Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Today is the LAST DAY of this Mid-Year Campaign. This is our hour of need.
If you value independent journalism, please support Common Dreams.

TODAY is the last day to meet our goal -- Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year.

RNC censure Cheney Kinzinger

Reps. Liz Cheney (R-Wy., left) and Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill., right) listen during a December 1, 2021 session of the bipartisan House committee investigating the deadly January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol. (Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images) 

GOP Declares Deadly Capitol Attack 'Legitimate Political Discourse'

"January 6th was not 'legitimate political discourse'—it was a violent insurrection on our Capitol," Rep. Pramila Jayapal retorted. "I didn't know if I'd make it out alive. Some didn't. We cannot let the GOP whitewash what happened."

Brett Wilkins

Progressives expressed outrage Friday after the Republican National Committee formally declared the deadly January 6, 2021 attack on the United States Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump seeking to overturn the 2020 presidential election "legitimate political discourse." 

"Mark this day for future reference." 

"January 6th was not "legitimate political discourse"—it was a violent insurrection on our Capitol," Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) tweeted in response to the RNC declaration.

"I didn't know if I'd make it out alive," she added. "Some didn't. We cannot let the GOP whitewash what happened."

The New York Times reports the Republican National Committee (RNC) voted overwhelmingly Friday to censure Reps. Liz Cheney (R-Wy.) and Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) for their participation in the Democrat-led bipartisan commission investigating the January 6 attack.

The RNC censure resolution accuses Cheney and Kinzinger of "participating in a Democrat-led persecution of ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse," and of "utilizing their past professed affiliation to mask Democrat abuse of prosecutorial power for partisan purposes."

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.)—a member of the special House committee investigating the January 6 attack—told the Times that "The Republican Party is so off the deep end now that they are describing an attempted coup and a deadly insurrection as political expression."

"It is a scandal that historians will be aghast at, to think that a major political party would be denouncing Liz Cheney for standing up for the Constitution and not saying anything about Donald Trump's involvement in the insurrection."

Karen Hobert Flynn, president of the progressive advocacy group Common Cause, said in a statement that "January 6 was an insurrection that left people dead and scores of seriously injured in its wake. It was not legitimate political discourse no matter what the GOP says."

"It was a violent attempt to overturn the legitimate results of the 2020 presidential election and ignore the will of the people," she continued. "It was a dangerous and irresponsible attempt to try to intimidate Congress with an angry racist mob assembled and then set loose by a man who had just lost the presidential election."

"With today's vote, the Republican Party has just endorsed violence as a legitimate form of political expression," Hobert Flynn added. "Their vote to legitimize violence is anti-democratic. There is no room for ambiguity when it comes to an attack on the peaceful transfer of power and our democratic system of government."

Cheney responded to the censure by posting a video showing supporters of Trump's "Big Lie"—the fallacious belief that the 2020 presidential election was stolen—savagely assaulting Capitol police officers and violently storming the U.S. Congress in a bid to stop lawmakers from certifying President Joe Biden's Electoral College victory. 

Daniel Ziblatt, a professor at Harvard University and author of How Democracies Die, tweeted: "I have spent a lot of my career studying what happens when conservatives fully go off the rails. This is one of those moments." 


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

TODAY is the last day of our crucial Mid-Year Campaign and we might not make it without your help.
Who funds our independent journalism? Readers like you who believe in our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. No corporate advertisers. No billionaire founder. Our non-partisan, nonprofit media model has only one source of revenue: The people who read and value this work and our mission. That's it.
And the model is simple: If everyone just gives whatever amount they can afford and think is reasonable—$3, $9, $29, or more—we can continue. If not enough do, we go dark.

All the small gifts add up to something otherwise impossible. Please join us today. Donate to Common Dreams. This is crunch time. We need you now.

Texas Supreme Court Allows Century-Old Abortion Ban to Take Effect

"Extremist politicians are on a crusade to force Texans into pregnancy and childbirth against their will, no matter how devastating the consequences."

Jake Johnson ·


'What's There to Even Discuss?' Omar Says Free, Universal School Meals Should Be Permanent

"We have an opportunity to prove that a government of the people, by the people, and for the people can still deliver big things. And we can feed tens of millions of hungry kids while we do it."

Jake Johnson ·


'Stark Betrayal': Biden Administration Floats New Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling

"This is the third time since November the Biden administration has announced new oil and gas leasing plans on the Friday before a holiday," said one climate advocate. "They're ashamed, and they should be."

Jake Johnson ·


As US Rolls Back Reproductive Rights, Sierra Leone Moves to Decriminalize Abortion

"I'm hopeful today's announcement gives activists in the U.S., and especially Black women given the shared history, a restored faith that change is possible and progress can be made."

Brett Wilkins ·


'Indefensible': Outrage as New Reporting Shines Light on Biden Deal With McConnell

The president has reportedly agreed to nominate an anti-abortion Republican to a lifetime judgeship. In exchange, McConnell has vowed to stop blocking two Biden picks for term-limited U.S. attorney posts.

Jake Johnson ·

Common Dreams Logo