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One yr in the past, Republicans condemned Jan. 6 rebellion. Yesterday, their response was much more muted.

One yr in the past, Republicans condemned Jan. 6 rebellion. Yesterday, their response was much more muted.

NEW YORK (AP) — Oh, how issues have modified.

Only a yr in the past, many Republicans joined Democrats in reacting with horror to the Capitol rebellion, denouncing each the violence perpetrated by the rioters and the position performed by former President Donald Trump in stoking the outrage that fueled their actions with lies a few “stolen” election.

WATCH: How the Capitol assault unfolded

However on the anniversary of the assault, high Republicans have been much more muted. Some acknowledged the fear of the day however rapidly pivoted to bashing Democrats. Many prevented observances deliberate on the Capitol. And nonetheless others didn’t say something in any respect.

It’s all a part of the political calculus in a celebration wherein the previous president stays very a lot in cost.

MISSING IN ACTION

The occasion’s high congressional leaders have been lacking from Thursday’s commemoration occasions on the Capitol. Home Minority Chief Kevin McCarthy didn’t make an look or challenge a press release. Republican Senate chief Mitch McConnell, who delivered one of many sharpest denunciations of Trump after the assault, was in Atlanta for the funeral of former Sen. Johnny Isakson.

Certainly, throughout a second of silence held in honor of legislation enforcement officers, solely two Republicans have been current within the Home chamber: Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, who has turn into a pariah in her occasion over her criticism of Trump’s actions, and her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney.

In a press release, McConnell known as Jan. 6 “a darkish day for Congress and our nation” after “the seat of the primary department of our federal authorities was stormed by criminals who brutalized law enforcement officials and used power to attempt to cease Congress from doing its job.”

However he additionally criticized Democrats for what he mentioned was their politicization of the assault. “It has been beautiful to see some Washington Democrats attempt to exploit this anniversary to advance partisan coverage targets that lengthy predated this occasion,” he mentioned.

It was a notable shift from the feedback he had made final yr after the Senate voted in opposition to Trump’s impeachment.

“There’s no query — none — that President Trump is virtually and morally chargeable for upsetting the occasions of the day. No query about it,” he mentioned then, calling it “a disgraceful, disgraceful dereliction of responsibility.”

THEN AND NOW

Like McConnell, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, a good friend and ally of the previous president, was clear in his denunciation of Trump instantly following the Jan. 6 assault.

“All I can say is depend me out. Sufficient is sufficient,” he’d mentioned then.

On Thursday, nonetheless, Graham, who stays near Trump, marked the event with a mixture of shock and partisan assaults.

“I nonetheless can’t consider {that a} mob was capable of take over the USA Capitol throughout such a pivotal second — certifying a presidential election. It might have been really easy for terrorists in addition strap onto this protest and wreak even additional destruction on the U.S. Capitol,” he wrote.

Nonetheless, he pivoted to politics, characterizing the speeches by President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on the Capitol as an “effort to resurrect a failed presidency greater than marking the anniversary of a darkish day in American historical past.”

WATCH: Harris on the state of democracy a yr after Jan. 6

“Their brazen makes an attempt to make use of January 6 to help radical election reform and altering the foundations of the Senate to perform this purpose won’t succeed,” he wrote.

POLITICS FIRST

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, thought-about a possible 2024 presidential candidate, was additionally fast to pounce. Chatting with reporters in Florida on Thursday morning across the similar time Biden was addressing the nation, DeSantis slammed Democrats and the media for making a lot hay of the occasion.

“That is their Christmas, January sixth,” he mentioned. “They will take this and milk this for something they might to strive to have the ability to smear anybody who ever supported Donald Trump​.”

He lashed out at those that have in contrast the gravity of what occurred on Jan. 6 to the Sept. 11, 2001, terror assaults and mentioned most Florida residents produce other points on their minds.

“I feel it’s going to finish up being only a politicized Charlie Foxtrot at present,” he mentioned, utilizing navy slang for a chaotic state of affairs. “I feel it’s going to be nauseating, fairly frankly.”

NO COMMENT

Different potential 2024 candidates, in the meantime, stayed conspicuously silent, underscoring the sophisticated calculus they face in a celebration wherein Trump stays very a lot in cost, with the help of extensive swaths of the primary-voting citizens.

Former Vice President Mike Pence — who fled for his life on Jan. 6 as rioters broke into the Capitol, chanting “Hold Mike Pence!” — didn’t not launch a press release marking the event.

Pence has mentioned that he and the previous president will probably by no means “see eye to eye” on the occasions of Jan. 6 and has defended his position that day in rejecting Trump’s calls for that he overturn the election outcomes — one thing he didn’t have the facility to do. On the similar time, he has accused the media of reporting on the assault to “demean” Trump’s supporters and to “distract from the Biden administration’s failed agenda,” as he mentioned on Fox Information in October.

Additionally saying nothing have been former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who has been laying the groundwork for a attainable 2024 marketing campaign by highlighting the Trump administration’s successes, and former Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, who discovered herself on the improper facet of the occasion’s base when she criticized Trump instantly after the rebellion. She has since mentioned that she won’t run for the GOP nomination if Trump chooses to maneuver ahead with the comeback marketing campaign he’s been teasing.

COUNTERPROGRAMMING

Whereas Trump canceled the anniversary information convention he’d been planning in Florida for Thursday, a number of of his most ardent followers scheduled their very own counterprogramming.

“We’re ashamed of nothing,” mentioned GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida throughout an look with Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene on a podcast hosted by former Trump strategist Steve Bannon, who has been indicted for defying a subpoena from the Home committee investigating the rebellion. “We’re pleased with the work that we did on Jan. 6 to make legit arguments about election integrity.”

Greene slammed Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, one other potential 2024 contender, for having characterised the anniversary as an occasion marking “a violent terrorist assault on the Capitol” Wednesday.

WATCH: Texans clarify what animated their family members, neighbors to storm the Capitol

She accused Cruz of disrespecting “MAGA patriots” and “those who rioted on the Capitol and did breach the Capitol.”

“Disgrace on Ted Cruz,” she mentioned.

Cruz later appeared on Fox Information to stroll again his feedback, saying his phrasing was “sloppy” and “frankly dumb.”

THE OLD GUARD

The GOP’s transformation into the Occasion of Trump got here maybe most clearly into focus as former Vice President Dick Cheney paid an sudden go to to the Capitol to help his daughter, who has turn into one of the crucial outstanding anti-Trump voices.

Requested what he product of Republican management’s dealing with of the anniversary, Cheney, who served beneath George W. Bush, was glib in his evaluation of an establishment that has all however been remade in Trump’s picture.

“It’s not a management that resembles any of the oldsters I knew once I was right here for 10 years, dramatically,” Cheney, additionally a former congressman, instructed reporters.

“The significance of January sixth as an historic occasion can’t be overstated,” he added in a press release. “I’m deeply upset on the failure of many members of my occasion to acknowledge the grave nature of the January 6 assaults and the continued menace to our nation.”

Karl Rove, who served as deputy chief of employees within the Bush administration and suggested Trump at factors in the course of the 2020 marketing campaign, wrote an op-ed within the Wall Road Journal addressing these in his personal occasion “who for a yr have excused the actions of the rioters who stormed the Capitol, disrupted Congress because it obtained the Electoral Faculty’s outcomes, and violently tried to overturn the election.”

“There will be no soft-pedaling what occurred and no absolution for individuals who deliberate, inspired and aided the try to overthrow our democracy. Love of nation calls for nothing much less. That’s true patriotism,” he wrote.

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