US Representative Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) yesterday laid out his love of American democracy at an event back home:
Now, did he really mean the election, or just the XPOTUS losing by more votes in history to now-President Biden? The more you learn about Cawthorn, the more it seems he said what he meant:
Within 72 hours of taking office, Cawthorn made headlines for helping to recruit and incite the mob that attacked the Capitol trying to subvert the peaceful and constitutional transfer of power and steal the presidency for Donald Trump.
In February 2021, TSA agents caught Cawthorn with a gun in his carry-on bag as he attempted to pass through security and board a commercial flight at the Asheville Regional Airport.
Cawthorn’s official conduct is no better than his personal conduct. He has missed 36 of 519 roll call votes. That means he failed to report for duty 6.9% of the time, more than triple the median of 2.1% missed votes by his 434 House colleagues.
Western North Carolina may be better served when Cawthorn does not show up for work. He voted against funding for the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program that provides $3.4 million annually to 13 mountain counties with non-taxable federal land. He voted against funding for the Safe Rural Schools program that provides over $1 million a year to our schools. He voted against VA health care eligibility for Burn Pit Veterans. He was the lone member of the North Carolina House delegation to vote against the Opioid Prescription Verification Act.
Moe Davis, the author of that column and Cawthorn's opponent in November 2020, left out a few other details that Wikipedia helpfully fills in:
U.S. Representative Mark Meadows nominated Cawthorn to the United States Naval Academy in 2014, but his application was rejected before his 2014 car accident; Cawthorn had claimed during his congressional campaign in advertisements that the accident "derailed" his plans to attend the Academy. Cawthorn subsequently said that at the time of the injury, he knew only that he had been nominated to the Academy and that he had expected to be accepted, and added that he never said that he had been accepted before the accident took place, but could have applied again later. But in a lawsuit deposition, Cawthorn admitted that he had been rejected before the accident.
During the fall 2016 semester, Cawthorn attended Patrick Henry College, studying political science, but earned mostly D grades and dropped out. He said his grades were low primarily because his injuries had interfered with his ability to learn. Cawthorn said in a deposition, "You know, suffering from a brain injury after the accident definitely I think it slowed my brain down a little bit. Made me less intelligent. And the pain also made reading and studying very difficult." He also said he withdrew due to "heartbreak" after his fiancée broke up with him.
In a 2021 speech, he called women "earthen vessels sanctified by almighty God". In 2021, he joined the House Freedom Caucus, a caucus of conservative House Republicans. He describes himself as "fiscally conservative", says his stance on immigration is "conservative", and supports legal gun ownership, opposing gun control legislation.
In August 2020, during Cawthorn's campaign for Congress, several women came forward accusing him of sexually aggressive behavior, sexual misconduct, and sexual assault. Katrina Krulikas described an incident when she was 17 and Cawthorn was 19 in which Cawthorn pressured her to sit on his lap and attempted to kiss her forcefully twice, which she resisted. Cawthorn did not deny the allegations, but said, "I did try and kiss her, just very normal, just in a flirtatious way", adding, "If I did make her feel unsafe, I feel bad", but questioned the timing of her allegation. His campaign characterized Krulikas's allegations as politically motivated, which she denied.
After Krulikas made her allegations, three other women made allegations of sexual misconduct against Cawthorn, including forcible grabbing and kissing. One woman said Cawthorn called her "just a little blonde, slutty American girl" when she rejected his sexual advances.
On October 17, 2020, a group of Patrick Henry College alumni released a public letter accusing Cawthorn of "sexually predatory behavior" while he was a student there for little more than one semester, as well as of vandalism and lying. The letter originally had 10 signatories but the number increased to over 150 alumni. Cawthorn claimed that most of the signers did not know him personally and his campaign posted a letter of support for him signed by six alumni, two of whom work for Cawthorn's campaign. The letter implied support by former Patrick Henry College President Michael Farris; Farris disavowed the support letter and asked that he not be associated with it.
A February 2021 BuzzFeed News investigation found 20 people who said that Cawthorn had harassed his female classmates during college; the reporters spoke to four women who said that Cawthorn had harassed them. It was alleged that Cawthorn often recklessly drove women in his car to remote areas off campus while asking them sexual questions, which he called "fun drives". Two resident assistants said they warned women to avoid Cawthorn and not to ride in his car. A male acquaintance said Cawthorn bragged about pulling a woman into his lap and putting a finger between her legs.
So, basically, Cawthorn is an entitled, misogynist, philandering, lying asshole, who represents Christian white male privilege a lot better than he represents the North Carolina 13th. He deserves nothing more than to lose his seat in Congress to anyone else with a pulse. But the good ol' folks in Western N.C. will probably re-elect him until he finally gets charged with something he can't avoid, which seems like the path of highest probability for a man like him.