The silence from Idaho’s U.S. Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch on why they helped sink the establishment of an independent bipartisan commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the nation’s Capitol is just too much.

They need to start talking. They need to start leading. They need to stop their stealthy acquiescence in going wherever the Republicans’ radical wind blows.

The nation needs solid answers about what happened that awful day. It needs guidance on how to avoid more violence. It needed the commission to provide those.

The bill that would have established the commission failed two weeks ago on a 54-35 vote. It needed 60 votes to pass.

Idaho needs leaders who educate citizens on what happens in the Capitol when it happens, not just when they are running for office every few years and hoping that they’ve piled up enough ordinary votes to dim voters’ memories about any that were controversial.

Politics is supposed to be a two-way street with voters giving leaders their vote in exchange for leadership. For those votes, senators should do more than simply follow the herd and moo softly while feeding at the public trough.

Crapo’s no vote helped sink the commission. Risch didn’t show up to vote, which effectively was a no vote.

Right after the vote, both senators should have made the reasons for their actions well known. Did Risch have a potentially embarrassing tummy ache that kept him away? Does Crapo think the nation should forget what happened that day?

Silence is a wink and a nod to the enemies of democracy. Speak up, senators.

“Our View” represents the opinion of the newspaper editorial board, which is made up of members of its board of directors. Remarks may be directed to

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