Let Them Howl

Speaker Pelosi's decision to veto Republican choices to the committee on January 6th is a rare sign of backbone. Let's hope it continues.

“I must reject the recommendations of Representatives Banks and Jordan to the Select Committee….” Those were the words of Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday, as she rejected two Republican suggestions to sit on the commission to investigate January 6th. The move is sure to anger many Republicans, but that is inevitable these days. Despite what some have suggested, Pelosi’s decision is the best move she has made in a long time.

While some may howl and wail about bipartisanship, reality doesn’t support their complaints. Bipartisanship was never going to happen as long as the Republican party was tied to the 45th president and his lies about the attack. Representatives Banks and Jordan have both shown themselves to be strong Trump loyalists and overtly conspiratorial. Jim Jordan (R-OH) has an overwhelming loyalty to the former president and has voted 88.7 percent of the time with the one-term Commander-in-Chief. Jim Banks (R-IN) has outshined Jordan with his voting record, voting 92.6 percent of the time with the former president’s agenda. Additionally, both of these men refused to certify Biden’s election as President, despite Biden winning 7 million more votes than Donald Trump. The idea that these men will put their partisan endeavors aside for the good of their country is beyond absurd.

The Only Move to Make

Though it may appear in their best interest to appeal to Republicans, this perspective is as old as it is faulty. Democrats attempted to established a bipartisan commission to investigate January 6th all the way back in May, but Republicans in the Senate refused to accept the commission despite being permitted an equal amount of seats on the committee. Democrats, naive as they may have been, were acting in good faith. The commission would’ve comprised ten members on the Senate committee, five Republicans and five Democrats. But the Democrats lacked the necessary Republican votes to get it through, as only six Republicans voted for the committee. The new House committee is the inevitable result of that obstructionism.

Republicans are fully aware of what they’re doing. They got a seat at the table, but instead of playing with everyone else, they flipped the table because they didn’t approve of the topic of discussion. And there’s a reason for that.

Republicans are betting on their ability to stymie these committee hearings as best they can to avoid facing the consequences of their rampant conspiracism. They will point to any number of issues that, while important, distract from the brutal reality they created through their refusal to admit defeat. They hope that Americans will forget what happened on January 6th and vote for them in 2022, allowing them to regain control of either the House or the Senate. From there, it would be easy for the GOP to block any attempt to understand what our country faced on that violent day fully.

Terrible Candidates Ought Not Hold Power

The ranting and raving about Pelosi’s decision to block these two Representatives is precisely the kind of deceptive framing that has been the GOP staple for the last four years. Instead of asking why Jordan and Banks should be on the committee, Republicans demand that Speaker Pelosi explain why she refused them, even when it is fully within her jurisdiction to do so.

Moreover, the GOP seems to forget that there is a record of what people like Jordan have been saying about this commission. Earlier last month, Rep. Jordan argued that the commission was an attack on Trump, saying:

“I know I’ve got real concerns — I know he does — that this is all just political, and that this is impeachment three against President Trump…

He has also voted against the House committee to investigate, despite his Senate colleagues’ unwillingness to support a bipartisan alternative. Even some Republicans have applauded the move by Speaker Pelosi. In an interview with ABC News, Rep. Liz Cheney supported Pelosi’s move and called out her colleagues for objecting to an obvious move by a pragmatic speaker.

If there is anything to be learned from this, it is that the Republican Party has taken the January 6th insurrection and turned it on its head for the sake of their own gain. Never mind that people died or that violent insurrectionists nearly overtook our Capitol. If the Republicans want power, they will go to any means to get it. If that wasn’t obvious before, it sure is now.