Wednesday, May 19, 2021


Democrats want to hold the perpetrators of the January 6 riot accountable. In pursuit of that goal, they won one victory today:
The House voted Wednesday to approve legislation to establish an independent commission to investigate the violent insurrection on January 6 at the US Capitol, with 35 Republicans breaking with their party to support the bill.

The final vote was 252-175.
But even as the legislation passed the House, top Republicans locked arms in an effort to doom it in the Senate and shield former President Donald J. Trump and their party from fresh scrutiny of their roles in the events of that day.

... The vote came hours after Senator Mitch McConnell, the minority leader, declared his opposition to the plan.
Republicans will block this. And if they can't block it, they'll sabotage it. They'll load up the committee with rhetorical bomb-throwers. They'll use the hearings primarily for anti-Democratic catchphrases and memes. Even if they don't succeed in broadening the scope of the investigation to include violence and property damage in anti-racism demonstrations, they'll find ways to hang all that around the necks of Democrats. They'll say any law enforcement failures were all Nancy Pelosi's fault. They'll never concede that this was a brutal threat to democracy by their party's voters on behalf of a president from their party. And whatever they say will be believed by nearly half the country.

After two Trump impeachments and the early stages of this process, I've had enough. I think Democrats should simply give up on the notion that "accountability" is possible for Republicans. It's not just that they resist it. They pay no price for resisting it. Resisting it endears them to their voters.

Nothing Democrats do and nothing they reveal will lead to second thoughts among Republican voters. We know this because nothing revealed in either of Trump's impeachments disillusioned them. Quite the opposite: It unified them in opposition to the accountability seekers.

When Democrats beg Republicans to put country over party, they reinforce the mistaken notion that the GOP might someday actually do that. That sends a signal that if Democrats can't come to terms with Republicans, then it must be the Democrats' fault -- after all, the Democrats say it's possible to reason with the GOP.

Enough. Better for Democrats to just accept that accountability is impossible, and to tell the public that a real reckoning can't happen because Republicans will always prevent it from happening. The only way to get to the truth is to vote Republicans out.

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