Viewpoints

Andy Harris, A Faithless Representative?

9/12/21
By: Larry Pifer

 

January 6, 2021, started out as an exciting day. President Biden’s victorious election was about to be certified by both Houses of Congress in a mostly ceremonial procedure presided over by Vice President Mike Pence.

This event felt special because it was the culmination of a long and stressful election that would now be finished. The day itself was a good one - without rain and not too cold for January; but, as we all know, the day became one that will “live in infamy,” as Pearl Harbor was described by Franklin Roosevelt many years ago.

After morning speeches and encouragement from then President Trump, hundreds of people began to march toward the United States Capitol. Many were carrying blue Trump flags. Some had Confederate battle flags and some were carrying American flags. We assumed they were intent on demonstrating their disappointment about the election results. However, as the day progressed, it became obvious that something else was happening.

The “demonstrators” were attacking the Capitol and seeking the legislators who were voting to ratify the presidential election. They stormed the Capitol, broke into the House and Senate chambers and called out to find congressmen, senators and the Vice President, seeking to harm them. All of this was happening live on all the cable networks. We saw firsthand what was taking place. Police and the Capitol were being attacked by rioters who were obviously intent on not only stopping the vote count but also harming the legislators who were carrying out their duties.

It was taking place in front of us and we could do nothing to change it. Feeling very concerned, I did the only thing I could think to do. I called the office of my First District Congressman Andy Harris. I reached his office, and the call was answered by a person who said it was Congressman Harris’s office. The voice was quavering and speaking in a whisper.

I said,” Do you know what is happening in the Capitol?” I implored them to do something to stop the rioters or call someone to restore order. I said “You have to do something!” The quaking voice responded that they were all under desks and very afraid of what might happen, but they would express my concern to the congressman. That was the end of the conversation.

The combination of the phone conversation and the visual events on television made me very upset, but I hoped my congressman would act to attempt to restore order. What has happened since has been exactly the opposite.

Here’s what Congressman Harris has decided to do instead:

- Later that evening Congress reconvened to complete the certification of the vote, and 147 Republican lawmakers voted against the certification of President Biden - among them, Andy Harris.

- He refused to recognize the January 6th riot as an insurrection against the United States.

- He refused to vote with the House to award the brave policemen who fought to save the Capitol a medal in honor of their valor.

- Only days after the attack, he attempted to carry a concealed loaded weapon into the Capitol.

- Since January 6 he has consistently denied that there was an attack on our democracy and our Capitol and refused to describe the insurrection as what it plainly was.

The person I spoke with in Congressman Harris’s office was clearly frightened and appeared to understand the seriousness of the situation. On January 6, 2021, I thought my congressman would act to determine who these rioters were and why they attacked our Capitol. I was wrong.

Since then, Andy Harris and his office have done nothing but deny the insurrection/attack and seek ways to discredit the officers who defended him. He has even attempted to block efforts to discover what happened.

And what now? Apparently Andy Harris has elected not to protect and preserve our Constitution and our democracy as he swore an oath to do; and he has evidently also decided not to respond to our concerns. Now he must leave office. WE NEED TO VOTE ANDY HARRIS OUT.

Larry Pifer is a member of the Talbot County Democratic Forum

 

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