January 6 Anniversary: Biden and Trump on This Occasion

On the first anniversary of the violent insurrection at the Capitol building that grew out of Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally, Vice President Harris and President Biden spoke of the threat to democracy posed by the lie that the election was stolen.  Harris spoke of the importance of passing federal voting rights legislation (which is up against some serious obstacles), and Biden went on at great length about Trump’s actions that day, including the fact that he sat back and did nothing about it for at least a couple of hours while knowing it was going on.

My fellow Americans in life, there’s truth. And tragically, there are lies. Lies conceived and spread for profit and power. We must be absolutely clear about what is true and what is a lie. And here’s the truth: the former president of the United States of America has created and spread a web of lies about the 2020 election. He’s done so because he values power over principle.

Because he sees his own interest as more important than his country’s interest and America’s interest. And because his bruised ego matters more to him than our democracy or our constitution. He can’t accept he lost. Even though that’s what 93 United States senators, his own attorney general, his own vice president, governors and state officials in every battleground state have all said: he lost. (Video of Harris and Biden’s speeches at C-Span) (Transcript of Biden’s speech at NPR)

Trump was planning to hold a press conference today at Mar-a-lago, but he canceled it, giving this as an explanation:

In light of the total bias and dishonesty of the January 6th Unselect Committee of Democrats, two failed Republicans, and the Fake News Media, I am canceling the January 6th Press Conference at Mar-a-Lago on Thursday, and instead will discuss many of those important topics at my rally on Saturday, January 15th, in Arizona—It will be a big crowd!  (Story on CBS News, January 5, 2022)

Holding that press conference today would have been in shockingly bad taste even for Trump–again, even for Trump–but he is obviously going to continue insisting that the election was stolen from him and doing everything he can to punish Republicans who have not stood by him as he has made that false claim.  He’s holding a big gala fundraiser/forum at Mar-a-Lago in February, to help shore up the campaigns of the candidates he is endorsing in Republicans primaries around the country, candidates who are loyal to him and running against Republicans who are not. (New York Times article via Yahoo! News, January 5, 2022)  Meanwhile, a number of individuals from Trump’s own administration are getting together to see how they can stop him from getting back into the White House.  (Article on Politico.com, January 6, 2022)

Further commentary about Biden’s speech on Politico.com, January 6, 2022

NPR report on the timeline of the events of that day, January 3, 2022

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