Obeisance is the French word for “obey.” In a way it carries even more weight in that category than its English peer.

So regarding the immediate speeches of Republican leaders to the events in our Capitol last year, the word hovers over their follow-up actions since then, and in nearly all cases to their “corrective” take on that tragedy on this, its first anniversary.

Here are some of their initial reactions following the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection:

Sen. Mitch McConnell: “The mob was fed lies. They were provoked by the president and other powerful people.”

Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy: “The president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters.”

Sen. Ted Cruz: It was “… a violent terrorist attack on the Capitol.”

Yet what they have said, done or left undone in follow-up to their words since then, retreating into obeisance to the former president, would swell definitions of the word hypocrisy, if not worse.

McCarthy’s actions probably summarize these best, corralling the actions of all of them — he later visited Donald Trump in Mar-a-Lago to make amends, to regain Trump’s grace and solidify his yearning to be the next House speaker with Trump’s needed support, for a tap of the sword on his shoulders. Sen. Lindsey Graham did the same.

All have since said they would support Trump if he were their presidential nominee in 2024.

These partisan obediences to evildoing are what threaten our democracy, as much as the violent assault on our Capitol last year.

Paul Baribault, Lewiston

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