TN Politics: Leadership Failures Led to Capitol Insurrection

Jan 9, 2021

West Tennessee Rep. David Kustoff, a former U.S. Attorney, voted to overturn the federal election results because, as he said on Twitter, voters encouraged him to do so. 

After Wednesday insurrection incited by President Donald Trump at the U.S. Capitol, questions were raised over the security response. Last summer, the national guard was called out for a Black Lives Matter protest, which resulted in numerous people being injured by police and arrested. While authorities knew for some time that armed, right-wing extremists had planned to converge on Washington for Trump's rally to influence legislators, the Capitol police were quickly overwhelmed by the mob. They did not receive additional backup for several hours. 

Political analyst Otis Sanford says the government's response to protests is a strong example of institutionalized racism -- how white protesters are seen as less threatening than Black protesters.

Even after the marauders concluded their act of terrorizing lawmakers, Tennessee's seven Republican Congressmen persisted in the belief that Pennsylvania's votes should be thrown out. They support the debunked claim that widespread voter fraud was the reason Trump lost the election by 7 million votes. Among the supporters of that propoganda was David Kustoff, a former U.S. Attorney, who represents West Tennessee and lives in East Memphis. In a tweet, he asserted that he was was simply reflecting the will of the people in his district by supporting Trump's undemocratic claim to the White House.

Sanford, in this interview and in a separate column, calls Kustoff a disappointment.