Erick Erickson / January 7, 2022

The Real Truth of January 6

We should not be surprised some Republicans got tired of playing by the rules after two decades of Democrats breaking them without consequence.

The truth is Jan. 6 was a dark day in the history of our republic. Fueled by repeated lies from President Donald Trump, a group of men and women stormed the United States Capitol to stop Congress from certifying the Electoral College vote. Along with those men and women were many more who wandered in, curious, thinking they were allowed to be there. We should not lump them all in together, but we should not give the veneer of patriotism to the criminal trespassers.

Ashli Babbitt was one of those with malicious intent. The Air Force veteran thought she was a hero saving the republic when really, she was a trespasser seeking to stop the lawful operations of Congress. She is no martyr. The security cameras that captured her death at the hands of a Capitol Hill police officer show she was trying to break through glass to open a door for the mob. Behind the door, House members were fleeing for their lives. Outside, the crowd had erected a gallows and some roamed the halls of Congress to find Vice President Mike Pence to hang him.

The truth is a lot of Republicans who condemned the activities of the day have now tried to claim it was something worth celebrating or was not bad. Cowards like Kevin McCarthy, the would-be Speaker of the House, condemned the day, then reversed himself like a supine sycophant to Trump. Now, some Republicans even think Jan. 6 is a cause for celebration like the storming of the Bastille that set off the French Revolution. These would-be Robespierres will lose their heads in the process of trying to take others’. No conservative should ever celebrate the French Revolution.

But there are other truths, too. These truths the press and Democrats would prefer not to talk about. They’d prefer to scream “whataboutism” or claim bringing them up is to excuse or mitigate Jan. 6. Unfortunately for them, to truly understand Jan. 6, we must understand other events and how those were handled.

In 2009, progressive activists stormed the State Capitol in Madison, Wisconsin. The Wisconsin State Journal reported it in eerily similar language to Jan. 6. “Thousands of protesters rushed to the state Capitol Wednesday night, forcing their way through doors, crawling through windows and jamming corridors,” reported the paper. Progressives were trying to stop a vote making Wisconsin a right-to-work state, which would undermine labor union powers. Speaker Nancy Pelosi called it an “impressive show of democracy” and said she stood with the protesters. The media was mostly matter-of-fact about it and by no means condemnatory.

In Texas, protesters stormed the State Capitol in Austin to stop Republicans from passing a pro-life measure. News anchors and reporters who covered it for the national press almost all explicitly excused the protesters and made Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis a national figure and heroine for feminism. She rode the fame to several electoral defeats in Texas and talking-head gigs on CNN and MSNBC.

In Washington, D.C., progressive activists stormed the United States Capitol to stop the vote on Brett Kavanaugh and to intimidate United States senators. Major news outlets were almost all uniformly on the side of the protesters. Some reporters explicitly cheered on the protesters on their social media accounts.

This does not even include the coordinated and concerted Democratic efforts starting in 2000 to treat any election they lose as illegitimate. Bush was “selected not elected,” and Trump was fraudulently accused of being bought and paid for by the Russians. Stacey Abrams still denies her loss with press complicity, but Republicans are bullied and denounced for denying the legitimacy of 2020.

The bottom line is all of these should be condemned, but we should not be surprised some Republicans got tired of playing by the rules after two decades of Democrats breaking them without consequence. Few in the press or among the Democrats will own up to that. Instead, they will scream at me for telling the whole truth, not just the part they want to hear. Undoubtedly, in November, the press and Democrats will scream voter suppression if Republicans win, ratcheting things further.

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