Republicans: Jan. 6 Commission Must Investigate Black Lives Matter, Antifa, Maybe Benghazi
After House Speaker Nacy Pelosi offered some measures to allow greater Republican input on a possible 9/11-style commission on the January 6 insurrection, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy yesterday said he was willing to meet Pelosi halfway, as long as "halfway" means a full six or seven months before the armed invasion of the Capitol and includes things that had nothing at all to do with it. The problem with January 6 is that it makes Donald Trump and his supporters look bad, so for the sake of balance, McCarthy suggested any commission should also investigate the riots that broke out following a small percentage of last year's protests against police murdering Black people.
In reply to a question from a HuffPo reporter, McCarthy "explained,"
I think if you're going to have a commission, you should look at the whole broad spectrum. [...] We just went through a whole summer of riots throughout the city.
What do those have to do with the attempt to overturn the 2020 election? Nothing at all, but you have to look at the larger picture, which is that in order to heal, or at least to give Republicans something to be outraged about too, we need a Whataboutism Commission.
Pelosi had originally proposed a commission with seven members appointed by Democrats and and four chosen by Republicans, with subpoena power being limited to the Dems. (That's roughly how the Republicans ran their Benghazi investigation, except Pelosi said she'd actually allow Republicans to attend hearings, which was pretty generous.) But after complaints from McCarthy and others, Pelosi said the commission could have an equal partisan makeup, and subpoenas would require either a majority vote of panel members, or a joint decision by the chair and vice chair.
Nope, nowhere good enough for Republicans, because whatabout a lot of things that weren't January 6, huh? The complaints didn't just come from McCarthy, but also from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who griped earlier this week that any commission needed to be more "balanced," and that simply focusing on the attempt to undo an election was far too narrow, since that would only make one president and virtually his entire party look bad, and how is that fair?
"The scope of it needs to deal with a little bit broader than just January the 6th. We've also had a number of violent disturbances around the country last year, and I think we ought to look at this broader scope, and with a totally balanced, 9/11-style commission. If [Pelosi] were willing to put that forward, I think it would enjoy broad bipartisan support."
Well golly, we bet that would have broad Republican support for sure, although some extremely partisan Democrats might point out that the actual 9/11 commission didn't also discuss the Bay of Pigs invasion, the Tuskeegee experiments, or the Irish potato famine, even though those were all very bad things.
Besides, Republicans are still very proud of that dumb video Trump's impeachment lawyers put together, showing Democrats saying the word "fight" again and again without any context, and they'd really like to get more use out of it.
Without some sort of Republican buy-in, there likely won't be any commission at all, since the enabling legislation would have to get 60 votes in the Senate (unless Dems get rid of the filibuster, which means we need to curse under our breath at Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema yet again).
At her weekly press conference Thursday, Pelosi amusingly entertained the possibility that Republicans might try being reasonable, because she can be delightfully puckish that way. Since she was willing to meet their demands for equal membership on the commission and on subpoena power, she joshed, "well, why would they object to the scope, which is to find the truth of what happened on January 6 when an insurrection descended upon the Capitol?"
Oh, Nancy, you really are good at satire the end.
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