In the year that has passed since the violence at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th, 2021 in an attempt to obstruct the certification of President Joe Biden’s victory, many if not most of the Republicans who condemned the events of that day–and more importantly, assigned the blame for the violence with ex-President Donald Trump personally–have walked back their initial reaction to whatever degree they could. This moral retrenchment was most recently seen in the Republican National Committee’s motion to censure Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger for trammeling on the “legitimate political discourse” the rioters were supposedly engaged in. This “evolution” comes after the RNC condemned the violence in much stronger terms in the immediate aftermath.
But there is one Republican who has not gone along with the rewriting of history to sanitize the events of January 6th, and unlike Reps. Cheney and Kinzinger has not been made to suffer politically–at least not yet. And as The Hill reports, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, the Machiavellian architect of so much damage done to the country over the past decade, is drawing a hard and consistent line against insurrection that is baffling his critics and almost certainly jeopardizing his leadership position:
Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) criticized the Republican National Committee (RNC) for its censure of Reps. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) and Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and broke with their language on the Jan. 6, 2021 riot, calling it a “violent insurrection.”
“It was a violent insurrection with the purpose of trying to prevent a peaceful transfer of power after a legitimately certified election. … That’s what it was,” McConnell said. [Pols emphasis]
The RNC sparked fierce backlash after it described Jan. 6, when a mob of former President Trump’s followers breached the Capitol building, as “legitimate political discourse” in a resolution censuring Kinzinger and Cheney.
Axios continues, while using the dreaded I-word to correctly describe the insurrection on January 6th and accepting that Joe Biden won a “legitimately certified election,” two absolutely unforgivable sins in MAGA world, McConnell is not pleased with the RNC’s censure of Reps. Cheney and Kinzinger:
“The issue is whether or not the RNC should be singling out members of our party who may have different views from the majority. That’s not the job of the RNC,” McConnell said in response to the committee’s censure of Reps. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.).
“Traditionally, the view of the national party committee is that we support all members of our party, regardless of their positions on some issues,” he said during a news conference.
With a number of Republican Senators including Sen. Lindsey Graham signaling that McConnell’s leadership of the caucus will end no matter what happens in the 2022 midterm elections, McConnell appears to be liberated in a long-term sense of the need to sacrifice his personal credibility for Donald Trump’s “Big Lie.” As Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell is the highest-ranking Republican in America today. And with McConnell still having most of his latest term ahead of him, he has time to outlast the Trump era that Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney do not.
Now it’s time for Colorado GOP chairwoman Kristi Burton Brown, gubernatorial “divisive question”-dodger Heidi Ganahl, and every Republican down the ticket to be asked once again: whether they stand with today’s top-ranking Republican, or yesterday’s?
We know how Ron Hanks will answer. No one gets to hide from this question anymore.