DB: Joe Biden was famous for delivering eulogies long before he was elected president, so it should not come as a surprise that in his remarks to the nation to memorialize the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol and our system of elections, he spoke more about the past tense—of a “former president” and a “failed” attempt to overthrow democracy—than about the very real, very urgent threats facing the nation today.
It’s easy and convenient to isolate the images, violence, and memories of Jan. 6, to remove them from their ongoing context and package them into produced speeches or television segments that look back. It’s much more difficult to speak the truth about the modern Republican party, from school board meetings across the country to the halls of Congress, harnessing the power of white supremacy, propaganda, and violence to fundamentally reshape America and destabilize the institutions that once buttressed the principles of democracy Biden declared on Thursday still endure.
Twelve months after the attack, Biden saying anything was an improvement over silence. But there is a profound danger in “remembering” Jan. 6 once a year instead of acknowledging and confronting it daily.
In the space between Trump’s Big Lie about the election and the truth is a web of white lies that Biden and much of entrenched Washington establishment keep telling themselves and the country, enabled by a mainstream media still conditioned to be more fearful of criticism from bad-faith Republicans than of the fall of American democracy.
The lie that there’s a distinction between Trump and the rest of the Republican Party.
The lie that “unity” without accountability for an attempted coup of the government by Republicans is achievable.
The lie that Washington, D.C., can return to bygone days of handshakes and deal-making and cocktail parties, and the result will be a government that functions as designed.
The lie, largely by omission, that white nationalists who came to the Capitol bearing Confederate flags and donning “Camp Auschwitz” hoodies are isolated and contained threats to the public.
The lie that “this is not who we are” as a country.
And the lie that the ongoing assault on democracy is done since our democracy survived the Jan. 6 attack.