Tucker Carlson’s rants regarding the events of January 6, 2020 will inevitably lead to a radical split in the Republican party.
Carlson has accused Mitch McConnell and other GOP leaders of collusion with Democrats. He called the Senate Minority leader and fellow Republicans Lindsey Graham and Mitt Romney “sociopaths” and branded them as “weak vicious men”.
McConnell has refuted Carlson’s characterization of the January 6 insurrection as nonviolent, endorsing Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger’s version of events. In response, Carlson accuses McConnell and 11 other GOP Congress members of lying, saying that both Democrats and Republicans are conspiring to cover up the truth about what happened on January 6. He claims that evidence in the form of video footage was withheld from Jacob Chansley’s attorney and from Judge Royce Lamberth, which proves Chansley has been wrongfully convicted of inciting a riot.
Carlson and Fox’s willingness to break from high-profile Republicans on these issues is sure to fan the flames of discontent among his stolid supporters. The eventual result of his rebellion is the formation of an even more extreme faction of Republicans who believe Carlson’s assertion that the leadership of the party is in bed with lefty Democrats in their attempt to undermine the conservative agenda for America.
It’s a bit of a surprise that Carlson is so willing to burn bridges, considering that the Republican party supplies the vast majority of his fans, but he refuses to acquiesce to the pressure coming from GOP political leaders. It is unclear what Carlson’s ultimate endgame may be, but if he continues to go it alone he will certainly find himself alienated from party leadership.
Even if he self-destructs before our eyes, it will surely radicalize members of the right wing who believe his outrageous demagoguery. He’s already been outed as a Trump hater, and his refusal to back down on the January 6 issue is leading to a serious showdown with powerful politicos on the right.
The true believers of his rhetoric, however, will feel emboldened to rebel against party leadership regardless of what happens to Carlson. We’ve already seen Trump’s radical influence on the party resulting in extremists like Marjorie Taylor Greene, so how far can it go before some folks act out in potentially dangerous ways? The insurgency on January 6th could be just the beginning of a new swing to the far right among Carlson’s followers.
It might be a mistake for him to throw so many well-placed members of the Republican party under the bus, but he clearly relishes the notoriety and media coverage it brings to his show on Fox. If he’s not careful, it could also backfire and cost him his job.
On the other hand, it might increase his ratings, but he could soon find himself inspiring an ever-more-radical wing of the Republicans that, he is unable to control. This is a dangerous game he’s playing. We can only hope that cooler heads will prevail and that his viewers will refrain from any further violence and mayhem in the style of the January 6 chaos.
Tucker Carlson Show March 8, 2023:
Mitch McConnell’s Reaction To Carlson’s Claims: