Politics Jan. 6 Was Just the Start of Radicalizing Trump’s Republican Party
The Rights Reversal
We are witnessing a reordering of American life not seen in half a century.Since the 1960s, Congress and federal courts have acted mostly to strengthen the floor of basic civil rights available to citizens in all 50 states, a pattern visible on issues from the dismantling of Jim Crow racial segregation to the right to abortion to the authorization of same-sex marriage. But now, offensives by red-state governments and GOP-appointed federal judges are poised to retrench those common standards across an array of issues.
failed to overturn the election; but into that rewards extremism, and , those members who fail to support ever more audacious attacks on democracy and the nation’s electoral process.
The Republican Party is now institutionally oriented to work towards the anti-democratic aims of.
As the one-year anniversary of the Capitol insurrection approaches, we are only nowintended to . The scheme was encouraged, if not planned, by the White House, with Trump’s chief-of-staff serving as field general for the putsch, and encouraging the pursuit of various extreme proposals and bizarre conspiracy theories from a range of co-conspirators, including members of Congress as well as state legislators and freelance neo-fascists such as , , and .
Sunday shows - Officials brace for Jan. 6 anniversary
The upcoming one-year anniversary of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol dominated the political talk shows on Sunday morning. The U.S. Capitol Police chief discussed improvements in the past year, and key members of the House panel investigating Jan. 6 provided updates on the probe.Multiple guests also discussed developments in the COVID-19 pandemic, including the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for asymptomatic individuals who test positive for the virus.Read The Hill's complete coverage below.Capitol Police chief says force plans 'more well thought out' after Jan.
It is essential that Congress’ Jan. 6 committee, as well as the Justice Department and other law enforcement agencies, continue to seek out every relevant item of evidence regarding this effort to take down the nation’s democracy, and identify the role of each of the schemers. The evidence may well establish that individuals, potentially including Trump himself, are guilty of federal crimes arising from the putsch scheme, such as obstruction of the congressional electoral vote counting proceedings.
Yet regardless of what additional facts the congressional and law enforcement investigations establish, we already know that Trump has succeeded in a broader goal of transforming the Republican Party into a vehicle for ever more radical and extreme attacks on the democratic foundations of the nation. His success is reflected in the fact that Trump no longer needs to tell followers inside and outside of government to play their parts in undermining democracy—they now take the initiative to anticipate Trump’s desire for extreme actions and act upon them.
Why DOJ is avoiding domestic terrorism sentences for Jan. 6 defendants
Some judges have debated whether the charges qualify as “crimes of terrorism,” but prosecutors have repeatedly pulled back by citing unspecified “facts and circumstances.” The so-called sentencing enhancement for terrorism crimes was created as a result of legislation Congress passed following the 1993 bombing in a parking garage at the World Trade Center. The provision initially applied only to crimes linked to international terrorism, but after the bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building in 1995, Congress moved to expand the enhancement to cover terrorism inspired purely by domestic causes.
Historian Ian Kershaw famously described the Third Reich’s operating principle as “working towards the Führer.” Party members anticipated the steps its leader wanted, particularly attacks on political opponents and “undesirables” like Jews, and frequently took them without being asked. Over time, it became clear that those who pursued the most radical, and often violent, steps to serve the party would be met with approbation, while those who hesitated would be met with disfavor or worse.
While Trump is, of course, no Hitler, he and his acolytes have used a similar reward-and-punishment dynamic to relentlessly move the GOP towards a dynamic of ever greater extremism, in which adherence to legal and moral norms is viewed as intolerable weakness.
During 2016, Trump’s most devoted acolyte, his namesake son, responded to news that the Russian government was illicitly aiding his father’s presidential campaign by exclaiming “I love it” in an email, and arranging a meeting in the hope of getting “dirt” on Hillary Clinton from Russia. In early 2021, after Trump lost the election, Meadows likewise responded to fellow extremists’ plans to undermine the electoral vote count by “replacing” duly designated electors with Trump shills by, likewise, declaring “I love it.”
Fourteen recommended reads about January 6 and 'what will likely come next'
CNN's Brian Stelter highlights the first-hand accounts of those who were in Washington on January 6, along with some other outstanding columns and reflections :-- "For many who were present at the Capitol, it's not over," Grace Segers explains in this must-read for The New Republic. She says 1/6 has not left a scar because "scars only form when wounds heal," and "we are nowhere close to healing."-- Matt Fuller let it rip about that hellish day and every day since in this essay for The Daily Beast. One of his many observations: "In the aftermath of Jan.
We do not know if Trump expressly blessed either scheme beforehand, but it is clear that both Don Jr. and Meadows understood that they would risk Trump’s ire if they failed to pursue the most extreme attacks on American laws and democratic norms available in Trump’s name.
The GOP’s dynamic of rewarding extremism, and penalizing restraint, has only strengthened since Trump lost the election. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy disavowed his initial support for an investigation of Jan. 6, and ultimately supported the sanctioning of Liz Cheney for participating in the Congressional inquiry into the coup attempt. Cheney and fellow Jan. 6 committee member Adam Kinzinger are now facing a call for their expulsion from the GOP caucus from prominent party activists and institutions that are now singularly dependent on Trump, such as Matt Schlapp and the Club for Growth, as virtually all of their House colleagues cower in silence. Meanwhile, McCarthy, recognizing that his hope to be elected Speaker depends on maintaining the support of Trump’s most radical allies, gives free license to members like Paul Gosar, who recently disclosed evidence establishes was an active participant in the coup effort and who recently “joked” about murdering a House colleague.
What January 6 revealed about the attack on multiracial democracy
A version of this story appeared in CNN's Race Deconstructed newsletter. To get it in your inbox every week, sign up for free here. © Jose Luis Magana/AP FILE - Rioters loyal to President Donald Trump rally at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021. A new poll shows that a year after the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, only about 4 in 10 Republicans recall the attack by supporters of former President Donald Trump as very violent or extremely violent. A new poll shows that a year after the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S.
At the state level, the impetus within the GOP to work towards Trump is likewise even more powerful than it was during the weeks following the election. Trump’s now-infamous call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, demanding that he “find” additional votes for Trump, failed to induce Raffensperger to corrupt the election, and Trump’s rejection of the election results likely contributed to the runoff losses of both GOP incumbent senators—costing Republicans control of the senate.
Yet during the succeeding months, Trump’s relentless attacks on Raffensperger and Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp have induced other Republicans to join in attacking the two for not undoing the outcome of the 2020 election, and to induce opponents who share Trump’s extremist agenda to plan primary challenges against them, making radicalism the norm in the party.
The story is the same in many other states, including Wisconsin, where a GOP legislative leader has responded to Trump’s loss there by attacking the state’s bipartisan election commission (including a commissioner he appointed), while some Wisconsin Republican leaders, including Sen. Ron Johnson, are calling for what amounts to a GOP takeover of the administration of elections in the state. In Arizona, an “audit” that confirmed Trump’s loss has nonetheless served as a rallying cry for efforts to undermine voting rights in that state and others. Across the country, people who claim the 2020 election was “stolen” by Biden are running to take control of the local election machinery to ensure that the next election can be stolen by Trump.
Fantasy Football Week 18: Non-PPR Cheat Sheet to help you get the most out of your starting lineups
Matchup ratings for every player in Week 18 for Non-PPR leaguesTAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 04: Keenan Allen (13) of the Chargers runs with the ball after the catch during the regular season game between the Los Angeles Chargers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on October 04, 2020 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.
While they rarely direct these actions, Trump and his acolytes have praised these extremists while often threatening retaliation against party members who question such a radical approach.
A case in point is Michigan, where Trump supporters have demanded an Arizona-style audit of the election, despite the fact that a GOP-sponsored probe found no evidence of election fraud. A group of Trump supporters, some of them members of the state legislature, have commenced a campaign to intimidate state party leaders to support this audit, as a sign of support for Trump, declaring that their effort is the first step in a “revolution” against the electoral system.
This brings us back to Jan. 6. Trump’s address to a crowd of supporters that day came after a presidential term in which he openly praised neo-Nazi rioters, encouraged gun-wielding protesters to go to state capitals to “liberate” them from COVID restrictions, and wielded a bible in front of a church after a crowd of protesters had been cleared for him by a violent police and National Guard attack. It followed weeks during which Trump himself had waged a relentless campaign to delegitimize the results of the election, commencing even before it was held and using every legal and political lever that he could to get himself reinstalled against the will of the people.
The former president claims that he didn’t tell the crowd that gathered for his speech on Jan. 6 to attack the Capitol, but virtually all of the people who did believed they were acting in his interests, and had every reason to believe that their attack would meet with his approbation.
Hillicon Valley: DHS issues new warning on Jan. 6
Today is Thursday. Welcome to Hillicon Valley, detailing all you need to know about tech and cyber news from Capitol Hill to Silicon Valley. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup. Follow The Hill's tech team, Chris Mills Rodrigo (@millsrodrigo) and Rebecca Klar (@rebeccaklar_), for more coverage. On the one-year anniversary of the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) put out a memo warning of an uptick in chatter on extremist online platforms.Meanwhile, Facebook is facing a lawsuit based on allegations about the platform's algorithm, and French regulators fined two U.S. tech giants a combined $226 million.
Indeed, evidence that has come to light during recent months has only added further support for their belief. Trump has confirmed that he was wholly unconcerned with Pence’s safety during the insurrection, and failed even to call him as the siege proceeded. We are also now learning that Trump ignored entreaties from legislators inside the Capitol, and even from Don Jr., and Sean Hannity, to call off his supporters’ siege, as only he could have done.
It is also becoming increasingly clear that, as the siege proceeded, Trump’s acolytes, including Rudy Giuliani, and (asby The Daily Beast) possibly Peter Navarro, may well have been employing the disruption in the proceedings as an the opportunity to attempt to encourage more legislators to vote against certification—or to at least to delay it until they could engineer the naming of “replacement” electors.
We now know that in the weeks before Jan. 6, a group of legislators had been working hand-in-glove with Meadows and other Trump allies to implement the coup scheme. Most GOP members of Congress had not joined the scheme. But the insurrection contributed to making more of them more pliant Trump allies. Freshman GOP Rep. Peter Meijer has recounted that, in the immediate wake of the insurrection, a number of his colleagues who had planned to vote in favor of certifying Biden’s election reversed course, some out of fear for their own lives.
Since that time, most GOP politicians have routinely endorsed, or at least chosen not to oppose, the extreme attacks on democracy and the electoral system that have become core tenets of the GOP., appeals to an extremist “base” are now such a central element of the party’s political strategy that GOP “leaders” fear losing support if they don’t support conspiracism and anti-democracy. For example, during a recent Minnesota GOP senate debate, all five of the candidates resisted acknowledging that Biden had won the 2020 election.
Even Trump himself has found that his power as a “leader” of an extremist movement depends on his own reliably continuous appeals to extremism. This was starkly evident last week when Trump himself faced criticism from some of his most fervent followers for acknowledging that the COVID vaccine saves lives, and admitting that he received a booster dose.
In short, extremism is Trump’s calling card, and the force that fuels his movement. Accordingly, whether or not Trump ordered the insurrection, he clearly chose to allow it to continue by his silence, likely because Trump believed the attack on the Capitol served his own ends. And during the months that have followed, GOP activists encouraged by Trump have normalized the goals and even the tactics of the insurrectionists—who are now frequently described by Trumpist Republicans as harmless tourists, or patriots.
The party is working towards Trump.
Trump rips Democrats, media over Jan. 6 anniversary .
Former President Trump on Friday delivered a forceful rebuke of Democrats and the media a day after the anniversary of the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, accusing his critics of using the assault as a political wedge, while downplaying the significance of the most violent day at the Capitol in centuries.In a lengthy statement issued through his leadership PAC, Trump sought to tap into the grievances of his conservative base of voters, casting Democrats and the "media establishment" as nothing less than a sinister force that had "driven our country into the ground." "These radical leftists in Washington care NOTHING for American Democracy," Trump said.