Expectations for the House Select Committee presentations were not high before it began.
“Don’t Expect Must-Watch TV” Jacob Bacharach (NYT 6/9/22)
But the Capitol riot hearings, which begin on Thursday night, may well be a dud.
Even if they manage to drag a few million eyeballs away from the streaming platforms for a few evenings and days with some measure of spectacle and the promise of comeuppance for some minor and expendable figures from Trump-world, their scope and impact are likely to be minimal….
They will serve as great font of rambling commentary on Twitter for a few days, among the relatively few people who regularly tweet about politics.
Wouldn’t you like to have the opportunity to be so wrong in the lead editorial in The New York Times!
He concludes his piece with:
A terrifying historical counterfactual is that the only thing that might have gotten enough of the G.O.P. on board to matter would have been if the rioters had actually hung Mike Pence, and even then, it is hard to be sure.
We will never know what the reaction would have been if the insurrectionists had succeeded in killing Pence, Pelosi, or Hawley. It is possible that would have caused the 25th Amendment to be invoked and not just talked about. I have not seen any polls or interviews with Stop-the-Steal proponents about how they would have reacted then.
The Jan. 6 Committee Has Already Blown It
The op-ed below this editorial was “The Jan. 6 Committee Has Already Blown It” by David Brooks. He took issue with the Democratic goal of recasting the midterm election message by casting Republicans as being responsible.
They are expected to use witnesses like the former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson [who testified on June 28, 19 days later] to show exactly what went on inside the administration that day and in the lead-up to it. One lawmaker told The Washington Post that voters have shifted their attention to issues like inflation and the pandemic, so it is key to tell a gripping story that “actually breaks through.”
No offense, but these goals are pathetic.
Perhaps he spoke too soon in his dismissal of Cassidy Hutchinson!
However his larger point in his final sentence about the threat to bring American democracy to its knees is valid as Liz Cheney well knows. Brooks is right to be concerned about the 2024 election and civil war in America. If anything, he should be concerned about the 2022 elections.
Eventually, skeptics saw the light about the hearings.
“I thought the Jan. 6 committee wouldn’t matter. I was wrong” by Max Boot (Washington Post 6/14/22)
The committee’s hearings are exceeding expectations, because it is not behaving like a typical congressional committee. There is no grandstanding and no preening. There are no petty partisan squabble…. There have been no anti-Trump, much less anti-Republican, rants. The committee members are focused with forensic, factual intensity on the question of Trump’s responsibility for the events of Jan. 6.
The House Select Committee has set a standard which the Hunter Biden investigations and Joe Biden impeachments won’t come even remotely close to matching. Those Republican clown shows will only be shown on Foxhub.
…There is only the relentless march of evidence, all of it deeply incriminating to a certain former president who keeps insisting he was robbed of his rightful election victory…. Trump’s own aides have made an open-and-shut case that he I not fit to run Mar-a-lago, much less the United States of America.
It would seem the Murdoch Wall Street Journal and New York Post agree as well. More to come.
Paul Krugman has joined the bandwagon as well:
Crazies, Cowards and the Trump Coup (NYT 6/30/22)
Like many people, I expected the worst from the Jan. 6 committee: long, droning speeches, grandstanding by posturing politicians, lots of he-said-she-said.
What we’ve gotten instead has been riveting and terrifying.
The reviews are in. The House Select Committee is boffo at the box office. It has sustained an 8-show summer series with a sequel promised.
What “more”? Second seasons often do not live up to the promise of the original series. It looks like we may be teased with “leaks” while the show is on hiatus.
There is a spinoff. In fact more than one. The DOJ appears to be gradually upping ante for the insurrections. There should be a slew of subpoenas in the coming weeks. Even if the Hitman indictment is delayed until after the election, there are plenty of subordinates who could be indicted before the election season. How about the day before Trump announces his candidacy, the DOJ indicts the first round of insurrectionists? That would make for must-see TV.
The second spinoff is in Georgia. Fulton County is moving ahead with subpoenas and target letters. It is only a matter of time before the indictments.
In the meantime, we can content ourselves with some of the more amusing aspects of the work of the House Select Committee. We can anticipate that on Josh Hawley’s tombstone, the words “Run, Josh, Run” will be inscribed. The phrase will join “Tricky Dicky” and “Slick Willie” as a defining nickname.
When the movie version is made the scene of ketchup on the wall and plates on the floor are sure to generate gales of laughter.
The scene of grabbing the steering wheel of the car and the throat of the Secret Service will play differently depending on the audience. For the people who believe in the rule of law, it will be seen as the desperate attempt of the Loser at the last moment possible to salvage victory by leading the coup at the Capital in person. For the people who believe in the rule of Trump, it will be seen as their Lord and Savior, the Chosen One, Blessed Be his Name, fighting to the very end to save the country.
Keep in mind that Rusty Bowers has been excommunicated by the Arizona Republican Party for telling for truth.
Unfortunately, there is one area where Liz Cheney is seriously wrong. She stated that Trump “is a 76-year old man”: true. And he is “not an impressionable child”: false. He temporarily appointed Sidney Powell a special prosecutor to wreak havoc with his enemies. Kurt Bardella, a former House GOP staffer speaking about the upcoming 2024 announcement said, “This guy has the impulse control of a freaking toddler.” He echoed the words of Mary Trump about her uncle having the emotional maturity of a three-year old.
The problem with trying to prove intent to overthrow the Constitution is that Trump lacks the mental necessities to understand what the Constitution is and or what he was doing to it. All he knows is that he wanted to keep playing President and people were telling him playtime is over. Perhaps the next hearings will address the fact that he is an immature child and not Rambo.
P.S. No matter what, Trumpican minds will not be changed.