Torched (Open Thread)

I dislike the expression “a hit dog will holler” because no one should hit dogs. But boy howdy, the decibel levels at the Fox News kennel and similar outlets have been earsplitting ever since Biden and Harris observed the January 6 anniversary last week. That’s because they called Trump supporters’ violent coup attempt at the Capitol what it was: an attempt to overturn an election.

The plaintive pooches on the right are hollering because the top leaders of the federal government countered the Republican Party’s (partially successful) spin operation, which seeks to portray the coup attempt as less serious than that time a deranged person torched a Christmas tree:

The Miami Herald’s Leonard Pitts summed up what Biden’s speech meant to me:

Cathartic. That’s what it was.

Page through the whole dictionary looking for a better word to describe President Biden’s speech on the first anniversary of the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, and you will not find one. The address, delivered from Statuary Hall, which was so memorably besieged one year ago, was an act of catharsis — a purging of emotional toxins built up from too much time hearing too many lies too brazenly told by those who seek to deny or minimize what happened…

It’s not that Biden said anything we had not heard before. But we’ve heard it from pundits. The relief felt on Thursday lay in the fact that the president was the one saying it, that he brought to bear the authority and prestige of his office to speak the truth bluntly and without equivocation.

There’s reason to believe Biden and Harris will be just as blunt when they go to Atlanta tomorrow to build support for voting rights legislation, which AL alluded to in the morning thread. An excerpt from the NYT article she linked, with the White House framing bolded:

WASHINGTON — President Biden will deliver a speech in Atlanta next week that will focus on the urgency of passing voting rights legislation and will condemn a swath of state-level efforts to limit access to the ballot box as an attack on fundamental constitutional rights, the White House announced on Wednesday.

Mr. Biden’s speech, scheduled for Tuesday, comes as his party’s push for legislation has faltered. His remarks will focus on the urgency of passing federal legislation to shield against “corrupt attempts to strip law-abiding citizens of their fundamental freedoms and allow partisan state officials to undermine vote counting processes,” the White House said in a statement. He will be joined by Vice President Kamala Harris, who has led the administration’s efforts on voting rights and will also give remarks.

The article says McConnell threatened to go “scorched earth” if Democrats pass voting rights legislation, but how would that be different from how they’ve operated since at least 2009? The party has abandoned democracy in favor of minority rule, and voter suppression and election subversion are linchpins of that strategy since they’ve got nothing to offer except plutocracy and culture war argle-bargle.

Republicans understand that lying about the nature of the attempted coup is imperative too, because if more Americans know their democracy is under an ongoing attack organized by the deposed president’s henchmen, maybe they’ll rise up to oppose autocracy while they still can. That explains why Tucker Carlson curb-stomped Ted Cruz for accurately describing the 1/6/21 assault as a “violent terrorist attack.” It also explains why Cruz piddled on his own belly and licked Carlson’s boots during the stomping.

Republicans recognize that this fight is existential, and while their rejection of democracy should be highlighted at every single turn, the only thing that matters from a practical standpoint is getting filibuster-phile Dems on board. That might be impossible given the narcissistic personality disordered individuals involved. But Biden and Harris are showing us they’re serious about trying to save democracy. That’s not nothing. That’s everything.

Open thread.

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