The pathology involved in conservatives around the country collectively trying to gaslight Americans into believing they didn’t see what they saw and didn’t hear with heard on Jan. 6, 2021, is pretty frightening. But here we are. During “The Capitol Insurrection: Unexplained Delays and Unanswered Questions” hearings held by the House of Representatives, Republicans tried to repaint the history of the Jan. 6 attempt by MAGA types and many Republican officials to forcefully overturn millions of Americans democratically cast votes as not a big deal. In fact, if you looked at it another way, the insurrection was like a big family gathering.
One of the most egregious remembrances of that day came from Republican Rep. Andrew Clyde of Georgia. During his written statement, he said of the many trespassers and zip-tie carrying insurrections that day in the Capitol building, “You know, if you didn't know the TV footage was a video from January the 6th you would actually think it was a normal tourist visit.” It’s the kind of statement that’s so breathtaking in its denial of all evidence that it seemed to take away Clyde’s breath after he said it. The AP released a new set of images from that distressing and disappointing day that show Clyde very close to the barricaded door to the House chambers. He does not look like a man who is taking it easy as a rambunctious tourist group passes through.
One of the images appears at the top of this story (and down below for good measure). The second image shows the scene from inside, the one that Clyde said was a nothing burger. In the midst of a pandemic where the American public chose to change the executive branch and the legislative branch of the government in the hopes of getting the things they want out of their government legislated, Clyde’s record so far during the new year has been to vote against every single popular bill put forth by the Biden administration. Clyde, like many GOP officials in our country, is a proponent of the Big Lie. He and his colleagues do not simply promote it and misinform the public about it—they are it.
Clyde voted against the second impeachment of Donald Trump, saying: “No evidence was presented, no witness testified, no cross-examination was conducted, no due process was afforded. And that sets an extremely dangerous precedence for the future." The last quote is a reminder that Clyde is no stranger to lying about the facts. Clyde isn’t unique here. He’s following the party line, and the end game of this political party is minority rule in the form of an oligarchy made to look like a republic.
Below you can watch Clyde make his declaration. He takes a big breath break after saying it before moving on to the next section of his fascist tome to discuss, in a way that implies the whiff of de state conspiracy, the shooting death of Ashli Babbit by Capitol police. As an important reminder, 35-year-old Babbit was jumping through a recently smashed glass partition to gain entrance to a hallway where any number of representatives, senators, and their staff were holed up. The hallway had been barricaded by Capitol police and possibly Secret Service. When Babbit and the insurrectionists forced their way into the building, it was possibile that the next three Americans in the line of succession to the president of the United States were in the Capitol building.
Also important to note: Clyde has lamented Babbit’s death as an “unarmed protester,” but has seemingly forgotten to make similar statements about the shooting deaths in his own state of Ahmaud Arbery or Rayshard Brooks.