Monday, July 26, 2021


This is today's news:
Democrats are seeking to elevate the role of Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) on the committee examining the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, scheduling her to deliver one of the two opening statements at the panel’s first public hearing Tuesday, according to two people familiar with the decision.

The move is intended to present the committee as a bipartisan effort following Republican leadership’s decision not to participate in the panel after Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) last week rejected two of Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s picks for the panel.
Yesterday, there was this:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Sunday she has appointed GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger to the House select committee to investigate the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, bolstering the Republican presence on the panel after GOP leadership pulled its appointees last week.
And a few days ago, there was this:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats are considering ... asking a former GOP congressman to serve on committee staff amid a standoff with House GOP leaders over their picks for the panel....

Former Virginia GOP Rep. Denver Riggleman, a former intelligence officer who lost his primary last year, has been a forceful critic of other Republicans over election-related disinformation and QAnon conspiracy theories, and could join the committee staff in an advisory capacity, according to sources briefed on the discussions.
Adding Cheney and Kinzinger might have the intended effect: persuading middle-of-the-road voters that the committee is a bipartisan effort to get to the truth. Or perhaps the endless braying of Republicans will dominate the discussion:
Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), recently elevated to the House GOP leadership because of her devotion to Trump and the lie of widespread election fraud, released a statement saying “the Pelosi partisan January 6th commission was never about investigating the facts, it was only ever about Pelosi’s radical politics and the Left’s endless obsession with crushing any discussion or debate.”
Led by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Republicans are referring to Cheney and Kinzinger as "Pelosi Republicans," as if that's all you need to know about their fitness to serve.

But maybe the Democrats' strategy will work. That will be a good thing -- but it shouldn't be necessary.

If we lived in a country where Democrats in Congress were presumed to be genuine Americans and patriots, and, further, if we lived in a country where the attempt to overturn the results of a legitimate election did the damage to the GOP that it should have done, Pelosi wouldn't have been worried about the possible perception that her party was acting in a partisan way, any more than Republicans worried when they conducted endless flagrantly partisan investigations of Benghazi (which did no harm to Republicans and a great deal of political harm to Hillary Clinton).

There's one treasonous major party in America, and there's one party that white middle American voters believe is a treasonous major party -- and they're not the same party. For decades, Democrats have allowed themselves to be demonized and slandered by GOP politicians and right-wing media figures, and have never mounted an effort to improve their party's image. At the same time, they've never done the work necessary to persuade the American people that the GOP is as extreme and unpatriotic as it actually is.

If the white heartland Americans who decide our elections had an accurate understanding of Republican extremism and contempt for democracy, they wouldn't care whether members of the party were represented on the 1/6 commission. In fact, they'd regard any Republicans on the committee, even the ones who accept the election results, with suspicion, just because they're Republicans.

But because heartland whites regard all Democrats rather than all Republicans as suspect unless proven otherwise, Pelosi needs to include members of the GOP on the committee.

Democrats are doing what they need to do under the circumstances. But what they're doing should be necessary.

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