In the face of inflation, looming job losses (General Motors announced buyouts, and when GM goes, so goes the country), war in Ukraine, mass shootings, raising the debt ceiling, and dangerous train derailments literally and figuratively piling up, the House GOP this week unveiled its top priority — whitewashing the insurrection on January 6.
The first plank in that platform was House Speaker Kevin McCarthy providing Fox News's demonic demagogue Tucker Carlson with over 40,000 hours of security footage from the U.S. Capitol on that fateful day. No one else in the media was given this material. McCarthy bizarrely claims it's about “transparency.”
We all know what Carlson did with those tapes, and he was roundly criticized for his shoddy and misleading cuts and pastes. He said he let the U.S. Capitol police see it before it aired. They claim he only showed them one snippet, and after the first “episode” of Carlson’s “expose” aired, the Capitol police chief released a statement that basically tore Carlson a new one — which seems duplicitous since Carlson is one.
Carlson said the tapes show that the Jan. 6 House Select Committee "lied" about the events of the Capitol riot. But Carlson was the one lying, cherry picking footage to create a false narrative, and then repeating the big lie, that Trump was the winner of the 2020 election.
Demonically, I went back and watched what Carlson said, and he should be thrown in jail, but what else is new. He is doing as much verbal damage as the insurrectionists did physically. And the emails and texts that were revealed in the Dominion discovery documents for their case against Fox News is nothing short of astonishing. Carlson’s credibility is ruined regarding Jan. 6, when he says Trump is a “demonic force” who he hates “passionately.” Carlson hypocritically said that perpetuating the big lie was “cruel and reckless.”
Here's what else is cruel and reckless, particularly to all the victims; those hurt, maimed and killed because of the insurrection. As part of their whitewashing Jan. 6, a Republican-controlled House committee launched an inquiry Wednesday into the Democratic-controlled Jan. 6 committee. It's like letting North Korea investigate a convent of nuns.
The GOP subcommittee chair will be Congressman Barry Loudermilk, a Republican from Georgia and an unabashed Trump ally. The real and legit Jan. 6 House committee said that Loudermilk gave tours of the Capitol, after hours, in the days leading up to Jan. 6. After the Capitol was attacked, and Loudermilk and his colleagues ran and hid in fear, he voted against certifying the 2020 presidential election.
Loudermilk, like Carlson, is bound to stick to the message that the insurrection was more of a “peaceful gathering,” rather than some violent uprising.
Loudermilk is already laying the groundwork. Politico reported that he told reporters that “the GOP conference is starting to more closely review the work of the last Congress’ Democrat-run Jan. 6 select panel. Loudermilk recently secured the speaker’s permission to let accused Jan. 6 rioters — and eventually the public at large — access Capitol Police security footage that is in the House GOP’s possession.”
Yes, that’s right, Loudermilk thinks the fox should oversee the hen house.
In an equally laughable press conference given by House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, the Republican twisted himself into a pretzel trying to explain Carlson’s take on Jan. 6, and then he somehow said that the tapes showed Loudermilk didn’t do anything wrong, and that Democrats owed him an apology.
And he said, and this one is rich, that all Democrats want to do is talk about Jan. 6, as opposed to Republicans who don’t.
I guess McCarthy didn’t get that message when he knew that he would stir up a Jan. 6 s**t storm by releasing the footage only to Carlson — and no one else in the media. And for Carlson, he wants nothing more than to keep talking about the “peaceful demonstrations” of Jan. 6.
And lest any of these stories about Jan. 6 swirl around without Marjorie Taylor Greene latching on and taking the conversation into a whole other whacked-out dimension. Greene and House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer of Kentucky are organizing a class field trip for delinquent Republican committee members to visit Jan. 6 defendants who are being held in a Washington, D.C., jail.
These insurrectionists are rightly being held in jails before their trials. NBC News reported that some of the defendants who have been held “have alleged that they are being housed in inhumane conditions, which include claims that they are 'force fed' critical race theory and subjected to ‘anti-white messaging’ behind bars.”
We can probably surmise that Greene, Comer, and company are going to raid the jailhouse, and burn the anti-white, slavery books that are stacked ceiling high in the cells and save the prisoners from further “inhumane conditions.” The only thing worse for these “abused” prisoners would be if they were subjected to drag shows.
The House Democrats stopped talking about Jan. 6 once the bipartisan committee wrapped up its meticulous and methodical work clearly demonstrating that an organized militia of predominantly white, racist extremists broke through barricades, attacked policemen, destroyed Capitol property, defecated on the marble floors, soiled the House and Senate chambers, planted Confederate flags, and threatened the lives of then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, then-VP Mike Pence, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
So let the Republicans take it from here! Let them try to change the narrative. Let them make this their number one priority, which is clearly what they are doing. That’s the message they’ll take into the 2024 elections. Their candidates will either endorse their outrageous and unbelievable lies about Jan. 6, and keep that small sliver of the base happy, and piss off all moderates and independents. Or, the candidates will disown the deceits, and piss off that small sliver of the base. There is no winning on this issue. Truth has already been settled, and the true narrative was established by the real January 6 committee.
Let them continue this farce, which indeed looks far-out farcical to the American people.
Hundreds of millions saw what happened on Jan. 6 with their own eyes. Their eyes did not deceive them. They saw first-hand the red-hatted, Confederate flag-carrying army march toward and break into the Capitol. People know what a peaceful demonstration looks like. And they now know what an insurrection looks like.
Only McCarthy, Scalise, Loudermilk, Comer, Carlson, and Greene, among others, are foolish and stupid enough to whitewash what happened on Jan. 6 — and make it their party's top priority.
John Casey is senior editor of The Advocate.Views expressed in The Advocate’s opinion articles are those of the writers and do not necessarily represent the views of The Advocate or our parent company, equalpride.