Joe Biden was famous for send eulogy long before he was elected president, so it’s no surprise that in his remarks to the nation In memory of the January 6 attack on the Capitol and our electoral system, he talks more about the past tense — about a “former president” and a “failed” attempt to overthrow the government. democracy — rather than about the very real, very urgent threats facing the nation today.
It’s easy and convenient to separate the images, violence, and memories of January 6, remove them from the context of what is happening, and package them into produced speeches or look-back television segments. Much harder tell the truth about modern Republicans, from school board meetings across the country to the halls of Congress, harnessing the power of white supremacy, propaganda, and violence to fundamentally reshape America and destabilize the institutions that underpinned the democratic principles Biden announced Thursday still exist.
Twelve months after the attack, Biden said anything was an improvement over silence. But there is a deep danger in “remembering” January 6 once a year instead of acknowledging and facing it on a daily basis.
In the gap between Trump’s Big Lie about the election and the truth is a web of blatant lies that Biden and many of Washington’s entrenched establishment repeatedly tell themselves and the country, triggered by a mainstream media there are still conditions fear criticism from bad faith Republicans than the collapse of American democracy.
—The lie that there are differences between Trump and the rest of the Republican Party.
—The lie that “unity” without accountability for an attempted coup by the Republican government was achievable.
—The lie that Washington, DC, could go back to the days of handshakes, deals, and cocktail parties, and result in a government that works as designed.
—The lie, largely due to omission, that white nationalists arriving at the Capitol carrying the Confederate flag and wearing “Camp Auschwitz” hoods isolated and contained threats. threat to the public.
—The lie that “this is not who we are” as a nation.
—And the lie that the continued attack on democracy has been carried out since our democracy survived the attack of January 6.
These are not big lies propagated on QAnon websites, but dangerous lies that have built an alternative reality for Trump followers and torn our country apart. But they are the kind of polite, insidious, innocuous lie that must be trusted by Washington’s elite in order for elected officials, agents, lobbyists and reporters to continue as “normal.” in their flamboyant political activism. life.
“Whatever my other disagreements are with Republicans who support the rule of law and not one man’s rule, I will always find a way to work with them to find solutions. general if possible,” Biden said on Thursday, as if Republican leaders in the House, joined by the vast majority of their peers, had not voted to overturn his election. him, exactly a year earlier and a few meters from where he stood.
“Because if we share our faith in democracy, anything is possible,” Biden said, as if that “if” could lift such an assertion away from a weighty reality. that 147 Republicans still voted to overthrow democracy after the fundamentalists tried to kill them. colleagues and then Vice President Mike Pence.
Trump and Republicans cannot be cut off, and Democrats and Republicans currently do not share the same faith in democracy.
Biden’s clear desire is to be the president he imagined possible in the late 1980s when he first ran for office – a president who could hold bipartisan meetings and pass constituency bills. won with the backing of 90 senators – under direct tension with the president he needs to navigate the country through this fragile moment, a president after a coup attempt could immediately and unequivocally called out the Republicans he had worked with for decades as easily as they contested the election and his own legitimacy.
It’s safer for Biden to wait 12 months and remember January 6 as a memory, a flash of lightning, which Donald Trump has done in contrast to what his party is currently doing. “standard”.
When cyber news broadcasts send their anchors to the Capitol for 24 hours on the anniversary of one of the darkest days in American history to “remember” — after spending the next year continue to give ground to any of the 147 Republicans who voted against Biden’s pretty winning electors — they isolated January 6, memory, from January 6, reality. happenning.
They are complicit in the wishes of the Republican Party and push for “move forward,” reinforced by Democrats like Biden, who think that “move forward” is an act of favoring “national healing” instead. for ripping the wound deeper and leaving the republic even more vulnerable to constant attack.
Some reporters from Capitol Hill important share, painful memories about surviving the attack on the Capitol, about their fear that day for their lives and for Congress itself. The authors of these works are almost apologetic about making themselves “story,” as if extremists – inspired by a president who incited particular violence against them – had Go to the Capitol and engrave “Murder the Media” as 100 years old, the door is not the agent in this cave.
In his brilliant essay, my former colleague Matt Fuller, who was in the building that day, admit that the media has struggled to cover Republicans since emerging as both chroniclers and survivors of atrocities on the Capitol.
“In the aftermath of January 6, most of the media still hasn’t really figured out how to cover the Republican party. I want to include myself in that statement. We mostly just pretended that January 6 didn’t happen, as if it were perfectly normal to let Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) pope on gas prices or inflation while we ignored the words. lies he continues to reveal about who is really responsible for the attack – or his role in undermining our democracy and endangering those of us who who were at the Capitol that day,” Fuller wrote.
“It’s hard to write a story where you pause at each paragraph to note whether the particular Republican you’re referring to returned to their room on the night of January 6, with blood still dry. in the hallways, and vote to overturn the will of the people. But maybe we should.”
It would be easier to go to the next question, about “who is served by separating Republicans from their efforts to undermine democracy?” if Biden speaks directly, honestly, and regularly about the threat Trump’s GOP poses to America.
The scariest part about viewing the celebration is that 2022 almost feels too late to save democracy. Democrats abandoned the lengthy impeachment process in February 2021, when they received massive national and national media attention. Republican candidates for nearly every office are being lured by the lie that the 2020 election was stolen while Republican officials in state legislatures across the nation attempts to implement mechanisms to steal the next election, but through “appetizing” means such as closing polls, installing election officials, and voter ID laws for up with violent attacks on police officers.
Every day that passes before the January 6 Investigative Select Committee releases a report feels like a lost day, as Republicans will discredit the report for being too political and an upcoming election. election or close if it extends beyond 2022.
The more I think about it, the more I worry Biden actually delivered a eulogy for American democracy, not because he’s familiar with the form, but because he failed to address the danger that we live in the present or clearly state a way forward to pull. We are from the brink.
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