On Monday, Talking Points Memo reported on at least 34 Republican members of Congress who exchanged text messages with White House chief of staff Mark Meadows in efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.
One message in particular stuck out for its illustration of how blatant these efforts were and, perhaps too, how dumb they were.
On January 17, 2021, Representative Ralph Norman of South Carolina texted Meadows:
“Mark, in seeing what’s happening so quickly, and reading about the Dominion law suits attempting to stop any meaningful investigation we are at a point of � no return � in saving our Republic!! Our LAST HOPE is invoking Marshall Law!! PLEASE URGE TO PRESIDENT TO DO SO.”
Beyond appearing to be a seditionist, Norman seems to think “martial law” is spelled like “Marshall”—similar to messages released previously between Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene and Meadows, in which she wrote: “In our private chat with only Members, several are saying the only way to save our Republic is for Trump to call for Marshall law.” Perhaps Norman just copied and pasted the spelling from the world’s worst possible group chat.
But who is Ralph Norman?
In 2018, while meeting with members from Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, Norman placed his loaded handgun on a table during the conversation to prove “guns don’t shoot people; people shoot guns,” making the activists feel unsafe.
At an election debate in 2018, Norman joked about the sexual assault allegations against then–Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. “Did y’all hear this latest late-breaking news on the Kavanaugh hearings? Ruth Bader Ginsburg came out saying she was groped by Abraham Lincoln.”
In 2019, Norman led the charge to try reinstating Representative Steve King to his committee assignments, after King had made one of his career’s many racist comments and asked when “white nationalist” and “white supremacist” became offensive language.
Norman was also one of 126 House Republicans who signed onto a lawsuit contesting the 2020 election results.
In February 2021, Norman and 12 other Republican House members skipped votes, citing Covid-19; instead, they were all happily attending the Conservative Political Action Conference. Norman, the agent of the personal responsibility party that he is, blamed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for apparently changing “the voting to interfere with CPAC.”
In June 2021, Norman was one of 21 House Republicans who voted against giving honors to officers who defended the Capitol on January 6. That same month, he was one of 14 House Republicans who voted against establishing Juneteenth as a federal holiday. And in July 2021, he was one of just five Republicans who voted against appropriations for granting visas to Afghan allies and enhancing Capitol security.
Norman has repeatedly criticized President Biden for forgiving student loan debtors; Norman himself—with a net worth of over $20 million—had at least $306,520 of PPP loans forgiven.
Based on his history, Norman is the perfect example of someone who’d throw whatever integrity he did have on the line for an individual like Donald Trump.