I could have written that again a month later… and a month after that… as testimonials and video evidence and criminal complaints have continued to pile up. “It was even worse than we knew” was even more true than we thought in January. That’s what makes the riot denialism so galling. That’s what makes the Republican attempts to block a real, rigorous probe into the attack so shocking. Partisans talk of “moving on,” but there is no moving on without the truth.
Conservative columnist and CNN contributor Amanda Carpenter has been out in front about the need for a fact-finding commission. I asked her about the lingering unknowns from January 6, and she said the top Q that must be answered by the commission is the following: “Why did it take more than three hours for the National Guard to be deployed to secure the Capitol? What was Trump doing during that time period?”
Carpenter said “there are many witnesses, including House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy, who have critical information about the former president’s state of mind in those critical hours.” But, she added, “an effective commission must also explore what events precipitated the attack. Determining the specific factors and actors who influenced or encouraged Trump supporters to take violent action is an absolute necessity if Congress is interested in preventing future attacks. Only an independent commission can provide a full 360-view for the public about what happened that day and why. We’ve seen criminal investigations and the impeachment of Donald Trump but no judge or jury will explain WHY this happened and that’s why we need a 1/6 Commission to provide that record for the public.”
The next step
Case in point: Senator John Cornyn, who has called a probe into the riot “worthwhile,” and has said “we need to do something to identify the problems,” but has tiptoed past the source of the Big Lie. When a reporter asked Cornyn “are you concerned about President Trump’s continued statements that Joe Biden did not legitimately win the election?” he said “I am not.” Why? “I think that’s behind us,” Cornyn said. CNN’s Lauren Fox followed up: “Is it, though, if he keeps talking about it?” Cornyn then cast some shade on the news media: “If you keep talking about it, maybe.”
That’s a typical, and cheap, way to offload responsibility for Trump’s own rhetoric by blaming the media for bringing it up…
Views from a current and a former Republican
One of the strengths of Twitter’s 280-character format is that it forces folks to make their cases in a sentence or two. So here are two tweets that, so far as I can tell, distill this week’s political arguments.
“Addicted” to the Big Lie
“The slithery snake”
Fox moves to dismiss Dominion suit
QAnon world turns to Arizona as next false hope to overturn election
Donie O’Sullivan writes: “The same cast of online characters that so feverishly pushed election conspiracy theories ahead of the January 6 insurrection are now fully focused on the sham Republican-led audit in Arizona — that is itself the result of a conspiracy theory. On the messaging app Telegram, Ron Watkins, who a recent HBO documentary suggested could be the person behind QAnon, is posting multiple updates a day to his 220,000 followers about the ballot counting in Arizona — continually trying to cast doubt on the election result. (Watkins has denied he is behind QAnon.) MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell has been hyping the ‘audit’ too. While claims made by Watkins and Lindell have consistently been baseless, their message is still resonating with some Trump supporters. They are not ‘moving on,’ so to speak…”