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Home > U.S-NEWS > Republican lawmakers hold Saturday’s right-wing rally at arm’s length as Democrats focus on GOP extremism

Republican lawmakers hold Saturday’s right-wing rally at arm’s length as Democrats focus on GOP extremism

Republican lawmakers hold Saturday’s right-wing rally at arm’s length as Democrats focus on GOP extremism

No incumbent congressman is scheduled to attend the “Justice for J6” event in Washington, DC, hosted by a former Donald Trump campaigner in support of the riots arrested to storm the U.S. Capitol on the 6th January.

But even without a presence on the ground, several Republican lawmakers have offered public support to insurgents who have been imprisoned, and at least one House Republican – Rep. Ralph Norman from South Carolina – scheduled to speak at a local “Justice for J6” convention in his state Capitol. Meanwhile, Trump’s lies about the 2020 election have become a litmus test in the GOP, where 78% of Republicans in a new CNN poll said Biden did not win the election in 2020, while efforts to downplay the deadly events on January 6 have been consistently on the right. And several Republican congressional candidates either participated in the “Stop Stealing” protest on Jan. 6, which prompted riots, or will speak at the upcoming demonstration.

The revisionist history running through the GOP – and which will come to the fore at Saturday’s rally – threatens to become a political responsibility for the GOP, though Republican operators believe economics and inflation will be the most prominent topics in the midterms. Events like this one this weekend at least open up old wounds for the GOP and put Republican leaders in an awkward position: they are eager to turn the page to an ugly chapter in their party’s history, but are forced to fight a fired base that increasingly sympathetic to the riots.

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney of New York, chairman of the Democratic congressional campaign committee, is already framing next year’s election in these terms: “Democrats will move infrastructure, and Republicans will be rebels.”

House Republicans only need to pick up five seats to win back the majority, and historical trends and maps of reorientation favor both GOPs. Democrats facing an upward rise in their quest to retain power are now rallying around a midterm strategy highlighting the GOP’s extremism on everything from election lies and conspiracy theories to misinformation about vaccines and strict abortion laws.

Specifically, Democrats are signaling that they plan to paint vulnerable Republican lawmakers as Trump-loyal radicals — especially after the failed effort to remove California’s Democratic governor Tuesday, which Maloney argued was a rejection of the Trump brand and the GOP message.

“It should give a chill down his spine to Kevin McCarthy, who thinks he can do this toxic Trump thing without the Trump turnout, which has shown how bad that message is for voters in swing districts,” Maloney said.

However, Republicans pushed hard back on the notion that any broad electoral tendencies could be extrapolated from the recall effort in Golden State, where registered Democrats outnumbered Republicans by nearly 2 to 1.

“The choice of recall will have no bearing on midterms, and anyone who claims otherwise has no idea what they are talking about,” Torunn Sinclair, a spokeswoman for the House GOP’s campaign arm, said in a statement.

The Republican leadership has not yet condemned the convention

As Democrats sharpen their message, law enforcement officials are preparing for potential violence and unrest Saturday. The incident comes the same week that U.S. Capitol police arrested a man near the Democratic National Committee headquarters who spray-painted white supremacist views and had in his trucks knives that are illegal in DC, a reminder of the growing threat, as right-wing extremists and domestic terrorism.

Although the right-wing rally has sparked renewed fears of political violence, GOP leaders have not publicly condemned the upcoming event and its cause or actively urged people to skip it, though McCarthy told reporters he does not believe any Republican members will attend, and top Republicans, including Trump, have not promoted the event.

McCarthy has also been silent after the newly graduated Rep. Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina suggested that “rigged” elections could “lead to one place, and that is bloodshed,” and the rep. Alabama’s Mo Brooks offered targeted sympathy for a suspect who claimed to have a bomb in his truck near the Capitol last month and was critical of Democratic lawmakers.

Democrats are reinforcing their warnings that the GOP’s continued embrace of Trump’s election lies and other extremist rhetoric could lead to a repeat on Jan. 6. And Democrats are also slamming some on the far right for turning rebel Ashli ​​Babbitt, who was shot and killed as she tried to storm the Capitol, into a martyr. An internal intelligence memo reviewed by CNN warned that there have been heated discussions online about Babbitt in connection with Saturday’s meeting, as rep. Eric Swalwell has characterized it as a Republican celebration of “police killers.”

Even some in the GOP would like their own party to do a better job of calling lies about the 2020 election.

“Honestly, I think we need more honesty,” the newly graduated rep said. Peter Meijer of Michigan, one of ten Republicans in the House who voted to accuse Trump of inciting an uprising, during a recent Washington Post Live event. “We’ve seen what can be done when individuals feel they are being blinked and nodded to.”

“These are literally life or death implications,” he added, “and leaders need to be aware of where they stand and need to be clear about what they believe.”

Saturday’s rally is expected to be smaller in size than January 6, but law enforcement officials are preparing for the possibility that the crowd may become violent or be armed. As a precaution, the temporary fence around the Capitol is being reinstalled, while Capitol police have asked for help from the National Guard should they need it that day.
Matt Braynard, the organizer of the event, has insisted it will be peaceful and has urged attendees not to wear any Trump or election-related equipment. Some of the most haunted photos and videos from Jan. 6 are of the pro-Trump mob beating police officers with American flagpoles.

Saturday’s speaker lineup includes Joe Kent, who is running for Representative Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington State, another of the 10 Republicans who voted to accuse Trump, and Mike Collins, who is fighting to replace Rep. Jody Hice, a Republican in Georgia who is running for foreign minister in the peach state after pushing to overthrow last year’s presidential election results in Congress. The public appearance of the pair of congressional candidates, both facing GOP primary elections, suggests that support for the imprisoned rioters is something they believe could give them a boost with their conservative foundations.

Although no sitting congressman is attending, several House Republicans – including Rep. Louie Gohmert from Texas, Marjorie Taylor Greene from Georgia, Matt Gaetz from Florida and Paul Gosar from Arizona – adapted to a similar cause with reference to imprisoned rebels as “political prisoners”.

“I’m not sure I can handle it [the rally]”But we know there were people who were arrested for activities from January 6 and they have been treated so harshly,” Gohmert told CNN before the break. So we have not given up. “

Ahead of the rally, the four top congressional leaders received a security briefing from U.S. Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said law enforcement seems better prepared this time around.

“Congressional leadership, on a two- and two-chamber basis, has been briefed by the Capitol Police Board on the nature of the threat and the unprecedented preparations to address yet another attempt to defile our national purpose,” Pelosi said Wednesday in a “Dear Colleague” “letter.

In his description of the rally, Pelosi added: “Some want to continue the attack on the American capital with misinformation and evil … In cooperation, we will honor our office of supporting and defending the Constitution, while engaging in reconciliation and passing legislation for the people. . “

Whitney Wild and Oren Liebermann contributed to this report.


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