Gaslighting right-wing pundits double down on claiming Jan. 6 siege ‘wasn’t an rebel’

Republicans have been parroting this tried line of protection ever since Carlson first trotted it out in January after which doubled down repeatedly, main a kind of “1/6 Truther” movement devoted to spinning up misinformation and conspiracy theories in regards to the occasion. GOP members of Congress—who first tried to blame it all on antifa and Black Lives Matter—started regurgitating it in March at a listening to on home terrorism.

Kelly made herself the most recent chief within the gaslighting parade final week by declaring on her podcast: “It wasn’t an rebel. It wasn’t.”

“A faction turned,” Kelly instructed her viewers. “However there isn’t any query the media represented this as a lot worse than it really was.” She added, “We have all seen the video of individuals, like, screaming within the face of cops, being completely disparaging, and defecating on the ground of the U.S. Capitol, and lawmakers had been understandably afraid … and I did not like seeing it in any respect.”

Kelly went on to argue that mainstream media shops had been “tying the political rhetoric” of Trump’s repeated denials that he had misplaced the election and falsely claiming there had been widespread voter fraud to “what we noticed that day”—despite the truth that Trump’s denials and claims provided the primary motivation for the individuals who participated within the rebel, because the a whole bunch of indictments (leading to arrest) handed down towards them have demonstrated.

Greenwald chimed in on Twitter, agreeing with Kelly’s assertion that “it wasn’t an rebel”:

In fact it wasn’t. However the media spent 5 years tossing round each histrionic time period — treason, traitor, Kremlin agent — so that they now solely know find out how to categorical themselves in essentially the most unhinged and hysterical method. Therefore, a three hour riot turns into an *rebel.*

Michael Tracey, a frequent Greenwald sidekick, equally chimed in:

It is all the time been propagandistic nonsense that “rebel” was in some way the one acceptable time period to explain the occasions of Jan 6. The time period was chosen as a result of it furthers the political agenda of Democrats/company media, and the legislation enforcement agenda of federal prosecutors.

Kelly also retweeted a remark from right-wing pundit Byron York, who himself promoted a Wall Road Journal column by Debra Burlingame insisting that “It’s a Travesty to Evaluate the Capitol Siege to 9/11.”

Equivalent sentiments had been voiced by protesters Saturday exterior the Central Detention Facility in Washington, D.C., the place lots of the arrested insurrectionists are being held forward of trial. “Allow them to go! Allow them to go! Allow them to go!” the group chanted.

Protesters carried indicators declaring that “protests aren’t insurrections” and “patriots aren’t terrorists.” Protesters known as the arrested indictees “nonviolent American patriots.”

One of many protesters told reporter Scott MacFarlane that the Jan. 6 Capitol siege didn’t meet the definition of an rebel: “Rebel has a which means in legislation,” he mentioned. “It means an armed try and take over authorities.”

The cognitive dissonance at work right here is outstanding, contemplating that the person’s definition absolutely describes what the world noticed on Jan. 6: A violent try by an armed mob to stop the certification of state ballots with the intention of stopping the normal peaceable switch of energy from one outgoing president to the incoming, an indicator of American democracy and its stability. It was absolutely an insurrectionary assault on our democracy in each side of the phrase’s which means. However the gaslighters need the general public to consider they noticed one thing apart from what it noticed.

The protesters, who had been estimated to have numbered about 100 and arrived by a gaggle bus with individuals from Illinois, New York, Idaho, and different states, marched through Washington with their indicators and banners, which included an American flag draped the other way up. They uniformly described the Jan. 6 defendants as “victims.”

That is, in fact, how the outdated right-wing trope of “waving the bloody shirt”—the one by which the violent bully is reworked right into a sufferer, and the sufferer right into a bully, all via the magical energy of gaslighting—has all the time labored: First, decrease the violence that has been dedicated in order that the general public can have sympathy for the perpetrators and doubt the motives of the accusers. The subsequent step—which is to characterize the correct portrayal of the violence as exaggerated for political or different motives, and to forged aspersions on the individuals attacked—is what naturally follows.

Tracey gave us a preview of that second portion of the dynamic already at work in his Substack essay that Kelly promoted on Twitter, insisting that it wasn’t an rebel:

Until your mind has been completely addled by the torrent of hyperbole, nobody making an attempt to be minimally goal may probably say with a straight face {that a} several-hour delay of legislative enterprise was in any sense an “existential menace.” We all know this as a result of the “existence” of the nation was by no means in jeopardy because of the actions of a marauding MAGA mob, most of whom appeared to don’t know what they had been even doing contained in the “citadel.” The federal government was by no means prone to being overthrown, and any insinuation on the contrary has all the time been past laughable.

By no means thoughts that the physique of proof mirrored in the New York Times video investigation and elsewhere overwhelmingly tells us that the nation narrowly prevented a disaster on Jan. 6, one by which the mob not solely almost overtook Vice President Mike Pence—whom they had been demanding be hung—but in addition members of the Home who had been sheltering in place within the gallery. The concept the mob was not mere moments away from stopping the peaceable switch of energy and putting in Donald Trump as dictator is what’s really risible.

People aren’t alone. The Jan. 6 assault on our democracy left our allies all over the world—significantly those that look to the USA as the first beacon of sturdy democracy for different aspiring nations—shaken and concerned about our future. That concern is rising as Republicans proceed not solely to excuse and rationalize the anti-democratic sentiments and beliefs that fueled the rebel, however to brazenly embrace them as nicely.

“The factor that makes me actually anxious is how related what’s occurring within the U.S. appears to a sequence of nations on the planet the place democracy has actually taken an enormous toll and, in lots of instances, died,” Staffan Lindberg, a Swedish political scientist who directs the Forms of Democracy Institute, mentioned. “I’m speaking about nations like Hungary underneath Orban, Turkey within the early days of Erdogan’s rule, Modi in India, and I can go down the road.”

As British political scientist Brian Klaas noticed in the Washington Post:

U.S. allies see our democracy as a shattered, washed-up has-been. We used to supply a democratic mannequin for the world, however not. The chaos, dysfunction and madness of the previous a number of years have taken a predictable toll.

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