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I'm going to disagree with you, Al. SOMETHING happened since 9/11. Was it the sum of many somethings?

Lots of somethings have happened since 9/11, of course. The political environment always changes, after all. The existence of social media and smartphones have changed how we experience events as well - 1/6 has a very different impact if you don't have cell phone video and photos of every last detail of the event.

But I think we have to recognize that there are differences between the 1/6 and 9/11 events themselves that explain a lot of the disparate treatment. Assigning culpability for the former directly threatens the electoral prospects of one of our political parties in a way that the latter never did. While it is not disappointing, it is not the least bit surprising that the political party in jeopardy has responded by closing ranks and trying to protect itself from accountability.

So while the aftermath of a 2000's era 1/6 riot would certainly have had some different characteristics than what we're seeing today (especially if there were a different personality involved), I think we would still see the GOP trying to minimize, recontextualize, and shove down the memory hole everything about it. There was no way that we were ever going to have the same kind of bi-partisan approach to the aftermath, because the event itself had a partisan tilt.

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