President Joe Biden addressed the nation Thursday morning from the Capitol, on the anniversary of the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol. While his press office claimed prior to the speech that his intention would be to unify the country, much of that effort was to unify Americans to be against former President Donald Trump.
Biden spoke from Statutory Hall, and he let Vice President Kamala Harris speak first, as he stood back with his head bowed. Harris compared the riot at the Capitol Building to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor during World War II, and the terrorist attack on New York and DC on September 11, 2001, when thousands of Americans were killed.
"One year ago today, in this sacred place, Democracy was attacked, simply attacked," Biden began. He praised the Capitol Police and DC Metro Police, and as he condemned the actions of the Trump-supporting rioters one year ago, he said that those rioters "failed. They failed!" He said.
It is egregious and unfathomable to Biden that rioters "breached the Capitol," and brought Confederate flags with them. "A crowd that professes a love for law enforcement assaulted police officers," he said, quoting an officer who said the day was like "a Medieval battle," and that it was scarier than fighting in Iraq.
"We saw with out own eyes rioters menace these halls, threaten then life of the speaker of the house, literally erecting gallows to hang the vice president of America!" Biden said, about the rally held at the DC's ellipse that day.
"What did we not see, we didn't see a former president who just rallied the mob to attack sitting in the private dining room of the Oval Office in the White House watching it all on television, doing nothing."
Biden claimed the riot was "an armed insurrection" made up of people trying to "subvert the constitution."
"The former president of the United States of America has created and spread a web of lies about the 2020 election. He has done so because he values power over principle, because he sees his own interest as more important than his country's interest and America's interest. And because his bruised ego matters more to him than our democracy or our Constitution," Biden said of Donald Trump, without mentioning him by name.
Biden also slammed Republicans of the America First movement, also not naming them personally, and claiming that these are the people who are opposed to America and seeking their own power. This, apparently, is how Biden is seeking to unify the country—Democrats against Republicans, isolated a vocal group of his opponents and mobilizing rhetoric and the people against them.
"Former presidential supporters are trying to rewrite history," he said of those who voted against the certification of his leadership. "They want you to see election day as the day of insurrection and the riot that took place here on January 6 as the true expression of the people."
"Here's the truth," he said of the election that brought him to office, "the election of 2020 was the greatest demonstration of democracy in the history of this country." He touted the stats of how many people voted in that election, "in a pandemic, at so much risk to their lives."
And he slammed election integrity laws that have been passed in many states, many of which expand early voting and allow for more voting access than Biden's home state of Delaware, as well as other blue states. He claimed that these laws are voter suppression, "undemocratic and unAmerican."
He spoke about the "Big Lie," so coined by Democrats who wanted to equate Trump's questioning of the election results of 2020 to Hitler, saying that there's no evidence of voter fraud. This was determined after challenges and recounts were made in states like Georgia, Arizona, and others that were of concern to Trump and his supporters.
Biden said that Trump was sowing doubt about the elections prior to the election, which was at the same time as corporate media suppressed and censored stories about Biden and international influence peddling in an effort to smooth Biden's road to the presidency.
"He is not just the former president, he is the defeated former president," Biden said.
Biden continued to not speak Trump's name, as though the name itself has power that he would prefer not to intone. He framed his speech as an attack on three "big lies," two about the 2020 election, and one about Jan. 6, saying that those who came to the Capitol arrived "in rage... not in service to America, but in service to one man."
"Make no mistake about it, we're living at an inflection point of history, both at home and abroad. We're engaged in a new struggle between democracy and autocracy. Between the aspirations of the many and the greed of the few," he said, noting that people are betting against democracy worldwide.
"Our founding fathers, as imperfect as they were, set in motion an experiment that changed the world, literally changed the world," he said, and repeated his claim that America is an idea.
Biden continued to deride "the former president," claiming "they want to rule or they will ruin." Biden intoned the Civil Rights movement, and the work done in that era to make it possible for all Americans to vote. His belief is that those values are being undermined by voting integrity laws across the US.
"As we stand here today... the lies that drove the anger and madness we saw in this place have not abated," he said, not acknowledging the part his administration has likely played in Americans' displeasure with the state of their nation.
Biden claimed that two Capitol Police officers "lost their lives defending the Capitol," though that has not been corroborated by medical examiners.
"We will win," Biden said to his enemies and adversaries. It was something of a warning to those who oppose his administration, that they and their views would not be tolerated.
"January 6 marks not the end of democracy but the beginning of a renaissance of liberty and fair play. I did not seek this fight brought to the Capitol one year ago today, but i will not shrink from it either. i will stand in this breach, I will defend the nation. I will allow no one to hold a dagger at the throat of democracy."
Biden spoke about unity, and that it "was about us, not about me." But his speech did little to nothing to bring those who oppose his views and his agenda into the fold.
Biden tweeted about the speech on the morning of Jan. 6, saying that he was going to "speak about the day of the insurrection," in which Trump supporters rioted at and inside of the Capitol. He said that on that day "our Constitution faced the gravest of threats." The vote to certify the Electoral College results that put Biden into office was delayed for hours after the riot.
One woman was killed on Jan. 6, 2020, veteran Ashli Babbitt, who was shot and killed by Capitol Police. More than 700 people have been arrested in connection with activities from that day.
Democrats continue to intone Jan. 6, 2020, to push their progressive policies on federal control of states' voting laws. Harris used her speech as an opportunity to demand that voting laws be passed in Congress that would impact all 50 states' rights to run their own elections.