President Joe Biden, on the third anniversary of the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol building riot, gave a fiery speech in which he condemned former President Donald Trump for allegedly causing an “insurrection.”
Biden said: “For the first time on our history, insurrectionists had come to stop the peaceful transfer — transfer of power in America — first time — smashing windows, shattering doors… Trump did nothing. It was among the worst derelictions of duty by a president in American history: an attempt to overturn a free and fair election by force and violence. … America, as we begin this election year, we must be clear: Democracy is on the ballot.”
Biden, of course, says he decided to run for president in 2020 to defeat Trump over his supposedly racist comments after the 2017 Charlottesville, Virginia, rally that turned violent. When he announced his candidacy in 2019, Biden said: “That’s when we heard the words from the president of the United States that stunned the world and shocked the conscience of this nation.” Trump, according to Biden, said there were “some very fine people on both sides” and “assigned a moral equivalence between those spreading hate and those with the courage to stand against it.”
Trump was referring to the debate over whether a Confederate monument should be in a public square. Even CNN’s Jake Tapper, in 2019, said so. Trump even added, “And I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally.” Biden omits this, just as he ignores the part of Trump’s Jan. 6 speech where the former president said, “I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.”
To repeat, the Jan. 6 rioters certainly deserve punishment. But was it “insurrection,” a coordinated attempt to overthrow government, let alone one inspired, orchestrated or led by Trump?
On Aug. 20, 2021, The Hill published an article with the following headline: “FBI finds scant evidence Jan. 6 attack was coordinated: Reuters.”
“The FBI has found little evidence at this point to suggest that the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol was largely coordinated by supporters of former President Trump or right-wing groups,” according to a Reuters report.
“‘Ninety to ninety-five percent of these are one-off cases,’ a former senior law enforcement official told Reuters. ‘Then you have five percent, maybe, of these militia groups that were more closely organized. But there was no grand scheme with Roger Stone and Alex Jones and all of these people to storm the Capitol and take hostages.’…
“A Democratic congressional source confirmed to Reuters that senior lawmakers are aware of the FBI’s current findings and believe the results so far are reliable.
“The findings could prove relevant for the House select panel that is investigating the circumstances of the Jan. 6 attack…”
Speaking of the House Jan. 6 committee, Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), wrote: “The bottom line is, you’re going to get a second opinion on January 6th from the committee, whether you wanted it or not. … The FBI has no evidence that the events of January 6th were coordinated, that President Trump had any involvement, or that his allies had any sort of inclination that individuals would enter the Capitol. And they will find none.”
Nothing has changed since then and none of the rioters were charged with “insurrection,” and neither was Trump. This, of course, does not stop the media — only 3.4% of American journalists are registered Republicans — from routinely calling Jan. 6 an “insurrection.”
After Biden’s speech, CNN wrote a piece with this headline: “Biden’s faith in US democracy faces hard reality three years after insurrection.” NBC News wrote, “Get the latest news on the investigations into the Jan. 6 insurrection…” A Washington Post headline read: “The Jan. 6 insurrection.” A PBS headline read: “Capitol insurrection.” A Politico headline read: “Insurrection Fallout.”
But this casual characterization of Jan. 6 as an “insurrection” appears to be creating a backlash, at least among Republicans. This likely explains a new CBS News poll finding fewer Republicans “disapprove strongly” of the Jan. 6 riot. In January 2021, 51% of Republicans said they “disapprove strongly.” Now it’s down to 32%. It looks like Republicans believe calling Jan. 6 an “insurrection” is just a “Big Lie.”
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Larry Elder is a bestselling author and nationally syndicated radio talk-show host. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an “Elderado,” visit www.LarryElder.com. Follow Larry on Twitter @larryelder. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com. Copyright 2024 Laurence A. Elder.
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