Thumbs down to Minnesota’s four Republican members of Congress, none of whom dared stand up for the Constitution on Wednesday.

All four — including Jim Hagedorn and Michelle Fischbach, whose districts include The Free Press coverage area — voted against the article of impeachment.

The notion that holding Donald Trump accountable for the damage he has done to constitutional processes and for the damage and fear his followers inflicted on the Capitol and its inhabitants is somehow damaging to national unity is nonsense.

He cannot be given a free pass. There can be no unity if one party excuses an attempt to violently overthrow election results.

Hagedorn, Fischbach, Tom Emmer and Pete Stauber failed Wednesday to defend the Constitution from a domestic enemy. It is, as with Hagedorn and Fischbach’s votes a week earlier to reject some Electoral College ballots, shameful.

Munson, splinter group wrong

Thumbs down to Rep. Jeremy Munson, R-Lake Crystal, for the dodge he and his so-called New Republican Caucus made by slippery word play in not condemning violent talk at a rally they attended Jan. 6 in St. Paul.

According to The Associated Press, one of the speakers at the St. Paul rally — Alley Waterbury of Woodbury — asked Gov. Tim Walz: “Please take time to meet with us one-on-one, because if you don’t, you’re going to make us do things we don’t want to do. We’re going to come for you, but we want to talk to you first.”

She also said, “There’s going to be casualties.” Another speaker said the group was beyond protests and rallies and was at the point of “war.”

New Republican Caucus members who participated in the rally, including Munson, did not condemn these words because they apparently didn’t hear them, as some left early. But that doesn’t let them off the hook.

Some 59 members of the regular Republican House Caucus strongly condemned the threats against Walz and others, which prompted security to evacuate Walz’ son from the governor’s residence.

The Munson caucus issued a statement that didn’t explicitly condemn the Walz threats because they said: “while we were present, there was no ‘violent rhetoric’ and no ‘threats of violence.’ ”

That see-no-evil answer is disappointing.

Improving the Guard

Thumbs up to Minnesota National Guard soldier Joshua Preston, of Minneapolis, for calling out superiors for not doing enough to weed out right-wing extremism within its ranks.

Preston was upset that Guard leadership sent out a vague statement after the violent takeover of the U.S. Capitol that said service members “must remain apolitical” and referred to the takeover as “the timely events occurring on the national stage.”

He posted messages saying that Boogaloo Bois and other anti-government types are known to be in the Guard’s ranks and need to be dismissed.

With white supremacist groups emboldened in recent years, extremists will need to be met head on for some time to come. The military and law enforcement agencies need to take the lead in ensuring no extremists are in their own ranks.

Dedicated student

Thumbs up to the Cleveland High School student who spearheaded a fundraising campaign to buy his teacher a new wheelchair.

Since launching a GoFundMe page this week, Ryan Reineke has raised thousands of dollars for Joel Boehlke, the teacher who had done so much for him. Reineke has his sights on a durable wheelchair that also includes upgrades that can help his teacher more easily get into vehicles. The chair costs an estimated $20,000.

The fundraising page asks classmates, alumni and others who have been touched by Boehlke to help him get the new wheelchair. Reineke has some learning disabilities and two of his teachers at Cleveland High School helped him write his fundraising appeal.

The effort is an admirable endeavor that gives a student an opportunity to help his mentor as well as show the rest of us how gratitude looks in action.

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