Electoral Count Act, that’s one of the laws laying out the procedures for the certification by Congress of the presidential election outcome. During the lead-up to the certification proceedings earlier this year, then-President Trump and others claimed to have a legal basis for pressuring then-Vice President Pence to stop the confirmation of Biden’s win, although he didn’t actually possess the legally recognized power to do so — that’s not what the Electoral Count Act, or any other law, actually lays out. Members of the House committee investigating the Capitol riot, which counts Kinzinger among its members, are recommending changes to the relevant legal provisions, making things clearer — and lessening the possibility of a repeat of any element of the chaos of January 6.