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With the Jan. 6 hearings, the GOP fears its time under the spotlight


The House Jan. 6 committee hearings will place the GOP and the corrupt world of right-wing politics under the spotlight. That’s the reason Republicans are so invested in making sure Americans change the channel.  

In the lead-up to Thursday’s hearing, Republicans have taken to conservative media outlets to discourage viewers from watching the hearings. Fox News, which has provided a platform to election conspiracy theorists, won’t be airing the hearings live, and Republicans are planning counterprogramming for their followers to watch instead of the hearings. 

Surely, you can sense the desperation. 

For more than a year, the GOP has been allowed to whitewash the events on and ahead of Jan. 6. Many have downplayed the riot’s severity. Others have lionized the mob and spoken highly of some of the defendants charged in connection with it. And a great many more have acted on the mob’s goal — suppressing votes of non-Republicans

Photo Illustration: Lauren Boebert, Matt Gaetz, Marjorie Taylor-Greene, and Thomas Massie above a photo of protestors at the Jan. 6 riots
MSNBC / Getty Images

In many ways, Republicans have become one with the Capitol rioters since the attack, evidenced by the fact they’ve proudly welcomed evangelists of the “big lie” (that former President Donald Trump won the 2020 election) into the party. 

But the hearings will put conservatives at the center of a narrative they can’t control.  

The things we already know are damning. Trump personally pressured officials to overturn the election results in at least one state. Trump’s inner circle devised a plot to nullify election results and keep him in power. Trump encouraged his supporters to march to the Capitol and pressure lawmakers to vote against certification. And despite those supporters predictably turning into a violent mob, their mission was unsuccessful thanks to the bravery of some Capitol police officers. 

The things we’ve seen are damning, as well. 

The racist slurs hurled at law enforcement officers during the attack. The horde of hysterical conservatives shouting that the country belongs to them. The gallows prepared for a vice president who — surprisingly — wouldn’t defy the law. The weapons used to overwhelm police. The Confederate flags paraded through the halls of Congress. The feces smeared on the walls of the Capitol. The clouds of smoke billowing from the building. 

And we have every reason to believe more bombshell revelations are on the horizon. 

Republicans know many people naturally recoil when they see and hear these things, and they’re afraid of what’s to come. They don’t want the public reminded of the vitriol and mischievousness at the heart of conservative politics. 

Instead, they want the country to look away.

The House Jan. 6 committee is kicking off the first of its public hearings Thursday, at 8 p.m. ET. Get expert analysis in real-time on our live blog at msnbc.com/jan6hearings.

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