I recently wrote that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Select Committee on what she describes as “the insurrection that occurred on January 6th“ was doomed to failure. At the time, I had no idea that she would throw the Committee into the death throes so quickly.
Using her power as Speaker, Pelosi did two things that are crassly political. She named Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney, of Wyoming, to be one of the eight Democrat members. Pelosi did this for one reason – to give her the ability to claim that the Committee is bipartisan in the event House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy refuses to participate by not naming any Republicans to the Committee. I do believe she hoped he would not.
But McCarthy did appoint Republican members to the five slots provided by Pelosi to the GOP. According to the long tradition of the Congress, that should have settled the issue of Committee membership. But noooooo.
Since Pelosi has the exclusive power to name ALL members of ALL committees – which most fair-minded Americans may be surprised to learn – the Speaker rejected two of McCarthy’s choices on the absurd rational that she thought they may not be sufficiently impartial. They might ask difficult questions that the Democrats might find embarrassing to answer.
Republicans wanted the Committee to explore why there was such an enormous security failure in terms of protecting the Capitol Building, despite advance warnings of potential violence. That is not an unreasonable subject to explore if there is a sincere desire to examine ALL the factors that resulted in the breaching of the Capitol –and the damage and injury that followed. If you do not want this to happen again, security should be a front-burner issue.
Pelosi ruled that topic to be out of bounds. It could be because one of her prescribed duties as Speaker is to oversee security of Capitol Hill.
There should be no doubt in any objective person’s mind that had there been a much stronger presence of police and military on the steps of the Capitol Building, the amount of damage – and even the death of Ashli Babbitt — might have been prevented. A large presence may have prevented a breach of the Capitol entirely.
I lived in Washington during the Days of Rage in the 1960s and 70s. The police had to handle crowds in the hundreds of thousand. And they managed to curtail serious violence with only minimal breaching of the Capitol. And no, this is not the first time there has been a breach at the Capitol since the War of 1812, as Democrats allege – although clearly the most serious. That is why the lack of proper security is one of the central questions.
Part of the inquiry should be the definition of what happened that day on Capitol Hill. Democrat and their media allies prejudge the event by using such terms as insurrection, sedition and even attempted coup as if they are fact.
I personally call it a riot because it had all the characteristics of what we have seen in our cities over and over. And in none of those cases were the words insurrection, sedition or coup ever used. And they lasted longer, were more deadly. Rioter attacked government buildings and stopping the operations of government. In a few instances, they seized and controlled portions of the city. They declared them to be no longer part of America. And that is NOT insurrection?
We may all have differing opinions of what constitutes a riot or an insurrection – or even terrorism, another term thrown around in conjunction to the January 6th riot – so it would be good if Pelosi’s Committee would examine that issue.
But they will not – largely because they are all using those terms as if that are correct and factual. To me, that is just more political hyperbole.
There are two reasons why the so-called bipartisan commission failed.
First, Pelosi put restrictions on the scope of the investigations – eliminating anything that would undermine their preordained conclusion that it was a coup attempt orchestrated by Trump, Republican leaders and supported by millions of cultists. It would be a prolonged dog-and-pony show.
Secondly, there was no need for a commission – or even Pelosi’s Select Committee. Law enforcement and the courts are extensively investigating the events of January 6th. They are the only agencies that can bring justice. You need to keep in mind that no matter what Pelosi’s Select Committee finds there is nothing they can do about it other than appropriate more money for security. Congress has no authority to indict, convict or send folks to jail on criminal charges. Even criminal charges of perjury and contempt of Congress have to go to the Justice Department.
Pelosi complained that Congressmen Jim Banks and Jim Jordan were too partisan in their views. How can Pelosi make such an excuse after putting Congressmen Adam Schiff, Jamie Raskin and Zoe Lofgren on the Committee? It tends to make the word chutzpah – a Jewish term for unmitigated gall –much too mild.
This may be the first in American history that a speaker has so blatantly abused power in such partisan manner. Pelosi is not driving an inquiry. She and the Democrats have already reached their conclusions. The Select Committee is just another political effort to desperately try to stave off a Republican resurgence in 2022. She knows that she has the advantage of a compliant press. It will spin every bit of the testimony against the Republicans.
It could work because never has so much of the major media been so shamefully aligned with one political party and philosophy –and so corrupt in the abuse of journalism’s standards of fairness and honesty. We can only hope that Lincoln was correct when he said, “you cannot fool all the people all the time.”
So, there ‘tis.