Rep. Mike Garcia has devotedly served Georgia’s deeply red 14th District. The problem is, he was elected to Congress by California’s very purple 25th District. The Republican beat Democrat Christy Smith by less than one-tenth of 1% of nearly 350,000 votes. Imagine the Performing Arts Center at College of the Canyons at capacity. Now add 150 people of standing-room only. Mike’s margin was the equivalent of just one person in that entire crowd.
One may expect a congressman elected by that narrow margin to act as an actual representative of such a constituency. Unfortunately, Garcia has not.
Specifically, he has cast the following key votes:
Voted to object to the counting of the electoral votes of Pennsylvania and Arizona.
Voted “no” on the resolution to remove Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene from the House Committee on Budget and the Committee on Education and Labor. Note: This was not a vote to remove “MTG” from Congress; only to remove her from certain committees. This is the “MTG” who stalked and harassed a teenager just days after he survived the tragedy in which 17 classmates and teachers were killed.
Voted “no” on the impeachment of Donald Trump.
To be clear, reasonable arguments have been made for certain decisions, such as South Carolina Rep. Nancy Mace on why she objected to impeachment. But Garcia has relied on empty talking points, false narratives and vilifying Democrats with dishonest attacks.
Garcia has asserted that his objection to the Electoral College vote counts had to do with instilling confidence in the country’s elections. Horse hockey! As Republican Sen. Mitt Romney said the evening of the insurrection, “The best way we can show respect for the voters who are upset is by telling them the truth. That is the burden, and the duty, of leadership.”
In a Jan. 19 letter, Garcia tried to explain, “…these two states abdicated their constitutional mandate under Article I, Section 4, which determines that state legislatures are responsible for state election laws… (States) violated the law when officials outside of the state legislature changed state election laws without the state legislature’s approval…”
The truth is this is a frivolous legal rationale. There is no way around it. That is the assessment of the conservative legal movement, who have been standard bearers during this ugly chapter in our history.
As just one of dozens of examples, note Trump appointee U.S. District Judge Brett Ludwig’s ruling: “Plaintiff’s conflation of these potential nonconformities with constitutional violations is contrary to the plain meaning of the Electors Clause. If plaintiff’s reading of ‘manner’ was correct, any disappointed loser in a presidential election, able to hire a team of clever lawyers, could flag claimed deviations from the election rules and cast doubt on the election results. This would risk turning every presidential election into a federal court lawsuit over the Electors Clause.”
Of the numerous suits the Arizona Republican Party filed, judges either threw out the cases or denied them for procedural and evidentiary reasons. The same can be said for Pennsylvania, such as the case that was referred to the entire Supreme Court by Justice Samuel Alito only to be unanimously rejected.
Garcia supports a political, rather than legal, attack on a central tenet of democracy – free and fair elections, which are terribly undermined when congressmen attack with baseless claims and contribute to the big lie that this election was stolen. Leaders must be fervent defenders of the peaceful transfer of power when they are winners or losers. America, not any political party, must come first for those serving their constituents. It is the voters – all of us – whose interests our congressman serves; not the allegiance of a political party.
Of all those historic votes, was there even one the representative of this closely divided electorate could have cast to oppose those who tried to overthrow the government? Could there have been one opportunity to exhibit integrity by reflecting the diverse community he serves? Surely, it was imperative to display the independence indicative of a district so equally balanced. Was it not?
Garcia’s answer is no. The individual who is supposed to be our representative has chosen to serve a radical fringe who support insurrection instead of all the people of the 25th District.