The RNC Put Its Jan. 6 Policy in Writing—and It’s Officially Pro-Coup
Ronna Romney McDaniel speaks during the Republican National Convention at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C., on Aug, 24, 2020. (Chip Somodevilla/Bloomberg via Getty Images) The following content is from the latest installment of our Breaking the Vote newsletter, a weekly roundup by VICE News’ Deputy D.C. Bureau Chief Todd Zwillich. Sign up here to get it in your inbox every Friday.
We didn’t get the email.
That’s the excuse several members of the Republican National Committee shopped to reporters this week after America had a chance to digest that RNC resolution. The one calling the Jan. 6 riot and coup attempt an example of “ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse.”
The story, you see, is that the resolution censuring Republican Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger for participating on the January 6 select committee was edited late at night. A few committee members said they never saw the emails notifying them of the changes because they went to spam .
Why the excuses? Because the WTF alarms went off on non-right-wing TV and online, where it’s easy to pair the words “legitimate political discourse” with images of rioters beating police, parading with Confederate flags, scaling the Capitol’s parapets, and smashing its windows.
In a healthy, conservative, and Constitutionally-oriented GOP, you’d expect unified condemnation and instant demands for correction. But this is not a healthy GOP. All the national party did was catch up Donald Trump ’s valorization of the violent riot and the coup attempt to overturn the 2020 election.
Just days before, former Veep Mike Pence publicly split with Trump on the coup attempt, a mere 13 months after it happened. Pence said Trump was “wrong” to say that Pence could have—and should have—overturned the election on Jan. 6.
After the resolution, RNC Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel got a few urgent texts from Uncle Mitt, who then made his disapproval known to reporters. Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell , who doesn’t talk to Trump, took a whole day to rebuke the RNC and brand Jan. 6 “a violent insurrection for the purpose of trying to prevent the peaceful transfer of power.” Less than a half dozen other GOP senators condemned their party’s embrace of political violence.
And thus ended the resistance. Most Republican senators either refused to condemn the RNC’s resolution or criticized it only as ineffective politics .
Then there was the House, where the pro-coup Trumpist Freedom Caucus and soup-fearing patriots like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene are rocketing up the power curve. House GOP #3 Rep. Elise Stefanik cheered on the RNC’s condemnation of Cheney and Kinzinger. She got Trump’s endorsement for reelection two days later.
And House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy ? First he walked fast , then he danced , then slowed down to call the violence of Jan. 6 wrong. “No one would disagree with that,” McCarthy said. You’re wrong, Kevin: Ted Cruz would!
(The Washington Post ’s Aaron Blake put it best: The Trumpists can derail McCarthy’s dream of becoming Speaker of the House, and after the RNC […]