Reading Time: 3 minutes Tyler Merbler -
Reading Time: 3 minutes

I thought the last piece I wrote on this subject had nailed it down, and beaten it to death, but our usual bunch of Trump supporters and apologists said no, it was just a peaceful and legal political demonstration. How could it be an insurrection if there weren’t any guns? Even though none of the definitions of insurrection make any reference to firearms, they insisted that without firearms, it was just a peaceful demonstration. The New York Times 40 minute video of the violent attacks on the Capitol police, the bashing in of windows and doors in the Capitol, and the threats to members of Congress and the Vice President didn’t convince them. Most of them probably didn’t watch it. That’s the only way they could avoid having to address the actual evidence. An article in the New York Times described the mayhem in grisly detail:

“The pure savagery of the mob that rampaged through the Capitol that day was breathtaking, as cataloged by the injuries inflicted on those who tried to guard the nation’s elected lawmakers. One police officer lost an eye, another the tip of his finger. Still another was shocked so many times with a Taser gun that he had a heart attack. They suffered cracked ribs, two smashed spinal disks and multiple concussions. At least 81 members of the Capitol force and 65 members of the Metropolitan Police Department were injured.”

Initially, some Republican leaders acknowledged that it was an insurrection. Both Kevin McCarthy and Mitch McConnell called it that. McConnell said quite a bit more:

“January 6th was a disgrace. American citizens attacked their own government. They used terrorism to try to stop a specific piece of democratic business they did not like. Fellow Americans beat and bloodied our own police. They stormed the Senate floor. They tried to hunt down the Speaker of the House. They built a gallows and chanted about murdering the vice president. There is no question that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of that day. The people who stormed this building believed they were acting on the wishes and instructions of their president.”

But McConnell quickly changed his tune. Less than two weeks later, on Feb. 25, McConnell told Fox News that if Trump were the nominee in 2024, he would “absolutely” support the former president. Many other Republican leaders have walked back their earlier statements. Their current strategy is to rewrite history to minimize, or even erase, what happened on January 6th. They are desperate to get voters to forget it before the midterm elections next year. The most outrageous claim was made by Georgia Rep. Andrew Clyde, who said that the mob scenes were just a “normal tourist visit.”  Read that paragraph again that describes the injuries suffered by the police. Calling that a tourist visit would be hilarious…if weren’t such a “pants on fire” lie, as politifact correctly described it.

An editorial in the Washington Post demolishes this historical revisionism. First, it quotes three different definitions of insurrection. The one thing they all have in common is an attempt to disrupt or overthrow government. The fact that the Jan 6 attempt was unsuccessful does not disqualify it as an insurrection. Many insurrections throughout history have been unsuccessful. If they were successful, they are usually referred to as a revolution or a coup.

It is understandable that Republicans are trying to revise history to erase the events of Jan. 6 from the national memory, but it is disingenuous, if not downright dishonest. Yes, it was an insurrection by any reasonable and credible definition of the word. And yes, it was incited by Trump.

Here is a link to the Washington Post piece. It has a lot more detail that I have not included here.

Here’s the link to The New York Times article containing the paragraph quoted above that describes the violence.

NOTE: You may find that these articles are behind a paywall.

Bert Bigelow is a trained engineer who pursued a career in software design. Now retired, he enjoys writing short essays on many subjects but mainly focuses on politics and religion and the intersection...

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