Dems must fight back against GOP efforts to 'obscure’ the ‘fundamental truths’ surrounding January 6: columnist

Dems must fight back against GOP efforts to 'obscure’ the ‘fundamental truths’ surrounding January 6: columnist

Many Republicans would like to pretend that the January 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol Building never happened, and some on the far right are claiming that the attack wasn't as bad as liberals, progressives, centrist Democrats and Never Trump conservatives are making it out to be — including Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Fox News' Tucker Carlson (who defended the rioters as "sad, disenfranchised people"). But liberal Washington Post opinion writer Greg Sargent, in his April 19 column, emphasizes that Democrats must not let Republicans get away with sweeping the January 6 insurrection under the rug.

Sargent laments, "The prospects for a bipartisan commission to investigate the January 6 insurrection are looking increasingly grim. Republicans are pretending they have substantive objections to the makeup of the committee, and a lot of people are pretending to believe them. Yet House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) continues to hope for a compromise on the commission's structure that Republicans will accept."

The Post columnist offers some suggestions for "how Democrats should proceed."

"In a broad sense," Sargent recommends, "they should commit to an approach that embodies three basic premises: (1) the assault on the Capitol happened because then-President Donald Trump incited it. (2) The mob was inspired by Trump's months of effort to overturn the results, which he unambiguously intended to do, and by months of lies about the outcome's legitimacy amplified not just by Trump, but also, by large swaths of the GOP. (3) The single greatest threat posed by political radicalization in this country comes from violent right-wing extremism."

Sargent adds that Republicans "are eager to obscure these fundamental truths," slamming their "deranged anti-leftism" as an attempt to distract Americans from the far-right terrorist threat in the United States.

"After the attack," the Post columnist explains, "Trump and his allies — including senior Republicans in Congress — falsely claimed in various ways that Antifa was behind the attack, and others dismissed it as a false-flag operation…. In reality, FBI Director Christopher A. Wray recently clarified that Antifa was not in the ranks of the rioters, and that the attack was indeed carried out by Trump supporters. And an independent study recently confirmed far-right groups are behind most recent domestic terrorist attacks."

The militant Antifa movement is controversial even on the left. Author Noam Chomsky and journalist Chris Hedges are among Antifa's left-wing critics, and Chomsky has denounced Antifa's tactics as a "major gift to the right." But Antifa had absolutely nothing to do with the January 6 insurrection, and even House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has acknowledged that fact.

"In the end, you cannot disentangle the GOP's ongoing radicalization from their continued flirtation with the lie about the stolen election and the refusal to acknowledge its central role in inspiring the attack, or from the hallucinatory depiction of the leftist terror threat that's coursing though all of it," Sargent stresses. "The battle over the commission is constantly portrayed as devolving into 'partisan' politics, but only one side actually wants a real accounting. This wildly lopsided imbalance will remain until Republicans are prepared to fully renounce all those pathologies — and Democrats shouldn't hesitate to say so, clearly and forcefully.

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