On Monday, one northeastern Kentucky representative to the United States Congress, Rep. Thomas Massie, announced he would not obstruct the victory of President-elect Joe Biden — in so doing defying President Donald Trump — on the grounds that the U.S. Constitution does not permit Congress to overturn states’ electors.
Late Wednesday and early Thursday, another representative from a district that incorporates part of northeastern Kentucky, Rep. Hal Rogers, chose the opposite path.
Unfazed by an insurrection that for a few brief and terrible moments on Wednesday afternoon threatened the very foundation of our democratic republic, that resulted in at least one shooting death and the evacuation of Congress from the Capitol in the midst of its sworn duty, Rogers hours later voted against the certification of Biden’s victory.
Trump has said for two months, without credible evidence, that the presidential election is being stolen from him. He went so far as to encourage Vice President Mike Pence on social media not to certify the results — a power that the office of the vice president does not have.
But the president’s message resonated with many citizens who traveled to Washington to protest on Wednesday, and it resonated with 147 Republicans who voted against the certification of Biden’s wins in Pennsylvania, Arizona or both.
Rogers, R-Somerset, was one of them. The member of the House who represents southern Boyd County as well as Carter, Rowan, Elliott, Lawrence, Johnson and Morgan counties is forever on record representing us throwing in his lot with a man and his followers who prioritized a victory today — one he had not rightfully earned — over the bedrock institutions that separate America from Cuba and North Korea.
And they were willing to unleash mayhem to accomplish it, a disgrace in which Rogers can now count himself as complicit even as he issued a toothless statement decrying “violence at the Capitol” but amplifying claims about the voting process that are unproven and likely to cause long-term damage to Americans’ trust in it.
Massie put himself on the right side of history, at least on this particular issue, on Monday. Every other member of the Kentucky congressional delegation did so on Wednesday and Thursday. Rogers, elected in November to his 21st term, chose otherwise.
We encourage voters to remember that — to remember yesterday’s chaos and the people who encouraged and permitted it to happen — when he seeks a 22nd.