Anything-but-bipartisan 1/6 commission will seal Pelosi’s retirement. Here’s why
For the good of the country, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) can’t retire soon enough.
The latest reason comes in the form of the joke that is her Jan. 6 commission to investigate the riot at the Capitol on that horrific day for the country. Note: The formation of a commission has bipartisan support. The tragic and chilling events of 1/6 are as worthy of any commission our leaders have put together in the past. But such a commission needs to be free of the kind of ultra-partisan politics on which Pelosi has built her soon-to-be-over career.
Example: The 9/11 Commission, led by former (moderate) New Jersey Gov. Tom Kean (R) and former (moderate) Indiana Rep. Lee Hamilton (D). Those testifying included then-President George W. Bush, then-V.P. Dick Cheney, then-Secretary of State Colin Powell, along with former President Bill Clinton, former V.P. Al Gore and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.
President Biden and Pelosi have no interest in putting together a fair, balanced, truth-seeking commission here as it pertains to 1/6, which some Democrats have stunningly (and stupidly) argued was worse than 9/11. Instead, the House Speaker has appointed the usual Democrats to the commission, along with staunch anti-Trump Republicans, including Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.).
On cue, traditional media has been assisting the Speaker with headlines like these:
Gee. Which Republicans? Like the one who once said that Pelosi has “no business determining which Republicans sit on committees” because it “sets a dangerous precedent for this institution”?
Yep. Cheney said exactly that about the Speaker. Of course, that was before she flip-flopped her way onto this committee and into all the glowing interviews and press that will come along with it.
Kinzinger is another insult to the idea of bipartisanship, considering he was censured by Republicans in his home district this year and disavowed by members of his own family.
Adam Kinzinger claps back at Illinois County GOP’s vote to censure him: “Thanks for playing” https://t.co/9GAJmry8EL
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) February 21, 2021
Read the two-page, hand-written letter Kinzinger’s cousins sent him Jan. 8.
— Reid J. Epstein (@reidepstein) February 15, 2021
“The next step for us has always been to seek and to find the truth. We want to do so in the most patriotic and nonpartisan way, so the American people have confidence in the results,” Pelosi said in first announcing the appointments to the commission earlier this month.
Part of Pelosi’s plan to work with Republicans seems to be to reject those who would inquire about why she rejected pleas from Capitol Police to increase security ahead of Jan. 6.
“Due to the rules of the United States Capitol, the power structure of the Capitol, Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House, has more control and authority and responsibility over the leadership of the Capitol Police than anyone else in the United States Capitol,” Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) told Martha MacCallum on “Fox News Sunday.”
“So she doesn’t want us to ask these questions because at the end of the day, she is ultimately responsible for the breakdown of security at the Capitol that happened on Jan. 6,” he added. “Whether it’s Speaker Pelosi or Liz Cheney or anyone who sits on this committee, it’s clear that those are questions that we should be demanding answers to. Nancy Pelosi doesn’t want me on that committee, but she also doesn’t want us to ask those questions because it leads to a series of answers that don’t fit her narrative.”
Note: Banks was among a group of Republicans Pelosi rejected for the commission.
If Cheney or Kinzinger are truly the patriots speaking truth to power that they claim to be, they should ask the same questions Banks intended to before being nixed by Pelosi.
In the end, Democrats know they’re in serious trouble. They see Biden polling at 38 percent on his handling of skyrocketing crime in this country, an issue his party owns after calls for defunding police/reallocating police funds while looting and rioting dubbed as “mostly peaceful” protests engulfed American cities last summer.
WaPo/ABC poll: “Americans give Biden negative ratings for how he has handled the issue of crime, according to the poll, with 38 percent approving and 48 percent disapproving” https://t.co/A0AtmvG6BP
— Josh Kraushaar (@HotlineJosh) July 2, 2021
They see rising inflation and the cost of living as a tax on every American, with 88 percent of those surveyed saying they were worried about the rising cost of living and 86 percent worried about rising inflation, according to the battleground policy survey group, American Action Network, which polled 51 battleground congressional districts. The party in power in the House, the Senate and the Oval owns that too.
Meanwhile, the share of Americans who are optimistic about the next year has plummeted 19 points since May, from 64 percent to 45 percent. The optimism-pessimism flip comes as Americans give Biden his lowest approval rating for his handling of the pandemic yet in ABC News-Ipsos polling.
Throw in a border that is anything but secure and critical race theory being pushed by the teachers unions in children’s education, and you have a red tsunami in the 2022 midterms that will very likely result in a GOP-held House, a retired Pelosi, a Republican-controlled Senate with Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) as majority leader again and a handcuffed Biden-Harris administration.
The 1/6 commission and all the theatrics that most of cable news will hype to the tilt won’t change what’s coming.
In fact, if the two road-to-nowhere impeachments Pelosi’s presided over are any indication, this hyper-partisan commission will only make the blue team look more desperate.
Joe Concha is a media and politics columnist for The Hill.