Pelosi Adds Adam Kinzinger To 1/6 Committee, Completing Her Collection Of Anti-Coup Republicans
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Sunday that she's appointed Republican Adam Kinzinger to the select committee that will investigate the January 6 attack Donald Trump incited against Congress (and even watched for a while from the White House for his own twisted entertainment).
Pelosi had some nice things to say about Kinzinger, demonstrating that she's capable of bipartisan comity when dealing with Republicans who aren't seditious traitors:
Today, I am announcing the appointment of Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger, an Air Force veteran and Lieutenant Colonel in the Air National Guard, to serve on the Select Committee.
He brings great patriotism to the Committee's mission: to find the facts and protect our Democracy.
Kinzinger is one of a paltry 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump (the second time) after he almost got them killed (allegedly ... but c'mon, y'all have eyes). Conversely, 139 House Republicans voted to overturn a free and fair election based entirely on the lies of a deranged man. This is not a serious political party, but it's damn scary.
The Illinois Republican answered Pelosi's call without hesitation, even though there's no political benefit for him. His conservative family members have already disowned him, and even suggested he's been “possessed by the devil." If Trump's on the opposing side, then that automatically makes Satan the good guy, like in the Netflix series.
Today, I was asked to serve on the bipartisan January 6th Select Committee and I humbly accepted. When duty calls,… https://t.co/ZRmSim7zuT— Adam Kinzinger (@Adam Kinzinger)1627229404.0
Here are some choice passages from the statement Kinzinger released yesterday:
Self-governance requires accountability and responsibility. My faith requires the same of me, truth is necessary for order, and that's what I will do. Let me be clear, I'm a Republican dedicated to conservative values, but I swore an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution—and while this is not the position I expected to be in or sought out, when duty calls, I will always answer.
This moment requires a serious, clear-eyed, non-partisan approach. We are duty-bound to conduct a full investigation on the worst attack on the Capitol since 1814 and to make sure it can never happen again.
Today, I was asked by the Speaker to serve on the House Select Committee to Investigate January 6th and I humbly accepted. I will work diligently to ensure we get to the truth and hold those responsible for the attack fully accountable.
Note that Kinzinger respectfully refers to Pelosi as House speaker, not simply a Democratic leader on a partisan crusade.
Kinzinger will join fellow exile Liz Cheney on the committee. Cheney, who also voted to impeach the insurrectionist-in-chief, was defrocked as GOP conference chair because she refused to promote Trump's fascist Big Lie. The Marjorie Taylor Greene set can scream “RINO" all it wants, but Kinzinger and Cheney are still Republicans and the committee is legitimately bipartisan. An objective panel doesn't require members who are pro-insurrection.
Last week, Pelosi rejected two of Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's five picks for the committee, Jim Jordan of Ohio and Jim Banks of Indiana, because she believed they'd compromise the integrity of the commission. Pelosi was sporting enough to allow the third seditionist of the bunch, Troy Nehls of Texas, to stay. Nehls is one of several first-term GOP members who voted to overturn the results of the very election that put them in Congress.
McCarthy threw a fit and pulled his entire ragamuffin bunch from the committee. He whined that the committee was now “partisan" and called Pelosi a “lame-duck speaker," which is nonsense. She's the fully empowered House speaker until at least January 3, 2023, as she demonstrated when she smacked down McCarthy's transparent attempt to sabotage the committee.
The master strategist could've had more control over these proceedings, but he buckled under to the twice-impeached thug and rejected the 9/11-style commission whose rules GOP Rep. John Katko helped negotiate. Now, it's Pelosi's production entirely and she's not casting any showboating hacks.
Liz Cheney says she doesn't think Kevin McCarthy should be House Speaker. "I think that any person who would be th… https://t.co/KAQq0myjSk— Justin Baragona (@Justin Baragona)1626895250.0
Cheney — perhaps for the first time on any issue — openly supported Pelosi's decision. She said Jordan is possibly "a material witness to events that led to that day" and that Banks "disqualified himself by his comments over the last 24 hours demonstrating he's not taking this seriously." Oh, and she also said McCarthy shouldn't be House speaker ever because he's not demonstrated a commitment to the rule of law or to the Constitution. Damn. Hey, DNC Chair Jaime Harrison: That's the ad you need to run in every swing district.
The media has a bad habit of describing Cheney and Kinzinger as “anti-Trump." They both supported Trump during his presidency and voted for him last year. If they're “anti-Trump," what do you call us? No one here voted for the asshole. No, Cheney and Kinzinger aren't “anti-Trump" so much as they're opposed to defeated sitting presidents lying about the election they lost, undermining democracy, and trying every form of coup before siccing a violent mob on Congress.
Yes, that might seem like the bare minimum, but we do need conservatives willing to stand athwart history, yelling "Stop with the insurrections, already!" We have no illusions about Cheney's and Kinzinger's politics, but we'll always have to deal with Republicans. The only question is what kind of Republicans will they be? It's a low bar but we prefer the ones who don't endorse or look the other way at violent insurrections.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."