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Republicans Don't Negotiate In Good Faith Because They Want Everything To Fail Before The Midterms


"Sedition Commission" by Nancy Ohanian

There isn't a Republican or a Democratic position on Big Tech. That's why it seems so bipartisan. There will be lots of Democrats and lots of Republicans backing the 5 antitrust bills being voted on in the Judiciary Committee Wednesday-- and lots of Democrats and lots of Republicans opposing the bills. It's more like the reformers who care about their constituents want to pass it and the corruptionists who don't give a crap about their constituents want to kill it.


You'd think a resolution to establish an independent nonpartisan commission to investigate the 6/1 insurrection, attempted Trump coup and sacking of the Capitol would be a completely bipartisan undertaking as well. Although, as with anything related to Trump, it's anything but. He's demanded the GOP kill the commission and... well, his wish is their command. On May 19, the commission act passed the House 252-175, every Democrat and 35 Republicans voting aye. So all 175 nay votes were Republicans. including their whole congressional leaderhip, extremists like Cawthorn, Boebert and Taylor Greene and purportedly mainstream conservatives like Tom Cole (OK), Young Kim (CA), Mario Diaz Balart (FL), Mike Bost (IL), Kay Granger (TX), Ann Wagner (MO), Mike Garcia (CA), Vern Buchanan (FL), Michelle Steel (CA)...



It was the Senate that killed it though. McConnell hissed the order and on May 28, his filibuster stood-- the Democrats managing to deliver just 54 of the needed 60 votes, 48 Democrats (Sinema and Murray not bothering to show up) and 6 Republicans. McConnell managed to persuade 34 other Republicans to vote against cloture including those great fake "bipartisans" Shelley Moore Capito, Dan Sullivan (AK), Tim Scott (SC), Jerry Moran (KS), Marco Rubio, Lindsey Graham (SC)...


And Joe Manchin is taken seriously-- by someone-- when he says he wants to see the Senate operate on a bipartisan basis! Even he had to scratch his head over this one:


And even when it came to a very bipartisan-sounding and very paired down-- by Manchin-- voting rights bill, the Republicans made it clear there is nothing anyone could do to make them shut down McConnell's filibuster... which will culminate this week. Pretend moderate Rob Portman was on Meet the Press yesterday declaring Manchin's version "a federal takeover of the election system." We're talking about banning partisan gerrymandering, making election day a federal holiday, mandating a minimum of 15 days early voting, protecting absentee voters, and requiring voter ID (something the GOP has been whining in favor of forever).



Lindsay Graham was on Fox News Sunday carrying on that Manchin's compromise "is the biggest power grab in the history of the country. It mandates ballot harvesting, no voter ID. It does away with the states being able to redistrict when you have population shifts. It's just a bad idea, and it's a problem that most Republicans are not going to sign-- they’re trying to fix a problem most Republicans have a different view of."


And that brings us back around to a congressional investigation of the insurrection. Democrats seem to prefer just getting on with it-- rather than falling for another round of GOP bullshitting to run out the clock. Supposedly Manchin and Collins say they may be able to persuade 3 more Republicans to support it. No one else thinks they can. Most House Dems just want Pelosi to establish a special select committee and get on with it. She says she announce what she intends to do before the July 4th vacation kicks in.


Yesterday, The Hill reported that "Several Democratic allies said Pelosi had been leaning toward a special committee but that Homeland Security Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) had been aggressively making a case that his panel should take the lead, not least because he and the ranking member, Rep. John Katko (R-NY), a moderate Republican, had been able to strike a deal on the original bill creating a bipartisan outside Jan. 6 commission. Katko was also one of just 10 House Republicans to support Trump’s impeachment for inciting the riot, earning the praise of Democrats who’ve been disgusted with Trump’s defenders. 'The attraction with the [Homeland Security panel] is you get Katko, and with the select committee you don't know who you're going to get,' said Rep. Dan Kildee (D-MI), musing about the advantages of the various options."



To be sure, the Democrats’ favored option is to have Congress form an independent, 9/11-style commission to investigate the causes of the attack of Jan. 6, when thousands of Trump supporters, roused by Trump’s false claims of a stolen election, marched on the Capitol in an effort to block Congress from certifying his defeat. Seven people died in connection to the rampage, and roughly 140 police officers were injured while sparring with the rioters.
The House passed the Thompson-Katko bill last month with support from 35 Republicans, but the Senate fell three votes short of the 60 needed to send it to President Biden’s desk. Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Susan Collins (R-ME) are busy trying to convince three of their GOP colleagues to reconsider. But that likelihood appears more remote with each passing day, and House Democrats, growing impatient with the waiting game, are ready to strike out on their own.
“It just seems like on everything the Republicans are just trying to drag everything out, slow everything down, and people are getting very frustrated with it all,” said one Democratic lawmaker supporting the House select committee. “The Speaker's losing patience.”
In a select committee, Democrats see several advantages over the sitting committees. For one thing, a special panel would be singularly focused on the events of Jan. 6, without the distraction of the countless other issues the sitting committees oversee. It would also empower Democratic leaders to dictate the ground rules of the investigation, including the scope, the numerical composition of members, the parameters surrounding the panel’s subpoena powers and the timeline for ending the probe.
A select committee could “move more quickly” than the Homeland Security panel, said one Democrat who prosecuted Trump’s involvement in the Jan. 6 attack during the Senate impeachment trial.
Driving the Democrats’ zeal for a separate investigation, a number of Trump’s Republican allies are now downplaying the violence of Jan. 6, rejecting the notion that the riot was an “insurrection” and accusing Democrats of pushing the probe merely to bash Republicans politically. One GOP lawmaker, Rep. Andrew Clyde (GA), has equated the rampage to a “normal tourist visit.”
Banshee
Republicans are familiar with the political potency of forming such a select committee. Their special investigation into the deadly attack on a U.S. consulate in Benghazi spanned more than two years, kept the heat on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and was thought to be a factor in her loss to Trump in the presidential contest of 2016.
For the Democrats framing Jan. 6 as an existential attack on U.S. democracy, however, the investigation into how it came about has taken on a special urgency. Some say the realization of a comprehensive probe is more important than the particular form it takes.