I’ve been a fan of Senator Chris Murphy (D-American) since I watched the end of his 2016 epic filibuster in favor of gun control legislation. He talked about a 7-year old boy, Daniel, who died in the 2012 Sandy Hook elementary school spree killing. By the time he was through, he was in tears, and, crusty old bastard that I am, so was I.

Today Murphy turned that same rhetorical firepower on the Republican Party.

He said the attempts of Republicans to persuade the Supreme Court to overturn the presidential election results and declare Trump the winner are seditious and un-American. (At least 126 House Republicans, including the House Minority Leader, have publicly joined the Texas lawsuit to declare the election null and void.) (Breaking news: SCOTUS just rejected the Texas lawsuit.)

It is, Murphy said,

the most serious attempt to overthrow our democracy in the history of our country.

He went on:

Those who are pushing to make Donald Trump President for a second term, no matter the outcome of the election, are engaged in a treachery against their nation. You cannot at the same time love America but hate democracy. But as we speak, a whole lot of flag-waving Republicans are nakedly trying to invalidate millions of legitimate votes because that is the only way they can make Donald Trump President again. … Democracies are really fragile things. Ours only continues because we make choices so that it can remain.

After rightly accusing Trump and the GOP of sedition, Murphy told the Washington Post that he fears the GOP will try to steal elections in 2022 and 2024.

Murphy is correct. Trump and his GOP accomplices are attempting to stage a coup. It doesn’t matter how inept or laughable the attempt is. It doesn’t matter how loudly Giuliani farts or how ridiculous his lawsuits are. The attempt is being made, and it is coming at us from every side. State legislatures are trying to figure out how they can “legally” name their own Trump-supporting electors and throw out the voting results in their states. Trump is attempting a “self-coup,” an attempt for a duly chosen leader to keep their position after they were legally ousted, and the GOP is actively participating in the effort. The earliest historical reference was in Sparta in 223 B.C., and self-coups have been successfully implemented 25 times in my own lifetime (1959-present). Both Hitler and Mussolini staged self-coups to cement their grip on their governments, and countries from France, Russia, Mexico, Poland, Uruguay, Chile, Greece, Bulgaria, China, Brazil, South Korea, Indonesia, Thailand, India, and Iran have had despots illegally retain control. Trump is no different.

Mock this attempt as you will. It’s happening. We are in the midst of a coup attempt staged by the president and the dominant political party in the nation. Trump and the GOP are not done because the Court rejected the Texas lawsuit.

This is sedition under the law. Sedition is a felony punishable by up to 20 years in jail. Murphy’s accusations are correct. If we want to ensure that the Republicans do not try again to overthrow the federal government — and this is exactly what they are doing — then Trump, Giuliani, Kevin McCarthy, Ken Paxton, and every lawmaker who publicly and actively supports this self-coup attempt must be indicted, convicted and incarcerated. There must be no “forgiveness” or “moving forward.” There must be a Nuremberg-level investigation, and powerful people must be punished.

UNC professor Zeynep Tufekci, a native of Turkey who has lived through more than one coup attempt in that country, says very simply in the Atlantic article linked above:

Act like this is your first coup, if you want to be sure that it’s also your last.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


  1. Indict every damn one of them ., win or lose. Make their worthless lives as miserable as the made Americans. Don’t give them one damn break.

  2. Complete agreement! This is critically important to the maintenance of democracy, which requires eternal vigilance. Unless we want to live through such attempts every election from now until there are no more elections, we must insist our representatives uphold and enforce the requirements for handling attempted coups from within government, as stated in the Constitution.

  3. I completely agree with Representatives Murphy and Pascrell. I have written my State Representative, Brad Wenstrup, who was among the 126. I agree that their traitorous act should not go unnoticed and they should be unseated. Menstrual was among them and I want to put his name out here for all to see

  4. I made a comment just a minute ago and the last sentence should start with the name Wenstrup. My kindle made a strange edit on its own. Menstrual deserves criticism but I am not into name calling.


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