• Stephan Garnett

Who You Gonna Believe?

Cartoon Credit: Drew Sheneman/Star-Ledger. Republicans are presenting an alternate reality of the Jan. 6 insurrection.

It’s been quite a while since I’ve been on a United States Capitol tour, but the next time I do, I’ll be sure to bring a hockey stick.

I understand those are great for beating the crap out of police officers. And if I use it to hook a cop just right, I can drag him down a flight of stairs. Oh, and I don’t want to forget to carry a baseball bat. Those are de rigueur these days for breaking through windows or busting down doors. And if I’m especially creative, if I really want to make it clear how much I enjoyed my tour, I’ll deposit a makeshift gallows on the Capitol steps.

Capitol tours have certainly changed in recent years. Well, actually, this year; in fact, since Jan. 6. According to a growing chorus of Republican lawmakers, the same ones who hid in every crevice they could find as mobs of Donald Trump’s loyalists nearly killed them, what occurred on that day wasn’t an insurrection.

Are you kidding? Not at all!

That was just a bunch of peaceful American patriots on tour, just casually wandering around the Capitol with stun guns while shouting “Hang Mike Pence.”

Come on, now! Can’t we all get along? Can’t we all just put aside our doubts and misgivings about what we all clearly saw and simply believe Arizona Republican Paul Gosar, who recently castigated the FBI for daring to hunt down those “patriots,” the same ones who pummeled and kicked Capitol police officers, dragged them down the Capitol stairs, probably killed one of them, and left so many others with such raging cases of PTSD that two of them committed suicide.

Photo Credit: Tom Williams/Roll Call. GOP Rep. Andrew Clyde, middle, helps barricade a door against "tourists" inside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

And then there’s South Carolina Republican Ralph Norman, who says he seriously doubts those “tourists” were even Trump supporters. Nope! They were members of radical leftist groups in disguise. But the best explanation of last January’s event is surely that of Georgia Republican Andrew Clyde. After watching hours of video vividly depicting hoards of violent, angry mobsters tearing down hallways, breaking into Congressional offices, assaulting police officers, and even crushing one policeman against a doorway and ripping off his mask, Clyde called what he saw “just a normal tourist visit.”

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to The New and Improved GOP, where facts don’t matter, the truth is whatever you want it to be, lies reign supreme, and any citizen with even the slightest grasp on reality will find themselves in the presence of the immortal Chico Marx, who once famously asked:

“Who you gonna believe? Me or your own eyes?”

We might have assumed it would eventually come to something this preposterous. After all, the other lies didn’t seem to take. What? You don’t believe the people who tore up the Capitol were afflicted with “Foxmania” from watching too many deceptions posed as truth? Well, how about this? They were Black Lives Matter protestors in MAGA hats and whiteface.

No? Okay, they came out simply to take in some historical art. That’s not working for you either? Uhmmm, lemme see, they were just average Americans out for a casual Wednesday stroll through the Capitol, just mom and pop showing the kiddies a little American history.

“Look over there, Little Johnny, see that man with the Confederate flag? He’s reenacting the Battle of Appomattox.

“And, Little Susie, see the man with the zip ties. He helps all the legislators with their luggage.”

Folks, you can trust me on this one: One deadly pandemic might be winding down, but another one is ripping through the Republican Party like a firestorm, and the clinical term for it is stupidea profounda. These people have gone completely off their nut! They’ve left the planet; they’re flying so high in the stratosphere that they’ve entered another universe.

Yeah, baby, the lights are on, but nobody’s home!

And here’s the worst part of it, all of this gaslighting, this attempt to persuade all but the most woefully feeble-minded that what we all saw wasn’t an attempted political coup. It’s nothing more than a flailing effort to appease the fantasies of a lunatic, a one-term, twice-impeached, former president, who was so lousy at his job that the term LOSER will forever be attached to his name.

Honestly, such slavish devotion to a renowned cretin makes me question what these people do after they use the toilet. Do they stand up and salute what they’ve left in the bowl?

So, sit back, grab some popcorn and watch the show, because it ain’t gonna end any time soon. But if I might, I’d like to pass on just a bit of advice to the deluded legislators who’ve convinced themselves that we’re all living and thriving in the United States of Stupid. The next time you lie to the public, make sure there’s no video!