It is not the Mueller Report. That report became the Great Disappointment. All that time. All that effort. All that anticipation. And for what? A dull boring presentation and report that led to nothing thanks in part to Attorney General Bill Barr who had not yet seen the light. Also the format led to numerous opportunities for Congressional Trumpicans to bloviate hot-air nonsense to their hearts content. Thanks to the shortsightedness of the would-be future Speaker, the House Select Committee was able to function as a responsible entity. It shows what Congress is capable of when it focuses on getting the job done and the job is working for the American people and not themselves.
LIZ CHENEY: A STAR IS BORN
For Liz Cheney, it is as if all her life she was waiting and preparing for this moment. The fate of the American democracy literally is on the line. We survived a close call after the 2020 election – not realizing how close it was to ending – and we still face a moment of truth in the 2024 election, but Cheney provides hope that America will emerge triumphant from the January 6 Day of Infamy. Unfortunately, the futures of both Ukraine and the United States are on the line and both Putin and Trump are determined to prevail.
Cheney already has earned a place in the history books. She has done so in a literal sense. Her opening argument will join the ranks of the Lincoln-Douglas debates for theater and brilliance … and this time we have a visual record and not just the printed word. Her words will become standard reading in law classes in how to prepare an opening argument for a jury trial. She will be studied by debate teams. She will be remembered in American history classes.
Think of all the remarks raised against her. Think of all the comments/tweets by Trump, McCarthy, Jordan, Taylor Greene, Gaetz, and the other assorted characters that populate the former Republican Party. As the students of history, law, and politics in the future study and contrast her presentation with the sad, pathetic remarks by her adversaries, they will laugh in amazement that such simple-minded imbeciles actually could be in positions of power. Of course, this assumes the America remains a democracy otherwise all bets are off.
AN AUDIENCE OF ONE
The audience for Cheney and the House Select Committee is not simply the American people. When people audition on Foxhub, they are speaking to an audience of one. Similarly, here, Cheney and the House Select Committee have one person in mind during their presentations and for the final report. That one person is not the current President of the United States or even the former President who is the target of the investigation. Obviously, the one person is the Attorney General.
So far and in his own way, Merrick Garland has been as big a disappointment to the House Select Committee as Barr was with the Mueller report. To be fair, the times they are a changing. Like a turtle finally sticking its head out of its shell, Garland appears to be elevating his position in the investigation. The round-up of hundreds of lesser figures appears to have reach its limit. The low-hanging fruit has and is being prosecuted. Many have pleaded guilty. Now it is time to move up the chain of command, to indict the people who initiated and organized the multiple attempts (7) to over through the government and steal the election. At this point, it does seem that the Attorney General is listening.
Unfortunately, the clock keeps ticking. While the House Select Committee will have completed its work prior to the 2022 Congressional election that may not be enough. Preventing the Trumpicans from shutting down the committee in the new Congress is insufficient. The information collected needs to be turned over to the DOJ prior to that. Furthermore the DOJ needs to act before the campaign season picks up in earnest. For the sake of saving the American democracy, We the People need the co-conspirators to be indicted so they are a campaign issue (In the 2022 Congressional Elections, How Many Candidates Will Have Been Indicted? December 22, 2021). Taking action in January is too late.
THE STAIN OF DISHONOR
From time to time, I have written about the opportunities to be a profile in courage. Think of the people who have had the chance: Mike Pence, Sean Hannity, Kevin McCarthy and the list goes on and on. One desperate Hail Mary was that there would come a time when the Congressional closet Republicans would finally shed their fears and publicly embrace the truth that they know in their hearts to be true: the President was “bat crazy” as Hannity delicately put it. As day after day, week after week, and month after month passed by, the chances of these closet Republicans overcoming their fear of being mocked as “weak RINO” seemed slimmer and slimmer. The last chance was when they would have nothing to lose. The primary season would be over so they could not be replaced. That final moment of truth is fast approaching as Cheney said:
I say this to my Republican colleagues who are defending the indefensible: There will come a day when Donald Trump is gone, but your dishonor will remain.
When the Unpresidential Library is built and the wall of dishonor is created the names of many of Cheney’s Republican colleagues will be on it. The House Select Committee is their last chance to redeem themselves.