This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author.
Pelosi's January 6th Commission
Shipwreckedcrew 7/21/2021 7:41 PM
Nancy Pelosi, Image: speaker.gov
There has always been only one goal of the Committee the Democrats in Congress want to create to investigate the events of January 6 — to take the narrative being advanced by the Biden Justice Department and memorialize it in a congressional finding that the Republican Party attempted to subvert democracy by blocking the peaceful transfer of power following the November 2020 election.
The Committee is pre-ordained to reach that conclusion.
The Senate GOP rejected the House resolution to form a joint committee of Congress. Even moderates like Susan Collins recognized it as a sham because they knew the work of the committee, and the report of the committee would be done at the staff level. The bipartisan committee bill — while having an even number of members appointed by each side — gave control over selecting all committee staff to the Chair, and the Chair was to be appointed by Pelosi and Schumer. The Vice-Chair, appointed by GOP leaders, would be consulted on staff hiring, but have not role in the decision-making.
SEC. 7. STAFF OF COMMISSION.
(1) IN GENERAL.—Except as provided in paragraph (2), the Chairperson, in consultation with the Vice-Chairperson, in accordance with rules agreed upon by the Commission, may appoint and fix the compensation of a Staff Director and such other personnel as may be necessary to enable the Commission to carry out its purposes and functions,
That staff would have written the report desired by the Democrat majority.
Just that easy, Nancy and Chuck would have their “Bipartisan Committee” report calling the GOP as a party a threat to democracy prior to the 2022 midterm elections.
When the GOP Senators refused to play along, Pelosi had no option but to put together in the open what she and Chuck Schumer were trying to engineer in the dark — a politicized committee that will have no goal other than to paint the political opposition as a threat to democratic rule and thereby an illegitimate opposing political force.
The Pelosi Committee has 13 members, and she gave to herself the right to pick 8 of the 13. As Speaker, she has authority under House rules to appoint all 13, but the resolution authorizing the formation of the Committee gave the GOP minority the opportunity to name 5 members — in consultation with Pelosi.
Keep in mind, this is a House in which the Democrats enjoy a majority of 220 to 211, with four seats vacant. That means GOP members make up 49% of all seats in Congress, yet Pelosi gives the GOP input on only 38% of the seats on the Committee. She stated that she didn’t want to divide the committee assignments on a 7-6 basis and risk party-line 7-6 votes. When she announced she would select 8 members herself to avoid the possibility of that, she said one of her selections would be a Republican. To no one’s surprise that Republican turned out to be Elizabeth Cheney.
The Committee is set to begin work next week, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy had delayed naming his 5 selections. He did so yesterday, selecting GOP House members Jim Banks (IN), Jim Jordan (OH), Rodney Davis (IL), Kelly Armstrong (ND), and Troy Nehls (TX).
Jordan has the longest tenure in Congress, is the Ranking Member on the Judiciary Committee, is media savvy, and is well known on conservative broadcast outlets as a defender of President Trump. None of the other four have a high profile nationally. Nehls is in his first term, Davis and Armstrong are in only their second terms, and Banks is in his third term. Before running for Congress, Nehls was the elected Sheriff in Fort Bend County Texas for eight years.
How did Pelosi respond? Earlier today she announced that she would not allow Banks and Jordan to serve on the Committee. So, in effect, she allowed the GOP Minority holding 49% of the House seats to select 23% of the Committee’s members.
And none of the staff.
In telling McCarthy that his selections of Banks and Jordan would not be allowed, Pelosi did McCarthy a tremendous favor — she gave him the excuse to walk away from the Committee by withdrawing the remaining three GOP members from the Committee, and invite Pelosi to go it alone. Whatever is produced by the Committee now will be labeled as exactly what it will be — Democrat Party propaganda.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi has taken the unprecedented step of denying the minority party’s picks for the Select Committee on January 6. This represents an egregious abuse of power and will irreparably damage this institution. Denying the voices of members who have served in the military and law enforcement, as well as leaders of standing committees, has made it undeniable that this panel has lost all legitimacy and credibility and shows the Speaker is more interested in playing politics than seeking the truth.
“Unless Speaker Pelosi reverses course and seats all five Republican nominees, Republicans will not be party to their sham process and will instead pursue our own investigation of the facts.”
That would have been a politically difficult position to take at the outset as it would have been spun as the GOP is unwilling to investigate the events of January 6. But Pelosi made McCarthy’s withdrawal easy by making it plain for all to see in striking Banks and Jordan that she wants the only recognizable GOP voice to be that of Cheney’s.
Cheney even climbed on board as a cheerleader for Pelosi today, backing her decision to block Banks and Jordan from the Committee.
Cheney was previously stripped of her leadership position in the GOP caucus because her policy positions were out of step with the membership of the caucus. Now that she has sided against the Minority Leader and the Caucus, it’s time to make her an independent and boot her from the Caucus altogether.
At this point, we can only guess what “remedial” steps the Democrats will propose once they have their “manifesto” for perpetual Democrat Party rule in place. The Committee and what it produces are all part of a process by which the Democrats will seek to minimize — or preferably eliminate — domestic political opposition to their control of the government.
The Democrats see the coercive powers of government as the instruments by which they will engineer the social and political change in the United States that they think is needed. This is a good thing to them.
But they also recognize that their ideals and preferred policies are not popular, so it will take time to overcome resistance. They need extended control of the government to maintain those unpopular policies in place such that they are impossible to change. To accomplish that, they cannot risk losing control of the levers of power.
They cannot afford another Trump-like interloper in 2024 as happened in 2016 when two terms of Hillary Clinton were supposed to finish off what had started under two terms of Barack Obama.
As personally popular as he was, Obama was not able to win the public over to his socialist/neo-Marxist policy views. Hillary never got her chance.
There is no politician on the Democrat horizon in the class of either Obama or Hillary. Because of that, the objective now must be to delegitimize the GOP in order to leave the Democrats as the only political party standing — no matter how unpopular they might be.
The January 6 Committee is about shaping the battlefield for the November 2022 midterms. Everything will be at risk for the Democrats who are doing as much as they can with the ultra-narrow majority they have.
Given the shape of things at the state and local level, national party leadership all moving into their 70s and 80s, and the void at the top of the party, it is “now or never” for the Democrats.
Shipwreckedcrew spent more than 22 years as an Assistant United States Attorney working in two different offices in the Western United States, beginning in 1992 at the end of the Administration of the first President Bush, and departing in 2013 during the second term of Barack Obama. He is a veteran of more than 40 federal criminal jury trials taken to verdict -- as lead counsel in all but the very first one -- and has appeared more than 15 times before Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. He has been in private practice since 2013. He is a regular contributor to Human events, he has been a regular presence on Twitter since 2018, and was a contributor at Red State from May 2020 to July 2021. He writes primarily on legal issues and politics, and is a nationally recognized expert in conservative media in the areas of federal criminal matters and decisions from the Supreme Court. You can also find his work at Shipwreckedcrew@substack.com. follow him on Twitter: @shipwreckedcrew
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