Dusk falls over the Capitol Monday after Congressional leaders have hashed out a massive, year-end catchall bill that combines $900 billion in COVID-19 aid with a $1.4 trillion spending bill and reams of other unfinished legislation on taxes, energy, education and health care. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Dusk falls over the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on Dec. 22, 2020. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Only one Cabinet secretary has ever been impeached, but Tiffany—already supportive of the Jan. 6 insurrection—wants to start a new trend that can only end badly for the country he professes to love.

Congressman Tom Tiffany should have resigned long ago. His latest stunt is only more evidence that he is hostile to American democracy and would support a coup to install an unelected authoritarian government if given the chance.

Already infamous for promoting an an effort to overturn the will of Wisconsin voters (through supporting a failed Texas lawsuit that sought to throw out certified vote totals from multiple states) and opposing a symbolic resolution to stand with NATO as it faces the war designs of Russia’s dictator Vladimir Putin, Tiffany’s latest stunt is to sign on as a co-sponsor of a resolution to impeach one of President Joe Biden Cabinet secretaries, Alejandro Mayorkas of Homeland Security. The Hazelhurst Republican’s well-known infatuation with demonizing immigrants shines through in a letter he co-signed Monday to Mayorkas.

Tiffany is part of the latest GOP effort to divert attention from the investigation of the attack on the US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021—joining other right-wing Trumpers at the US southern border this week to make loud noises about a genuine problem while rejecting the only workable solution: true immigration reform. The folly of a massive, wasteful wall is their Holy Grail. Failure to support it, they claim, is reason enough to impeach Mayorkas.

This is not new territory for Tiffany. Prior to his special election to Congress in May 2020, he took part in a stunt by Republican state senators who refused to confirm several of Gov. Tony Evers’ cabinet heads and other nominees—an unprecedented and now permanent stain in the history books of Wisconsin Republicans. So it’s only in character for Tiffany to now want to impeach someone in the line of succession to the US presidency for partisan purposes rather than actual crimes. The only impeachment of a Cabinet secretary took place in 1876 amid charges of bribery.

This is extremist—and arguably treasonous—behavior: undermining election results and thwarting the will of duly-elected chief executives at the state and federal levels for the sake of creating instability that threatens democracy itself. 

In more normal times we would warn Tiffany that this is a dangerous game he and former President Donald Trump’s other sycophants are playing. But we no longer believe this is just another game. Crazy as it sounds, these people aren’t merely trying to make political hay out of creating a Constitutional crisis, nearly overthrowing election results, and aiding an attempted coup. They believe it needs to happen and are seeking just enough public support to give them cover.

Don’t go there, Congressman. The country you profess to love is in trouble, but it’s trouble caused by your inability to be a patriot and accept that your party continues to lose nationwide and statewide races because it has lost its way. Instead of seeking to govern, your party seeks to rule—through gerrymadering, voter obstruction, and stoking fear. It’s an authoritarian flirtation that needs to end before you and other co-conspirators drag this nation into even darker places.