“We all were here. We saw what happened,” McConnell said of the attack on the Capitol. “It was a violent insurrection for the purpose of trying to prevent the peaceful transfer of power after a legitimately certified election from one administration to the next.”
If McConnell is playing a “long game,” which is what he titled his memoir, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is playing a short one — since he likely depends on Trump’s blessing to become speaker if the GOP wins the House majority in November.
The California Republican excused the RNC language, contained in a resolution that censured GOP Reps. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois and Liz Cheney of Wyoming for joining the House select committee probing the January 6 insurrection.
“Anybody who broke in and caused damage, that was not called for. Those people, we’ve said from the very beginning, should be in jail,” McCarthy told CNN’s Manu Raju while claiming that the resolution was referring to subpoenas from the committee to RNC officials who were in Florida during the Capitol attack.
But the censure resolution made no such distinction. And the committee is empowered by the Democratic-led House to investigate events up to and including January 6, 2021.
Trump could distract GOP from Biden attacks
The RNC’s whitewashing of the true nature of the insurrection is typical of the cult-like subservience many in the party still show to Trump. It made clear that the price of entry to the 2022 campaign for Republicans is now not just acceptance of Trump’s stolen election delusions but a willingness to deny the truth of the worst attack on democracy in modern American history.
But such radicalism threatens to turn the midterm campaign into yet another public therapy session for the ex-President, who still cannot accept his 2020 election defeat. It will not be lost on McConnell that Trump’s post-election tantrum helped cost the party two US Senate seats in Georgia runoff elections that would have made him majority leader.
This time, Trump’s fury threatens to drown out the searing attacks planned on Biden’s presidency by Republican strategists and remind critical suburban voters why they soured on the GOP during Trump’s presidency.
The clarity of McConnell’s language, which is rare in a party afraid to contradict Trump, deserves credit. It reflects his mastery of the conference and confidence he faces no internal threats, despite the ex-President’s multiple attempts to incite a revolt against him in the Senate.
The minority leader’s words were also characteristic of McConnell’s tendency to give his senators political cover — one reason his leadership position is so secure. Senators questioned about January 6 can now refer directly to their leader’s remarks without getting…
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