This week, U.S. Capitol Police officer Harry Dunn was among those expressing outrage at one of the Republican Party’s latest attempts to gloss over the reality of January 6. In a censure resolution that was recently approved by Republican Party officials targeting Reps. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) and Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) for their involvement in the House committee investigating the Capitol riot, party leaders claimed that the duo are “participating in a Democrat-led persecution of ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse” — which is obviously a grossly inaccurate way to characterize what’s actually going on here.
Although party chairwoman Ronna McDaniel eventually insisted that the language wasn’t meant to apply to rioters who attacked the Capitol, it’s those individuals who are among the targets of the probe, and the censure resolution didn’t distinguish between those with a hand in that day’s tragic events. Even the idea that Republican Party leaders are willing to push aside the reality of January 6 to the point of temporarily pretending that the violence didn’t actually unfold or isn’t a relevant issue in this debate is appalling. Why is unequivocally condemning a violent attack that’s connected to several deaths so hard for certain people? Dunn succinctly commented as follows:
‘LEGITIMATE POLITICAL DISCOURSE?!?!?!?! *ILLEGITIMATE APOLITICAL DISCHARGE spewing from your mouths is more like it’
LEGITIMATE POLITICAL DISCOURSE?!?!?!?!
*ILLEGITIMATE APOLITICAL DISCHARGE spewing from your mouths is more like it #FOH
— Harry A Dunn 🖤 (@libradunn) February 5, 2022
There’s more to the Republican Party’s apparent fundamental acceptance of at least certain circumstances surrounding January 6. Ex-President Trump has repeatedly sought to publicly justify what happened, and recently, he even pushed the prospect of issuing pardons for Capitol rioters if he wins the presidency again. At a Texas rally, he said that rioters “are being treated so unfairly,” and in a Newsmax interview, he went even farther, claiming that “some of these people are not guilty, many of these people are not guilty” — although many of the crimes associated with the riot were captured on camera. Still, Trump seems apparently fine with what happened to the point of denying the basic truth of it, thereby essentially sweeping aside serious crimes to score political points. And in case his fundamental disinterest in pursuing accountability wasn’t clear, it was on the day of the riot that he claimed that “these are the things and events that happen” when an election is stolen, trying to justify the attack. Republicans who ultimately continue supporting Trump even after all of this are complicit in the threats that he poses to the continuance of American democracy.
The "legitimate political discourse" line from the RNC might be the single most self-damaging statement by a party committee in history.
— Quin Hillyer (@QuinHillyer) February 4, 2022