Opinion: Washington state’s Republicans share blame for Trump mob’s insurrection

Jan 7, 2021, 11:03 AM | Updated: 11:33 am
Trump mob, insurrection, Washington Republicans...
A mob of Trump supporters forcing their way into the U.S. Capitol building. (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

On Wednesday, a violent mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol, emboldened by fiery post-election rhetoric and near-constant claims of election fraud since November. So, who’s to blame? The list is a long one.

Washington lawmakers join calls to remove President Trump from office

To no one’s surprise, President Trump sits atop the list of people responsible for Wednesday’s mayhem. Months of endless lies regarding his electoral loss culminated in an unprecedented insurrection in our nation’s Capitol, and that will likely be his lasting legacy.

But he wasn’t alone in fomenting the discontent of the crowd that forced their way into the Capitol building, with plenty of blame to go around right here in Washington state.

That includes Washington’s 5th District Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers. In December, she signed her name onto a Texas lawsuit pushing for a patently undemocratic effort to invalidate a combined 62 electoral votes in key battleground states.

On Tuesday, McMorris Rodgers vowed to join her Republican colleagues in the House in objecting to the results of the 2020 election, dubiously claiming that her vote “was not one to overturn the election.”

Shortly after Trump’s mob of supporters staged their insurrection, McMorris Rodgers reversed course and decided not to object. By then, of course, it was less a profile in courage and more a textbook case of “too little, too late.”

McMorris Rodgers wasn’t the only Washington Republican in Congress who had signed onto that December lawsuit either — she was joined by 4th District Representative Dan Newhouse.

Newhouse’s mental gymnastics in supporting that attempt to subvert a democratic election were admittedly impressive, claiming at the time that he was actually trying “to defend our Constitution and instill confidence in our election system — not to overturn the election results.”

Naturally, nothing instills more confidence in our election system than throwing your support behind a lawsuit quite literally seeking to overturn a free and fair election. I’m sure Wednesday’s mob felt the same way.

Newhouse eventually vowed not to support further objections to the Electoral College count, but, again, by then the damage had already been done.

Rounding out Washington’s Republican Congressional delegation is 3rd District Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler, who courageously stood by silently for months, while her colleagues set a series of events in motion that culminated in a siege of the Capitol building.

WA lawmakers describe Wednesday mayhem in the Capitol building

To wit, Herrera Beutler hadn’t said a single word regarding the election — either supporting Trump’s endless accusations of voter fraud or decrying that effort — since Joe Biden was declared President-elect in November.

In this case, her silence was as good as complicity. There have been precious few Republicans in Congress pleading with the president to end his futile and harmful election challenges in recent months. She could have joined and amplified those calls, but instead rested on the laurels of her own November reelection and let the situation escalate into the powder keg we witnessed this week.

Like McMorris Rodgers and Newhouse, she lamented about the attack on our democracy only in hindsight, conveniently omitting the fact that it was her own party’s call to arms that was largely to blame.

And let’s not forget failed Republican gubernatorial candidate Loren Culp, who to this day, still hasn’t conceded an election he lost in a landslide. Culp’s campaign maintains its own challenges to Washington state’s election, falsely claiming that dead people and illegal immigrants numbering in the thousands were to blame for his electoral failures.

Just two days prior to Wednesday’s events, Culp labeled the 2020 election “the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people, many in WA State,” in a vaguely threatening statement directed at Republicans not aligned with the president’s utterly unhinged alternate reality.

Meanwhile, a crowd of protesters forced their way onto the grounds of the Washington governor’s mansion Wednesday, many of whom were armed, enthusiastically chanting Culp’s name.

Ultimately, Culp’s post-election “strategy” can be described in any number of ways. But let’s call it what it is: a needlessly permanent refusal to concede, supplemented by conspiracy theories and legal action that any judge worth their salt would throw out of court without blinking, all while embracing violence and intimidation as a means to further his own selfish goals.

I wonder where he got that idea.

The failure of the Republican Party to usher along a peaceful transition of power isn’t difficult to trace right back to the president’s doorstep. And plenty of others are equally as responsible for scattering bread crumbs along the path that led to the doors of the Capitol building. But to see people elected (and some decidedly not elected) to represent the interests of Washington state acting as accomplices to that insurrection inspires shame on a scale that’s impossible to quantify.

Questions, comments, or feedback? Follow Nick Bowman on Twitter at @NickNorthwest to weigh in, or reach him by email at [email protected]

MyNorthwest Blog

Seattle City Attorney race...
Nick Bowman

Newly-formed PAC with cast of familiar faces floods money into Seattle City Attorney race

A new PAC has already raised $280,000 in support of Seattle City Attorney candidate Ann Davison, with a cast of familiar faces working behind the scenes.
13 days ago
Seattle endorsements...
MyNorthwest Staff

Seattle election preview: Mayoral, city attorney candidates make their case

With Election Day just around the corner, we spoke to the Seattle mayoral and city attorney candidates for insight into each of their respective campaigns.
14 days ago
mayoral debates, seattle, mayor...
MyNorthwest Staff

Submit your questions for the Seattle Mayoral Debate

Lorena Gonzalez and Bruce Harrell will face off in two debates on Oct. 14 and Oct. What questions do you have for the candidates?
19 days ago
Seattle mayoral candidate Bruce Harrell...
Nick Bowman

Seattle mayoral candidate Bruce Harrell: City needs ‘sense of urgency’ to address homeless crisis

Seattle mayoral candidate Bruce Harrell lays out his plan to address Seattle's homeless crisis amid a hotly-contested election cycle.
20 days ago
Seattle City Council races...
Nick Bowman

Narratives for pair of Seattle council races paint dramatically different pictures

With election day less than a month away, the predominant narratives for both of Seattle's at-large council races are significantly different.
22 days ago
Seattle mayoral candidate Lorena Gonzalez...
Nick Bowman

Seattle mayoral candidate Lorena Gonzalez lays out plans for policing, homelessness, and income tax

Seattle mayoral candidate Lorena Gonzalez believes her more recent service in the city council gives her a leg up against her opponent, Bruce Harrell.
26 days ago

Sponsored Articles


Medicare open enrollment for 2022 starts Oct. 15 and SHIBA can help!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.

Small, Minority-Owned Businesses in King County and Pierce County Can Now Apply For $10,000 Relief Grants Through Comcast RISE

Businesses in King County and Pierce County can apply beginning on October 1, 2021, at for a chance to receive a $10,000 relief grant.
Opinion: Washington state’s Republicans share blame for Trump mob’s insurrection