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Nancy Pelosi has backed Kevin McCarthy into a corner


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Opinion by
Columnist
July 2, 2021 at 11:21 a.m. EDT
 
 

As the Jan. 6 select committee gears up, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy faces a thorny dilemma. Treating the effort to violently overthrow the U.S. constitutional order as an extremely weighty matter worthy of serious investigation isn’t really an option for the California Republican.

That’s because McCarthy’s party is heavily implicated in that outbreak of mass political violence. Yet disrupting the proceedings or diverting their focus toward some crackpot right-wing media obsession carries its own risks, precisely because the matter is so momentous.

This dilemma is revealed by McCarthy’s deliberations over whether to appoint Republicans to the select committee, which are detailed in a new report from Punchbowl News. His deliberations are highly illuminating about the state of GOP politics today.

Under committee rules, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) must appoint five out of 13 members after "consultation” with McCarthy (giving her veto power), but he isn’t required to exercise this option. Yet Punchbowl reports that he all but certainly will.

Pelosi’s appointment of Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) is already jamming McCarthy, as Joan Walsh points out. After all, he’s required to criticize Cheney’s appointment — it’s GOP orthodoxy that her insistence on accountability for Donald Trump is unacceptable — which underscores the GOP’s adamant opposition to any real accounting.

But McCarthy’s option to pick Republican appointees could also create a serious predicament for him.

McCarthy’s problem

Consider McCarthy’s choices. Punchbowl reports that he might choose Republicans such as Reps. Elise Stefanik (N.Y.) and Jim Jordan (Ohio). These own-the-libs disrupters would win right-wing media plaudits: Indeed, their very consideration shows the strong pull exerted by the need to satiate that drooling right-wing media beast.

But Stefanik’s star has risen precisely because of her high-profile advocacy of the lie that Trump’s loss was dubious or illegitimate. Jordan, too, went to great lengths to sow doubt about the legitimacy of Trump’s loss.

That lie, of course, was central in inciting the insurrection. Given that the committee is charged with investigating the “causes” of the attack, that lie itself will be a major focus of the committee.

How can Republicans who earned renown due to their willingness to echo that same lie sit on this committee without drawing attention to the Republican Party’s own large role in feeding the pathologies that led to the violence?

Indeed, of all the Republicans that McCarthy may pick — according to Punchbowl — just about every one of them voted against certifying President Biden’s electors, a vote that enshrined that lie, on the very day of the attack. There is no way to appoint these Republicans without highlighting the GOP’s own culpability in creating the conditions leading to that day’s horrors.

Theoretically, McCarthy might pick Republicans who didn’t vote against Biden electors, or didn’t feed Trump’s lies, or intend to participate in a real accounting. McCarthy is also reportedly considering several such Republicans.

But this further illustrates his problem. As Cheney noted, her service on the committee is a matter of honoring her “oath” to defend the Constitution. McCarthy can’t appoint too many Republicans who will treat this service as such — as defending the Constitution — because it will invest the proceedings with a gravity that McCarthy cannot allow.

Meanwhile, not appointing anyone would show the GOP to be uninterested in any accounting.

Let’s not forget that McCarthy himself was a pivotal player. His frantic appeals to Trump to call off the rioters will surely be a focus: They will illustrate Trump’s full intention to intimidate lawmakers into reversing the election with mob violence.

‘An insurgency against democracy’

Rick Perlstein suggests we’re witnessing “an insurgency against democracy with parliamentary and paramilitary wings.” The first consists of lawmakers who sided with Trump’s efforts to overturn the election through legal means that morphed into efforts at direct theft. The second consists of those who crossed into violence toward that same end, at Trump’s instigation.

Perhaps all this is best understood as a spectrum moving from “parliamentary” to “paramilitary.” Some Republicans fed the lies about Trump’s loss. Some supported sham lawsuits to overturn the results. Some voted to overturn Biden electors. Some state Republicans entertained sending rogue electors.

Some called on people to attend the “Stop the Steal” rally that produced the violence. Some now minimize and distort the attack, giving cover to a movement that actually did attempt to overturn the constitutional order through mob violence.

The committee’s investigation will inevitably shed light on the place of Republicans all along that spectrum, including any role that GOP lawmakers might have had in planning the rally and, possibly, communicating with Trump about what his true intentions for it were.

I asked Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), a member of the committee, whether the role of individual Republicans in the organization of the rally, and the role that the mass GOP feeding of Trump’s lies played in inspiring the violence, will be topics of the inquiry.

“Our charge is to determine the events of Jan. 6 and the causes of those events,” Raskin told me. “If we are willing to identify the role of the president of the United States in these events, surely we have to be willing to look at the role all other relevant actors played. We want nothing but the facts.”

It’s hard to see how McCarthy can avoid appointing Republicans who themselves fell somewhere on that spectrum. Yet if he appoints Republicans who treat the committee’s mission with the weight it deserves, that will also pose a huge problem. His lack of any obvious way forward itself illustrates how deeply implicated the GOP is in the very horrors that the committee is designed to illuminate.

 
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If we were actually fair about it all we’d say all of them are in a corner. Instead some take sides and could care less about the entirety of the country.

 

Happy Independence weekend 

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13 hours ago, autigeremt said:

If we were actually fair about it all we’d say all of them are in a corner. Instead some take sides and could care less about the entirety of the country.

Yet one party supported  a violent overthrow of our democracy and are in a state of denial about it.

To any objective observer, there is no equivalence.

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On 7/3/2021 at 12:13 PM, homersapien said:

Yet one party supported  a violent overthrow of our democracy and are in a state of denial about it.

To any objective observer, there is no equivalence.

YOUR party supported the KKK and all sorts of racist, anti-American ideals....yet the term Democrat lives on while others are cast into the lake of fire. 

Give it a rest......

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, autigeremt said:

YOUR party supported the KKK and all sorts of racist, anti-American ideals....yet the term Democrat lives on while others are cast into the lake of fire. 

Give it a rest......

Just because Democrats supported racist, anti-American ideals 150 years ago IS NOT a good justification or excuse for Republicans supporting racist and anti-American ideals today in 2021 

 

Edited by CoffeeTiger
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On 7/3/2021 at 12:13 PM, homersapien said:

Yet one party supported  a violent overthrow of our democracy

No one has supported the “ violent overthrow of our democracy “. 

 

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17 hours ago, autigeremt said:

YOUR party supported the KKK and all sorts of racist, anti-American ideals....yet the term Democrat lives on while others are cast into the lake of fire. 

Give it a rest......

Actually, that party became modern day Republicans. 

Bone up on your history.  :no:

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, SaltyTiger said:

No one has supported the “ violent overthrow of our democracy “. 

 

The insurrectionists on Jan. 6 certainly did. 

And now Republicans want to sweep it under a rug. 

Not to mention setting themselves up in several states to throw an election legally by giving state legislators the power to do so.

 

Edited by homersapien
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6 hours ago, homersapien said:

Actually, that party became modern day Republicans. 

Bone up on your history.  :no:

Nope. You bone up on your history. Only 4 legislators changed sides. No party switched. The democrats were racists then and they are now. I lived in in Birmingham. You must be rereading your rewritten history. And if we had wanted to seize the government by insurrection on Jan 6, Nancy and Chuck would be rotting in jail where they belong. You are confusing an insurrection with a permitted "largely peaceful" gathering of patriots who wanted integrity upheld in an election. 

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15 hours ago, jj3jordan said:

Nope. You bone up on your history. Only 4 legislators changed sides. No party switched. The democrats were racists then and they are now. I lived in in Birmingham. You must be rereading your rewritten history. And if we had wanted to seize the government by insurrection on Jan 6, Nancy and Chuck would be rotting in jail where they belong. You are confusing an insurrection with a permitted "largely peaceful" gathering of patriots who wanted integrity upheld in an election. 

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5207159.jpg

 

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58 minutes ago, CoffeeTiger said:

xvftf8e85v971.png?width=640&crop=smart&a

5207159.jpg

 

Great memes but you don’t have to be a skeleton to remember George Wallace and Bull Connor. Not exactly turn of the century.  The democrats ran the clan throughout the 20th century until it faded away.  Revisionists don’t like to hear that.

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On 7/6/2021 at 4:58 PM, autigeremt said:

YOUR party supported the KKK and all sorts of racist, anti-American ideals....yet the term Democrat lives on while others are cast into the lake of fire. 

Give it a rest......

With the election of Reagan, that changed, totally.

That is why Manchin and Sinema are outliers

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45 minutes ago, jj3jordan said:

Great memes but you don’t have to be a skeleton to remember George Wallace and Bull Connor. Not exactly turn of the century.  The democrats ran the clan throughout the 20th century until it faded away.  Revisionists don’t like to hear that.

And of course let's not forget those that filibustered the Civil Rights Act of 1964......Al Gore Sr (yes that was Clinton VP's father), J William Fullbright (Bill Clinton's mentor) and Robert C. Byrd......those damn Repub.......oh wait, those were Democrats.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, SaltyTiger said:

Of course they did not care to join Nancy and Chuck investigating the riot. See where they hope to avoid another circus…

.https://www.cnn.com/2021/07/08/politics/january-6-select-committee-democratic-strategy/index.html

Nor did they care to support an independent, non-partisan investigation like the 9/11 commission either.  They do not want any sort of investigation, ever.

Like I said, they want to sweep the whole thing under a rug.

Edited by homersapien
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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, auburn41 said:

And of course let's not forget those that filibustered the Civil Rights Act of 1964......Al Gore Sr (yes that was Clinton VP's father), J William Fullbright (Bill Clinton's mentor) and Robert C. Byrd......those damn Repub.......oh wait, those were Democrats.

How the ‘Party of Lincoln’ Won Over the Once Democratic South

Democratic defectors, known as the “Dixiecrats,” started a switch to the Republican party in a movement that was later fueled by a so-called "Southern strategy."
 
 

The night that Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, his special assistant Bill Moyers was surprised to find the president looking melancholy in his bedroom. Moyers later wrote that when he asked what was wrong, Johnson replied, “I think we just delivered the South to the Republican party for a long time to come.”

It may seem a crude remark to make after such a momentous occasion, but it was also an accurate prediction.

To understand some of the reasons the South went from a largely Democratic region to a primarily Republican area today, just follow the decades of debate over racial issues in the United States......

 

........After that, the majority of the South still continued to vote Democratic because it thought of the Republican party as the party of Abraham Lincoln and Reconstruction. The big break didn’t come until President Johnson, another Southern Democrat, signed the Civil Rights Act in 1964 and the Voting Rights Act in 1965.

Though some Democrats had switched to the Republican party prior to this, “the defections became a flood” after Johnson signed these acts, Goldfield says. “And so the political parties began to reconstitute themselves.”

The change wasn’t total or immediate. During the late 1960s and early ‘70s, white Southerners were still transitioning away from the Democratic party (newly enfranchised black Southerners voted and continue to vote Democratic). And even as Republican Richard Nixon employed a “Southern strategy” that appealed to the racism of Southern white voters, former Alabama Governor George Wallace (who’d wanted “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, and segregation forever”) ran as a Democrat in the 1972 presidential primaries.

By the time Ronald Reagan became president in 1980, the Republican party’s hold on white Southerners was firm. Today, the Republican party remains the party of the South. It’s an ironic outcome considering that a century ago, white Southerners would’ve never considered voting for the party of Lincoln.

 
 
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, jj3jordan said:

Great memes but you don’t have to be a skeleton to remember George Wallace and Bull Connor. Not exactly turn of the century.  The democrats ran the clan throughout the 20th century until it faded away.  Revisionists don’t like to hear that.

So resurrect all those Democratic Klansmen of the 20th century. 

Show them the realities of today's political parties and you tell me who you think they'd side with today.

Would it be the Democrats with almost 20% Black membership, with 40% identifying as non-religious, supporting abortion, voting rights for minorities, and recently had a black man as it's leader? 

Or would the old Klan support todays Republicans who are less than 5% black, over 80% white, 79% Christian, against Abortion, against feminism, against all things the old Klan campaigned against, and have no black leaders. 

 Which party would the Klan support today? 

Yeah I agree, Democrats used to be ugly, horrible people. but that was then...we now live in the present. I don't support Democrats because they identify as Democrat. I support them because of their idea's and beliefs. 

If todays Democrats were Republicans then I'd be a Republican too.  

Edited by CoffeeTiger
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Posted (edited)
57 minutes ago, homersapien said:

How the ‘Party of Lincoln’ Won Over the Once Democratic South

I could have sworn that Al Gore Sr and Jr, Fullbright, Bill Clinton and Robert Byrd all stayed Democrats.  Who knew they switched to the Republican Party?

Edited by auburn41
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1 hour ago, auburn41 said:

I could have sworn that Al Gore Sr and Jr, Fullbright, Bill Clinton and Robert Byrd all stayed Democrats.  Who knew they switched to the Republican Party?

Dead, Dead, Irrelevant, Dead.

Look, we are discussing history.  It is common knowledge that the Democrats of the first half of the 20th century switched parties.  This resulted from the ultimate stance of the two parties on civil rights for blacks, as manifested by Lyndon Johnson's policies.  It was solidified by Nixon's "Southern Strategy".

To assign the modern Democratic Party the racist positions they had in the first half of the 20th century, is simply wrong.  It demonstrates ignorance of the history. (see below)

Southern strategy

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_strategy

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5 minutes ago, homersapien said:

Dead, Dead, Irrelevant, Dead.

Look, we are discussing history.  It is common knowledge that the Democrats of the first half of the 20th century switched parties.  This resulted from the ultimate stance of the two parties on civil rights for blacks, as manifested by Lyndon Johnson's policies.  It was solidified by Nixon's "Southern Strategy".

To assign the modern Democratic Party the racist positions they had in the first half of the 20th century, is simply wrong.  It demonstrates ignorance of the history. (see below)

Southern strategy

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_strategy

Hell the racist Democrat that currently occupies the Whitehouse is enough example of my point.  His own (current) VP called him a Racist during their primary debates.  He was buddies with all the good ol boy Dem racists.  He called Delaware a "slave state," said he didn't want his kids going to school in a "racial jungle," said recently that "poor kids are just as smart as white kids."  Oh, and my favorite is the one where he called Obama "articulate and clean....man that is story book."  I rest me case.  When are you gonna start holding your current elected officials accountable for their actions and words.  You personally went ape s*** over everything Trump said but you give all of your Dem friends passes.  It is getting really old.

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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, auburn41 said:

Hell the racist Democrat that currently occupies the Whitehouse is enough example of my point.  His own (current) VP called him a Racist during their primary debates.  He was buddies with all the good ol boy Dem racists.  He called Delaware a "slave state," said he didn't want his kids going to school in a "racial jungle," said recently that "poor kids are just as smart as white kids."  Oh, and my favorite is the one where he called Obama "articulate and clean....man that is story book."  I rest me case.  When are you gonna start holding your current elected officials accountable for their actions and words.  You personally went ape s*** over everything Trump said but you give all of your Dem friends passes.  It is getting really old.

 

Well, Biden is certainly old enough to have been "buddies" with all the good ole boy racists.  People change, especially over the course of 78 years.  Biden certainly has.  Just ask Jim Clyburn, or Barrack Obama for that matter.

But the general point about the Democrats and Republicans switching positions on race is historical fact. You'd have to be a fool to think the Democratic party is the party of racists today.  Blacks are the most important and loyal constituency they have.

But to hear a MAGA call Democrats racist doesn't surprise me at all, considering.  :ucrazy:

 

Edited by homersapien
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13 minutes ago, auburn41 said:

Hell the racist Democrat that currently occupies the Whitehouse is enough example of my point.  His own (current) VP called him a Racist during their primary debates.  He was buddies with all the good ol boy Dem racists.  He called Delaware a "slave state," said he didn't want his kids going to school in a "racial jungle," said recently that "poor kids are just as smart as white kids."  Oh, and my favorite is the one where he called Obama "articulate and clean....man that is story book."  I rest me case.  When are you gonna start holding your current elected officials accountable for their actions and words.  You personally went ape s*** over everything Trump said but you give all of your Dem friends passes.  It is getting really old.

I mean...yeah...Biden's said a lot of stupid, racist stuff in the past. I agree....

He is far from perfect. 

You're also proving how moderate Biden really is and that he's not the radial, progressive, woke, socialist that every Republican claims him to be. 

 

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6 minutes ago, CoffeeTiger said:

You're also proving how moderate Biden really is and that he's not the radial, progressive, woke, socialist that every Republican claims him to be. 

Pure unadulterated BS.  His policies thus far are more radical, progressive, woke and socialist than the policies of any President before him.  

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11 minutes ago, homersapien said:

But to hear a MAGA call Democrats racist doesn't surprise me at all, considering.  :ucrazy:

You're old enough to have been buddies with plenty of racists as well.  I am not arguing that positions have not changed.  I'm saying there are plenty of racist a$$holes on the left that get a pass because they have a "D" next to their name.  You, and people like you will always give a person a "pass" if they vote the correct way.

How about Ralph Northam for example?  Has he switched parties yet?  BTW, calling people names is childish, grow up!  

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