(April 30)

Leave it to Tucker Carlson to counteract an absurd statement by President Joe Biden with a statement more absurd and, well, bigoted.

In his Wednesday address to Congress, Biden grossly exaggerated twice in two clauses by saying that he entered office with the need to handle “the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression [and] the worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War.” My colleague Becket Adams deftly addressed the latter claim by listing a whole series of “attacks on our democracy” that created greater loss of life or had longer-term reverberations than the Jan. 6 Capitol riot to which Biden was referring. As the actual conduct of the riot had a sort of Keystone Kops aspect to it, Biden somewhat overstated its importance.

Still, Biden was correct that the riot was a significant attack on the very functioning of democracy, as it was literally an attempt to forestall the official counting of electoral votes for the highest office in the land. The vice president’s life was at one point in danger, with Mike Pence and his family escaping a hallway less than a minute before rioters reached it.

Indeed, the riot was a veritable obscenity with regard to the civic order and civil society, the seriousness of which far too many conservatives belittle to a greater extent than Biden exaggerates it. And because former President Donald Trump was so widely blamed for creating the conditions for the riot, some Trumpist agitators and demagogues retroactively come close to justifying it.

The night after Biden’s speech, Carlson entered the fray. Alas, he didn’t do so thoughtfully and reasonably. [And by the time he was done, he essentially had said that blacks, Asians, Poles, and Italians had “assaulted” our very democracy just be virtue of legally — repeat, legally — immigrated to the United States.]….

[The rest of this column is here.]