This will shock neither friend nor foe: I agree with Liz Cheney. The January 6 assault on the Capitol was a singularly deplorable event.
In unique and important ways, it is not comparable to other examples of political violence. For instance, Kevin McCarthy says we should have a commission that doesn’t just get to the bottom of January 6 but also looks at “political violence” generally. This is a wholly cynical posture. He wants to be able to let Republicans wave their hands like Kermit the Frog introducing the next act at the Muppet Theater about Antifa and Black Lives Matter and not be forced to talk about the attack on the Capitol.
Let me offer just a few important reasons why violence committed by Antifa or BLM is not comparable to what happened on January 6: First, burning down a Footlocker is wrong—even evil. But it has little to do with trying to overturn the Constitution or stealing an election. Interfering—even rhetorically—with the peaceful transfer of power after a legitimate election is shameful and disqualifying for any president.
Secondly, interfering with the transfer of power is what President Trump did for months prior to January 6. He may not have planned the storming of the Capitol, but he prepared the battle space long before election day and literally every day after. Even if there had been no violence, his plan was to intimidate Congress and his own vice president into shirking their constitutional, let alone moral, duties and obligations so he could cling to power after losing an election. The violence may not have been intended on his part, but it was certainly foreseeable.