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Friday Talking Points -- "We're Just The Guys To Do It!"

[ Posted Friday, July 23rd, 2021 – 17:23 UTC ]

It's like the Republicans all suddenly got put on double-secret probation or something. It seems to have finally dawned on them that the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus is actually real, and it is now killing off an inordinate number of their own base voters. So some of them had, as President Joe Biden said this week, their "altar call" moment.

Of course, hearing "Delta," what popped into our minds for this tectonic shift was Animal House's John Belushi asking his fellow Delts: "Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell, no!" Of course, his speech ended when his frat brother stood up and proclaimed: "I think this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody's part." To which Belushi responded: "And we're just the guys to do it!"

You can see why that sprang to mind this week, as not only GOP congressional leaders and governors but also Fox News stars finally began telling their followers: "Maybe it's not such a good idea to 'own the libs' by not getting vaccinated and running the risk of a gruesome death." At this point, their gesture may prove to be futile (although admittedly it is anything but stupid), but it certainly is a welcome change to see, even if it isn't universal. There are still plenty of Republicans out there telling whomever will listen that the vaccine -- which Donald Trump loves to personally claim credit for, mind you -- is some sort of nefarious plot dreamed up by Joe Biden and his Deep State. You'll recall that in Animal House the "futile gesture" turned out to be an armored car christened the "Deathmobile."

What does all this mean? At this point, who can really tell? It's certainly an interesting development, that's for sure. It's like the Republicans all suddenly realized how self-destructive and downright stupid their anti-vaccination crusade truly was.

One thing this crusade has been, though, is effective. The constant drumbeat of anti-vaccination propaganda on Fox News and the outright disdain and skepticism from Republican politicians has had a dramatic effect on the people who regularly listen to them. A recent poll showed that while 86 percent of Democrats have been vaccinated, only 45 percent of Republicans have. That is a whopping big partisan gap, in what should never have been a partisan issue to begin with. No wonder it is mostly the red states that are getting hit hard, this time around.

At least they're getting increasingly more direct in identifying the real problem. Alabama's Republican governor made the news this week for admitting: "Folks [are] supposed to have common sense. But it's time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks, not the regular folks. It's the unvaccinated folks that are letting us down." Alabama has less than 40 percent of its population fully vaccinated, compared to almost 50 percent nationally.

Republicans, coming out of their anti-vax haze, seem to have missed the critical fact of this partisan gap somehow. When asked why Republican politicians won't even disclose their own vaccination status (for fear of angering all the anti-vaxxers among their voters), one Republican claimed her HIPAA rights were being violated by the question even being asked (which, of course, is false), and another tried to pull the old "whataboutism" deflection, which failed spectacularly:

Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-Texas) on Thursday tried to shame Democrats for not saying whether they've been vaccinated against COVID-19 -- except every Democratic lawmaker is vaccinated and has confirmed as much, unlike a huge portion of Republicans who either aren't vaccinated or won't say.

Jackson, a former White House physician, was trying to deflect a question from a reporter about whether it hurts Republicans' efforts to urge the public to get vaccinated when so many of them won't disclose their own status.

"I think you as a press [sic] have a responsibility to ask questions of the Democrats as well," Jackson said. "How many of the Democrats are willing to say whether or not they've been vaccinated?"

In fact, as of mid-May, House and Senate Democratic lawmakers have had a 100% vaccination rate, according to a CNN survey of all lawmakers.

That same survey found that at least 44.8% of House Republicans and 92% of Senate Republicans are vaccinated. But 112 GOP offices did not respond to multiple CNN inquiries on their vaccination status.

Jackson went on to raise questions about the vaccination status of the more than 50 Texas Democratic legislators who are in Washington, D.C., this month. They are hunkered down in the nation's capital through early August to break a quorum in the Texas state House to stop a voter suppression bill. In recent days, six of them have tested positive for the coronavirus, despite being vaccinated.

"What about the Texas delegation?" asked Jackson. When a reporter pointed out they are all vaccinated, he suggested some may be lying.

"Well, they've said that, including the six that tested positive. Do we have any evidence of that?" he asked. "I highly doubt that all six people were vaccinated and tested positive for this virus. So, you guys need to hold their feet to the fire."

This, from the same political party that insists it is not even an allowable question to ask whether a politician has been vaccinated or not. Now they're demanding that Democrats prove they've been vaccinated. Their hypocrisy knows no bounds. Also, nowhere has the GOP's complete and utter abdication of all pretense at leadership been more apparent.

In case you've forgotten who this guy is, the article has this handy reminder:

Jackson served as physician to the president from 2013 to 2018 under Barack Obama and then Donald Trump. During his time with Trump, Jackson was ridiculed for praising the president's "incredibly good genes" and telling Trump that "he might live to be 200 years old" if ate better [sic].

In March 2021, the Department of Defense inspector general released a scathing report about Jackson's conduct in the White House, concluding that he made "sexual and denigrating" comments about a female subordinate, violated the policy on drinking alcohol on a presidential trip and took prescription-strength sleeping medication that prompted worries from his colleagues about his ability to provide proper medical care.

He's in Congress now, because of course he is.

Thankfully, some Republicans have now seen the light. Here's Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell:

These shots need to get in everybody's arm as rapidly as possible, or we're going to be back in a situation in the fall that we don't yearn for, that we went through last year. I want to encourage everybody to do that and to ignore all of these other voices that are giving demonstrably bad advice.

We hate to point it out, but "all these other voices that are giving demonstrably bad advice" are coming from within your own party, Mitch.

The most astonishing turnaround, however, came on Fox News. Sean Hannity, who has previously called the virus a hoax, actually said on Monday:

I can't say it enough. Enough people have died. We don't need any more death. And it absolutely makes sense for many Americans to get vaccinated. I believe in science. I believe in the science of vaccination.

Funny thing about Fox, though. While they've been fanning the anti-vax conspiratorial flames on their airwaves for all they are worth, behind the scenes they have not only all gotten vaccinated, but the news organization has actually instituted what can only be called vaccine passports -- supposedly the tool of the Devil, according to current Republican orthodoxy. Funny thing, that.

The idiocy of the Republican response to the entire pandemic has been going on for quite a while now. One year ago, Ted Cruz made the following prediction, since he naturally assumed that everyone would treat a worldwide medical emergency as just another way to make political hay:

If it ends up that [Joe] Biden wins in November -- I hope he doesn't, I don't think he will -- but if he does, I guarantee you the week after the election, suddenly all those Democratic governors, all those Democratic mayors will say everything's magically better. You won't even have to wait for Biden to be sworn in. All they'll need is Election Day and suddenly their willingness to just destroy people's lives and livelihoods, they will have accomplished their task. That's wrong, it's cynical and we shouldn't be a part of it.

Of course, not all of the idiocy is buried that deeply in the past. Some is quite fresh. While some Republican governors have figured out what the problem is, many others are racing to prove how little they care about the health and lives of their own constituents:

In Texas, where COVID hospitalizations are up 30 percent and deaths up 10 percent over the past week, Gov. Greg Abbott recently barred counties, cities and school districts from requiring masks. Montana did the same for vaccine and mask mandates, while letting local officials overrule health department orders. And Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, whose state accounts for one in five of new U.S. infections, asserted power to nix local health orders if he concludes they infringe on individual rights.

Many conservative lawmakers spent the first half of the year restricting public health powers such as mask requirements or indoor capacity limits -- measures that blunted COVID's impact when it emerged in the U.S. but quickly became the scorn of the right. Arkansas, Arizona, Idaho, Kansas, Missouri, South Carolina and Utah have in recent months also enacted new laws limiting local authority over the COVID response or any future health emergency.

"I'd rather have a dangerous freedom than a comfortable safety," said Arkansas state Sen. Trent Garner, who successfully pressed a ban on mask mandates and, like many like-minded officials, is adamant it stay in place.

Once again, the ideological hypocrisy is just staggering. Republicans have long preached how the more local a government was, the better. That was right up until they realized that not all mayors and county officials thought exactly as they did on the subject of: "We've got to prove our loyalty to Donald Trump no matter how many of our people die as a direct result!" Then, of course, the state government (safely in Republican hands) had to pre-empt such humane and sane actions.

Since this subject has taken up so much room here, we're going to have to limit ourselves to two unrelated issues to close on, before we move along to this week's awards.

The first of these was the news that yet another Trump confidant has been indicted and arrested for serious federal crimes. This time around it was the guy who ran Trump's 2017 inaugural committee. Add his name to the ever-growing list of other convicted felons, pardoned convicted felons, or those who have been charge with serious crimes but not yet convicted or served their time.

And finally, we end on a controversy that just made us laugh. Here's the full story, from Salon.

Turning Point USA, the right-wing youth student organization led by Charlie Kirk, found itself in an unusual controversy Saturday night after "conservative pornstar" Brandi Love was allowed into a Florida conference and welcomed as an "Adult VIP," sparking backlash.

The drama began early in the night when the adult entertainer's presence in Tampa was first discovered by a follower of white nationalist Nicholas Fuentes and former Kansas State student Jaden McNeil, who wrote on Telegram, "Turning Point USA has a pornstar as a VIP at their Student Action Summit."

"Imagine sending your kids to this conference think they're gonna learn about Christian Conservative values, and they come home with photos with pornstars," he added, attaching a photo of Love snapping a picture with a TPUSA attendee.

Quickly thereafter, white nationalist "groypers" began to approach Love both in person at the event and feverishly online, hurling insults again and again at the adult star.

OK, a couple of things. First, you just gotta love that she was welcomed as an "Adult VIP." The jokes just write themselves, folks...

Second, is anyone else rather astonished that the White nationalists are not only allowed in the conference but have seemingly appointed themselves the moral police of the event? Hoo boy, talk about your "Christian Conservative values," eh? We guess they were "just the guys to do it" or something.

Brandi Love was eventually kicked out of the conference, her credentials unceremoniously revoked. She didn't take the snub very well, which is where we're going to end today:

However, Love wasn't buying it and said the Republican Party is "broken" due to TPUSA officials giving her the boot. "Can't make this shit up lol!! I just watched Charlie Kirk, Dan Bongino, Rick Scott, Kat Timpf, speak about freedom, censorship, how inclusive the 'movement' is," she stated. "And then they had me thrown out of the Turning Point USA conference. The Republican Party is broken."

Well, OK, it's hard to really argue with that final sentence....

 

Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week

Before we get to the awards for people who qualify for them, we do have a few non-Democratic Honorable Mention awards to hand out. The first goes to the Cleveland Guardians ( Indians), who finally decided to do the right thing and rename their baseball team. We've been castigating them since 2007, in fact, although initially it was more for their hideously-offensive logo and mascot. Now that both the Washington Redskins and the Cleveland Indians have decided to change their team names, we certainly hope this trend continues in the major league sports world.

Instead of giving Republican Representative Liz Cheney an award this week, we will be featuring her rather impressive statements to the press a little later on in the program. We will say this, for now: she was responding to the winner of this weeks' Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi had a hard choice to make this week, and in the end she made exactly the right decision (as far as we are concerned). We wrote about this before she publicly made this decision, and urged her to do almost exactly what she wound up doing, so it's really no surprise that we'd pick her for this week's MIDOTW.

A while back, Pelosi named the eight members of the newly-created House 1/6 Select Committee, which has been formed to investigate the insurrection attempt which happened at the start of this year. One of these was a Republican, Liz Cheney, which Pelosi could afford to do since Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy only got to weigh in on the other five members of what was supposed to be a 13-member committee. But, crucially, Pelosi retained veto power over McCarthy's choices.

McCarthy finally did make his choices public this week (up until which it was unclear whether he'd make any recommendations at all). He named five Republicans: Representatives Kelly Armstrong, Jim Banks, Rodney Davis, Jim Jordan, and Troy Nehls. Banks responded by issuing a statement that proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that his only interest in the committee was how much he could disrupt it with immaterial nonsense. This included an accusation that the committee was really formed "to justify the Left's authoritarian agenda," as well as one absurdity (more on that in a moment).

Jim Jordan, of course, is a complete clown, always willing to shout idiocies as quickly and as loudly as he can for the television cameras, and he has already proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is unfit to serve on any serious committee because he is such an unserious person (see: pretty much any committee hearing he has ever attended).

So Pelosi did the right thing. She scratched both their names. After doing so, she made a statement:

With respect for the integrity of the investigation, with an insistence on the truth and with concern about statements made and actions taken by these Members, I must reject the recommendations of Representatives Banks and Jordan to the Select Committee. The unprecedented nature of January 6th demands this unprecedented decision.

Of course, Republicans then went predictably ballistic. McCarthy, in a snit worthy of any cranky two-year-old, petulantly said he was withdrawing all five names from consideration. This played right into Pelosi's hands, since she now has the choice to: just leave the committee as it is, with only eight members (enough for a quorum); name the other willing Republican House member (Adam Kinzinger) to sit on the committee; or name various other Democrats to fill the spots. It also has the serendipitous effect of ensuring that the committee will not be bogged down by Republican deflection, obfuscation, distraction, screaming matches worthy of an elementary-school playground, or just generalized moosepoop. Instead, the committee will be free to do exactly what it is supposed to do: investigate the very serious attack on American democracy from all angles and inform the public the true scope and breadth of what went on both on that dark day and in the days leading up to it. So it all worked out pretty good for not only Pelosi, but for the entire country.

Later, Pelosi was asked why she had scratched Jim Banks, and she pointed to his own statement, issued hours after he had been publicly proposed for the committee by McCarthy, part of which read: "I will do everything possible to give the American people the facts about the lead up to January 6, the riot that day, and the responses from Capitol leadership and the Biden administration." Pelosi gently pointed out how this pretty much disqualified him from serving, since (as she put it): "There was no Biden administration on January sixth. But let's not go into that."

Even better -- Pelosi got really snarky when asked if Republicans would in some way inflict some sort of blowback on Democrats in the future. Her response to this question would likely have won her the MIDOTW on its own: "Perhaps you mistake me for someone who would care about that."

Snark aside, this was a tough political action for Pelosi to take. It was, as she put it, unprecedented. But also entire necessary. So we'll end this segment where we began, with a baseball metaphor: Pelosi stepped up to the plate, and then she absolutely knocked it out of the park. Well done, Madam Speaker!

[Congratulate Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi on her official contact page, to let her know you appreciate her efforts.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week

Again, we begin with a collective group who isn't even eligible for an award. A report came out this week which was pretty disappointing all around, in which the professional polling industry basically admitted that not only they had screwed up badly in the 2020 election cycle (both nationally and at the state level), but it also made a rather concerning conclusion: nobody really has any idea how it all went so wrong.

The chair of the group who did the study wasn't exactly reassuring, saying things like: "We could rule some things out, but it's hard to prove beyond a certainty what happened," and: "Even seven months after the fact, you'd think you'd be able to know exactly what happened." This concluded with: "How certain are we that we can fix this in the future? Well, it's unclear. We'll have to wait and see what happens -- which isn't a particularly reassuring position. But I think that's the honest answer."

Well, thanks for being honest, we suppose.

But this week's Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week goes once again to President Joe Biden, for his comments on bipartisanship and the Senate filibuster at a televised town hall meeting this week. We wrote an entire article on this subject yesterday, so we'll just provide the most cringeworthy thing Biden said. When talking about how both the proposed voting rights bills in the Senate are essentially doomed under the current filibuster rules, moderator Don Lemon pointed out how Barack Obama had called the filibuster "a relic of Jim Crow." Then Lemon asked Biden: "If it's a relic of Jim Crow, it's been used to fight against civil rights legislation historically, why protect it?" Biden responded:

There's no reason to protect it other than you're going to throw the entire Congress into chaos and nothing will get done -- nothing at all will get done. And there's a lot at stake. The most important one is the right to vote. That's the single most important one. And your vote counted, and counted by someone who honestly counts it.

Biden's right about how important it is, but he completely ignores the fact that nothing will get done on the bills until and unless the filibuster rules are changed. The cold reality is the exact opposite of what Biden claimed. This is not some casual gaffe of Biden's, either, he honestly is against reforming the filibuster rules in his beloved Senate. That's fine, since he technically has no say in the matter (senators vote their own rules into place, the White House has no part in the process at all). But while being against filibuster reform is one thing, somehow claiming that "nothing would get done" if the filibuster went away is just ludicrous. More things would get done, by any measure. That's just a political fact.

So not because of his actual stance in favor of keeping the filibuster as it is, but for how he presented his position, Joe Biden is easily our Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week this week.

[Contact President Joe Biden on his White House contact page, to let him know what you think of his actions.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 627 (7/23/21)

Every so often we feel the need to turn over the Talking Points section of the program to more-professional wordsmiths. This is one of those weeks. Because we certainly feel the decision by Nancy Pelosi to reject two of the suggested Republican members of the 1/6 Select Committee was undoubtedly the correct one, but it's nice to see that we're not the only ones who feel this way.

So instead we're going to feature four commentaries on Pelosi's bold move this week, starting with a Washington Post editorial, then featuring two prominent conservative voices, and finally the entire statement given by Representative Liz Cheney on the steps of the same U.S. Capitol that was besieged by insurrectionists six months ago. Not only do we completely agree with all of these, we feel they have properly captured the outrage and horror that having someone like Jim Jordan on the committee would have caused. Far better than we could do, this week.

So here you go. It'd be easy to turn all of these into ready-made Democratic talking points, which we will leave as an exercise for the student. And please note, all emphasis in each of these excerpts is from the original.

 

The first is from the Washington Post editorial board, written after Kevin McCarthy had announced his selections, but before Nancy Pelosi had rejected two of them. The editorial was titled: "Pelosi Must Not Let Kevin McCarthy's Cynical Gambit Spoil The Jan. 6 Investigation."

Having successfully blocked creation of an independent, bipartisan commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol by supporters of then-President Donald Trump, Republicans are now intent sabotaging any kind of serious investigation. That became clear with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's (R-Calif.) selection of members to serve on the select committee formed to investigate the insurrection. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) must not allow his cynical gambit to spoil this opportunity to get to the bottom of the terrible events of Jan. 6.

. . .

On Jan. 6, Mr. Trump's supporters stormed the Capitol in an attempt to stop Congress from certifying the 2020 presidential election results. This was not a peaceful expression of political beliefs; it was a violent and criminal attempt to interfere with the democratic process. A federal judge underscored that fact on Monday when he sentenced a Jan. 6 defendant to eight months in prison, rejecting any notion that the events of that day were simple protest. "There were people storming through the halls of the Capitol saying, 'Where's Nancy?' People were threatening the lives of members of Congress. That is more than a simple riot," said U.S. District Court Judge Randolph D. Moss.

Because of how the committee was created, Ms. Pelosi will have final say on its membership. Her appointments -- including Republican Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.) and Democratic Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (Miss.), the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee who will lead the panel -- reflected a real seriousness of purpose. In contrast, Mr. McCarthy's choices seem solely designed to make a circus of the proceedings. Ringleader, of course, would be Mr. Jordan, a persistent if not terribly skillful disrupter and provocateur. Mr. Jordan, Mr. Banks and Mr. Nehls all voted against certifying the results of the election despite the absence of voter fraud or major irregularities. Their complicity in feeding Mr. Trump's lie about a stolen election is not compatible with any dispassionate investigation of the day's events.

The committee has important questions to explore, including the role that Mr. Trump and the Pentagon played on Jan. 6; possible failures of intelligence; and, most of all, how to lessen the likelihood of a recurrence. Ms. Pelosi should approve the appointment only of legislators who are committed to answering those questions and uncovering the truth.

After Pelosi did, in fact, reject both Jordan and Banks, she earned some praise from some very prominent conservative voices. The first is from Michael Gerson, former head speechwriter for President George W. Bush. He made a larger point in his article, that the Republican Party has embraced extremism to a horrific degree (the article is titled: "The GOP's Dangerous Compact With Extremism Just Became Clearer"), but it starts off by praising Pelosi's choice:

There is no doubt McCarthy's proposed slate of Republican participants was an attempt to euthanize the committee by injection of fanatic stupidity. Proposing Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) for a panel investigating the violence of Jan. 6 is the practical equivalent of appointing Abbie Hoffman to the commission that investigated the bloody riots at the 1968 Democratic convention. At a trial, we usually try to make sure judge and defendant are not the same person.

Remember that during Trump's first impeachment trial -- the one over soliciting help from a foreign power to destroy his political enemies -- Jordan insisted that Trump was really trying to fight corruption. Yes, and the Watergate break-in was actually muscular maid service. In service to Trump, Jordan's strategy is not to distort, bend or spin the truth. His rhetorical technique is to bellow absurd lies at the top of his lungs in the hope no one else can be heard. His selection -- blocked, thank goodness, by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) -- was a malicious choice, by a hollow leader, of a detestable partisan, in a treacherous cause.

C'mon, Michael, don't hold back... tell us how you really feel!

Then there was Jennifer Rubin, hired by the Washington Post long ago to be a conservative blogger, who devoted her entire article ("On Jan. 6, Pelosi Chose Truth. McCarthy Chose Theater.") to the subject:

There's no need to dive into political gamesmanship here. Were these tactics smart? Who won? The media should be as serious about our democracy as Pelosi is. The "story" is simple: Republicans continue to cover up and defend a violent insurrection instigated by their cult hero. They blocked a bipartisan commission and now won't participate unless their disruptive members have a chance to throw the committee into chaos.

McCarthy's decision to take his ball and march off in a huff might have bad consequences for the GOP. First, the select committee may now be the rare congressional investigation that is serious, professional and focused. Without the provocateurs and Jan. 6 apologists, its members can proceed unimpeded through their witness list, subpoena documents and produce a comprehensive account of the day's events, the forces behind it and the recommended steps to prevent this from reoccurring. (Step 1: Do not give McCarthy the speakership.)

And finally, the most scathing commentary came from Representative Liz Cheney, daughter of George W. Bush's vice president and now member of the House of Representatives (holding the same seat her father once did). Cheney, of course, was already named to the 1/6 Select Committee by Pelosi, and has already paid a steep price within her own party for her refusal to buy into Trump's Big Lie. Almost immediately after Pelosi publicly announced her decision to scratch Jordan and Banks from McCarthy's list, Cheney voluntarily appeared out on the Capitol steps to make a statement and answer a few questions from reporters. Her statement is so strong and so crystal-clear that we provide it in full, here. We have edited out (all the ". . ." sections) the reporters' questions, since they truly are superfluous (you can easily tell what was asked by Cheney's responses), but nothing else.

It's worth nothing that Cheney didn't have to do this. She could have quietly stayed in the background and let Pelosi take the heat. We certainly don't agree with pretty much everything else Cheney has ever stood for in her entire political career, but we have to admire her strength of character in making this unequivocal statement.

I want to take a minute to talk about the appointments to the January 6th Select Committee. The rhetoric that we have heard from the Minority Leader is disingenuous. The attack on this building on January 6th was the worst attack on this Capitol since 1814. It was an attack on our Constitution. We supported what would have been the very best option, which was a bipartisan independent commission. The Minority Leader opposed that, he lobbied against it in the Senate, and the Senate blocked it. The American people deserve to know what happened, the people who did this must be held accountable. There must be an investigation that is nonpartisan, that is sober, that is serious, that gets to the facts wherever they may lead. And at every opportunity, the Minority Leader has attempted to prevent the American people from understanding what happened -- to block this investigation.

Today, the Speaker objected to two Republican members. She accepted three others. She objected to two, one of whom may well be a material witness to events that led to that day – that led to January 6th. The other, who disqualified himself by his comments in particular over the last 24 hours demonstrating that he is not taking this seriously. He is not dealing with the facts of this investigation, but rather viewed it as a political platform. This investigation must go forward. The idea that anybody would be playing politics with an attack on the United States Capitol is despicable and is disgraceful, and I am absolutely dedicated and committed to making sure that this investigation holds those accountable who did this and ensures that it never happens again. And the American people deserve that, and that is what we are going to do.

. . .

I am absolutely confident that we will have a nonpartisan investigation, that it will look at the facts, that it will go wherever the facts may lead. There are three members that the Minority Leader proposed that the Speaker did not object to. She has objected to two members, and the rhetoric around this from the Minority Leader and from those two members has been disgraceful. This must be an investigation that is focused on facts. And the idea that any of this has become politicized is really unworthy of the office that we all hold and unworthy of our Republic.

. . .

I agree with what the Speaker has done.

. . .

I think that any person who would be third in line to the presidency must demonstrate a commitment to the Constitution and a commitment to the rule of law, and Minority Leader McCarthy has not done that.

. . .

There are many Republicans, the vast majority of the Republicans, both in the House, as well as across the country, [who] recognize and understand that this was an assault on our democracy, an assault on our Constitution, and that there must be a fact-based investigation so that this never happens again. We cannot allow those voices who are attempting to prevent the American people from getting the truth to prevail, and we certainly will not allow that.

. . .

This committee has been focused, and I am certainly focused on ensuring that we get to the facts. And in fact, there were thirty-five Republicans who supported an independent bipartisan commission, which, as I've said, would have been the far preferable way to go. Minority Leader McCarthy opposed that actively and aggressively, and he lobbied against it in the Senate, and the Senate blocked it. We must have this select committee investigation. This is our only option left, and people must be willing to put their oath to the Constitution above partisan politics and above party. And I am absolutely committed to doing that. And I'm committed to ensuring that this investigation be one that gets to the truth of what happened here on January 6th. Thank you.

 

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground