Today’s GOP Can’t Be Trusted With A Role In Governance. Part II

I spent most of yesterday at City of Hope. None of the doctors, nurses, aides or other staffers I ran into knew anything about the select committee that was raging. Roland kept me up with every detail as it unfolded and I would tell whichever doctor or nurse was working on me. One nurse, said, “How do you know who to believe?” Most of them just shrugged, thinking about their own work— life-saving after all— and leaving Trump to… whatever. I don’t get out of my bubble much. But, you know what? The polling between June 15 and June 21 that Data for Progress released yesterday shows that a majority of likely voters found the J-6 attack important (66%) and just 31%— almost all Republicans— found it not important. It’s significant that 65% of independent voters found the insurrection important (as did 69% of college educated voters, 79% of African Americans and even 63% of white voters.

60% of voters say they support the select committee’s investigation— although only 33% of Republicans do. (57% of Republicans are traitors. Conservatives are always traitors— they were in the War for Independence, when they sided with the Brits, and they were in the Civil War, when they sided with the slave-holders.

Asked who was responsible for the insurrection 57% agreed “Trump Republican in Congress” are; 63% agreed “Republicans in Congress who rejected legal votes” are; 61% agree Trump is; and 76% agree that the Proud Boys are.

Asked if Republicans running for office who say the 2020 election was stolen cannot be trusted to uphold the will of the people, 51% agreed, 42% disagreed. Among independent voters, 52% agreed and 37% disagreed. Even 20% of Republican agree.

And that was all before yesterday’s stunning revelations about Trump’s deep complicity, directing Roger Stone and Michael Flynn to stay in touch with the domestic terrorists Trump planned to use as “muscle” in his couple, the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, and demanding the Secret Service get rid of the metal detectors so that the terrorists could bring weapons to the insurrection. He noted that “they’re not here to hurt me,” seemingly not caring who they were there to hurt. He also attempted to bully the Secret Service into driving him to the resurrection so he could lead it himself, presumably to continue inflaming the crowd, as he and his allies had been doing on the Ellipse.

Jonathan Chait wrote that “it seems safe to rate this as the greatest political scandal in American history. This is true when measured by its depth (the lengths the perpetrators were willing to go extended to the violent overthrow of the U.S. government) as well as its breadth (the guilty parties included elected officials, lawyers, foot soldiers, and, of course, the president of the United States). It is all the more striking, then, that the Republican Party stance was, and is, that none of this should be investigated. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell opposed the formation of the commission. (“After careful consideration, I’ve made the decision to oppose the House Democrats’ slanted and unbalanced proposal for another commission to study the events of January 6th,” he announced on the Senate floor last year.) House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy appointed a collection of Trump lackeys. When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi refused to seat two of them— Jims Jordan and Banks— on the grounds that they were personally implicated in the investigation, McCarthy ordered his entire caucus to boycott the hearings.”

Late in the afternoon, The Bulwark’s Tim Miller savaged, Richard Meltzer-style, his former party: “They all knew. But only the 26-year-old staffer would testify about it under oath [showing] more courage and integrity than an entire administration full of grown-ass adults who were purportedly working in service to the American people, but had long ago decided to serve only their ambition and grievance. Cassidy Hutchinson did so at risk to her safety. Her social circle. Her career… Why haven’t there been more Cassidys?”

Quoting Tara Westover’s memoir, Educated, he wrote that “Vindication has no power over guilt. The stories Hutchinson relayed may have offered no solace to the consciences of those of us who feel partially responsible for getting here, but they were certainly the most potent vindication imaginable. Everything that all of us Enemies of the People had warned about concerning Donald Trump was borne out in her testimony. He was chaotic, reckless, megalomaniacal, fascistic, abusive, cowardly, petulant, anti-American. He attacked a Secret Service officer. Sprayed ketchup across a White House wall in anger. Expressed total lack of concern for the safety of others, as long as he felt he was secure. Was completely uninterested in our democratic traditions— the political machinery that actually makes America great— and was happy to overthrow the government in order to stay in power.What Hutchinson revealed is something we all privately knew, but now have sworn testimony of every single person around Trump saw what we saw, firsthand. And yet they did nothing.”

Or almost nothing. “Dealing with internalized shame is hard,” he wrote in reference to the wannabe mafiosos around Trump. “Lashing out at those who make you feel bad about yourself is easy. To a man, the Trumpists took the easy path… Today’s testimony showed not only the complexes that led weak-minded men and women to go along with evil, but that they recognized this evil, full well, from the jump. Cassidy Hutchinson found the strength to break out of this prison of the mind. She realized that she could write a different story for herself. That the enemy was not the people telling the truth about her boss. That she was not stuck on a conveyor belt. That she had responsibilities to her country. That she had agency in the execution of her duties. That she didn’t have to do it any longer.”

He hopes others learn from her example. Unfortunately, that’s unlikely. Although I did like these two tweets this afternoon from another of Trump’s former chiefs of staff, Mick Mulvaney, a very right-wing South Carolina Republican, referring to chief of staff Mark Meadows (who Trump already paid $1 million in hush money), deputy chief of staff Tony Ornato and Robert Engel, the special agent in charge for Secret Service on Jan. 6.