Those reporting on the events at Daily Kos and from newsrooms across the nation were as shocked as anyone. However, we had the luxury of our keyboards; of getting down events as fast as we could and relaying everything we saw, heard, or learned to readers. That didn’t completely cushion the emotional impact of what we were seeing on our screens, but at least it provided an outlet.
As the nation reaches the first anniversary of that awful day, there are some good signs. At least 725 people have been arrested for their participation in the Capitol assault; the U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the Jan. 6 Attack on the United States Capitol has interviewed over 300 of those connected to Jan. 6 events and collected thousands of documents; and this first remembrance of that day is set to be marked by a peaceful speech from President Joe Biden rather than another violent uprising.
However, that doesn’t mean the spark that flared into ugly flames last Jan. 6 has been extinguished. Rather than condemn Trump’s actions and turn back toward democracy, Republicans—even those who spent the day huddled in the Capitol, texting Trump desperate pleas to call off his ravening mob—swiftly moved not to push Trump from the party, but to push the party into support of both Trump’s Big Lie and Jan. 6 violence. Members of Congress and the right-wing media have spent the last year lining up behind lies about election fraud, minimizing or distorting what happened on Jan. 6, and purging their party of anyone who wouldn’t go along with abandoning democracy.
As The Washington Post reported on the event of this sad anniversary, this is how Republicans have changed over the last year:
On the Saturday in November 2020 when Joe Biden was declared president-elect, Cleveland businessman Bernie Moreno took to Twitter to congratulate Biden and his running mate and to urge his “conservative friends” to accept the results of the presidential election. …
But just over a year later, Moreno—now a candidate in Ohio’s Republican Senate primary—has deleted the tweets calling for unity and, in a new campaign ad, looks directly into the camera and declares, “President Trump says the election was stolen, and he’s right.”
Supporting the lie has become a cornerstone of Republicanism. And supporting the lie means not just ignoring what happened on Jan. 6, but justifying the actions of those involved.
Republicans first acted to minimize what happened one year ago today. Then they acted to deny the truth. Now they are on to the far more dangerous stage in which celebrating those events is de rigueur to be a Republican candidate.
A schedule for Jan. 6, 2022
9AM ET — President Biden addresses the nation.
Noon ET — A “Moment of Silence” will be held in a pro forma session of the the House. However, the House is not actually in session, and very few Republicans are expected to be present.
2:00 PM ET — A candlelight vigil begins at the National Mall.
4:00 PM ET — A second vigil begins at the Capitol.
5:30 PM ET — Lawmakers gather on the Capitol steps for a vigil featuring music and prayer.