Jake Tapper absolutely drags Ted Cruz, his fellow Republicans, and right wing media for trying to spin the January 6th insurrection into something it wasn't. A minor blip, a misunderstanding, but definitely not a terrorist attack (even though Ted Cruz called it that 17 times before his on-screen groveling to Tucker Carlson on Thursday night.) Frequently it is said that those who stormed the Capitol, those rioters, they are not "who we are," but what if that is who they are? What if this is what it means to be part of the Republican Party in 2022? The party of grievances, political violence, conspiracy theories, and anti-democratic views? What is to become of us then?
Tapper started with a back and forth with Liz Cheney, one of the few in the Republican Party to take on Donald Trump and MAGA — at great professional risk — to discuss this exact issue.
TAPPER: On Thursday night, the one-year anniversary of the attack on the U.S. Capitol, CNN hosted an event at the Capitol to talk about that horrible day. Along with police officers, lawmakers, and staffer, conservative Congresswoman Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the vice chair of the Select House committee, was one of our guests.
CHENEY: I mean, imagine, Jake, if President Eisenhower had summoned a mob to Washington and told them to march on the Supreme Court when they were hearing arguments in Brown v. Board of Education, and then imagine if he sat and watched them invade the Supreme Court and didn't do anything to stop it. We couldn't imagine that -- that, you know, an honorable man like Dwight Eisenhower would do something like that, yet that's almost exactly what Donald Trump did.
TAPPER: Some of your fellow Republicans are out there, probably right now on certain other channels, saying this was no big deal, we're making too big of a deal out of this. Ted Cruz said that this special tonight was just political theater. What do you say to them?
CHENEY: I say, that's how democracies die. That if you have members of political parties who ignore an attack that we've never before been in a situation where the president himself provoked a violent assault on this Capitol Building, and when you sit here in Statuary Hall tonight and you realize the history of this place and you realize how sacred this place is, any American who would enable or look the other way or dismiss what happened or refuse to do their duty to get to the bottom of it I think is failing to live up to their oath of office and to their duties as a citizen of this great nation.
Then, Tapper brought the topic around to the most spineless of all the Republicans in Congress - Ted Cruz.
TAPPER: As it so happened, that very night Senator Cruz, Republican of Texas, was apologizing on FOX, apologizing for having described the events at the Capitol one year ago January 6th as a "violent terrorist attack."
CRUZ: Tucker, as a result of my sloppy phrasing, it has caused a lot of people to misunderstand what I meant.
TAPPER: The thing is, it wasn't sloppy phrasing. Cruz had called the attack terrorism at least 17 times before in written as well as spoken remarks. Frankly, Cruz using the term might seem odd, not because the term is imprecise. The FBI definition of domestic terrorism is, quote: "violent criminal acts committed by individuals and/or groups to further ideological goals stemming from domestic influences such as those of a political, religious, social, racial, or environmental nature." And that, of course, is what the attack was, violent and criminal to further a domestic ideological and political goal, specifically to stop the counting of Electoral votes to prevent Joe Biden from becoming president.
No, what's odd is that Cruz is voicing opposition to the activities of January 6th, because they were in part inspired by his actions, by his role, and that of Missouri Republican Senator Josh Hawley, in objecting to the counting of Electoral votes for Joe Biden, which was all part of the twisted Kabuki theater that helped inspire and incite the very people who attacked the Capitol, including these individuals ransacking desks in the Senate chamber, including Cruz's desk as captured by The New Yorker.
Finally, a blistering montage of January 6th insurrectionists, literally saying they are WITH Ted Cruz. Literally, by name, that they are WITH him and he would want them to do these things - destroy, riot, commit violence.
But, you know, they weren't "with with" Ted Cruz, I guess. Is that like when we were in middle school, and we were asked if we liked the girl who sat next to us in science class? We said, "Yeah, I like her, I just don't 'like like' her?" Because that is what it sounds like to me, Ted Cruz. Maybe take your fake political bullsh*t, Jim Acosta's advice, and just move to Cancun.