Jan. 6 hoaxers were whipped into another routine hysteria this week after the Republican National Committee (RNC) voted to censure a pair of GOP lawmakers who’ve colluded with Democrats to punish protected speech.
Earlier this month, the RNC issued a well-deserved reprimand of Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger and Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney for their leading roles on Democrats’ House Select Committee on Jan. 6.
After an explicit assault from the committee on private citizens who peacefully protested as opposed to a genuine probe of the Capitol security failures, complete with subpoenas for more than 100 private telecom records unrelated to the riot, the RNC condemned the pair for “participating in a Democrat-led persecution of ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse.”
The line’s final three words were a clear defense of the constitutionally protected protest practiced by the tens of thousands of Donald Trump supporters who flocked to the nation’s capital on Jan. 6, 2021. A hostile press characterized the RNC’s defense of protected peaceful speech as instead a reference to the rioters who stormed the Capitol complex.
Legacy media falsely framed Republicans as defenders of the Capitol chaos, rather than as defenders of the Constitution-protected rights to free speech and peaceable assembly.
“GOP Declares Jan. 6 Attack ‘Legitimate Political Discourse,” titled The New York Times’ news coverage. “GOP Declares Deadly Jan. 6 Attack ‘Legitimate Political Discourse,” ran another in The Daily Beast aggregating the Times, spewing misinformation in the process by branding the riot “deadly.”
Jennifer Rubin at the Washington Post declared the line a “blunder.” ABC News highlighted a judge’s rebuke of the line in a Jan. 6 sentencing, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi capitalized on the coverage to pile on Republicans while she conceals her own culpability in the Jan. 6 riot.
“You’ve heard me say again and again that the Republicans seem to be having a limbo contest with themselves to see how low they can go,” Pelosi said at her weekly press conference on Wednesday. “They seem to have reached rock bottom with their statement that what happened on Jan. 6 was normal political discourse. Legitimate, legitimate political discourse.”
Even Republicans were duped into the Democrat messaging, which included the usual culprits.
“To suggest that a violent attack on the seat of democracy is legitimate political discourse is so far from accurate as too … make people wonder what we’re thinking,” Utah Republican Sen. Mitt Romney said Monday. Romney was the sole member of the upper chamber to support Democrats’ Trump impeachments twice.
Worse yet, the highest-ranking elected Republican in the country, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, adopted the leftist talking points promoted by the Times, provoking another headline in the Washington Post, “Legitimate political discourse’: Three words about Jan. 6 spark rift among Republicans.” It shouldn’t have if Republicans learned anything from the prior six years of false narratives peddled by corporate outlets to apply undue pressure on GOP politicians. See the Russia hoax.
The idea that Republicans declared any episodes of political violence “legitimate political discourse,” isn’t just untrue, it’s entirely absurd given the party’s consistent record of condemning criminal unrest. The phrase is even more clear to anyone who actually read the censure as opposed to just its coverage from a hostile media.
Of Democrats’ Jan. 6 Committee subpoenas, 90 percent have targeted individuals associated with the peaceful White House protest who had nothing to do with the Capitol. One issued by the committee on which Cheney serves as vice chair took aim at a political consultant working to unseat the congresswoman in Wyoming who had no involvement in Jan. 6 activities whatsoever, including the rally or the riot.
Texas Republican Rep. Michael McCaul was among the few Republicans who offered a reasonable answer when confronted about the made-up scandal.
“My understanding is [the statement] pertains to the legitimate protesters that I saw that day,” McCaul told ABC “This Week” on Sunday. The network went on to write the headline, “Top GOP lawmaker won’t condemn calling events of Jan. 6 ‘legitimate political discourse.'”
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, whose GOP appointees were barred from Pelosi’s personalized panel at the speaker’s behest, also gave a response Republican voters ought to demand of their Republican representatives.
“I think anybody — and we all know this — who entered this building, who rioted, is not legitimate political discourse, but that is not what the RNC was talking about,” McCarthy said. “If you watch what the January 6 committee is doing, they subpoenaed people who weren’t here on January 6 but were down in Florida. They have gone after people and their records who weren’t even involved on January 6.”
The media’s knee-jerk reaction to frame the RNC censure as justifying rioting at the Capitol is part of the true scandal embedded in the Democrats’ Jan. 6 efforts. Democrats and their allies in the corporate press have sought to conflate the Capitol turmoil with the peaceful White House protest, prosecuting any and all involved with protected speech as villains of democracy. But protests are not illegitimate merely because they fly contrary to Democrats’ views.