The truth is January 6 is nothing for Republicans to celebrate. It was a dark day in the history of our republic. Fueled by repeated lies from President Trump, a group of men and women stormed the United States Capitol to stop Congress from certifying the Electoral College vote. Along with those men and women were many more who wandered in curious thinking they could be there. We should not lump them all in together, but we should not give the veneer of patriotism to the criminal trespassers. The truth is over 75 million people voted for Donald Trump; only a few hundred walked into the Capitol and less than that were there with malicious intent.
Ashley Babbitt who died when a Capitol Hill police officer shot her was one of those with malicious intent. The Air Force veteran thought she was a hero saving the republic when really she was a trespasser seeking to stop the lawful operations of Congress. She is no martyr. The security cameras show she was trying to break through glass to open a door for the mob of malcontents. Through the glass, members of Congress were fleeing for their lives. Outside, the crowd had erected a gallows and some roamed the halls of Congress to find Mike Pence to hang him.
The truth is also that a lot of Republicans who condemned the activities of the day have now tried to claim it was something worthy of celebration or was not bad. Cowards like Kevin McCarthy, the would-be Speaker of the House, condemned the day then reversed himself like a supine sycophant to Donald Trump. He is more concerned about his own grasp of power than right and wrong. Now, some Republicans even think January 6 is a cause for celebration like the storming of the Bastille that set off the French Revolution. These would be Robespierres will lose their heads in the process of trying to take others. No conservative should ever celebrate the French Revolution and no one should treat January 6 as something good.
The truth is it was not an insurrection. It was definitely not a coup or attempted coup. But it was wrong, no one should pretend otherwise, and no one should trust any politician who does attempt to condone it instead of condemning it.
But there are other truths too. These truths the press and Democrats would prefer not to talk about. They’d prefer to scream “what-about-ism” or claim that bringing them up is to excuse or to mitigate January 6. Unfortunately for them, to truly understand January 6, we must understand other events and how those were handled.
In 2009, progressive activists stormed the State Capitol in Madison, WI. The Wisconsin State Journal reported it in eerily similar language to January 6. “Thousands of protesters rushed to the state Capitol Wednesday night, forcing their way through doors, crawling through windows and jamming corridors,” reported the paper. Progressives were trying to stop a vote making Wisconsin a right-to-work state, which would undermine labor union powers. Speaker Nancy Pelosi called it an “impressive show of democracy” and said she stood with the protestors. The media was mostly matter of fact about it and by no means condemnatory.
In Texas, protestors stormed the State Capitol in Austin to stop Republicans from passing a pro-life measure. Most news anchors and reporters who covered it for the national press almost all explicitly excused the protestors and made Texas State Senator Wendy Davis a national figure and heroine for feminism. She rode the fame to several electoral defeats in Texas and talking head gigs on CNN and MSNBC.
In Washington, D.C. progressive activists stormed the United States Capitol to stop the vote on Brett Kavanaugh and to intimidate United States Senators. Major news outlets were almost all uniformly on the side of the protestors. Some reporters explicitly cheered on the protestors on their social media accounts. News networks like NBC all but colluded with Democrats to stop Kavanaugh.
This does not even include the coordinated and concerted Democratic efforts starting in 2000 to treat any election they lose as illegitimate with the media mostly amplifying those claims. Bush was “selected not elected” they said and Trump was fraudulently accused of being bought and paid for by the Russians. Stacey Abrams still denies her loss with press complicity, but Republicans are bullied and denounced for denying the legitimacy of 2020.
This does not include the press running with Harry Reid’s fraudulent claims about Mitt Romney in 2012. Those lies and the media’s treatment of them still enrage many Republicans, many of whom decided they needed someone who would be as ruthless and take-no-prisoners as they perceived the Democrats. They were tired of Republicans like McCain who had the press turn on him for Obama and Romney who they perceived as unwilling to engage in the bloodsport Democrats would do.
This does not include the 2020 summer riots that were a civil rights duty and supposedly peaceful after Democrats and much of the press condemned small business owners for peaceful protests earlier in the year.
The truth is that no one should use the prior acts to mitigate or excuse what happened on January 6, but the reality is the people who stormed the United States Capitol on January 6th would have never crossed that Rubicon had the Democrats not already done so and done so repeatedly. All the trespassers on January 6th did was escalate a bit further after years of Democratic escalations that began with the Democrats’ handling of the 2000 election, ran through the 2004 election complete with crazy conspiracies about Diebold machines in Ohio, then violently passed through state capitols to stop Republican legislatures from convening.
The bottom line and painful truth is this — every one of these things is wrong and should be condemned, but we should not be surprised some Republicans finally got tired of playing by the rules after two decades of the Democrats breaking them with a press pass and said: “F— it!” And no one in the press or among the Democrats will own up to that. Instead, they will scream at me for telling the whole truth, not just the part they want to hear. Most predictably of all, if Republicans have big wins in November, the Democrats and press will again discredit those wins by attributing them to voter suppression and they’ll escalate this whole matter further.
It’s either all wrong or none of it is wrong unless you’re into moral relativism. No one should justify January 6 because of all those things I listed above. No one should use those things to excuse January 6. But have you talked to people? People are stupid and they do stuff like that all the time. Each time you let slip the moral relativism, people will use it to justify their own actions. We’re in post-modernity people and there is no objective truth for a lot of people in these times even as there must be.
There is one more truth you need to know — there are enough votes in the Senate to overcome the filibuster in order to reform the Electoral College Act, passed in the 1800’s. Reforming that Act on a bipartisan basis would preclude future efforts and arguments upon which January 6th was formed. But Chuck Schumer and the Democrats are refusing to do so. It’s almost like they’d prefer to have the issue than fix the problem on a bipartisan basis.
But wait, there’s another truth too — what we will witness today from the press and Democrats is a combination of media self-absorption making it about themselves and where they were and their alleged trauma and also an attempt at partisan gamesmanship where the Democrats have nothing to offer the public other than fear and demonization of the GOP.
The public is concerned about COVID, grocery prices, fuel prices, the supply chain, getting their kids in school, and crime. Only Democrats, their allies, and the press really care about January 6 right now. They can have prime time hearings covered live by all the networks that always give Democrats passes on their behavior even when burning down Main Street America in “fiery but mostly peaceful protests,” but toilet paper is in short supply again at the grocery store and some kids are stuck home because teachers have walked off jobs. That matters more right now. That’s also why Democrats and the press have to focus on January 6th.
Democrats don’t believe Bush won. Democrats don’t believe Trump won. Democrats don’t believe Kemp won. So now of course Republicans don’t believe Biden won. What were you expecting? Democrats stormed the Wisconsin Capitol. Democrats stormed the Texas Capitol. Guess what Republicans did? Two wrongs don't make a right, One bad act does not justify another, But people are stupid. If it makes you mad I wrote this You might be part of the problem, Not trying to understand the problem. We either treat it all with the moral certainty that it is all wrong, Or people go moral relativist with each side escalating further.
I grew up in a family of urban liberal intellectuals, voted for Carter (the first time) still regard him to be earnest and good hearted, but inept and wrong-headed. It would impossible to say that of today's leftists. There is nothing good or commendable in them anymore. We have to adhere to our rules, but some very dark days are coming. I don't look for trouble, but if they end up coming for me or my family, I will take as many as I can with me
Erick, Well documented and written. The only thing missing is what are we to do now? I know we can and will likely need to wait for the November election and see just how much crying out there is from the other side if Republicans actually do win significantly. Of course we need to make it from now to then. On the other hand, with so many on the left fully involved in lie and deceit, as you so accurately portrayed, with mostly peaceful meaning burn it down, how do we hold them to account? Frankly, they would need to lose so massively in 2022 that the Republicans could override any presidential veto.
How many times did Joe Biden say "the rule of law"? in that speech. I think at least twice. He is so far outside the "rule of law" as his nose should have stretched several feet. How many laws has he broken or refused to obey? He complains when states put voting laws he doesn't like...and he looks to rewrite the constitution so that he can enact his own laws to replace it.
We are in real trouble.
For the most part our politicians no longer believe they will ever give an account. It disturbed me greatly to hear Mr. Biden use God's name several times during the speech. I believe there is a commandment about using His name in Vain. God knows the intent of our hearts...and at this moment I do not see either Mr, Biden or Mr. Trump actually looking to what the Lord wants.
So how must we now live? What are we to think, say, and do?
A lot to ponder, and I look forward to your advice.