Last night's hearings were compelling, especially the testimony from Trump Administration insiders. It appears that President Trump was exactly as callous about the danger to his Vice-President* as my most pessimistic estimates, the kind of disloyalty that Republicans once abhorred. There's also no doubt that the President was told multiple times by his own hand-picked people, that he had lost the election and there was no credible evidence of significant fraud or tampering.
I was interested to see that the January 6 committee's information on the riot/insurrection focused mainly on extremist organizations (Proud Boys and Oathkeepers), attacks on police and security barriers, and evidence that the then-President's Tweets were being relayed to the mob in real time -- and not on the more "colorful" characters or Qanon influence that dominated early media coverage. That's the difference between fast-turnaround news media going for soundbites and eye-catching visuals, and a slow, careful investigation. Some long-form coverage has paralleled the committee's work, but having subpoena power and Congressional backing allowed the committee to get a much deeper look.
A commentator on the news network that passed on covering the hearing unlimbered a fairly unhinged rant about the hearing, invoking both discussion of Qanon and the presence of Nancy Pelosi -- neither of which featured at the hearing, unless you count rioters surging into the Speaker's (unoccupied) office, ominously chanting her name. So it's clear he didn't even watch reports about what the committee was intending to do, let alone the hearings themselves.
The initial January 6 committee hearing was a well-focused, factual presentation. I wrote yesterday that I did not expect it would change any opinions, and in the early going, it has not. That's about as wild a prediction as a sunrise in the East. Nevertheless, the presentation served an historical purpose and may provide a basis for future Department of Justice action. Time will tell. (Good after-action summaries here.)
There has not -- yet -- been as much handwaving, smoke-and-mirrors denial as I had expected in reaction. Time will tell about that, too; the day is young and reporters, Congressthings and Senators all like to sleep in. Plenty of time left to hit the late editions, the Web and the evening newscasts.
* And look here, Mike Pence may be a stiff-necked, moralistic prig, but he's Indiana's stiff-necked, moralistic prig, as honest as he is inflexible and essentially decent. Musing that he ought to be hanged for refusing to violate the Constitution to satisfy a President's thirst for power is bloody-minded crazysauce. A GOP with candidates and officeholders modeled on Mike Pence would be infuriatingly conservative (if "owning the libs" is your thing, you'll love 'em) and more than a little narrow-minded, but they would conserve, not destroy; they'd be reliable, able to compromise when (absolutely) necessary and they would keep their word. They would put their country and the Constitution first, over Party or personality. Don't hold your breath waiting to see that.
BUILDING A 1:1 BALUN
3 years ago