As Politico reports, U.S. House Democrats are proceeding with the establishment of a select committee to investigate the January 6, 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump seeking to prevent the certification of Joe Biden’s victory by the Congress. This comes after Republicans scuttled a bipartisan commission to investigate the events of that day, revise history to downplay what happened, and cheer while Trump’s political comeback rallies get underway:
Only 10 House Republicans voted to impeach the former president for his role in the Jan. 6 riot, and most have said little since on the matter. There is close to zero appetite within their party now to break with Trump.
And Trump is once again the GOP’s undisputed kingmaker, holding rallies and flexing his grassroots fundraising might as he seeks to influence Republican primary campaigns. House Democrats are likely to take full advantage of that political reality as they move ahead with a select committee to examine the siege on Congress.
Which leaves Republicans with a big challenge: how to discredit and distance themselves from that investigation — which moderates and conservatives alike are criticizing as a partisan setup — and retake the House in 2022, a tantalizingly close possibility that would doom President Joe Biden’s domestic agenda.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who condemned the violence on January 6th and for at least a few days afterward was willing to assign blame where it belonged with Trump personally, is now in a situation where all those words have come back to bite him. Although January 6th broke the back of Trump’s resistance to leaving office two weeks later, at length it has failed to dislodge Trump’s personal grip on the Republican Party. A new Morning Consult poll released yesterday shows more Republicans actually blame Joe Biden and Democrats for the January 6th insurrection than blame Trump and fellow Republicans. And fully 68% of Republicans polled in this survey say the January 6th riot has received “too much attention.”
A majority of Republicans probably do want to stop talking about January 6th, which we would assume does not mean helping increase the profile of the select committee. But fascinatingly, some of the Republican members of Congress who should be most interested in keeping their heads down are instead hoping to turn the committee into a circus of hypocrisy:
Already some of the GOP’s biggest firebrands are asking McCarthy to join the panel, with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia publicly pushing to be seated on the panel. Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida is also openly expressing his interest. And Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado is also seeking to land a spot, according to GOP conference sources.
The latest word is the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is reserving the right to refuse McCarthy’s committee picks, and we’d say if any of these three are actually put forward Pelosi has an obligation to not let them near this investigation. Rep. Lauren Boebert, a proud leader in the campaign of social media incitement that led to the violence on January 6th, absolutely must not be part of any investigation into that day. It’s literally like saying Al Capone should serve on his own grand jury. This was the case when Democrats were trying to get Republicans on board with a bipartisan commission, and it’s just as true today.
It’s become a predictable formula: the greater the hypocrisy, the more Lauren Boebert leans in.
Boebert obviously believes this works for her, but it’s a strategy that need only fail once.