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Some sad thoughts on January 6

Everything President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris said this morning about the January 6 insurrections falls into the category of true-but-not-new.

An image of pro-Trump rioters storming the U.S. Capitol on January 6.
An image of pro-Trump rioters storming the U.S. Capitol on January 6.
REUTERS/Ahmed Gaber

I can’t seem to find the origin of a snarky quote that I recall went roughly, in reaction to a speech in Parliament I think: “What was new wasn’t interesting and what was interesting wasn’t new.”

That was (also roughly) my reaction to the remarks of both President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris this morning on the anniversary of the despicable uprising of January 6, 2021. That uprising was meant to prevent the congressional certification of the results of the 2020 presidential election in which Biden and Harris soundly defeated Donald Trump and Mike Pence.

Everything Biden and Harris said this morning was in the category of true-but-not-new. In the November 2020 election, their ticket defeated the ticket for former President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. To his utter and permanent disgrace, even in comparison to the many previous disgraces he had committed as president, Donald Trump deviated from the solid precedent established by all previous presidential election losers and refused to acknowledge his defeat or abide by its result. Instead, he inspired a rabid mob of democracy deniers to attack the capitol building while the Congress was in the (normally routine) process of certifying the results.

A significant number of Trump supporters continue to reject this result, although their various efforts to demonstrate that Democrats stole the election by various imaginary shenanigans have all been rejected by the reality-based community.

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It’s fine that the duly elected president and vice president chose to mark the anniversary of the riot.

It’s stupid to dwell, as I did above, on the fact that their remarks lacked newness or eloquence.

It’s frightening that poll still show a majority of Republicans agreeing (or claiming to believe, I’m not sure which) that Biden’s solid-but-not-quite-landslide victory (aka Trump’s solid-but-not-quite-landslide defeat) was the result of Democratic skullduggery, when it was the Trump Republicans who did the vast majority of the skullduggering, although without achieving the result of stealing the election.

It’s sad that efforts to rig future elections in favor of the Trumpublican Party continue in Congress and in the states, and sadder still that we can have less than full confidence that those efforts will be unavailing.