Kevin McCarthy is in a pickle.

The House minority leader's own party played footsie with the rioters who overran the Capitol on January 6, and he himself has already admitted that Trump bears responsibility for the violence that day. Then his lieutenants painstakingly negotiated a bipartisan commission to investigate the attack, only to see a panel that would give Republicans everything they wanted get tanked by Republicans in the Senate. And now that Democrats have established a Select Committee to investigate the insurrection — i.e. do Congress's damn job — McCarthy is faced with a dilemma.

Should he participate and try to blow up the process from within, or stand on the sidelines and denigrate the findings as a partisan smear job when it reveals that multiple members of his own caucus gave aid and comfort to the enemies of democracy just six short months ago?


According to the Politico Huddle, McCarthy has largely ruled out the second option and will soon appoint five members to the panel. The issue is now whether to try to turn the whole thing into a circus by unleashing freaks like Matt Gaetz on the committee, or to go with members of his caucus with some actual credibility who might be able to push back against Democratic narratives and release a minority report blaming Antifa or the FBI or the Pope.

To make matters worse, it's only the freaks who are lining up to take the assignment, with Reps. Gaetz, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and Lauren Boebert hot to trot, while their more serious colleagues — if only by comparison — are running for the hills, refusing to take part in a process that will brand them as traitors to their own kind if they participate in good faith.

On background to Politico, one House Republican acknowledged that there's virtually zero prospect of any good outcome for Republicans here. If McCarthy tries to poison the well with weirdos, he makes Democrats look sane by comparison. But treating the endeavor as legitimate is a tacit endorsement of the committee's eventual findings.

"I mean, we've got three impeachment managers on the" Democratic side, the source complained.

CNN reports that McCarthy will probably go with tried and true ratfuckers like Jim Jordan, who know how to disrupt proceedings without shooting themselves in the face with embarrassing stunts like storming a SCIF for an impromptu pizza party. And indeed Politico confirms that "the ex-president will be expecting Jordan's appointment," despite the fact that his dance card is already full with spots on the Judiciary Committee, coronavirus select committee, and the GOP "task force on the future of American freedoms," a thing that exists.

And fresh off shivving Liz Cheney to become conference chair, Rep. Elise Stefanik may find herself sitting next to her again if McCarthy taps her for a spot on the committee, to which Cheney has already been appointed.

Other possible appointees include Kelly Armstrong, a veteran of the House Judiciary Committee during the first Trump impeachment; Brad Wenstrup or Markwayne Mullin, both of whom sit on the Intelligence Committee; or even Brian Fitzpatrick, co-chair of the Problem Solvers Caucus, who actually voted to certify the election, which is equivalent to the sign of the beast on the Red Team.

As for Gaetz, he's clearly read the writing on the wall and knows his chances of getting the nod are less than zero. Not only did he promise this week to nominate Trump to be speaker of the House if Republicans take the majority back in November, denying McCarthy his dearest wish, but Congressman Florida Man is loudly pointing out that McCarthy failed to make good on his threat to strip committee assignments from any member who'd dare accept an appointment to the January 6 committee from Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

"It is confusing for the membership to have Liz Cheney platformed as a co-chair of a marquee task force, while she's also being platformed by Nancy Pelosi on the 'Hunt Republicans' committee," he snarked after Cheney was renominated to a House GOP task force on China.

Which is, as they say, fucking rich coming from a guy serving on the Judiciary Committee while under active FBI investigation for his role in a prostitution ring. Embrace the cognitive dissonance, Florida Man, that's what we're all doing as we watch the guy who admitted that the Benghazi committee was a ruse to take out Hillary Clinton bitch about partisan witch hunts.

[Politico / Politico / CNN]

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Liz Dye

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.

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