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The attack on the Capitol and the health of American democracy

Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Anne Applebaum had a disturbing takeaway from the Capitol riots of January 6th: An unignorable portion of the American population revolted against democracy itself. "That wasn't Republicans attacking Democrats," Applebaum argues. "What you saw was a group of people who were attacking the system itself."

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Republican civil war

"There's no question, none — that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking" the January 6 Capitol building riot. That attack was the "foreseeable consequence of the crescendo of false statements, conspiracy theories and reckless hyperbole, which the defeated president kept shouting into the largest megaphone on the Earth."

So said Kentucky's Mitch McConnell, US Senate Republican leader since 2006, just after voting last Saturday to acquit the president of high crimes and misdemeanors following Trump's Senate impeachment trial.

On Tuesday, Trump punched back. "Mitch is a dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack, and if Republican Senators are going to stay with him, they will not win again." On Thursday, the pro-Trump chairman of Kentucky's Republican Party called on McConnell to resign as Republican leader.

The battle is joined.

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The worst time to enter Congress: Republican Congresswoman Nancy Mace

Freshman Republican Congresswoman Nancy Mace of South Carolina joined Ian Bremmer on GZERO World to recount her harrowing experience on Capitol Hill during the January 6 riots and to explain why she did not support impeaching a president she strongly condemned. She'll also discuss where she thinks Democrats and Republicans in Congress can come together in 2021.This is an extended interview from the recent GZERO World episode: After the insurrection: will Congress find common ground?

Mace referenced Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's account of the January 6 riots in a tweet on February 4. In late January, she told Ian Bremmer about her own experience on Capitol Hill that day. "I started to make my way back to my office, but I was unable to get to my building because of threats at the Capitol. In fact, there was a pipe bomb that was found just steps away from the Cannon Office building at C and First Street. And looking back at it now, I walked by a pipe bomb where that was to get into my office that day."

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Marjorie Taylor Greene support in House shows Republican Party tilt

Get insights on the latest news in US politics from Jon Lieber, head of Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington:

Lots of drama to start the year on Capitol Hill. First, you had an insurgency on January 6th, followed by an impeachment of the President of the United States, accompanied by magnetometers being installed on the floor of the House of Representatives because the Democratic members thought the Republican members were trying to carry in guns with which to hurt them. Accusations that some of the Republican members may have been aiding the insurgents in that 6 January riot. Not a lot of evidence for that, but it does show there's a lot of bad partisan will between the two parties, right now. And that is culminating this week with a vote to potentially expel freshman member Marjorie Taylor Greene from her committee assignments in the House of Representatives.

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