Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell rejected Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s draft version of a commission to investigate the riots and security breach at the Capitol on January 6, calling it “partisan by design.”
Indeed, Pelosi’s hypocrisy is astounding. She claims she wants a “bipartisan” commission and then proposes a panel made up of seven Democrats and four Republicans. The Republicans would not be given subpoena powers, nor would they be allowed to call witnesses.
It’s almost as if Pelosi were baiting McConnell to turn her down. McConnell didn’t disappoint her.
McConnell rejected a draft version of Pelosi’s proposed commission that would give Democrats a 7-4 majority on the panel, and he said any large-scale review of the insurrection must also include an analysis of broader political violence — a nod to GOP complaints about a wave of riots across the country last summer that followed the death of George Floyd at the hands of police. Expanding the commission’s mandate that way would likely spark significant Democratic resistance.
“If Congress is going to attempt some broader analysis of toxic political violence across this country,” the Kentucky Republican said, “then in that case, we cannot have artificial cherry-picking of which terrible behavior does and does not deserve scrutiny.”
In truth, Pelosi and the Democrats are only interested in turning the commission into a star chamber that will act as judge, jury, and executioner for Republicans. Most of all, it will be an anti-Trump hate fest with Democrats trying to outdo each other in coming up with hysterical, exaggerated attacks on the former president.
The goal of the commission would be to destroy Trump and destroy the Republican Party as an electoral force. No GOP leader could ever allow a Pelosi-style commission and if Pelosi tries to convene such a body, expect a Republican boycott.
McConnell suggested that if Democrats don’t want to investigate the riots last summer, the focus of the commission’s mandate could be narrowed.
McConnell indicated that he would also be open to a commission narrowly focused on security on the Hill.
“We could do something narrow that looks at the Capitol, or we could potentially do something broader to analyze the full scope of the political violence problem in this country,” McConnell added. “We cannot land at some artificial, politicized halfway point.”
Democrats also want a “bipartisan” 9/11-type commission to “investigate” the response to COVID-19. This is the kind of action we can expect from Congress for the next two years.
A senior House Democratic aide emphasized that the speaker’s initial proposal was a “discussion draft” and that Republicans were offered a chance to propose edits. The true holdup, the aide said, is a push from Republicans like McConnell to broaden the commission’s purview to include other “mob-like attacks” across the country, an angle that Democrats consider irrelevant to reviewing the origins of the Jan. 6 insurrection, a singular event.
“Minority Leader McConnell made clear that Republicans do not want a commission and that if one is created, they aim to try to make it about antifa,” the aide said.
The BLM-Antifa uprising is ongoing. They will continue to use political violence to achieve their goals — however incoherent those goals may be. It’s still not clear if the right-wing extremists who breached the Capitol are much of an ongoing threat, although the Biden administration would dearly love to portray them as such. They are looking to make the word “conservative” synonymous with “terrorist” and place that thought firmly in the minds of voters.
If a 1/6 commission was intended to speed that process along, Democrats will be disappointed.