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No, Jan. 6 wasn’t worse than 9/11, nor is democracy at risk: Here’s why

Vice President Kamala Harris gives remarks in Statuary Hall of the U.S Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, January 6, 2022 to mark the year anniversary of the attack on the Capitol.
Greg Nash

Jan. 6, 2021, was a horrific day for this country. Those involved in the Capitol riot – particularly those who attacked and harmed Capitol Police and law enforcement – should be fully prosecuted. Nothing like this should ever occur in the People’s House again.

It’s how almost all Americans feel about that day, and anyone who attempts to justify or dismiss it is either profoundly blind, stupid or dangerous.

But is democracy hanging in the balance as a result, as many Democrats have been claiming in interviews this week? It’s quite the opposite.

As evidenced after the 2020 presidential election, our democracy has never been stronger. That election – despite multiple lawsuits and audits from the Trump legal team – was upheld. The vote was certified on Jan. 6 and presided over by then-Vice President Pence despite sustained pressure from then-President Trump not to do so. And as for the “insurrection” argument, it is noteworthy that not one person has been charged with insurrection amid the 725 charges against people from across the country.

As for Trump’s claim of a stolen election, that obviously is both petulant and wrong, yet to this day he continues to harp on it. But let’s stop pretending that he’s the first losing presidential candidate to cry about a stolen election.

Hillary Clinton called Trump “illegitimate” after her 2016 loss while also claiming the Russians helped him steal that election from her. Former President Carter also called Trump illegitimate, as did more than a few in the media. Russian President Vladimir Putin, not the American people, put Trump in the White House, they argued without evidence. The anniversary of Jan. 6 went about the way one would expect from a political media perspective: President Biden and Vice President Harris’s remarks were as partisan and divisive as they come. Biden – who also once agreed Trump was illegitimate and a Russian stooge – took aim at his 2020 opponent throughout his speech.

But it was the VP who truly went over the line. “Certain dates echo throughout history, including dates that instantly remind all who have lived through them where they were, and what they were doing when our democracy came under assault,” Kamala Harris said in remarks at the Capitol’s Statuary Hall on Thursday.

“Dates that occupy not only a place on our calendars, but a place in our collective memory: December 7, 1941, September 11, 2001, and January 6, 2021,” she added.

What an utter insult to the thousands murdered at Pearl Harbor more than 80 years ago and in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania on that fateful morning 20 years ago.

I was in New York City on 9/11, the morning the planes hit the World Trade Center, and can still recall the horrific images of at least 200 people jumping from the towers to avoid being burned to death. It is unfathomable how 1/6/2021 can responsibly be compared to 9/11/2001 or 12/7/1941. Those attacks led the U.S. into multiple wars that cost hundreds of thousands more lives.

No matter. The memo is out on the left: Make the lazy comparison.

Oh, and while we’re at it, cheapen what should have been a somber event held at the Capitol by bringing in… the cast of “Hamilton”? You can’t make this up.

As for the Jan. 6 commission, it is already permanently split along party lines. Conservatives believe the process is impossibly politicized, especially when the Republicans on the committee – Reps. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) and Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) – are vehemently anti-Trump. And when Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Jim Banks (R-Ind.) were blocked from the committee, it was clear that this would not resemble, say, the 9/11 Commission, which was truly bipartisan.

For the rest of the week, you’ll see and hear soaring soundbites. Twitter will be on fire. And by Monday we’re not going to hear much about this anymore. Because most Americans care about the present and their future, particularly as it pertains to inflation, the pandemic, gas, crime, education, the border and China.

Jan. 6 — from Democrats to many in the media, it’s the same old hype, same old result: Sound and fury, essentially signifying nothing.

Joe Concha is a media and politics columnist.

Tags Adam Kinzinger Donald Trump Hillary Clinton House January 6 Select Committee Jan. 6 riot January 6 Insurrection Jim Jordan Joe Biden Liz Cheney Nancy Pelosi Presidency of Donald Trump Trump trumpism United States Capitol attack Vladimir Putin

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