My youngest daughter called me from Minnesota today one year ago. She sounded taken-way-aback, and a bit frightful — “Are you seeing what’s on the TV right now,” she nearly cried.
“Duh!” I quickly replied.
There was really nothing else to go with, no real usable words to conjure up an explanation for such a scene, which although horrible and bat-shit crazy then, would get even worse in the days following as videos surfaced of the actual onslaught of those half-baked crazy T-Rumpers rampaging through the US Capitol with murderous insurrectionist actions projecting down hallways, screaming in bottled-up offices, and prancing through corridors and stairs with freedom of a mob of rioters who don’t give a shit about this country.
An entire couple of hours or so of the insurrection/riot has been played over and over again this past year, but the real shit-dog predicament we’re faced with right now is with the hardcore Republican grace for the event.
(Illustration: Rioters at the Capitol one year ago, photo by Eric Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images, and found here).
Although Joe Biden gave a most-forceful speech at the Capitol this morning observing the one-year anniversary — his voice vibrating throughout the ornate Statuary Hall where the riot-shit had hit the fan — he didn’t mention T-Rump by name:
“For the first time in our history, a president not just lost an election, he tried to prevent the peaceful transfer of power as a violent mob breached the Capitol,” Biden said.
“You can’t love your country only when you win.”
“We must be absolutely clear about what is true and what is a lie,” Biden said.
“The former president of the United States of America has spread a web of lies about the 2020 election.”
Biden and everybody need to specifically name the orange turd, keep punching the name until people get sick of the shitheel, and put him in jail — yeah right!
Flashback city — what happened in a few days/week/months with Republicans, T-Rump, and Jan 6:
Leading Republicans want you to forget that a year ago they were outraged by 1/6.
We at the @MehdiHasanShow won't let them.
Please do watch and share our new video of 'then vs now,' featuring Pence, McConnell, McCarthy, Graham, and Cruz:pic.twitter.com/5DwMjzSejR
— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) January 6, 2022
And today, Repubs were missing in action — they want to sweep Jan. 6 under the rug as far away from prying eyes as they can push it and appear a bit scared of being linked to a ceremony about the event. They shit if they do, and shit if they don’t — via US News this evening:
Just a year ago, many Republicans joined Democrats in reacting with horror to the Capitol insurrection, denouncing both the violence perpetrated by the rioters and the role played by former President Donald Trump in stoking the outrage that fueled their actions with lies about a “stolen” election.
But on the anniversary of the attack, top Republicans were far more muted.
Some acknowledged the terror of the day but quickly pivoted to bashing Democrats. Many avoided observances planned at the Capitol.
And still others didn’t say anything at all.
It’s all part of the political calculus in a party in which the former president remains very much in charge.
The party’s top congressional leaders were missing from Thursday’s commemoration events at the Capitol. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy did not make an appearance or issue a statement.
Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell, who delivered one of the sharpest denunciations of Trump after the attack, was in Atlanta for the funeral of former Sen. Johnny Isakson.
Indeed, during a moment of silence held in honor of law enforcement officers, only two Republicans were present in the House chamber: Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, who has become a pariah in her party over her criticism of Trump’s actions, and her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney.
Two out of a mob of assholes — you can tell we’re up shit creek without a paddle when Dick Cheney and his daughter are the top GQPers in town.
Yet Liz is a straight shooter:
She confirms a now infamous moment from Jan 6th. pic.twitter.com/5v0lU5CN7S
— Michael Barbaro (@mikiebarb) January 6, 2022
Nutshell bit via the Guardian‘s live blog earlier this morning:
Wyoming congresswoman Liz Cheney has had a tumultuous year in the Republican party following the 6 January attack on the US Capitol.
She was ousted from her leadership position in the Republican caucus over her refusal to stop blaming Donald Trump for inciting the mob that stormed the Capitol, and the Wyoming Republican party stopped recognizing her as a member after she voted to impeach him because of 6 January.
It appears it got tense with her party even earlier though – the day of the 6 January attack. Cheney has now confirmed to the New York Times one infamous tidbit from that day: when she told her Republican colleague and staunch Trump ally congressman Jim Jordan that he “fucking did this”.
Jordan had been standing in the aisle as members of Congress were being escorted away from the mob and he said to Cheney: “We need to get the ladies away from the aisle. Let me help you.”
To which she sharply replied: “Get away from me. You fucking did this.”
Only two — sad and dangerous at the same time.
“A year ago today, the Senate did not bend or break. We stuck together, stood strong, gaveled back in, and did our job,” McConnell continues.
“Senators should not be trying to exploit this anniversary to damage the Senate in a different way from within.”
The Wall Street Journal editorializes, “Jan. 6 was a riot, not an insurrection, and U.S. institutions held.”
National Review condemns the dark day before pivoting to an equal condemnation of “January 6 opportunists on the left” who “want to respond by enacting centralizing changes to the American system.”
Ben Shapiro dismisses the “riot which did not prevent the certification of the 2020 election” that is “now being exploited by the political class to dramatically revise republican institutions including federalism and the filibuster.”
National Review’s Kyle Smith condensed the party line into its pithiest encapsulation: “The events of January 6 constituted a temporary crisis that was swiftly put down.”
This would be an accurate description of a world in which the following conditions held: After the insurrection was defeated, a chastened Donald Trump renounced his claim to the presidency or at least slunk away into quiet obscurity. The Republican Party shoved his loudest allies to the margins and elevated into power those Republicans who attacked his election lies. And the party institutionally recommitted itself to respecting the outcome of democratic elections win or lose.
This is the outcome that, in the immediate aftermath of January 6, party Establishmentarians like McConnell hoped and believed would pertain.
What happened instead is essentially the opposite of this.
In a polarized country, the ability of an idea to gain the support of one of the two major parties has overwhelming strategic importance.
The Republican Party is led by the man who inspired the attack on the Capitol and whose authoritarian ambitions have not retreated in the slightest.
Anybody working to enhance the power of the party is therefore empowering authoritarians.
If the Republicans had followed through on their brief determination to break irrevocably with Trump, January 6 would have been merely a dark day.
Instead, it is the portent of a dark era.
Really can’t describe it any better.
Once again, here we are…
(Illustration out front: Vincent van Gogh’s ‘Old Man in Sorrow (On the Threshold of Eternity)‘ found here)