WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Newspapers across northern New York are taking north country congresswoman Elise Stefanik to task, in the wake of Wednesday’s insurrection at the Capitol building in Washington, D.C.
The Watertown Daily Times said in an editorial that Stefanik is complicit in President Trump’s lies “and liable for the harm they caused.”
The strongly-worded editorial marked a sharp break for the newspaper, which has long supported Stefanik. In endorsing her re-election bid last fall, the Times wrote “This race is not about to what degree candidates have supported or criticized Mr. Trump.”
But in Friday’s editorial, the Times made it clear Stefanik must shoulder some of the blame for Wednesday’s riot at the Capitol building.
“Ms. Stefanik’s constituents must hold her accountable for supporting a distorted picture of this election for her own political gain,” the paper wrote.
“Through different methods, they should vigorously press her on why she felt the need to align herself with Mr. Trump while he repeated blatant lies about the election. That made her complicit in his falsehoods and liable for the harm they caused.
“She needs to explain what she and more than 100 other federal Republican legislators hoped to accomplish by pursuing objections that were bound to fail.
“They accomplished nothing but feed people’s misperceptions about the election, which led directly to the violence in Washington.
“Inciting an assault on our government is reprehensible, and we deserve much better leadership in Northern New York and on Capitol Hill.”
Stefanik has defended her decision to object to the presidential vote, arguing there were ‘constitutional’ problems in four states, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Georgia, even though courts have upheld the validity of the vote in each state, recounts did not change the outcome. and no evidence of widespread voter fraud has emerged. Joe Biden won in each state.
The Times editorial Friday noted “This hasn’t stopped Mr. Trump and his allies, including U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, from perpetuating the false narrative that the election wasn’t legitimate.”
And the Watertown Times wasn’t alone in editorializing about Stefanik’s role in Wednesday’s insurrection.
The Albany Times-Union editorialized “So what did Ms. Stefanik and more than 140 of her Republican colleagues do when confronted with the violent consequence of the falsehoods that they and the president promoted?
“They took to the floor of Congress to oh-so-eloquently say that the millions of people they misled deserved to have their faith in our electoral system restored — the faith that Ms. Stefanik and her cohort and the president had themselves shattered.
“The doubletalk boggles the mind. They are the arsonists who set the fire they now claim must be investigated.”
“There is more violence brewing, even as Ms. Stefanik and her colleagues still spew lies under the guise of respecting citizens’ concerns.
“If blood is shed in what comes next, it will be on the hands of Ms. Stefanik and her colleagues, and the president,” the newspaper wrote.
The Glens Falls Post-Star likewise found Stefanik’s actions this week wanting.
Speaking of President Trump, the newspaper notes “....one angry, dissembling man cannot create all by himself the dark mood that hovers over America now.”
“It takes a crowd of enablers to accomplish that — people who see an opportunity to advance their own interests at the country’s expense. Elise Stefanik has been one of those people, a shame for everyone in her district but mostly for herself.”