Take the high road.
That is our advice to U.S. Rep Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, who owes his constituents in Ventura County and elsewhere a better answer than he has given for his decision to vote for overturning November’s election results even after the Capitol was invaded by rioters.
Garcia won re-election in November by the narrowest of margins, and we doubt he has a shred of evidence to support claims of massive fraud in Pennsylvania and Arizona. He is also a decorated military veteran who more than once has taken the oath to uphold the Constitution and defend it against all enemies foreign and domestic.
Those in the House and Senate who indicated in advance their support for overturning the election results encouraged the rioters, who were then incited by President Donald Trump. How Garcia responds is important to the 25th District, to California and the nation, and so far his belated recognition of Joe Biden as president-elect and message that rioters should “go home” falls far short of the mark.
Garcia has options. At minimum he should express regret for his vote and join the groundswell to support a strong statement of censure for the president. Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and influential congressman Tom Reed of New York have suggested this path.
He should also consider casting his vote with the rising number of GOP lawmakers who support impeachment of the president. On Jan. 12, Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, the third ranking Republican in the House, said she would vote to impeach.
Garcia should resist the false equivalency of comparing the attack on Congress to the civil unrest that upended many cities over the summer—while unfortunate, those incidents were not insurrection against the United States government.
That is taking the low road. So is saying nothing and hoping this will go away as Trump leaves office next week. It won’t.
If Garcia can’t find a way to take the high road, there is another option. He can resign and let the 25th District be represented by someone who will.