There is almost no question that the entirety of the GOP hivemind relaxed while looking around nervously when Donald Trump announced that he would skip his press conference today. There is no conceivable way that he could have said anything on this particular day that would have helped their cause. Indeed, the GOP’s greatest triumph in the Trump era might be using the post-Jan. 6th year to convince the American public that Jan. 6th never happened, or if it happened, it wasn’t that bad, or if it was bad it was only because of a few rogue people, or if it was more than a few it was because the real insurrection was on November 3rd and they were right to be angry or…
With Trump still in control of the entirety of the elected-right, no one in the GOP wants him speaking to anyone today and reminding regular people, the majority of Americans, how Trump could bring about such an attack. Thus, the centralized Republicans, the Washington, DC Republicans, will pretend that they don’t use calendars. They will not participate in anything the Democrats do to commemorate the day. In fact, they have a perfect excuse (though we say that respectfully) to get out of town and attend former Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson’s funeral.
But the decentralized MAGA party, the hive, will be both celebrating the day and having vigils for those poor, violent souls still jailed awaiting trial for their actions that day. According to Politico:
Exactly one year after one of the darkest days in American democracy, the image the party will convey is not an exemplary one. Across the country, Republican activists are still planning rallies and vigils in more than a dozen states for Jan. 6 participants they depict as “patriots” or “political prisoners.” Stars of the party’s right-wing are lining up to appear on conservative media in a day of counter programming designed to downplay the seriousness of the attack on the Capitol. Trump himself will be back behind a microphone next week in Arizona, where he will repeat his lie that the election was rigged.
How does one downplay the seriousness of the attack on the Capitol? This is the United States? Not some former Soviet Republican entering a new era… It is easily downplayed if it was all for a good cause, maybe a bit overdone, but their hearts were in the right place:
Fully two-thirds of Republicans say they don’t view the riot at the Capitol as an attack on government, according to a Quinnipiac University poll. And though Republicans largely disapprove of the actions of those who forced their way into the Capitol, according to a CBS News poll this week, they were more likely to describe what happened that day as an act of “patriotism” or “defending freedom” than an insurrection.
Just a day of activism, patriotism, the best of America, at least that is the theme that is going to be coming out from the right.
What the day really represents is the power of propaganda coupled with the just how much hatred flows through the MAGA-mind. One cannot understand the MAGA movement without appreciating that they hate us more than any foreign citizen of any foreign country, more than immigrants, even more than people they used to describe as “terrorists.” They hate us more because we’re around them all day every day and they believe we not only control their lives but we ruin their lives.
Living with that type of hatred, one can justify just about anything, including violence. We have all seen the stats, the number creeping upward, Republicans who believe that things can get “so wrong” that violence is a justified response. Reading the texts and correspondence between the people around Trump last January 6th now is almost quaint. Even they were unaware of how much their “audience” hated the liberals. They were perfectly prepared to sweep it under the rug.
“Extremism has become somewhat mainstream inside the party now,” said Michael Brodkorb, a former deputy chair of the Republican Party in Minnesota, where Republicans are hosting a vigil for Jan. 6 defendants in rural Aitkin County. “What has occurred over the last few years is that the party apparatus has been soiled a bit by a very extremist, militant element inside the party that is just simply dangerous.
So Trump will keep his mouth shut, which is in every MAGA’s interest, at least for today. The powerful Washington, DC MAGAs will be in Atlanta for a funeral, and – again, said with respect, they are probably thankful to have a reason to get out of town. But the regular voting MAGA and the media MAGAs, they are going to be celebrating today as representative of one of their ultimate triumphs. They got away with it. Not the people rioting themselves, but the MAGA movement. It got away with it. And, sorry, but nothing Merrick Garland said yesterday is going to strike fear in the heart of any of those who planned the day and are ultimately responsible.
To the “hive” MAGA movement, today is a day to celebrate. It means they can do it again if needed. Only now they have practice and can do it right next time.
Jason Miciak is a political writer, features writer, author, and attorney. He is originally from Canada but grew up in the Pacific Northwest as a dual Canadian-American citizen, which he grows increasingly thankful for every day. He now enjoys life as a single dad, writing from the beaches of the Gulf Coast, getting advice from his beloved daughter and teammate. He is very much the dreamy mystic that cannot add and loves dogs more than most people. He also likes studying cooking, theoretical physics, cosmology, and quantum mechanics. He likes pizza.
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