We Can't Be Held Hostage to a Political Party That Has Lost Its Mind

Charles P. Pierce
·3-min read
Photo credit: Caroline Brehman - Getty Images
Photo credit: Caroline Brehman - Getty Images

Back in February, when the idea of a bipartisan commission to study the events of January 6 first arose, it was the opinion around this shebeen that the whole idea was as doomed as Caesar in the Senate, because the Republicans’ complicity in those events would make the “bipartisan” element of any proposed bipartisan commission at best a burlesque, and at worst a tragedy. The shebeen takes no joy in the fact that it was exactly correct in this regard. The idea is in fact as dead as Kelsey’s nuts. From the Washington Post:

Initial negotiations aimed at establishing an independent commission in the style of the panel that investigated the Sept. 11 attacks ran aground earlier this year after Republican leaders insisted that it scrutinize left-wing extremism — including the amorphous antifa movement that Trump and other conservatives have blamed for fomenting violence in D.C. and other cities — alongside the far-right and white nationalist groups suspected of having planned or encouraged the mayhem. Democrats resisted, accusing the GOP of trying to distract the public from the fact that extremist groups in the Republican base were responsible for the riot.

This is the point at which we are supposed to pity the poor GOP because it just can’t quit its vulgar talking yam.

Many rank-and-file Republicans have been forced to walk a political tightrope, as a majority still believe the election was stolen from Trump. The former president still wields outsize influence in the GOP, which is presently the minority party in Washington but is within striking distance of making a comeback in 2022 — if leaders can hold their ranks together.

Meanwhile, we recently have been inundated with stories about how the the hardest of the hardcore insurrectionist Republicans have been raising gobs of campaign cash and, since so much of the political world measures political success and political power by political fundraising, the political world is awash in speculation that telling the truth about the insurrection—and about the president who incited it—is a political loser. Republican politicians seem to be buying this. Designated Voice in the Wilderness Rep. Adam Kinzinger, Republican of Illinois, seems to have a deeper understanding than many of his colleagues. From CNN:

"If you send out an email that says, 'Please give me money so I can, you know, make the roads better, or your life better,' you'll raise a little money. If I send out an email that says, 'If you don't send me five or $10, Nancy Pelosi's going to destroy your family,' I'll raise a lot more…We have learned that and we have fed a steady diet of fear.”

(Of course, this firm grasp of the obvious was not enough for Kinzinger to vote for H.R 1, the sweeping political reform bill that passed the House and that is currently being Manchinned to a standstill in the Senate.)

Our politics can never truly move forward on anything until there is a final and complete reckoning of the only organized mob coup d’etat in the country’s history. The longer that reckoning is delayed, the harder it’s going to be for the country and its politicians to recover public confidence in the government’s institutions, without which self-government itself is a limping, spavined farce. If the Democratic congressional majorities have to go it alone, then they should. If Merrick Garland’s Department of Justice needs to be the venue for that reckoning, then so be it. It’s too important to be hostage to a party that has lost its mind, and that’s funding its operation on the public’s mania.

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