Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH), who was one of 10 Republicans who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump for inciting the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, will not seek reelection in 2022. Writing in The Bulwark this Friday, former Republican National Committee spokesperson Tim Miller contends that Gonzalez's retirement is a "deeply ominous sign for our politics."
"It might be a Trump era cliché to say that 'this is not normal' but a 36-year-old congressman in his second term doesn't just retire. That is the start of one's career, not the finish. Moreover, a 36-year-old Republican congressman sure as shit doesn't retire because he is scared Republican voters might hurt his family," Miller writes. "That is not normal. At all. It is a flashing siren about just how dangerous the Republican party has become."
Despite his perfect down-the-line voting record, the backlash to his vote later turned into harassment that was so harsh that he decided to resign. "It resulted in a primary from Max Miller, a douchey trust-fund baby who worked for Trump and allegedly assaulted his girlfriend and colleague, Stephanie Grisham," Miller writes. "Unlike Gonzalez, Miller was no athletic hero. He had no record of accomplishment, though he does have a rap sheet. He had no coherent policy critique of Gonzalez. The primary was to be solely a referendum over whether voters of the district wanted their representative to be a Trump toady even if it means overthrowing American democracy."
Speaking to The New York Times this week, Gonzalez said he no longer wants to have his family "escorted through the airport" by security or receive threats from people saying "we're coming to your house."
As Miller points out, Gonzalez isn't the first Republican to step aside over potential violence.
"Georgia Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan, who stood his ground during Trump's phony attempts to contest the Georgia election, recently told me that he also had a disturbing realization one day, as he looked out at the security protecting him, about how the threats targeting him and his family were coming from inside the GOP tent. Duncan announced back in May that he wouldn't run again."
Read the full column over at The Bulwark.