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MERRIAM-WEBSTER SAYS “Theater of the Absurd is theater that seeks to represent the absurdity of human existence in a meaningless universe by bizarre or fantastic means.”

Wikipedia adds, “The structure of the plays is typically a round shape, with the finishing point the same as the starting point. Logical construction and argument give way to irrational and illogical speech and to the ultimate conclusion—silence.” 

As we will see in Parts 1 and 2 today and tomorrow, we are currently living in Act II of the Republican Theater of the Absurd: The January 6 Capitol Insurrection.

The Backstory: Reality. On January 6, 2021, Americans watched a disturbing and riveting eight hours of television. It began at noon, with Trump’s more than one-hour speech telling supporters on the Washington, D.C., Eclipse, “We fight like hell. And if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore….” 

Then we all saw live television coverage of Trump supporters taking his advice and breaching the U.S. Capitol. The Vice President and Congressmen scrambled for secure locations. Insurrectionists fought with Capitol police, stormed into Congressional offices, and rummaged through Senate and House documents.

Image from The New Yorker, January 17, 2021.

It was not until 7:30 p.m. that U.S. Capitol Police declared the Capitol building to be secure. Wikipedia says, “Five people died over the course of the events: One was fatally shot by a Capitol Police officer, two died of heart conditions, and another died of an amphetamine intoxication; Capitol Police officer Brian D. Sicknick died the day after from natural causes.”

Republican Theater of the Absurd, Act I: Once the insurrection was quelled, Republicans responded with the logical behavior expected in Theater of Absurd, Act I: They pointed at Trump’s culpability.

Senator Mitt Romney said, “What happened here today was an insurrection, incited by the President of the United States.” Representative Liz Cheney said, “There is no question that the President formed the mob. The President incited the mob. The President addressed the mob. He lit the flames. This is what America is not.”

Liz Cheney was not to fare so well in Act II.

Mitch McConnell got the compelling lines for concluding Act I of the Republican Theater of the Absurd. As reported in, he declared “There’s no question, none, that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day…. … he watched television happily—happily—as the chaos unfolded.”

Mitch McConnell, minority leader of the Senate, has a major role in the Republican Theater of the Absurd.

 Intermission. Tomorrow we continue with Act II of this Republican drama. ds 

© Dennis Simanaitis,, 2021

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