Oklahomans know something about anti-government terrorists and attacks on federal buildings, so we deserve an uncommon level of honesty from our elected officials when addressing a terrorist act. On this front, the Oklahoma Congressional delegation is profoundly failing its constituency, including its newest member, U.S. Rep. Stephanie Bice.
Bice started her first week as a member of Congress by signing onto the Republican plan to object to electoral college ratification, an inciting incident leading to the first breach of the Capitol by armed insurgents in nearly 209 years.
Bice then proceeded to treat the attack on Washington, D.C., which has resulted in at least four deaths, like a generic tragedy, a crime without criminals, because if she were to lay blame at the feet of the president who egged on his supporters to become terrorists, she would be breaking her campaign promise to “stand with President Trump.”
by George Lang, opinion writer for Free Press
“What happened inside our nation’s Capitol yesterday was not a reflection of who we are as a country,” Bice said. “Peaceful protests are the foundation of this nation, but yesterday’s acts were far from a peaceful demonstration. I do not condone what these rioters have done, and I hope to see them prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
If Bice were serious about any of this, she would acknowledge that the January 6 attack on the Capitol is, in fact, “a reflection of who we are as a country.” These were actual Americans, including some Oklahomans whose seditious behavior was proudly shared on social media. They were also not “rioters,” unless Bice also considers Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh a mere “rioter.”
They are domestic terrorists.
But Bice and her Republican colleagues in the Oklahoma delegation hold the distinction of being one of the few full delegations to vote uniformly against approving the electoral college.
Even after their followers sacked the Capitol, Bice and U.S. Representatives Kevin Hern, Tom Cole, Markwayne Mullin and Frank Lucas stayed the course in their attempt to deny Biden the presidency.
Bice was democratically elected to represent Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District, and yet one of her first acts was against democracy itself.
But, Bice was not the worst actor of the delegation — that distinction belongs to Mullin, who claimed to NBC’s Savannah Guthrie that the insurrection was not spearheaded by the Trump fans who had just been stirred to action by Trump’s speech on the Washington Mall that morning.
“It hasn’t been from our side, and that’s why I said I have a hard time believing these are actual, true Trump supporters because you haven’t seen this from Trump supporters,” Mullin said.
Mullin must have taken a few shots to the head during his short time competing in the Xtreme Fighting League. He must not be familiar with the April 19, 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building by anti-government, white supremacist terrorist McVeigh and his co-conspirator Terry Nichols.
McVeigh was radicalized by the early-1990s federal raids on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, and Aryan Nation member Randy Weaver’s compound in Ruby Ridge, Idaho. He consumed and assimilated the white nationalist hate literature that was the 8chan of its day, William Pierce’s The Turner Diaries.
Like the cross-raising, gun-toting, bomb-planting terrorists who pissed in the halls of the Capitol on Wednesday, McVeigh bombed the Murrah Building because of his antipathy toward the government. If you marched into the Capitol and attacked police officers in an effort to lay siege to Congress and prevent the inauguration of President Joe Biden on January 20, what separates you from McVeigh?
There is a special circle of Hell waiting for Oklahomans who attended Trump’s event yesterday, because they should know better. McVeigh has been dead for nearly 20 years, but his evil spirit lingers over the events of this week. Any Oklahoman should know better.
Bice, who represents an area where one of the worst acts of domestic terrorism in U.S. history took place, owes it to her constituents to speak honestly about this latest act of domestic terrorism. If she does not, she dishonors the memories of the 168 people who were killed in Oklahoma City nearly 26 years ago.
I wish Bice the best, but she is off to a catastrophic start. She could have followed the lead of U.S. Senator James Lankford, who thought better of his decision to sign on with the insurrectionist wing of his party and made an 11th hour exit from the group led by U.S. Senator Josh Hawley.
Bice did not, and furthermore, she avoided any implication of Trump as an instigator.
For most Oklahomans, terrorism is not a hypothetical. We recognize it when we see it. We deserve leaders who recognize it as well.
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