Katie Hill | Mike Garcia, Did Backlash Strike a Nerve?

Katie Hill, December 08, 2018. Dan Watson/The Signal

Mike Garcia clearly felt the need to defend himself after he received backlash from our community following the events — and his votes — on Jan. 6. His commentary, “Clearing the Air and Seeking Rational Debate,” was a desperate attempt to camouflage his true identity as a Trump extremist in order to protect himself in a district that has resoundingly rejected that ideology, as evidenced by Donald Trump’s double-digit loss here. 

Weeks ago, we watched the Capitol building get stormed by armed terrorists — the same ones that Mike spoke with in the crowd (there are photos), that knew what he meant when he tweeted the “1776” bat signal (there are screenshots), and that he still has yet to fully condemn. 

Garcia is hoping we didn’t notice, or that we will forget all of that and believe the narrative he’s spinning. But his behavior before, during and after the attack was extreme. Claiming it wasn’t doesn’t change the reality. 

To know how extreme his actions were, we only need to look at the consequences of them that will directly impact our community. Defense companies with critical operations in our district have said they won’t support members of Congress who voted on the side of the seditionists. These companies, like Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, employ thousands in our community. A major responsibility as a member of Congress, especially as a member of the Armed Services Committee, is working with those companies to keep those jobs here. Think about what it could mean for our local economy that Garcia’s vote has jeopardized those relationships.

Garcia knows that he is at risk of not getting re-elected because of his actions. That’s why he’s now misrepresenting his positions and trying to convince us that he’s really a moderate. 

This is exactly what was wrong with Washington when I got there in 2019 and, sadly, it’s even worse now. Congress is full of politicians who put their party ahead of their community, and now Mike Garcia has shown he’ll put his career ahead of our democracy. 

Garcia supported an agenda with the intent to cause fear and division. The facts have always been clear: Joe Biden won this election. Garcia knows that there was no fraud, no tampering, no fake ballots. Courts run by Trump-appointed judges have ruled that there were no electoral issues. 

A vote against the fairness of this election only empowered the seditionists who stormed the Capitol and, for the first time in our history, broke the standard of a peaceful transition of power. 

Garcia’s actions were an attack on our democracy, and the damage will take years to repair. 

Self-preservation is why Garcia told us that he has “no blind loyalties to a party.” But he has proven that supporting Trump’s agenda and standing with extremists in Congress is his priority. Trump may be out of the White House, but his influence over Republicans is not waning, including over Garcia. 

Garcia has even been seen cozying up with one of the most dangerous of these extremists, Majorie Taylor Greene, who claimed the Las Vegas shooting that killed and injured many people in our own district was a staged conspiracy to make country music fans support gun control.

As much as it might surprise you, Democrats hold a plurality in our district, even though we’re known as the last conservative stronghold in L.A. County. In the two years since I was elected, the percentage of registered Democrats went up, while that of registered Republicans went down. Now, there are more than twice as many non-Republicans than there are Republicans here. And when the district lines are redrawn later this year, there’s a good chance those numbers might look even worse for a member of that shrinking party to hold a congressional seat, especially when he only won by a fraction of a percentage.

Remember this whenever Garcia tries to convince you he’s a moderate or a nonpartisan of any kind. He’s not. He just wants to keep his job.

Mike Garcia can say whatever he wants about his positions, and he can claim grave insult when he’s called out, but his actions speak a lot louder than his words. 

Katie Hill is a former congresswoman who represented the 25th Congressional District, which includes the Santa Clarita Valley.

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