So, how are you feeling about the January 6th select committee?
First, let’s catch up on a lot of news that happened last week. Speaker Nancy Pelosi had named her 8 picks for the select committee a while back (including Republican Liz Cheney), but early last week, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy finally named his 5 picks.
Shortly thereafter, Pelosi rejected two of McCarthy’s picks (Jim Jordan and Jim Banks). Both of those men voted to reject Electoral College vote totals and have downplayed the seriousness of the insurrection.
In response, McCarthy held a press conference to say that if Pelosi wouldn’t accept ALL of his members, he was going to pull them all out of participating. He even said Republicans would hold their own investigation. (A laughable suggestion.)
Immediately thereafter, Liz Cheney held her own presser to say that she thought Pelosi had made the right choice, that both Jordan and Banks had absolutely disqualified themselves with the remarks they made after Pelosi’s decision, and really torched McCarthy. She even stated that McCarthy had “attempted to prevent the American people from understanding what happened.”
Side note: It was at this point that the strategy behind Pelosi’s choice to allow herself to have 8 picks and McCarthy only 5 became clear. She obviously anticipated that McCarthy might choose not to participate in the committee at all. Well, in order for an official House committee to be able to operate, there needs to be a quorum (a minimum number of members present), and it needs to be bipartisan. Pelosi satisfied both requirements just with her 8 selections.
And then this weekend, Pelosi invited Adam Kinzinger to join the committee. He, along with Cheney, were the only two Republicans to vote to create the select committee. He accepted the invitation on Sunday saying, “I swore an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution — and while this is not the position I expected to be in or sought out, when duty calls, I will always answer,” Source
So, the current members of the select committee are: Bennie Thompson (Chairman), Adam B. Schiff, Zoe Lofgren, Pete Aguilar, Jamie Raskin, Elaine Luria, Stephanie Murphy, plus Republicans Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger.
Now, I’ve seen an interesting range of reactions to the news of this past week.
The one I find most troubling, though, is that without a full contingent of Republicans on the committee, Republican voters won’t believe any conclusions the committee determines, and therefore it’s pointless.
Having this select committee is not pointless. First, and most importantly, we need this investigation to learn the full truth about that day and what led to it. The DOJ and FBI are pursuing the insurrectionists who desecrated the Capitol, but so far, we’ve not seen any indication that they are investigating the instigators of the riot. The select committee can collect exactly that information, and then hand it over to the DOJ.
Second, I don’t care if the MAGA faithful don’t believe in the conclusions of the select committee or not. Far too many Republican voters who follow Fox News or other right-wing media sites religiously are too far gone. But remember, there are Independents as well as plenty of voters who don’t pay very close attention to politics, and they are all persuadable.
So, that’s how I feel about the select committee. How about you?