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Opinion | Congress needs Mo Brooks’ phone records

“Brooks, Trump and others are unrepentant and undeterred. Which is why the House Select Committee needs their phone records.”

Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., conducts a news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center on the Fire Fauci Act, which aims to strip the salary of Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, for his handling of COVID-19 on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP Images)

Congressman Mo “Flak Jacket” Brooks is nothing if not predictable. When it comes to questions about the Jan. 6th insurrection, he’s going to whine. Deflect. Play the victim. And find someone else to blame.

Why else would he send out foolishness like his August 30th Tweet about the House Select Committee investigating the Capitol insurrection? The committee chair Congressman Bennie Thompson of Mississippi is asking 35 telecommunication and social media companies such as AT&T, Parler and Facebook to preserve the records “relating to certain individuals who hold or have held accounts with your company.” Media reports suggest sitting Congressman Brooks is among those “certain individuals” along with other insurrectionists such as former President Donald Trump.

Let me pause here. It’s heart-stopping to put the words “insurrectionists” and “former president” or “sitting congressman” together. 

Not that politics in America has been pristine. Far from it.

Democrats and Republicans have been caught in financial and sex scandals. Elected officials from both parties have been found guilty of crimes and sent to prison. Power and corruption have always been lovers, party affiliation or ideological persuasion notwithstanding.

And let’s not even bring up the elected officials who have been guilty of incompetence, indolence or just plain stupidity. But an insurrection? An armed, violent attempt to overthrow their own government?

As a liberal, mostly Democratic voting citizen, I endured Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. Never wanted to overthrow the government.

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I also endured Donald Trump, who I’ve put in a separate sentence because he’s not half the president that any of those men were. Yet, it never crossed my mind to travel up to Washington, storm the Capitol, overturn his election, assault Capitol police officers and terrorize members of Congress. 

Back to Brooks’ Tweet: “#Socialists and ‘Pelosi Republicans’ (Cheney & Kinzinger) seek my phone records? Three results: 1 Total waste of taxpayer money. 2. Boredom for who looks at my records. 3. Russian Collusion Hoax 2.0. Why not subpoena Socialists who support BLM & ANTIFA?”

Let’s start with socialists. Brooks tosses this word around like a Frisbee. A socialist is one who “advocates or practices socialism.” And socialism is “a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.”

The Democratic Party doesn’t advocate that the community control our economy. So I’m not sure why Brooks brings this up.

Do socialists live in our nation? Sure. A few even hold elected office. But there’s no law against being a socialist. And that’s the beauty of living in a democracy. You can believe whatever you want.

When it comes to elections, folks of all persuasions can make their case. Based on the current composition of Congress, the people are rolling with capitalists. Maybe Brooks doesn’t really know what a socialist is.

Next up: so-called Pelosi Republicans Rep. Liz Cheney and Rep. Adam Kinzinger. Cheney gets a 96 percent score for this session of Congress from Heritage Action, an affiliate of the conservative Heritage Foundation.  Kinzinger gets 80 percent.

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That means Cheney and Kinzinger line up more with Brooks’, who gets a 98 percent from Heritage Action, than House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who gets a zero.

He should be calling them Brooks Republicans, not Pelosi Republicans. Maybe Brooks isn’t good with math.

Let’s end with the congressman’s reference to BLM, better known as Black Lives Matter, and ANTIFA, or Antifascists. He said their records should be subpoenaed.

Why? They weren’t at the Capitol trying to overthrow the government. They weren’t attacking Capitol police officers or threatening the lives of the Vice President, the Speaker of the House, members of Congress and their staff.

The people doing those things were hanging out with Brooks and Trump at their rally. They were riled up by Brooks, Trump and others to try to overthrow the government. And they failed, thank God.

But Brooks, Trump and others are unrepentant and undeterred. Which is why the House Select Committee needs their phone records. They may be more complicit in the insurrection than we know. And no amount of whining and Tweets can change that.

David Person is a media personality and consultant who has been working in the Huntsville market since 1986 as a talk show host, columnist, and director/producer. David co-hosts the podcast Alabama Politics This Week.

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