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Opinion/Editorial: Good fails in duties to district

Opinion/Editorial: Good fails in duties to district

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Bob Good’s “representation” of the 5th Congressional District has been atrocious so far — and the year has only just begun.

»He continues to discourage — even to ridicule — safe, prudent behavior in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

He campaigned without wearing a mask, thus modeling dangerous acts for his followers.

Some of those campaign events were outdoors, and a case can be made that masks are less important in open-air settings. But he also was spotted indoors without a mask.

As if that weren’t enough, he also has directly told his followers not to believe the facts about the pandemic.

“It’s a serious virus, but it’s…not a pandemic. ... You get it [you understand]. You stand up against tyranny. ... Thank you for saying no to the insanity.”

Nearly 2 million people have died from COVID-19 worldwide, and nearly 400,000 in the U.S. And that’s not a pandemic?

We can have a debate about whether government responses have been overly draconian. But that the pandemic exists is an irrefutable truth.

» Good made that statement at a mid-December rally for President Trump — just prior to the meeting of the Electoral College to certify Joe Biden’s win as the nation’s next president.

And that exemplifies another strike against Good: He continues to reject the legitimate election of Trump’s opponent, Biden. Neither Good nor the pathetic president will accept the will of the people.

Their contention is that election fraud was rampant — to such a degree that it invalidated the results. But that allegation has never been proved.

To the contrary, such claims have been rejected by dozens of courts in separate and independent cases, by Republican- and Democrat-appointed judges, and even by such Republican leaders as Sen. Mitch McConnell and then-Attorney General William Barr.

To assert otherwise is to contribute to a shameful campaign of disinformation and to the destabilization of the country.

Good has a moral and ethical duty to help govern the nation based on truth, rationality and the preservation of the common good. He has failed in that duty. His rhetoric, in fact, has made him morally co-responsible with Trump for the death and destruction that overtook the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

When Congress was able to go back into session on that day, he voted against accepting the vote counts from Arizona and Pennsylvania.

But here we may part company with some of the congressman’s other critics: By voting against the tallies, Good was guilty of a gigantic misjudgment — but he did not, by that alone, violate his oath of office. Under law, he is allowed to vote no.

The Congress did not meet to rubberstamp the popular vote or the Electoral College’s certification of the vote. Indeed, it should not: Such a rubberstamp action would be a denial of Congress’ legitimate authority — and a denial of democracy.

Additionally, federal law gives Congress the ability to consider claims about the legitimacy of an election. Although deniers were misguided, they had the right under the law to raise their objections.

If critics can find a way to remove Good from office, the basis for such an effort likely cannot rest on the technical matter of his vote against accepting the results of the election. Another tactic is necessary; focusing on reckless behavior and rhetoric may serve that purpose.

Critics also have called on him to resign. While we’d like to see him gone (this newspaper endorsed Cameron Webb for Congress), we think the success of that effort is similarly fraught with difficulty. Will Bob Good resign because his critics ask him to? Doubtful.

A large portion of the vast 5th District will continue to be represented, for now, by a man who has proved himself unworthy of his office — but who, nonetheless, is the legitimate winner of his election.

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