Hail The Republican Heroes Of January 6 Who Heroically Kept Their Pieholes Shut!
Slow fuckin' clap for Mike Pence.
After four years of slavishly endorsing every corrupt, bigoted, unhinged, un-American thing Donald Trump did, up to and including flogging his blatant lies about election fraud, the vice president refused to literally overthrow the government.
YAY? We guess ...
After watching three of the House January 6 Select Committee's hearings on the Capitol Riot, we get it. They are carefully casting Republicans as the heroes here to rebut any charge that this is a Democratic Witch Hunt. The first hearing set the table with clip after clip of Trump's own people saying there was no fraud, we told him there was no fraud, we told him the plot to overturn the Electoral College was crazy, this was all bullshit flogged by Rudy and Sidney and Jenna and Eastman, not us 'cause we're all heroes.
The second hearing featured the Fox data guy saying, seriously, guys, there was no fraud. Then everybody blamed drunken Rudy for pushing Trump to declare victory on election night, and Bill Barr deployed his famous sneer-chuckle to let the world know that he's not like that guttersnipe Dinesh D'Souza with his pathetic home movies. Trump's campaign manager Bill Stepien even testified that he considered himself part of "Team Normal."
The planned hearing for Wednesday, featuring the heads of Trump's Justice Department congratulating themselves for silently thwarting a plot to weaponize the DOJ to overthrow the election was postponed. So we skipped to yesterday, where Mike Pence's chief counsel Greg Jacob sang hymns of praise to his saintly former boss, who stood tall when Trump said he wouldn't be his friend anymore if Pence wouldn't overthrow democracy. What a strong and Godly man, agreed retired Judge Michael Luttig, a star in the conservative firmament.
And, of course, we get why it has to be this way. We all have to accept the conceit that the "Good Republicans" on "Team Normal" stood fast against Rudy and the other bad apples on "Team Weirdo," made up of drunkards who don't start their day in prayer circles, but instead have breakfast with women who aren't even their wives or daughters.
We're all going to hold hands and pretend that the last five years didn't happen. That these same godly men didn't set the stage for a mob of violent lunatics to invade the seat of government. That Bill Barr didn't make virtually identical claims about the dangers of mail-in ballots and pretend there were mobs of Antifa storm troopers flying around the country. That Pence's chief of staff Marc Short isn't a vicious homophobe who helped cover up Trump's Ukraine blackmail scheme and who now runs an astroturf group dedicated to ensuring that the IRS never gets the tools to audit rich people. That Stepien didn't raise hundred of millions of dollars for Trump by flogging lies about election fraud, and isn't flogging them to this day to help defeat Liz Cheney in Wyoming.
And if I might interject a personal note here, this is a particularly bitter pill because so many of the characters being set up as heroes here are lawyers. They have a duty of candor and an obligation to uphold the law, and they deserve no prizes because they failed to descend into depravity and madness with Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell.
In the postponed hearing, former acting AG Jeffery Rosen, his deputy Richard Donoghue, and former Office of Legal Counsel head Steven Engel were to be lionized for their role in preventing Trump from putting attorney Jeffery Clark in charge of the DOJ so he could announce non-existent fraud investigations as a pretext for swing-state legislators to claw back Biden electors and recast them for Trump. They were ready to quit their jobs if he went through with it! What they weren't willing to do was say a single word in public about the attempted obstruction of justice going on right in front of them.
“You are a class act, my friend,” Donoghue congratulated BJay Pak, the US Attorney in Georgia pushed out for failing to conjure up election fraud where there was none. Because rather than blow the whistle on a massively corrupt effort to use federal law enforcement authority to overturn a legitimate election, Pak turned in his resignation and went quietly, honoring the GOP code of omertà, and conveniently ensuring his continuing viability in Republican political circles.
So you'll forgive me if I'm a little bit salty about being asked to hold these people up as heroes after they ducked their heads and bit their tongues, ceding the field to Rudy and the nut squad and most importantly Trump himself to foment an attack on Congress.
Yes, that is the deal we have to make here. But it does stick in the craw.
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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.