Following last week’s Senate trial of former president Trump, with harrowing accounts of the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob, this is all Congressman Cline could bring himself to say:
Nothing about Trump’s incitement of his supporters for months before the attack. Nothing about the Capitol police officer murdered and the 140 other officers injured by the mob. (Blue Lives Matter? Really?) Nothing about Trump’s phone call with House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy during the insurrection, in which Trump expressed no concern for the safety of members of Congress or Vice President Pence or anyone else, but said, “Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are.” And of course nothing about Cline’s own role in encouraging the false notion of massive fraud in the 2020 Presidential election, which Trump used to incite his die-hard supporters.
And still no explanation about Cline’s own whereabouts and experiences during the insurrection, or about the mysterious timing of a Facebook post just minutes before rioters breached police lines and entered the Capitol.
Is there any doubt that if Cline had (Heaven forbid!) been a member of the Senate, he would have ignored the overwhelming evidence of Trump’s complicity and voted with a clear conscience to acquit? Cline has never once called Trump to account for anything. Why would he start now? Out of fear or loyalty or both, he is behaving exactly how the dominant pro-Trump majority of his party demands he behave. More than 70 years ago, George Orwell had him and his colleagues pegged.