Perry’s efforts to subvert vote should disqualify him from office

York Dispatch editorial board

As the bipartisan House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol nears the end of its fact-finding, new evidence continues to emerge regarding congressional Republicans’ efforts to somehow keep losing candidate Donald Trump in office.

“It appears that a significant number of House members and a few senators had more than just a passing role in what went on,” Rep. Bennie Thompson, the Democratic chairman of the Jan. 6 committee, told The Associated Press last week.

Count Pennsylvania Rep. Scott Perry squarely among them.

The committee last month released several texts sent by the five-term, York-area congressman to then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows in the days between the election and the formal certification of the results on Jan. 6.

More:'His actions are treasonous': Protesters target Scott Perry on Jan. 6

They reflect a lawmaker utterly beholden to the former president; willing to break any norm and weave any fantasy to keep him in power.

From pushing baseless conspiracy theories to campaigning to have the acting attorney general removed in favor of a Trump-friendly replacement — a suggestion Justice Department officials responded to by threatening to resign en masse — Perry, reported CNN, was a leading figure “at almost every turn in scheming to reverse or delay certification of the 2020 election.”

Frankly, that alone should be disqualifying for elective office. If someone says point-blank they will neither follow nor respect the rules of the game, that person should not be allowed to play.

Jerry West of Manchester Township joins a protest outside Congressman Scott Perry's West Manchester Township office Thursday,  Jan. 6, 2022.  About 30 demonstrators marked the one-year anniversary of the attack on the U.S. Capitol with the event which was sponsored by CASA. Bill Kalina photo

Add to that suggestions by Perry that voting machines were compromised by the British or Italian governments (the latter using satellites, no less) and the desperation begins to give way to something that looks more like delusion.

Characteristically, Perry has refused to answer questions from responsible media outlets about the texts. He has also declined a request to cooperate with the House committee. (The fact that the only other House members the committee has thus far asked to voluntarily testify are Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Trump water carrier Jim Jordan is another indication of how deeply Perry has been involved in the sordid campaign.)

Further evidence: The committee has also released testimony from a former Meadows aide who named Perry as one of “at least 11 members of Congress who were involved in discussions with White House officials about overturning the election, including plans to pressure (Vice President Mike) Pence to throw out electoral votes from states won by (Joe) Biden,” reported the New York Times.

Advised by White House lawyers that there was no legal basis for such actions, they nonetheless stayed the course, pressuring Pence right up until rioters stormed the Capitol (an action the Meadows aide testified that Perry endorsed).

Despite these blatant efforts to subvert the will of the voters — or, just as likely, given the state of politics these days, because of them — Perry faces no opposition in next week’s primary. Republicans — both the party and its voters, it is to be surmised — are perfectly content with a reality-averse conspiracy theorist who would throw out his own constituents’ votes if it meant securing office for the single most corrupt American politician in living memory.

That’s a sad reflection on the party, the country and the district.

The House committee plans to soon begin sharing its findings through a series of televised hearings. Perhaps there will be additional disclosures regarding Perry’s backroom efforts to overturn the presidential election.

It’s difficult to imagine they could be any worse than what’s already known. And what’s already known is grounds for disqualification and/or dismissal from public office. Or, at least, in a world absent alternate-reality narratives propped up by partisan propagandists, it would be.