It's Not That Hard To Figure Out Why The GOP Opposes The Sedition Commission

Trump made it clear he opposes the establishment of an independent nonpartisan commission to investigate his failed coup attempt and the events that led up to the violent sacking on the Capitol on 1/6. He issued his marching orders before the House vote and then chastised the 35 Republicans who ignored him after the vote.

After some verbal gymnastics, McConnell and McCarthy have now said they are both on board with Trump's opposition to a sanctioned inquiry. Last night, Carl Hulse suggested ignoring the flimsy justifications and understand that there is just one real reason the congressional Republicans are blocking the commission: They fear it will hurt their party’s image and hinder their attempts to regain power in next year’s midterm elections. McConnell warned his conference that "Democrats had partisan motives in moving to set up the commission and would try to extend the investigation into 2022 and the midterm election season," which would make it harder for Republicans to win over independent and swing voters. McCarthy feels the same way-- than "an investigation into what happened on Jan. 6 as an obstacle in his path" to the speakers chair.

Hulse wrote that "Given that the commission would be likely to delve into the details of Donald Trump’s role in stoking the riot with lies about a stolen election-- and that of his party in spreading those false claims and seeking to invalidate President Biden’s victory-- it stands to reason that any investigation could be damaging to Republicans. The testimony of McCarthy, who was in contact with Trump by phone on Jan. 6, would undoubtedly be sought. Representative Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the No. 2 House Democrat, archly referred to potential Republican culpability during a House debate on Wednesday, saying the inquiry was needed to get to the bottom of what took place. 'Why did that happen?' he asked. 'How did it happen? How can we stop it from happening again? What are the resources that we need? And yes, who was responsible? Some, perhaps, are going to vote against this because that’s what they fear.'"

Pelosi had hoped for a consensus that would create a commission similar to the 9/11 effort, but with Republicans actively working to deflect any close examination of the riot, downplaying and even denying its crucial facts, it has been clear that the GOP would force the Democrats to create a commission on its own which they can then deride as a partisan tool. Hulse wrote that, despite the agreement McCarthy had negotiated through John Katko, Republicans "objected that Democrats would appoint the chair of the panel and control the hiring of staff members, suggesting that even with Republicans able to appoint half of the commission members, Democrats would really be in control." In other words, without the GOP in control of the commission, there would be no independent commission created by Congress that they would support.

[McConnell and McCarthy] believe that Democrats have a vested interest in calling attention to the horrors of Jan. 6, and saw the efforts by Speaker Nancy Pelosi to maintain fencing around the Capitol and keep National Guard troops present as ways to remind Americans of the assault by pro-Trump forces. Given all of that, it is not clear whether the proposal can draw the 10 Republicans whose votes would be needed to advance the bill creating the inquiry past a filibuster in the Senate.
But 35 Republicans in the House broke from the leadership and supported the commission. They said it was time for others in their party to do the same in the pursuit of truth.
“We need the answers, not political rhetoric,” said Representative Fred Upton of Michigan, one of the 35. “That’s what this bipartisan commission can provide for all of us, for our country. Let the truth shine in.”

These are the 35 members who voted to let the truth shine in... against Trump's demands-- along with Trump's percentage in their districts or other relevant data suggesting why they voted yes. The bolded names are those considered the most vulnerable to defeat in the midterms and the names in red have already been targeted by Trump for primary defeats:

  • Don Bacon (NE)- 45.7%

  • Cliff Bentz (OR)- 55.6%

  • Stephanie Bice (OK)- 51.4%

  • Liz Cheney (WY)- 70.4%

  • John Curtis (UT)- 60.3%

  • Rodney Davis (IL)- 50.5%

  • Brian Fitzpatrick (PA)- 46.6%

  • Jeff Fortenberry (NE)- 56.3%

  • Andrew Garbarino (NY)- 51.4%

  • Carlos Giménez (FL)- 52.5%

  • Tony Gonzalez (TX)- 50.3%

  • Anthony Gonzalez (OH)- 56.5%

  • Michael Guest (MS)- 60.1%

  • Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA)- 50.6%

  • French Hill (AR)-53.1%

  • Trey Hollingsworth (IN)- 60.8%

  • Chris Jacobs (NY)- 56.8%

  • Dusty Johnson (SD)- 61.8%

  • David Joyce (OH)- 53.9%

  • John Katko (NY)- 44.4%

  • Adam Kinzinger (IL)- 56.9%

  • David McKinley (WV)- 68.0%

  • Peter Meijer (MI)- 50.7%

  • Mariannette Miller-Meeks (IA)- 51.1%

  • Blake Moore (UT)- 64.2%

  • Dan Newhouse (WA)- 57.8%

  • Tom Reed (NY)- retiring- 54.5%

  • Tom Rice (SC)- 58.8%

  • Maria Salazar (FL)- 48.1%

  • Mike Simpson (ID)- 60.1%

  • Chris Smith (NJ)- 54.6%

  • Van Taylor (TX)- 49.8%

  • Fred Upton (MI)- 51.3%

  • David Valadao (CA)- 43.5%

  • Steve Womack (AR)- 61.9%