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What is fair?

Today is the anniversary of the death of Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII. It’s common knowledge that she was accused of adultery with five men, including her brother, but that wasn’t the crime that sent her to the swordsman. She was found guilty of treason because with some careless words to Henry Norris, the groom of the stool, she had “imagined the King’s death”. That’s what did her in. It’s a little like talking about assassinating the president. We don’t do it. But then, most of us are not as physically close to the president as Anne and Henry Norris were to the king. Sure, it was all in jest but the King was ready to discard her anyway. He only needed a reason. This was a good one.

Today is also the day that Congress started to vote on the bipartisan commission to investigate the January 6 insurrection. About an hour ago, the House passed the bill for its creation. The Democrats were joined by 35 Republicans. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy was not among them. Mitch McConnell doesn’t seem likely to vote for it either and it’s likely to fail in the senate because 60 votes will be needed to end the filibuster.

We don’t have to wonder why. This rogue version of the Republican Party is averse to being held accountable for anything. So, if they can’t be absolutely sure that the outcome will be exoneration for them, or even better, “a plague on both your houses”, they won’t go along with it.

It doesn’t matter if the composition of the panel is fair. It doesn’t matter that they agreed to the term of the bill 5 days ago or whenever it was. The point is, they can’t guarantee that they will come out of this unscathed in some way. Uncomfortable truths will come out. Maybe if it drags on long enough, the spell of the Big Lie will start to break ever so slightly. Whatever the case may be, subpoenaing some of the Republican leadership to testify in public about what really happened that day and what witnesses recall will make some of them look really bad and cowardly.

So, they’re going to do their best to squash it. Any kind of accountability is unacceptable.

I don’t know where I was going with the two cases of Anne Boleyn and the Republicans. In her final speech, she said,

I am come hither to die, according to law, for by the law I am judged to die, and therefore I will speak nothing against it. I come here only to die, and thus to yield myself humbly to the will of the King, my lord.

There were witnesses, many, to her treasonous words. She admitted that the law found her culpable. She yielded to it. As to the rest, look into it if you want. She wasn’t going to defend herself.

There is a quote by a former Mormon leader that goes:

“If we have truth, [it] cannot be harmed by investigation. If we have not truth, it ought to be harmed.”

No one in Congress should be afraid of truth and transparency. But if they don’t have the truth, they ought to be “harmed” in some way. Those aren’t permanent seats in Congress and no one should insist on writing their own verdicts before a trial.

Yield to truth.

What Are They Hiding?

That Republicans are hiding the truth is obvious. What the truth actually is, is open to speculation. It is something significant, or they would not be doing everything they can to stop there being a January 6 Commission run by Congress, to investigate all aspects of the hows and whys and whats of a moment in history which almost meant the end of the democracy.

Those people storming the Capitol with zip restraints and bear spray and guns, were not tourists, they were not out for a good time. They brought those things to use them. All I can reasonably assume is that they wanted to kill Speaker Pelosi and others, probably all Democrats. They might have intended to hang Mike Pence as well, that is one of the things we might find out.

There were people in power who knew what was intended, and/or what Trump was planning to do about it. There were conversations before and during the attack on the government. We can guess that Trump wanted Democrats killed. That he was planning to declare martial law, stopping the transfer of power, as the Senate could not certify the electoral count.

It is possible that Trump didn’t think this all out, that he just wanted carnage and chaos. It is also conceivable that his Russian allies were gaming this out for him. As to the rest of the Republican leadership, some of them had to have known. Tuberville? McCarthy? The Acting Defense Secretary? Certain members of the Secret Service?

There were too many conversations to imagine that no one had any idea what was going to happen. Trump boasted, “It will be wild.’ No Republican bothered to care about that? The same Republican Party which held ten hearings on Benghazi, which grilled Hillary Clinton for eleven hours one day? Now they are not interested in any of this, “it is time to move on,” in that rote idiocy that they love to utter?”

It boggles the mind, but the clear path to understanding it, is that Republicans only care about one thing; taking back power and keeping it. Hearings about January 6 would get in the way of that. Benghazi was important to them for the same reason, in the converse. McCarthy proudly said those hearings were lowering Hillary’s favorable ratings. So they kept having them. That is their only metric. People should stop giving them any benefit of the doubt on their rationales for blocking an investigation as to how the country was almost taken over by insurrectionists, who are still out there, planning more of it.

How corrupt is Kevin McCarthy? The depth of evil corrupt? Maybe. How about McConnell, and all of the other Senators and Congressional Members who are going to vote a firm “No’ against a Commission? Some are blindly partisan. Some are stupid. Some know exactly what they are doing. Rick Wilson is not someone I have admired, but he is smart. And he wrote something yesterday which was chilling as to what will happen if this Commission is not formed. He says that the Republican leaders are killers, and that they will have no compunction once they take power. He believes that the search for bipartisanship is foolish and futile.

I don’t know what a Commission would unearth. Republicans would do what they have always done, in Iran-Contra, and during the entire Trump Administration, which is to deny, deflect, lie, hide, stand on legal arguments, all to keep the truth from being known. There would be endless objections and grandstanding; deflection to the rioting of last summer, the man who shot Steve Scalise, the Haymarket Riot of 1886. People would claim executive privilege, dare anyone to sue them, figure that the Supreme Court will protect them.

We have seen this for four years. Even so, it would be very important to have a Commission, and extensive hearings. The alternative is that the evil people win; the attempt to overthrow the government and kill many members of Congress, and even the Vice President, is left to murky partisan arguing, and gets buried under the avalanche of fake conspiracy stories the Right Wing officials and media will come up with on a daily basis.

All Republicans want is to win control of at least one chamber of Congress in 2022. Then there will never be an investigation into possibly the worst moment in American history, and it will be lied about so readily that many people will think that the Democrats did it We cannot let that happen. There has to be at least one investigative committee, even if it is partisan. You fight with the weapons you have. We will find out at least some things, even if we do not learn all of them.

How many Republicans were knowledgeable enablers or participants in the very possible destruction of the government and the installing of a permanent authoritarian regime? It is very likely the biggest story in American history, and we must treat it as such, no matter what powerful forces try to deny or obscure it.