Friday Reads: Mugwump EditionPosted: May 21, 2021
Good Day Sky Dancers!
It seems Republicans in the Beltway would rather not think about the Trumpist insurrection on January 6, 2021. We’ve been told it was just a typical tourist outing. We get told we should get beyond it and work on issues and stuff which basically means using Fox propaganda to talk down any policy but catering to crazy right-wing Christianists and white nationalists or tax-cutting for huge corporations and billionaires. We were also told it wasn’t Trumpists. All that adds up to telling us to not believe our lying eyes reinforced by repeated videos playing showing something quite different. Also, don’t believe the stories of Capitol Officers impaled on flagpoles bearing flags stating said impaler supports the police.
Why even the target of the lynch mob–then Vice President Mike Pence–couldn’t get respect from his brother yesterday. This is from Newsweek: “Greg Pence, Mike Pence’s Brother, Votes Against Jan. 6 Commission, Calls It ‘Cover-up for Failed Biden Admin’.” Yup, I don’t get that statement either.
The brother of former Vice President Mike Pence is defending his House vote against a commission to investigate the violent attack on the United State Capitol that forced his brother into a secured location, calling it a “cover-up for the failed Biden administration.”
“I was here with him, he never left his post,” U.S. Representative Greg Pence, a Republican from Indiana, told reporters at the Capitol on Thursday. “We impeached the president weeks, days later and now here we are having an investigation? Sounds a little bassackwards, right?”
The 1/6 Commission, modeled after the panel assigned to review the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, would review the lead-up to the attack, Capitol security, and future measures that should be taken to prevent another Capitol security issue.
Intelligence doesn’t seem to run in that family.
And so we’re still living the big lie in states targeted for illegal vote recounts. Arizona’s been the laughing stock of the country since the Cyber Ninjas arrived to destroy ballots and search for bamboo in ballots. The Cyber Ninjas are taking it to those states along with rallies by your favorite lie shouting fascist. And you thought he was only around fleecing the government for Secret Service shananigans still. States that he will not admit he lost will see the Disgraced Former Guy at rallies.
Meanwhile, the US Senate has taken up the call for a bi-partisan investigation into the January 6 insurrection. Here are two thought pieces on that.
Haley Byrd Wilt writing for Uphill at the Dispatch has this headline: “GOP Senators Dig In Against January 6 Commission, Many say they still haven’t read the legislation. But they have problems with it.”
Most Senate Republicans are opposed to the House’s proposed independent commission to look into the January 6 attack on the Capitol and the events leading up to it. They’re just not exactly sure why.
In interviews with more than 20 GOP senators on Thursday, Republicans raised fears about how the commission would work, how long it would last, and whether it would amount to a partisan circus. The answers to many of these questions are in the text of the relatively straightforward, 19-page bill passed by the House this week. When pressed on the gap between the details of the bill and their portrayal of it, some senators simply admitted they hadn’t read the legislation.
“If you’re going to turn a commission into a political partisan weapon, you know, use it to subpoena people to embarrass them, use it to want to make allegations that might prove useful in the 2022 elections, you’re actually contributing to the problem,” said Florida Sen. Marco Rubio—who initially expressed more openness to the commission in a conversation with The Dispatch on Monday night. “My general feeling is that if we can have a serious examination of the events leading up to, occurring, and in the aftermath of that day, we should do it,” Rubio said at the time, notably splitting with Republican leaders who called for the commission to also look into violence largely unrelated to January 6. He said Thursday he still hasn’t ruled out the possibility of supporting the commission, but he sounded a lot more skeptical.
“I’m worried about what it would do to our country to have a so-called independent commission that ultimately turns into a partisan political weapon that continues to exacerbate these tensions and divide people even more,” he said. “Because in a way, it sort of contributes to the very environment that made that day possible.”
Rubio’s concern that the commission will issue political subpoenas is addressed by the legislation: The commission would be evenly divided, with five members appointed by Democratic leaders and five appointed by Republican leaders. For Democrats to issue any subpoena, at least one of the five Republican members would have to agree to it. This was a key demand from GOP leaders—that their appointees would essentially have the power to veto subpoenas. That massive concession from Democrats hasn’t made much of an impression on Republican senators, though.
“Well, I’m still going through all the details of it,” Rubio said when The Dispatch pointed out how the commission would be structured and how subpoenas would be issued. “Honestly, we’ve got so much going on here. This is something the House just passed.”
“I haven’t even read it,” Rubio added. “I mean, it just came over. But just my overarching concern is I can already see the shadow of how this is going to be used for a political purpose, and I’m not interested in formalizing some partisan political weapon by either side.”
The bill text has been publicly available since last Friday. The two parties debated the contours of the commission for four months. It would take maybe a couple of minutes for a staffer to outline the important details for their boss—or just a few minutes longer for a lawmaker to actually read the legislation itself. There’s also, of course, a famous precedent that the bill can be compared with: The original September 11 commission legislation.
This lead to a look and a threat of Filibuster and Fillibuster reform. This is from Burgess Everett at Politico: “Filibuster brawl amps up with GOP opposition to Jan. 6 panel
The filibuster has been on hiatus since Joe Biden took over. Senate Republicans are about to change that — over a bipartisan commission to probe the Capitol riot.
After more than four months of letting their power to obstruct lie unused in the Senate, the 50-member Senate GOP is ready to mount a filibuster of House-passed legislation creating an independent cross-aisle panel to investigate the Jan. 6 insurrection. If Republicans follow through and block the bill, they will spark a long-building fight over the filibuster’s very existence.
The filibuster has spent months of lurking in the background of the Senate’s daily business, but the battle over the chamber’s 60-vote threshold will erupt as soon as next week. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is plotting to bring the House’s Jan. 6 commission bill to the floor and daring Senate Republicans to block it.
And GOP opposition is hardening by the day. According to interviews with more than a half-dozen Republicans on Thursday, there is almost no path to even opening up debate on the bill — much less passing it.
“I don’t think there will be 10 votes on our side for it,” said Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind). “At this stage, I’d be surprised if you’re gonna get even a handful.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has been circumspect about his use of the filibuster, leaving the tool untouched so far this Congress as his conference has advanced Democratic bills confronting hate crimes, planning water infrastructure and increasing American competitiveness. But the Jan. 6 commission — and talking about former President Donald Trump for months on end — is a bridge too far for the GOP.
So, an armed insurrection that threatened the lives of this new brand of mugwumps wasn’t a bridge too far for them. Say we had a 9/11 attack and nobody gave a damn enough to look into it?
So, there are a few former republicans around watching all of this with absolute fear and loathing. Michael Gerson is not a guy I usually quote but here we go.
The Washington Post: “Opinion: The threat of violence now infuses GOP politics. We should all be afraid.”
He’s obviously never defended a women’s clinic from right to lifer’s, or a Unitarian church, or had his kids stalked by them either. I’ve been subjected to this stuff since the 1980s when Pat Robertson and the like got all Republican on us. It’s been there for a long time. I remind you I was considered an apostate republican in 1992 for supporting Roe V Wade, the Equal Rights Amendment, and marching through streets with lesbians celebrating women’s suffrage. They’ve been at this for decades.
I still can’t believe what they’ve put Hillary Clinton through for decades. Over 30 freaking Benghazi hearings that find nothing and we can’t get an investigation into folks trying to start a Civil War over a total lie?
So, Former Guy!! This is another fine mess you’ve gotten us into! At least he can’t do this anymore. Via CNN: “Trump administration secretly obtained CNN reporter’s phone and email records — Washington (CNN)The Trump administration secretly sought and obtained the 2017 phone and email records of a CNN correspondent, the latest instance where federal prosecutors have taken aggressive steps targeting journalists in leak investigations.”
Wow, that’s a total disregard for the First Amendment. I have a feeling we’ll hear more about what kinds of things Barr and the former guy did strictly against the Constitution and law.
Meanwhile, we’re still standing. Have a good weekend! Be safe!