“You know, if you didn’t know the TV footage was a video from January the sixth, you would actually think it was a normal tourist visit.”
– Rep. Andrew Clyde (GA)
“Is this America? They beat police officers with Blue Lives Matter flags. They fought us, they had Confederate flags in the U.S. Capitol.”
– US Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn
“The truth is being censored and covered up, and as a result, the DOJ is harassing peaceful patriots across the country.”
– Rep. Paul Gosar (AZ)
“I just remember the anger I felt when I saw those images, busting windows, climbing the walls and stuff like that. It was an audible gasp in the room, seeing those images.”
– US Capitol Police Officer Byron Evans
“There have been things worse than people without any firearms coming into a building.”
– Rep. Louie Gohmert (TX)
“They called us traitors. They beat us. They dragged us.”
– US Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell
“Some of them went in and they’re hugging and kissing the police and the guards, they had great relationships.”
– Donald J. Trump, March 2021
Sanitizing an Insurrection
To listen to some members of Congress tell it, January 6th was practically a love-in. Which is not how Capitol police officers remember that day.
Officers saw a mob knock over barricades, scale the walls of the Capitol, smash windows… and assault fellow officers with flagpoles, bear spray, and anything else at hand. Officers were called “traitor,” “ni**er,” and other insults.
The halls of Congress were smeared with feces. Rioters broke into offices – including Speaker Pelosi’s office. They breached and ransacked the Senate chamber.
These are the “peaceful protestors” GOP officials defend. The “tourists” they claim did no harm. The cost of this “peaceful protest?” According to the Architect of the Capitol, $30 million in repairs and additional security.
That’s an awful lot of money for cleaning up a “peaceful protest.” And – according to Reuters – American taxpayers will be on the hook for the whole amount. Because Uncle Sam rarely carries insurance.
But – apparently – a small price to the GOP for backing their failed leader.
The Call to Defend Democracy
With all the voter suppression laws the GOP is forcing through, their strategy is pretty clear: Disenfranchise as many non-GOP voters as possible.
Which is why we have to mobilize all the voters we can. No matter how many hurdles the Republicans throw against us.
And why we have to wrest back control of local and state-wide offices.
Progressives clearly have the numbers. Just look at Biden’s overall victory. He won by millions of votes. And we can turn those votes into local and state victories. We just have to get folks out to vote.
Which means grassroots organizing. Overcoming roadblocks to minority voting. And ensuring that every qualified voter is properly registered.
Will it be easy? Probably not. But the alternative is authoritarian rule by the few… and the end of Democracy in America.