The US right loses when the conversation is about 1/6. By David Cole.
You’d think saving babies would be enough. Dobbs saved the babies. What more does the right need? “We won; pop the bubbly.”
But that’s not how the right’s wired at the moment. Sure, saving babies is great and all, but the MAGA right’s too distracted to appreciate the victory. They’ll never admit it, but MAGAs have let the 1/6 hearing get under their skin. So in the days following Dobbs, when rightists should’ve been doing a victory dance about babies, most high-profile rightists were instead focused on spinning equivalencies about how the left’s reaction to Dobbs proves that the Democrats are “the real insurrectionists.”
Rightists score a major victory regarding something they’ve been bitching about for fifty years, but they can’t enjoy it because of 1/6 defensiveness. …
When AOC stood outside SCOTUS and told her followers to go “into the streets,” everyone from MTG and Boebert to Mollie Hemingway, Sara Carter, Stephen Miller, Dan Bongino, Benny Johnson, and 1/6 subpoena recipient Alex Bruesewitz screamed, “Aha! She’s the real real insurrectionist! 1/6 is exonerated!” …
So the talking point for the summer is, “Abortion protesters are the real insurrectionists.”
And my question is, who’s that talking point aimed at? Who’s it for?
Almost half of independent voters say they’d be less likely to vote for a candidate who spouts Trump’s election-theft claims (only 11 percent say they’d be more likely). Sixty-eight percent of independents consider the work of the 1/6 committee important (47 percent “very important,” 21 percent “somewhat important”). 1/6 is not a winning issue for the right among swing voters. And yet Friday, when SCOTUS gave the left a reason to push 1/6 to the back burner, rightists decided to respond by reminding everyone of 1/6.
That ain’t sane.
Dobbs was a gift to the right by taking the focus off 1/6, and rightists responded by putting the focus back on 1/6. …
Why 1/6 is not a good topic for the right — even though the FBI assisted it, the election may have been rigged, it obviously wasn’t an insurrection because no one was armed or actually tried to take over anything, it was less violent and insurrectionist than several leftist protests in 2020 or in the Capitol, the committee is a show trial, etc:
Disgruntled supporters of a defeated president beating cops and smashing their way into the Capitol with some impractical unformed notion of overturning an election was novel, and the mere possibility that Trump considered martial law and fake electors, or that he encouraged or tolerated threats to the VP, deserves investigation. Extraordinary events provoke extraordinary responses. That’s reality, whether you like it or not.
Pro-abortion protests don’t equal insurrection. Pro-abortion protests are legal and familiar. Protest signs saying “burn it down” don’t equal beating cops and busting through Capitol windows and doors. Criticizing SCOTUS doesn’t equal that either. No words, no hyperbole, equal the actions of 1/6.
If you want the memory of 1/6 to fade, you’ve got to move on. That means not using every opportunity to make strained, defensive equivalencies. But since I know many of you are going to stick with the “Democrats are the real insurrectionists” talking point anyway, again I’ll ask — who’s it for? 1/6 was carried out by the “screw your optics, I’m going in” crowd. 1/6 equivalence comes courtesy of those humiliated by the former’s failure and how it’s been used as a cudgel by the left.
Like 1/6 itself, 1/6 equivalence is not aimed at those outside the group. “Screw your optics” by definition means “I don’t care how this looks to others.” The 1/6ers didn’t care (they were neck-deep in their own cultish mania), and 1/6 apologists don’t either. The blathering about “See, they do it too!” might appear orchestrated to convince bystanders, but it’s 100 percent about the humiliated trying to convince themselves. …
Doing so may not be the emotionally satisfying move, but it’s the smart one.
The left is using the 1/6 committee to tar Trump so badly he cannot run again. It’s not fair, and the election was unfair (the media!) and probably rigged, but that’s the way it is.