Wednesday, July 21, 2021

If Chris Ran the Circus


The Spotted Atrocious.

The Most Chris Cillizza Thing Ever:

If you ever held any hope that the House select committee on the January 6 US Capitol riot might produce a report that would help us understand what happened in the lead-up to that day and, in so doing, provide us avenues to keeping it from happening again, you should give up on those hopes now.

The reason? Speaker Nancy Pelosi's decision Wednesday to reject two of the five nominees -- Jim Jordan of Ohio and Jim Banks of Indiana -- put forward by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to serve on the panel.

Absolutely! How could we possibly come to understand what happened in the lead-up to January 6 without Gym Jordan flapping his arms, barking like a dog, and running back and forth on the tabletops? We completely depend on Gym Jordan and Jim Banks for our ability to understand virtually anything!

Wait, who is Jim Banks? He's somebody who's gone from backing the Mueller investigation during his first term

“I don’t work for the president,” Banks told [Molly Ball/Atlantic in June 2017]. “Where were we, Paul, last week, when I was lambasted on that subject of whether or not I was going to blindly follow the president?”

to joining Mo Brooks and 18 other democracy haters this year in demanding congressional hearings on election fraud to further the claim that state legislatures are constitutionally allowed to overturn elections

In a tweet on Friday, Banks said he signed the letter because "the Constitution says state legislatures set the time, place and manner of the elections. There are countless examples of state legislatures being circumvented in the 2020 election."

At the invitation of Donald Trump, Indiana Rep. Jim Banks recently led a small group of House Republicans to the former president’s New Jersey golf club, where they dined on beef tenderloin, posed for photos and briefed him on strategy for the 2022 midterm elections.

In four short years, in other words, from humble Indiana conservative to Gym Jordan wannabe, another Spotted Atrocious, with no feigned outrage too foolish to adopt under the fear of being primaried at his back. 

And an aspiring attack dog who has responded to the rejection by explaining, inadvertently, what a terrible member of the committee he was hoping to be, refusing to deal with the matters the committee is tasked with investigating and badgering witnesses with irrelevant questions about imaginary burning cities and the "real insurrectionists". Unlike that obedient lapdog Rep. Cheney:

As Cillizza knows perfectly well, and he even says so:

And it's beyond debate that McCarthy's choices -- especially Banks and Jordan -- were aimed at turning the committee into something of a circus. Both men would have, at every turn, sought to turn the tables on Democrats -- using the platform provided by the committee to push debunked claims about Antifa's involvement in the Capitol riot, questioning Democratic leadership's readiness for just such an attack and trying to broaden the committee's mandate to cover the Black Lives Matter protests of summer 2020.

But the other way (Minority Leader McCarthy has responded by withdrawing all of his nominations, and vowing that if he can't have Gym gish-galloping all the witnesses he'd rather have nobody at all) won't be "bipartisan", and that, to Cillizza, means it really won't be anything at all, just a waste of everybody's time, because once upon a time you could get decent members from both parties (let's just forget that leadership could, and did, weed out all the conservative time-wasters then too).

Honestly, it's going to be a good thing in some respects, as Quinta Jurecic points out at Lawfare:

the fact that the select committee is a second-best option supported almost entirely by Democrats may actually be a point in its favor. Cheney and the Democratic majority on the committee won’t necessarily need to soft-pedal their investigation or negotiate compromises in order to appeal to pro-Trump Republicans. They can—if they want—aggressively pursue, with far fewer political constraints, the truth of what happened on Jan. 6. 

And they will have a great deal more time to do so than the independent commission, as outlined in the House-passed bill, would have enjoyed.

(because the independent commission proposal had an end date, and the House select committee won't). And, dirty little secret, the people who won't learn anything because they're put off by the absence of Gym and Jim weren't going to learn anything anyway.

Cross-posted at The Rectification of Names. And don't miss Tom's terrific piece posted while I was writing this.

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