While national Republicans and Fox News attempt to brush off the anniversary of an attempted coup that lead to deaths inside the U.S. Capitol, local Republican groups are refusing to go along with that minimization of events. Around the country, Republicans have organized rallies commemorating the Jan. 6 attacks. Not to condemn the attacks, of course. They're meeting to honor the "martyrs" who died attempting to erase a United States election, and to demand "justice" for the insurrectionists currently awaiting trial for their part in the violence.
One of the most outrageous of the day's planned events was to be a "candlelight vigil" for the "J6 Prisoners" promoted by the Cobb County Republican Party in Georgia. As with similar events, there's no coyness or misdirection as to who the heroes of the pro-Trump insurrection were. It's right there in the name: the "J6 Prisoners," the "J6 Patriots"—it's not the police officers who protected lawmakers, the staffers who barricaded doors, or anyone else being feted. It's the people currently cooling their heels in jail cells for their participation in the attacks. Cobb County's Republican leaders are very up front about it: Those who committed violence in service to an attempt to erase a U.S. election on behalf of the party's leader are the "patriots" of the day.
News of the event was met with widespread revulsion, and this morning we learned that the Cobb County event was being cancelled. Not because of the inherent grotesqueness of honoring violent seditionists, mind you: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Greg Bluestein reports that the party cited "mischaracterization of the event" by others.
That's not likely to be the real reason, however. Bluestein notes that the "two-hour program" was planned around a livestream of Trump's expected Jan. 6 speech from Mar-a-Lago, a speech that was itself canceled after those around Trump were somehow able to convince him to shut his damn mouth instead. That probably did more to scuttle the day's plans than the obvious grotesquery of demanding "justice" for those willing to commit violence for the cause of overthrowing the government.
Most of the other Republican events, however, will still be held. Mother Jones has a brief rundown; in Michigan, a state in which pro-fascist militia groups have engaged in everything from their own assaults on the statehouse to attempted acts of domestic terrorism, a local Republican Party group is having their own pro-insurrection rally at the local shooting range. What better way to celebrate a day of violence than a "Bullets & Beer" day of firing off guns and imagining yourself among the patriotic mob?
Not to be outdone, a "Patriot Martyr Vigil" held by a trashy far-right California Republican candidate also plans a "commemoration" of the day of sedition. The most organized efforts, however, seem to be from grifty pro-Trump group "Look Ahead America," which has been stoking outrage at the tragic plight of Trump's seditionists ending up in jail for many months now. This group appears to be primarily the griftmobile of ex-Trump staffer Matt Braynard, and let's just say it is conspicuously single-minded in its efforts to make the rioters the fascist right's newest heroes.
A year after a violent insurrection, the Republican Party that helped plan it, that used hoaxes to goad the base into it, and which has been working feverishly to retaliate against those who successfully stopped it is continuing the same game. At the top level, those like Sen. Lindsey Graham—who himself was one of the Republicans directly pressuring Georgia officials to throw out their own election results so that Trump could "win"—are puffing that non-Republicans are making too much of those efforts, and that remembering the multiple deaths that day as law enforcement officers battled a violent mob bent on finding Trump's named enemies is merely an exercise meant to make the Republican Party look bad.
The local parties, though, aren't willing to abide such half-measures. Top Republican officials continue to support the same hoax claims that have been debunked countless times already—hoaxes suggesting that Trump's loss was not legitimate because of all manner of bizarre supposed conspiracies. The Republican base is now enthralled by those hoaxes, both willing to believe them and, if the polls are to be believed, increasingly convinced that violence may be required to "return" Republicanism to its rightful places of power.
Republicanism is now a fascist movement, one that produces false propaganda to convince its base to take drastic action to "take back" the country and put it properly in the propagandists' hands. On Jan. 6 it led to violence. One year later, the Republican lawmakers and conservative television pundits who cannot bring themselves to endorse that violence are instead decrying remembrances as partisan attempts to make them, personally, look bad. Those who encouraged the violence more directly, however, have no patience for that. To them, those who attacked the Capitol on Trump's behalf are America's true heroes, and they will not rest until the day's most violent thugs and most oblivious buffoons are treated as such.