GOP leaders criticize Democrats for commemorating Jan. 6 anniversary


They don't really want to acknowledge the deadly Capitol insurrection and its aftermath.

Thursday marks the one-year anniversary of the deadly Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection. While congressional Democrats and President Joe Biden are commemorating the events with solemn "reflection, remembrance and recommitment," many Republicans in Congress are avoiding the subject or blasting Democrats for "exploiting" the tragedy.

According to the Washington Post, no Republican leaders are expected to participate in Thursday's Capitol events remembering the pro-Donald Trump mob's attacks and efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential elections. While Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and some other Republican senators plan to be in Georgia for a former colleague's funeral, he and colleagues still found time to accuse the Democrats of politicizing the insurrection.

In a press statement, McConnell (R-KY) scolded the Democratic majority for trying to use the attempted coup as an excuse to strengthen democracy and protect future elections.

"It has been stunning to see some Washington Democrats try to exploit this anniversary to advance partisan policy goals that predated the event. It is especially jaw-dropping to hear some Senate Democrats invoke the mob’s attempt to disrupt our country's norms, rules, and institutions as a justification to discard our norms, rules, and institutions themselves," he complained.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy falsely claimed Monday in a letter to his caucus that a year after the "riots at the Capitol," House Democrats "are using it as a partisan political weapon to further divide our country."

Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL), the top minority party member of the Committee on House Administration, similarly complained in a letter on Monday that "House Democrats have been more interested in exploiting the events of January political purposes than in conducting basic oversight of the security vulnerabilities exposed that day."

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio accused "far left politicians & liberal activists masquerading as journalists" of "shameless hypocrisy" for commemorating the Jan. 6 insurrection but downplaying Black Lives Matter protests in the summer of 2020.

After Biden called out former President Trump on Thursday for having "created and spread a web of lies about the 2020 election" and accused him and his violent supporters of having "held a dagger at the throat of democracy," South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham blasted him for "brazen politicization of January 6."

Other GOP lawmakers dismissed the significance of the attacks or even outright defended the participants.

"President Trump did not incite anything. He called for Americans to 'peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard,'" claimed North Carolina Rep. Madison Cawthorn. "Don't fall for the left's fake narrative."

"The real insurrectionists I think are the Democrats because of what they are doing to our country and how they are completely perverting the Constitution and Congress," claimed Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.

Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs added, "There is no place for political violence in our society. But there's also no place for the Democrats' lies, cover ups, and witch hunts."

With the vast majority of House and Senate Republicans united against it, the GOP blocked the creation of an independent commission in May that would have investigated the Jan. 6 insurrection.

When House Democrats instead created a special House committee to investigate, McCarthy tried to stop that too and publicly castigated two members of his own caucus as "Pelosi Republicans" for taking part in the probe.

Hundreds of people have been arrested on charges related to last year's attacks. The House investigation has also found significant evidence that Trump sat on his hands and refused to stop it.

Polling has shown the public disagrees with the GOP's attempt to spin away the importance of the attacks and suggest Trump was not to blame. An ABC News/IPSOS poll released Monday found 72% of American adults see the insurrection as "threatening democracy" and 58% believe Trump is significantly culpable.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.