Editor’s Note: Scott Jennings, a CNN contributor and Republican campaign adviser, is a former special assistant to President George W. Bush and a former campaign adviser to Sen. Mitch McConnell. He is a partner at RunSwitch Public Relations in Louisville, Kentucky. Follow him on Twitter @ScottJenningsKY. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his own. View more opinion articles on CNN.
This is literally an insurrection. The fact that the US military hasn’t secured the seat of our government already is a failure of leadership by the commander in chief.
President Donald Trump caused this insurrection with his lies and conspiracy theories about the election process being rigged against him. It was not stolen, but this madness was fomented by the President and his top advisers over the past several months. His attorney Rudy Giuliani, at a rally on Wednesday, called for “trial by combat” to a roaring crowd.
Let me be clear: These rioters are not Republicans. These are not conservatives. These are not patriots bursting into the US Capitol, accosting police officers and destroying public property.
These are domestic terrorists, and they ought to be treated like any other terrorist uprising with the full force and fury of the US government. Trump’s video calling out these terrorists – which he released on Twitter – was a complete failure of leadership, a half-hearted and wholly inadequate attempt to stop these individuals.
Republican Sens. Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley and their group of objectors should withdraw their objections to the election results immediately. We are beyond lectures about Rutherford Hayes and Samuel Tilden and their great White House compromise. We are now going to decide whether this country is capable of self-government, or whether we are going to perpetually devolve into two tribes unwilling to accept the results of election, the pillar of democratic self-governance.
Republicans supported Trump in the election. It is over. We lost. Now, all Republicans have a duty to support the republic and the Constitution by condemning this terrorism, rallying around the peaceful transfer of power and our constitutional institutions, and demanding all of the actions within the power of the President of the United States to restore order to our Capitol.
To anyone attacking the Capitol, you are no different than any violent Antifa rioter you claim to despise. Today, you are them.
I’m ashamed and embarrassed for our country, and for any Republican who fails to condemn this shameful behavior.