Poof, and Jan. 6 Is Gone
Terry H. Schwadron
July 13, 2021
One way or another, six months after the Jan. 6 insurrections, Republicans have persuaded themselves that the event never happened, or at least that it was nothing like the chaotic would-be coup that we all watched live on television.
Between the media campaign to downgrade the dangers of the Donald Trump mob to stop certification of the election and continuing resistance to exploring just who organized and incited the rioters, Republicans are now standing so fast around the idea that it was all a peaceful gathering of patriots that day that the next set of elections is going to turn on a referendum on believing or rejecting the Big Steal.
Just this Sunday, Trump told Fox News host Maria Bartiromo that those behind the violent attack that killed at least five were “were peaceful people, these were great people.” Recalling the events of Jan. 6, Trump claimed, “there was love in the air” at his rally earlier that day at the White House, and falsely said there was a “lovefest between the Capitol Police and the people that walked down to the Capitol.”
Maybe it is good politics, but it misses me completely. We can’t fix what we don’t recognize. Of course, Republicans apparently don’t see anything wrong in Jan. 6.
It’s Political Noise
Normally, we tell ourselves, we should only listen to a fraction of this stuff, and believe much less of it.
But the volume, tone and intensity coming from Republican senators and members of Congress is severe. That Trump skipped the part where his clearly identified fans used flagpoles and hazardous chemicals to injure, maim and kill Capitol police officer and at least four others that day seems lunacy.
“They are military people, and police officers and construction workers,” Trump said. “They are tremendous. In many cases, tremendous people.”
Why then are hundreds facing prison sentences on crimes for raiding the Capitol? Who brought them there and pointed them at the Capitol? Who refused to stop the carnage?
To hear Trump now talk of this in ways that makes Ashli Babbitt the former Air Force member who was killed by Capitol police storming the Senate gallery as being victimized is to enter a world of upside-down and backwards.
Any number of lawmakers themselves talked of threats from the attackers, Capitol Police officers have testified about hand-to-hand combat with insurrectionists, white nationalist groups like the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys are bragging about their participation, and Trump is saying none of it ever happened? Some 140 police officers were injured during the attack, dozens of people have been charged with using a deadly or dangerous weapon or causing serious bodily injury to an officer, Confederate flags were paraded through the Capitol.
Can’t Probe What Never Happened
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has yet to name his representative members to a Jan. 6 select committee forced into being by Speaker Nancy Pelosi. He is stuck between denying there is anything to investigate and worrying about whether voters will punish Republicans for re-inventing the universe.
For McCarthy, it is far more important to have Donald Trump’s loyalty than to believe in anything close to truth, the reason for a democratic government or free elections.
If they cannot stop an investigation, then the Republicans are committed simply to ridiculing it, as if it never happened. It is some magic trick to make the globally watched attack on American democracy seem as if it never occurred.
The alternative history has been a never-ending reel since November, or even earlier. The election could not oust Donald Trump, but it did by a good eight million-vote margin. There must have been widespread voter fraud, despite no evidence to support that notion. Joe Biden is not president, though he sits in the White House and has control of our army, nuclear weapons and coronavirus vaccines. The rioters were Antifa imposters, which they weren’t. And there is nothing to investigate from Jan. 6, which is patently untrue.
You’d think that even the most loyal, conservative fans of Donald Trump would stop for a few minutes and wonder aloud about the fallacy of following a twice-impeached, utterly amoral and totally egotistical leader whose business is facing actual criminal charges rant and rave about an event we all witnessed.