The Republicans by their silence, Biden by his attacks … The first anniversary of the assault on the Capitol offered a large political space to Donald Trump, more than ever at the heart of the American political equation.
By marking the attack a year ago to the day against the US Congress, Joe Biden surprised. He who usually only evokes his predecessor by twisting phrases, nicknames like “the other guy” or “the guy before” did not spare the slightest blow against his opponent, whose supporters had invaded the temple of American democracy on January 6, 2021.
Donald Trump has created a “web of lies”, “tried to prevent a peaceful transfer of power,” said the Democrat. But by his attacks, Joe Biden also offered his rival the chance to come back down into the political arena.
Without delay, the former president put on the gloves, and retaliated with press releases.
A first to denounce the “political theater” that is Biden’s speech, intended to make people forget his “failures”.
“Everything he touches turns into failure,” he repeats in a second, a few minutes apart.
With a third, he drives home the point: “Never forget the crime that was the presidential election of 2020. Never give up!”
Donald Trump had yet been forced to give up holding a press conference on Thursday, and he seemed resigned to stand back from this day of commemoration.
On the contrary, the violent mano a mano between the two septuagenarians sometimes had the accents of a remake of the 2020 campaign. Until setting the scene for 2024?
– Republican silence –
Everything seems possible.
Because to the diatribes of the stormy billionaire, the Republicans – almost unanimous in condemning the actions of the pro-Trump demonstrators a year ago – oppose a disconcerting silence.
The rare Republicans to crack a press release, like the powerful Senator Linsday Graham, do it to go in the direction of Donald Trump, once again a sign of the stranglehold of the former president on his party, more than a year after his defeat in the November 2020 election.
“If the Biden presidency is in free fall a year after January 6, it is not because of the attack on our Capitol, but because of his failed policies and the weakness of his leadership,” he accuses. he does.
According to the South Carolina senator, Joe Biden and his vice president Kamala Harris are trying to turn the assault on Capitol Hill into a political affair.
Leader of the Republicans in the Senate, Mitch McConnell has also accused his fellow Democrats of “exploiting the anniversary to promote partisan political goals.” Absent from the commemorations, he left Washington to attend a funeral in the south of the country.
– Deserted corridors –
The only dissenting voices within the “Grand Old Party”: Liz Chenez, elected opposed to Donald Trump, and her father Dick Cheney, former vice-president of George W. Bush.
The two were present during the minute of silence in tribute to the police officers who died as a result of the attack.
Liz Cheney is one of two elected Republicans who have agreed to participate in the parliamentary commission of inquiry which seeks to shed light on the responsibilities in the events of January 6, 2021.
Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, well over half of party voters still believe the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Donald Trump.
So for this day of commemoration, the Republicans have deserted the corridors of the Capitol.
Not a Republican in the Senate Chamber where a few hours after Joe Biden’s speech, Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer accused Donald Trump of “continuing today to spill his poisonous bile”.
The only two elected officials who will break the Republican silence on Capitol Hill belong to the most fiercely pro-Trump fringe of the party.
“We will reveal the truth on January 6” at a press conference, promised Marjorie Taylor Greene with her colleague Matt Gaetz.
Like Donald Trump, the sulphurous elected saw one of her accounts banned from Twitter, and like the former president, she espouses the theory of a “stolen election”.