top of page

The Democrats Put Together A Pair Of Buzzsaw Teams For Judiciary & Oversight

With House Republicans intending to build up to the 2024 elections with the work of the Judiciary and Oversight Committees, the Democrats announced the creation of two buzzsaw teams to take them on. Democratic powerhouses Adam Schiff, Eric Swalwell, Ted Lieu, David Cicilline, Pramila Jayapal, Jerry Nadler, Steve Cohen, Sheila Jackson Lee, Joe Neguse, Mary Gay Scanlon and Cori Bush are among the strongest members of the House and they're members of the Judiciary Committee now. The full Democratic membership as of yesterday:

  • Jerry Nadler (NY), Ranking Member

  • Zoe Lofgren (CA)

  • Sheila Jackson Lee (TX)

  • Steve Cohen (TN)

  • Hank Johnson (GA)

  • Adam Schiff (CA)

  • David Cicilline (RI)

  • Eric Swalwell (CA)

  • Ted Lieu (CA)

  • Pramila Jayapal (WA)

  • Lou Correa (CA)

  • Mary Gay Scanlon (PA)

  • Joe Neguse (CO)

  • Lucy McBath (GA)

  • Madeleine Dean (PA)

  • Veronica Escobar (TX)

  • Deborah Ross (NC)

  • Cori Bush (MO)

  • Glenn Ivey (MD)

Republicans will be led, laughably, by Gym Jordan (OH), who has been credibly accused by over a dozen former OSU wrestler team members of allowing systemic sex abuse during his time on the staff. His second-in-command is career criminal Darrell Issa (CA). Sexual predator and child sex trafficker Matt Gaetz (FL) is also on the committee. Other members include Ken Buck (CO), Mike Johnson (KKK-LA), Andy Biggs (AZ), Tom McClintock (CA), Tom Tiffany (WI), Thomas Massie (KY), Chip Roy (TX), Dan Bishop (NC), Victoria Spartz (IN), Scott Fitzgerald (WI), Cliff Bent (OR), Ben Cline (VA), Lance Gooden (TX), Jefferson Van Drew (NJ), Barry Moore (AL), Troy Nehls (TX), Russell Fry (SC), Harriet Hageman (WY), Wesley Hunt (TX), Kevin Kiley (CA), Laurel Lee (FL) and Nathaniel Moran (TX).

The Committee on Oversight and Accountability has some real heft as well with Jamie Raskin, AOC, Katie Porter, Ro Khanna, Cori Bush (she’s the only member on both committees), Kweisi Mfume and Daniel Goldman. The full Democratic membership (aka- The Truth Squad):

  • Jamie Raskin (MD), Ranking Member

  • Eleanor Holms Norton (DC)

  • Stephen Lynch (MA)

  • Gerald Connolly (VA)

  • Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL)

  • Ro Khanna (CA)

  • Kweisi Mfume (MD)

  • AOC (NY)

  • Katie Porter (CA)

  • Cori Bush (MO)

  • Jimmy Gomez (CA)

  • Shontel Brown (OH)

  • Melanie Stansbury (NM)

  • Robert Garcia (CA)

  • Maxwell Frost (FL)

  • Becca Balint (VT)

  • Summer Lee (PA)

  • Greg Casar (TX)

  • Jasmine Crockett (NY)

  • Daniel Goldman (NY)

  • Jared Moskowitz (FL)

Republicans on Oversight will be led by Kentucky racist James Comer, whose very first action was to disband the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, since he has no intention of dealing with issues like voting rights, freedom of assembly or criminal justice reform. Instead he and his lunatic members intend to spend time shrieking about Hunter Biden. His crackpot members include Gym Jordan (OH), Mike Turner (OH), Paul Gosar (AZ), Virginia Foxx (NC), Glenn Grothman (WI), Gary Palmer (AL), Clay Higgins (KKK-LA), Andy Biggs (AZ), Nancy Mace (SC), Jake LaTurner (KS), Pat Fallon (TX), Byron Donalds (FL), Pete Sessions (TX), Kelly Armstrong (ND), Scott Perry (PA), William Timmons (SC), Tim Burchett (TN), Marjorie Traitor Greene (GA), Lisa McCLain (MI), Lauren Boebert (CO), Russell Fry (SC), Anna Paulina Lunatic (FL), Chuck Edwards (NC), Nick Langeworthy (NY) and Eric Burlison (MO).

Jordan’s Judiciary Committee bullshit starts today with a hearing on the southern border. Several Republicans are demanding Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas be impeached.

If the 2 committees were being serious about working for the benefit of the American people, they would be looking very seriously into James Sasso’s guest essay in Monday’s NY Times. Sasso served as senior investigative counsel for the Jan. 6 committee and worked on drafting its final report. Trump was obviously guilty but Sasso wanted to look at how he + “political, social, economic and technological forces beyond the former president had a hand, whether intentionally or not, in radicalizing thousands of people into thinking they needed to attack the seat of American democracy. Only by understanding how those people lost faith in our governing institutions can we as a country figure out how to protect our democracy from threats like the attack on the Capitol.” His team “investigated the people who planned and attended the riot, as well as the domestic extremist groups responsible for much of the violence.” Thinking of them as zombies won’t solve anything. He looked at “how distrust of the political establishment led many of the rioters to believe that only revolution could save America.”

I remember when I was growing up in the ‘60s, distrusting the elites, the establishment, the FBI, the CIA, the DOJ… everyone these people Sasso studied. But we wanted a revolution. These people want to opposite— a counter revolution. The rioters that he interviewed— the ones being prosecuted— told him that the federal government had “worked against everyday Americans for years, favoring entrenched elites with its policies. For many defendants— both those awash in conspiracy theories, as well as some of the more reasonable Trump supporters at the Capitol that day— a stolen election was simply the logical conclusion of years of federal malfeasance. Sasso notes that “with the legitimacy of democracy so degraded, revolution appeared logical. As Russell James Peterson, a rioter who pleaded guilty to ‘parading, demonstrating, or picketing’ in the Capitol, said on Dec. 4, 2020, ‘the only way to restore balance and peace is through war. Too much trust has been lost in our great nation.’ Guy Reffitt, who earned seven years in prison for leading the charge up the Capitol steps while carrying a firearm, made a similar case later that month: ‘The government has spent decades committing treason.’ The following week, he drove 20 hours to ‘do what needs to be done’ because there were ‘bad people,’ ‘disgusting people,’ in the Capitol. Oath Keepers convicted of seditious conspiracy and other crimes, like their leader Stewart Rhodes, had long believed that a corrupt group of left-wing elites was preparing to upend American freedoms and that only militias like themselves could save the Constitution. Their loss of faith in the federal government had led them to the delusion that their seditious behavior to keep Trump in power was patriotic.”

Since the 1960s, political scientists have surveyed Americans and measured the steady decline of public faith in the federal government. Again and again, they have described the predictable consequences of people believing that the deliberative system has lost its legitimacy; almost always, they will turn to alternative means to get what they want, even if it means destroying their government in the process. The attack on the Capitol was a perfect example. William Dunfee, an Ohio pastor facing felony and misdemeanor charges, told his congregation on Dec. 27, 2020, that settling “your differences at the ballot” did not work, so they should make the “government, the tyrants, the socialists, the Marxists, the progressives, the RINOs” in Washington “fear” them.
… The most important step elected officials can take— aside from choosing not to undermine our institutions for their own political gain— is to advance a comprehensive set of election and campaign finance reforms to make politicians more responsive to their constituents than to the money and voices of the few. Congress could also create universal election rules that encourage all citizens to vote while reassuring a skeptical public that the elections are secure. But beyond that, our leaders need to build trust broadly by tackling economic inequality and reinvesting in communities devastated by globalization and technological changes. At the most basic level, politicians should refocus locally on building roads, lowering crime and revitalizing small business districts, instead of looking for votes by harping on divisive national topics.
Such reforms would not be a silver bullet. A few of the defendants we interviewed complained of being misled by social media, which seems to have pushed them into conspiracy theory rabbit holes like QAnon. Many also had not-quite-veiled racial resentments that drove their lack of faith in government. But at the very least, these reforms might begin to convince citizens that their government works for them, not just the rich and powerful. Once we can restore that baseline trust, we can better avoid future attacks, both physical and intangible, on our democracy.
Trump did not appear out of a vacuum to upend democracy. His presidency was the culmination of years of political degradation during which voters watched our political institutions rust to the point of breaking. Like any good liar, Trump succeeded by building his lies off a truth; people no longer trust the federal government because they see its corroded institutions as corrupted for the few against the many. Until we fix that problem, we will not free ourselves from the threat of future political violence and upheaval worse than Jan. 6.

Somehow, I feel that Gym Jordan might be more interested in accusing James Sasso of treason than investigating the problems he and his team identified.

bottom of page