A majority of Americans in a recent Washington Post-University of Maryland poll say January was an “attack on democracy that should never be forgotten.” However, overall blame for Donald Trump for January 6 is down, with one conservative commentator unsurprised.
Time to move on?
Fifty-five percent of poll respondents said it was an “attack on democracy that should never be forgotten,” but 43 percent believed that “too much is being made” of the attack and that it is “time to move on.”
Most polled blame Trump
Thirty-seven percent of respondents agreed that Republican frontrunner Donald Trump bears “a great deal” of responsibility for January 6, with 16 percent saying he bears a “good amount” of responsibility for the attack.
January 6 is a major election factor
Trump’s actions leading up to January 6 and his comments on the day of the riot in 2021 are center stage in the race for the presidency. Democrat Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows recently decided to remove Trump from the ballot in her state, citing his actions surrounding the 2020 election as violating the 14th Amendment.
Bellows concluded that Trump “over the course of several months and culminating on January 6, 2021, used a false narrative of election fraud to inflame his supporters and direct them to the Capitol to prevent certification of the 2020 election and the peaceful transfer of power.”
States remove Trump
Maine is the second state to remove Trump from the ballot, following the Colorado Supreme Court’s 4-3 ruling that decided the former president should be removed under the 14th Amendment.
It’s up to the Supreme Court
Trump is expected to appeal the decisions, with the U.S. Supreme Court likely being the ultimate decider. Democrat Maryland Representative Jamie Raskin recently called for Clarence Thomas, a Supreme Court Justice, to recuse himself from the decisions over his wife’s virulent defense of Trump’s election lies.
Calls for peace are not enough
“Mr. Trump’s occasional requests that rioters be peaceful and support law enforcement do not immunize his actions,” Bellows said, explaining the removal. “A brief call to obey the law does not erase conduct over the course of months, culminating in his speech on the Ellipse. The weight of the evidence makes clear that Mr. Trump was aware of the tinder laid by his multi-month effort to delegitimize a democratic election, and then chose to light a match.”
Team Trump hits back
Trump’s campaign has denounced Bellows’s decision and called her a “virulent leftist and a hyper-partisan Biden-supporting Democrat.” “We are witnessing, in real-time, the attempted theft of an election and the disenfranchisement of the American voter,” Steven Cheung, a Trump campaign spokesman, said. “Make no mistake, these partisan election interference efforts are a hostile assault on American democracy.”
Less blame is on Trump than in 2021
The poll reveals that fewer Republicans believe that Donald Trump bears responsibility for January 6 compared to 2021. A December 2021 poll showed that 27 percent of Republicans polled believed Trump bore responsibility, but the latest poll shows that has dropped by 13 percent. Overall, there has been a 6 percent drop in those who believe Trump bears responsibility.
Trump’s word is gospel
MSNBC “Morning Joe” host Willie Geist noted that the new poll “kind of tells us what we know to be true” and that Trump’s “rewriting of the history” of January 6 has “become truth” among his MAGA supporters.
Conservative commentator Charlie Sykes agreed with Geist that the results weren’t surprising but noted that they were noteworthy. “It’s an old story, that Republicans are loyal to Donald Trump, that this is Donald Trump’s party. But what is really striking is that poll shows his ability to rewrite history, as you mentioned,” Sykes said.
“I mean, this is a post-reality that we live in here because we saw January 6 with our own eyes,” Sykes continued. “We watched it. It’s on videotape.”
Brave new world
“We live in a world in which tens of millions of people will deny the evidence of their own eyes, will deny the testimony of people who were there, and in fact will ignore leaders of their own party,” Sykes noted.
“So this is part of the new reality, the post-reality reality that we live in, and Donald Trump has proven rather remarkably successful in being able to push this revisionist story, so 2024 will be about whether or not people can push back.”