With the release of some 40,000 hours of surveillance footage from January 6th came hysterical responses from the usual suspects. Adam Kinzinger and Jamie Raskin were quick to weigh in, decrying the move toward transparency. Then there was Liz Cheney.
Cheney obsessively focused on the 6th of January in her final years as a politician, until voters sent her packing for good. After her Wyoming primary loss, media and newspapers proclaimed that Cheney was going to become even more powerful. She quickly faded into obscurity after losing the only thing that made her important.
Cheney, like a crack addict who has a new lead, jumped into the fray after the 6th of January footage was released.
Here’s some January 6th video for you.
— Liz Cheney (@Liz_Cheney) November 17, 2023
Liz, yes, we have seen this video many times. It was shown during the 6th of January hearings. Cable news networks played it over and over. The video has been shared thousands of times across social media. It is irrelevant to the revelations made by the newly released video.
Why? One act is not the same as another. A person outside of a building punching someone doesn’t mean that someone inside the building also punched them. In chaotic situations there is often a large group of people who do not intend to do anything violent and do not.
This distinction was made in a number of other riotous situations that I recall both rhetorically as well as practically. Who can forget “firey, but mostly peaceful”, riots that took place in the summer of 2020? In this case, despite the fact that thousands of people were near violent acts and looting, they weren’t arrested or pursued. A few days before this article was written, pro-Hamas demonstrators tried to storm the Democratic National Committee. One person was arrested.
When it comes to the 6th of January, we’re not allowed to say there is a distinction between those who attacked police officers and those wandering aimlessly taking selfies. What is Liz Cheney afraid of? Why is Liz Cheney so terrified and triggered when the American public has a clearer picture of the events that occurred in the Capitol on that day?
The answer is simple. Cheney, among others, sees January 6th as an effective political bludgeon. But for this to work, the narrative they use must be utterly convincing. Nuance is not allowed. Participants who were caught up in chaos cannot be included. Every person who entered and approached the Capitol Building should be portrayed as an insidious terrorist with this explicit intent. We can’t let the day become less important if we don’t.