For better or worse the events of Jan. 6 will shape the political debate going forward.
The Connecticut Republican Party is doing its best to move forward and put the events of Jan. 6 in the rearview mirror.
We spoke with Republican Party Chairman Ben Proto about what Jan. 6 means to the party.
“It’s a dark day in our history and it’s a day that will live in our history for a very long time,” Proto says. “It was just a really horrible moment”.
Proto says they need to move forward.
“I think people are more concerned with where their lives are on Jan. 6, 2022 than Jan. 6, a year ago,” Proto says.
But Democrats are trying to use the anniversary to push legislation that would federalize elections.
“It is very conceivable that in 2022 we will lose American democracy,” U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy says.
Murphy says the Republicans have taken over state legislatures across the country and put in place the tools that will allow them to win an election in 2022.
Republicans say the narrative won’t work.
“Democrats want to look backwards. I understand that because they have nothing to look forward to. Their accomplishments are none, their failures are many,” Proto says. “They’ve vowed to make Donald Trump an issue in 2022. They tried that in 2021 in municipal elections and they failed miserably with that.”
“As long as a majority of Republican voters continue to argue this election was stolen and that January 6 of last year was a justified act of rebellion against a corrupt electoral system then that is not going to work to their advantage politically,” Sacred Heart Political Science Professor Gary Rose says.
Rose says it’s a losing argument.
“The Republicans in Connecticut are probably not going to talk much about Jan. 6,” Rose says.”A lot of Republicans in Connecticut are going to keep Donald Trump and what happened a year ago really at arms length.”
Democrats say the majority of Republicans continue to support former president Trump, but that narrative won’t help them win a seat in Congress or the governor’s office in 2022.