Thursday, June 16, 2022


I've been assuming that many Republicans have decided to cooperate with the January 6 committee because they hope the committee will make a 2024 Donald Trump presidential run impossible, clearing a path for other GOP candidates. This CBS story by Robert Costa seems to confirm that:
Retired federal Judge J. Michael Luttig, a staunch conservative long admired by many Republicans, will testify before the House's Jan. 6 committee on Thursday with an urgent and stark message for the panel about former President Donald Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 election: "America's democracy was almost stolen from her." ...

He will also reveal how he advised then-Vice President Mike Pence to resist Trump's pleas for Pence to block the congressional certification of Joe Biden's election victory....

Pence's lawyers and aides reached out to Luttig ahead of the congressional certification, seeking his guidance and a conservative imprimatur on Pence's decision. Luttig ended up briefly serving as an informal, outside adviser to the vice president's team....

Pence's former counsel, Greg Jacob, will also testify before the committee on Thursday.
I don't think there's a particularly large bloc of GOP primary voters who regard what Pence did as conservative, but Pence is the only potential candidate apart from Trump and Ron DeSantis who ever cracks 5% in 2024 primary polling -- sometimes his numbers are in the low double digits -- so somebody in the GOP electorate is still taking him seriously. He can't beat Trump or DeSantis head to head, but I don't think he knows that, and his delusion appears to be shared by many in the mainstream media, as well as many old-line Republicans, probably including Liz Cheney.

Democrats, of course, still think they have to seek out a Republican imprimatur for everything they believe, so of course they're fine with this. If a principal message of the hearings is "Trump is bad but other Republicans are good," and if the hearings do somehow lead to the neutralization of Trump, that's good for Republicans. Which is not good for America.

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