One year ago, when protesters angry that Congress was about to finalize President Joe Biden’s win over Donald Trump stormed the Capitol, the response from elected officials there that day wasn’t differentiated by party.
Republicans and Democrats alike publicly shared their raw feelings, of fear, anger and sadness, and almost without exception decried the incursion into the Capitol and the bloodshed and death that followed.
But a year later, at least when it comes to Long Island’s members of Congress, the line between the political parties and their public recognition of the anniversary, particularly on social media, is absolute.
Thursday, the Democrats’ feeds were highly focused on memorializing Jan. 6, 2021.
- Tom Suozzi’s congressional Twitter account shared video of last year’s attack and several messages, including: "There is no doubt that today will bring back nightmares for all of those who were at the Capitol that day. My thoughts are with the Capitol staff, US Capitol Police, members, and anyone who may be struggling with the trauma."
- Kathleen Rice’s several tweets focused mostly on celebrating those who fought the rioters off, and those investigating them, and attacking Republicans standing in the way, including: "Today we thank the US Capitol Police, DC Metro Police, & other law enforcement officers who protect us every day. I hope all 147 of my colleagues who voted to overturn the results are able to reflect on how their decision put those officers in jeopardy."
- Gregory Meeks posted a 12-tweet thread, leading with "Jan. 6, 2021 began peacefully. As I viewed the Capitol Dome that morning, I reflected on all its history as a structure completed after the Civil War’s failed insurrection. Little did I know what started off as a calm morning would dissolve into another failed insurrection."
But on the feeds of Long Island’s Republican House members, Jan. 6 was just another day.
Lee Zeldin’s online activity was mostly focused on his push for New York’s governor’s mansion, with entries like: "As Governor, I'll END the draconian mask mandates on NY students. NO MORE 2-yr olds in masks! No COVID vaccine requirement for students. No more of this push of kids into remote education instead of IN-PERSON, FULL-TIME, IN THE CLASSROOM learning."
And on Andrew Garbarino’s feeds, the emphasis was on immigration at the southern border and, with this tweet, local infrastructure: "I've spent years fighting to fix the Oakdale Merge, first in Albany and now in Washington. I was pleased to see today’s announcement that NYS will commence with an environmental review — a necessary first step to advancing this project now that federal funding has been secured."
While the events of Jan. 6, 2021 softened partisan lines at the time, the way that day is being remembered has restored the usual walls of those divides.