Iowa Democratic Progressive Caucus Statement on Capitol riots

The Iowa Democratic Party’s Progressive Caucus adopted this statement about the events of January 6. -promoted by Laura Belin

A true participatory democracy must always uphold the right to protest, and support the direct actions that endeavor to build a better world, a better future, and defend the rights of the disenfranchised and exploited. However, those actions must always be done in good faith with acknowledgement that our Constitution and branches of government are the foundational structures of our country. It is through their function where the redress of grievances are executed. Without that, there is no rule of law.

The actions of those who invaded the halls of Congress and interrupted a legislative session on the behalf of a corrupt demagogue and his cronies in no way uphold the values of our representative democracy, or share the honor, the values, or justification of those brave activists who have taken to the streets against true tyranny and injustice. 

Rather, they are willing to destroy the very fabric of our country and subvert democracy itself in order to enact a coup to install a dictator, not a president lawfully elected by the people. Today’s events are also the result of months of propagandizing the idea that our elections are rigged, that their fellow Americans of differing viewpoints are the enemy, and that the very institutions of the government conspire to destroy the United States itself. In their misguided attempt to “save” America, they are putting their own nails in its coffin.

This in no way absolves the actions of domestic terrorists, but it is important that we cast our eyes upon those who used their elected position and the pulpit it provides to add fuel to this blaze. We must hold accountable those who brought dishonor and shame to the public offices they hold representing the state of Iowa. 

Former Representative Steve King 

Representative Randy Feenstra

Representative Ashley Hinson

Senator Joni Ernst 

Senator Chuck Grassley 

Governor Kim Reynolds

President Donald J. Trump 

To those listed above, some of you have already moved to distance yourselves and call for “peace,” but this day is the consequence of your frivolous charges and wanton disregard for democracy and the Constitution. 

You have not only deliberately promoted a narrative proven to be false numerous times, but did so to the point that it has incited a violent attempt to subvert our entire system of government, and will undoubtedly result in further violence and pain for our citizens before it is ultimately resolved. Your words and actions have power. And in the just world that we believe should exist, no one can wield power in bad faith without consequences.

You have made a mockery of your oaths of office and thus are entirely unfit for the seats that the people of Iowa have granted you the privilege to occupy. You were elected to represent and to govern for the benefit of your constituents- not to act as sycophants to the very tyrants you claim to oppose.

We condemn the actions of the terrorists that threatened our democracy today. We condemn the continued shredding of our Constitution and sacred institutions to save the face and feed the ego of a defeated, one-term, lame-duck President and would-be dictator. And we condemn the idea that those who empowered, condoned, and instigated these very actions can simply call for peace and absolve themselves of their own complicity. 

Therefore the leadership of this Caucus demands the immediate expulsion or resignation of the officials listed above pursuant to Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, for inciting a violent takeover of the US Capitol and for a seditious conspiracy against the United States. If someone is unwilling to faithfully uphold their oath of office, putting the good of the people over political power plays, then Iowa deserves to have representatives that actually will.

Brian McLain, Chair

Tracy Murphy, Vice Chair

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