What Has Happened to Us . . . Really?

Published: January 11, 2022

By Jim Lichtman
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The country is so fractured that both parties in Congress cannot even come together to observe the most devastating attack on the nation’s seat of government. While members of both parties shared a hiding space during the siege, they cannot share a moment of grief for the events of January 6, 2021.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was attending a funeral for a former Senate colleague. He could have flown back to observe the night’s service on the Capitol steps but chose not to do so.

As for House minority leader Kevin McCarthy, well… this was the same Republican who said on the House floor that Trump “bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters.”  Of course, when McCarthy thought about the implications of those facts, he was on the next plane to Florida to beg forgiveness from the former president. Mr. McCarthy was elected to defend the constitution, not ask for absolution.

After January 6, one Republican had the gall to characterize the attackers walking into the building as a “normal tourist visit.” That was Republican Andrew Clyde, the distinguished representative from Georgia. And he didn’t stop there, stating that calling the attack an insurrection was “a bald-faced lie.”

Tom Williams, a CQ Roll Call photographer captured the image above of Clyde barricading the door of the House against an angry mob of “tourists.”

“When lawmakers gathered in the House chamber for a moment of silence to commemorate the riot, only two Republicans joined: Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, who has been ostracized and marginalized by her party for speaking out against Mr. Trump and his election lies, and her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney.”

The rest of Republicans cleared out of Dodge.

“There are currently more than 250 Republican members of Congress — 212 in the House and 50 in the Senate. Not a single one of those senators appeared on the Senate floor to speak about how rioters laid siege to their workplace in the name of former President Donald J. Trump, sending them fleeing for their lives,” The New York Times reported.

Of course, what the absence is really about is the overwhelming number of elected Republican leaders who are seeding their loyalty to one man who has no morality, and ostensibly controls their fate at the ballot box.

Think about this for a moment:

Every year Democrats and Republicans hold services to remember Pearl Harbor. Both parties honor the dead and injured.

Every year Democrats and Republicans hold services to remember September 11, 2001. Both parties honor the dead and injured.

Congress created Memorial Day, in remembrance of military conflicts since the Civil War. Both parties have honored the dead and injured.

“The only Republican-led event on Thursday to commemorate Jan. 6 was hosted by two lawmakers on the fringes of the party, Representatives Matt Gaetz of Florida and Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia. Seeking to deflect blame from Mr. Trump, they held a news conference to elevate unproven conspiracy theories about the origins of the assault on the Capitol. And many millions of supporters who continue to believe the myriad of lies told about that day have dismissed January 6 as being overblown by the media.

What has happened to us . . . really?

President Franklin Roosevelt, standing before the Congress, characterized the unprovoked attack on Pearl Harbor, as  the most “dastardly attack” on the U.S… “December 7, 1941,” Roosevelt avowed, “a date which will live in infamy.”

Now, sadly, there’s another date for the history books: January 6, 2021, a date which will live in Republican infamy.

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