The lies that led to Jan. 6 are alive and well
Good evening, Alaska.
In this edition: It’s been a year since a pro-Trump mob attempted to overturn the 2020 election based on the big lie that the election had been stolen. While you’d hope that a bloody assault on the U.S. Capitol would lead to some serious reckoning with the sources of political violence, it’s predictably turned into a political exercise that’s lived on for profit and power. Today, let’s look at how those are informing the latest bad-faith efforts to “reform” Alaska’s elections.
Following up from the last edition: Some of y’all’s favorites from 2021 include learning to snowboard, stepping the geocaching game, small-sized pans for making omelets (of which I agree, I use smaller non-stick pan to make hash browns), camping, huckleberries, corn mazes, friends, pike fishing and amazing weather.
The Big Lie lives on
It’s been a year since we watched with horror as a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol in a bloody attempt to interrupt the certification of the 2020 election results and perhaps perpetrate worse against the country’s elected officials. What ought to have been a reckoning with far-right forces, political violence and those that are fostering the movement whether it be for power or profit has, predictably, become yet another political exercise in a world of us versus them. Instead of an earnest and bipartisan effort to examine what led to an attempt to overturn an election, we have elected officials who can’t bring themselves to acknowledge the results of the election and have attempted to either dodge or reframe Jan. 6 as something other than a dark day for this country. This Republican amnesia is encapsulated in the opening lines of the Anchorage Daily News’ report on the congressional delegation’s about-face:
On Jan. 6, 2021, Dan Sullivan linked arms with Lisa Murkowski, and Alaska’s two U.S. senators ran through an underground tunnel, away from rioters invading the U.S. Capitol.
Later that day, they and Rep. Don Young issued a joint statement denouncing the invasion by violent supporters of President Donald Trump.
“The violence that transpired today in the U.S. Capitol building was a disgrace and will go down as one of the sadder and more dispiriting days in our country’s history,” Sullivan said at the time, and he repeated the statement on Wednesday.
“We must send a clear message by bringing the perpetrators of violence to justice and prosecuting them to the fullest extent of the law,” Young said a week after the riot.
But in the year since rioters invaded the Capitol, Sullivan and Young have almost entirely stopped talking about the riot and have voted repeatedly against efforts to investigate whether it was deliberately organized, and if so, by whom.
That’s because getting to the bottom of what happened on Jan. 6 would undermine what has since become a central piece of the conservative identity, up there with opposing public health efforts to curb the spread of covid-19 and banning books or YouTube videos aimed at helping young people navigate puberty. Despite far-right efforts across this country, there’s been no evidence supporting the notion that widespread voter fraud deprived Donald Trump of a second term and yet this lie has not just lived on, it’s flourished.