The Two Sides of a Dark Day in American History

The only thing Fox News host Laura Ingraham and CNN’s Anderson Cooper agreed on regarding the MAGA mob that laid siege to the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday is that it did nothing to help President Donald Trump’s case that the election was stolen from him.

Fox News host Laura Ingraham excoriated the rioters (her word) who stormed the Capitol on Wednesday, which she believes did nothing but harm Republicans’ efforts to reexamine the tally from November’s election.

CNN host Anderson Cooper placed nearly the entirety of the blame on the president — saying that his rhetoric since the election and baseless accusations of voter fraud fueled this group and led to today’s events.

(CN) – Fox News host Laura Ingraham began her broadcast Wednesday night with the chilling images coming out of Washington — admonishing the group that stormed the Capitol as “antithetical to the MAGA movement.” She’s consistent, at least, but for good measure managed to slip in an unfounded claim that Antifa supporters had infiltrated the unruly crowd.

Ingraham also questioned whether lethal force was necessary when Capitol police shot and killed a female veteran — an absolutely valid concern — yet one she refrained from asking at any point during the tumultuous summer protests.

Meanwhile, in a rare moment of solidarity, CNN host Anderson Cooper basically agreed with everything Ingraham said. Except he placed the blame squarely on President Donald Trump rather than hedging with a dig at Antifa.

“There is turmoil inside the White House, silence from the president and talk of invoking the 25th Amendment to remove the president after he turned his mob on Capitol Hill,” Cooper portentously explained.

Electoral tally

Thankfully, members of Congress are salaried, because they would have hit some serious overtime Wednesday and into Thursday. Congress resumed its session in the evening to verify November’s presidential election results after members were earlier escorted out of the Capitol and stashed away at an undisclosed location for safekeeping. If the goal of this quasi-insurrection was to overturn the election results, it failed miserably as most members of Congress had already refused to challenge the tally.

Instead, in a bid to bring a bit of unity back to D.C., Ingraham reported that a handful of senators and representative who had previously planned to raise objections have changed their minds in light of the ensuing chaos.

“There’s no question at all that this hurt the very cause that true Trump supporters and Republicans wanted heard,” Darrell Issa, a Republican congressman from California who went back to Congress this week after two years of “retirement,” told Ingraham. “They wanted a genuine discussion about the improprieties of the election in many states. They disrupted that, and as we return it will not be the same debate — so they’ve actually hurt the cause.”

Issa raises a legitimate question: How does the country move forward when a significant number of people believe the election was rigged and their vote discarded? If 75 million Americans voted for Trump, and even 25% of them believe the results were rigged, however unfounded their belief may be, it presents a monumental challenge to resuming normalcy in a post-Trump world.

Blame game

Cooper splits the blame for Wednesday’s abhorrent debacle between Trump and Republican lawmakers, claiming that unfounded objections raised by lawmakers opposing the election results are responsible for fueling the day’s insurrection. He reported Capitol police also found pipe bombs nearby along with a truck loaded with Molotov cocktails — a terrifying prospect in the nation’s capital.

The CNN host singled out Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri for paying lip service to peace and process, all the while siding with the mob and justifying their cause based on unfounded allegations of fraud.

“He wants to be president, and he thinks this is his play to help him. He thought that before the violence, maybe now he’s not so sure but he’s sticking with it because, frankly, I guess he has no other options,” chided Cooper. “Ted Cruz, same thing — he wants to run for president, got beat by Trump the last time, now he thinks he can try to get as many Trump voters as possible as long as he stays in the president’s good graces.”

Double standard

Ingraham took issue with what she perceives to be a double standard on the left regarding, well, let’s just call it unrest. She claims the left shows its bias when it sees large groups championing causes favored by Democrats who loot and burn a building or take over a few city blocks and calls it a peaceful protest.

Yet, when Republicans get a little carried away and storm the Capitol building, it’s universally decried and labeled a riot. Ingraham herself labeled today’s event a riot, so she’s either being uncharacteristically even-handed, or simply ignoring that bit to make the point.

“The double standards are really clear, you’ve been talking about that silence coming from the left after Kenosha, New York City, Chicago, Seattle, Portland, and on the other side of the aisle they have members of their conference talking about defunding the police,” said Lee Zeldin, Republican congressman from New York.

In an ode to self-awareness, Zeldin continued: “I think that it would be a real helpful for them and their party to understand that there are a whole lot of Americans who feel like this government is not hearing them, is not representing them. We don’t want people to take all these different matters into their own hands.”

Leadership, or lack thereof

Cooper denounced the president for a lack of leadership as today’s events unfolded. Rather than call in the National Guard or make any sort of denunciation as large crowds stormed the Capitol, the president eventually sent out a half-hearted tweet professing his love to his supporters while instructing them to return home – which many took to be a sort of wink and a nod rather than an actual command.

The CNN host noted that during the summer protests Trump repeatedly denigrated governors for refusing to call in the National Guard to put down unruly crowds in their states. Yet, during Wednesday’s fiasco that call came from Vice President Mike Pence, who himself had to be evacuated from the Capitol building by security, rather than by the president himself.

“It’s because of how the president is viewing this pro-Trump mob that was fueled by his lies about the election,” CNN White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins told Cooper. “Someone described it to me as he was borderline enthusiastic because they were going and disrupting this certification that we’re still waiting on now, and that was the president’s ultimate goal. He wanted a disruption, and now we’ve gotten one.”

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