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      Are humans good, bad or neutral? It’s an old philosophical debate, and not just in the West. Confucius thought they were born neutral, for example, while the later Confucian Mencius felt they were good, noting that everyone who saw a child fall into a well would be horrified. Others, including many Confucians and the Christian church, with original sin, have […]
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Hooray For Nancy

(Does anyone remember the song by Tommy Roe, “Hooray for Hazel”? I thought not. 🙂 I was just starting to listen to pop music then. Roe’s songs often get placed in the category of “bubblegum hits,” but he wrote some pretty catchy tunes, including “Sheila” (sometimes compared to Buddy Holly’s “Peggy Sue),” “Dizzy,” “Sweetpea” (!), “Jam Up and Jelly Tight.” I heard an interview with him a couple of years ago, and he was a likeable guy who took his craft seriously),

Well, that has doesn’t really have a thing to do with the subject here, but it felt worth it to put it in. Back to Nancy, Pelosi, of course; we can use some things to cheer about, and we can applaud her action yesterday, in refusing to accept Jim Jordan and Jim Banks on the House Select Commission to investigate the January 6 attack on the Capitol.

We know that Democrats tried to form a bipartisan committee to investigate the horrors of the January 6 insurrection, where all visual evidence indicates that the people who stormed the Capitol wanted to hang VP Pence, and kill Pelosi and other Democrats, in what would have been the worst moment in American history, and very likely the end of this noble 250 year experiment in democracy.

The Republicans in the Senate filibustered the forming of this commission, and there were not enough cloture votes to get to sixty. So as Pelosi had promised, she directed the forming of a House Select Committee, ruled over by her, the House Speaker. House Minority Leader McCarthy was given five spots to fill. Pelosi had power to approve his choices, and did not approve Jordan and Banks. McCarthy then responded as Republicans always do when Democrats take legitimate action, he screamed in bellicose anger. He did not replace his choices, he withdrew the other ones, and he attacked her and the proposed commission as a sham, and said that the Democrats were destroying the country.

Pelosi today said that the fact that Jordan and Banks had voted against certifying the election results, was not determinative, as another of McCarthy’s choices, Troy Nehis, had also voted against certifying; but that she knew that Jordan and Banks would impede the committee’s work, turn it into a circus, and this was far too important to allow that. She said that people had suggested to her that she just remove them when they did that, but she said that this Committee was too crucial, to wait for that.

This is the kind of strong and forceful action that we need from Democrats. Of course, the so-called mainstream media just couldn’t help trying to mischaracterize what happened. The New York Times headlined, “Pelosi bans Trump loyalists from January 6 inquiry, prompting a GOP boycott.” That sounds like Pelosi removed them because they were Trump loyalists, which is not true. The Washington Post headlined a story, “Bipartisan House probe of January 6 insurrection falls apart.” No, that fell apart when the Senate filibustered it. At least Jill Lawrence, the commentary editor of USA Today, wrote a story titled, “In vetoing Jordan and Banks, Pelosi safeguards history, democracy, and capitol attack probe.”

The point is obvious: Republicans, with the marked exceptions of Lynne Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, do not want to investigate the January 6 insurrection. How could they refuse to approve the originally proposed nonpartisan commission, where apparently Pelosi and the Democrats agreed to every suggestion that the Republican appointed Congressional negotiator asked for, but then McCarthy wouldn’t agree to the deal? Because he never wanted a deal; or possibly, after he met with Trump, he decided to let Trump control his responses.

It should be incomprehensible that the Congress would not overwhelmingly support a bipartisan commission to investigate all aspects of the riot. Certainly the public, as manifested through polls, was strongly in favor of a complete investigation. But Republicans do not want the truth, because they know that it will likely unearth their complicity. So they pretended to be for it, wasted more time, and then not only said that they would not support it, but called Pelosi an authoritarian who was trying to take important rights away.

Actually, this stalling tactic is characteristic of Republicans, they have done it for years. Act like they are working on something, then delay it as long as possible, through various Congressional recesses, and hope that it then becomes too late. They may be doing this on the massive infrastructure bill, because ultimately they know that passage of this bill will help President Biden and maybe Democrats downticket. And while the governors of states are mostly for this, the Republican legislators would probably prefer something out of the 1870’s, where the rich people could travel on the best roads, but everyone else was left to deal with disrepair, poverty, and hardship. Hopefully there are still enough Republicans in the Senate who will live up to their handshake deal which Senator Tester spoke about yesterday.

Pelosi was there, and she was probably close to being murdered, had the people storming the Capitol found her. “Where are you, Nancy? Come on out!,” they yelled. She is doing this not just for herself, of course, but for all of her colleagues, and for the American people. We very much need a full-scale investigation of who organized the insurrection, and who helped the the rioters before and during the fact. How could anyone who actually cared about this country and democracy, not think so?

But Republicans want only to “win.” Beat the Democrats in the midterms, take over the country again; pass bills to help the billionaires get richer, while the poor get children, as the song “We’re in the Money” had it. The wealthy need and can buy well paved streets and clean water, and the rest of them can be distracted by the slogans and rallying cries that the billionaires use to keep them in line.

Having nationally televised hearings with witnesses who could fill in the missing parts of what went on before, during, and after the insurrection, would damage those Republican goals, so they don’t want any of it. They will call them anti-American, a sham, Democratic tyranny. They will mock them, undercut them, continue with this “The Left is trying to take away your right to free speech” idiocy, while they try to hide and whitewash the greatest attack on our democracy, designed to overturn the election, declare martial law, and install Trump as de facto Dictator.

So hooray for Nancy Pelosi for tossing Jordan and Banks, who have no interest whatsoever in any actual investigation, but simply to use their time to talk about insane conspiracy theories that antifa, whatever that is, or the BLM, or Hillary or Pelosi were behind the riots. To turn it into such much noise and rancor that this draws all the headlines, and no one follows it.

This kind of forceful action by a powerful Democrat should have been done long ago. “But then Republicans will do it!”? They already do The Republicans had an opportunity to join in a bipartisan committee, with rules requested by Republicans, and generously acceded to by the Democrats; and they voted against it even then. So any so-called news outlet which keeps writing or saying things about how “Pelosi made a mistake,”She played into McCarthy’s hands,” “This will help Republicans in the elections,” are either absolutely clueless; or repeating their reflexive response to everything, that the Republicans “outplayed” the Democrats; or they are bought and paid for by big Republican donor money. Or, most likely, all of those. We’ve seen this many times before, and always will. Hooray for Nancy Pelosi for striking a much needed blow for truth, protecting the country, and finally calling out at least some Republicans for what they are.

8 Responses

  1. Nancy has shown a whole lot of “mojo” than originally expected.

    Said that, I’m not very impressed -so far, with VP Kamala Harris.
    It appears like she somehow is: “out here”; but not quite sure where and doing what…

  2. Nancy Pelosi is considering adding Adam Kinzinger to the House Committee. Kinzinger has not commented on the possibility but Liz Cheney thinks he would be a “tremendous addition to the Committee”.

  3. Bellecat, I was thinking just that yesterday. I know that I was not a fan in the primaries, so I didn’t want to prejudge her now. But I am not impressed, either. I know that VP is a hard job, but if she is the nominee in 2024 (and she is surprisingly actually a slight favorite over Biden to be the next President, in one of the biggest sports books), I will be quite concerned. I am not sure what her various trips and lobbying efforts are accomplishing, but we hope that they are, as much as anyone’s would, at least. I don’t think that she would win a national election, and I really hoped that Biden would choose Gretchen Whitmer, who I think could.

  4. I don’t know if lack of accomplishment by VP Harris is her fault or Biden’s fault. He has given her a large portfolio but ultimately any VP is not acting on her own but on the direction of the President. What is Biden’s direction these days?

    I am more concerned that Biden seems to be floundering. Infrastructure? Voting rights? Where are we on those crucial bills? Is it vacation time yet???

    2022 is just around the corner. We are likely to lose seats in the House. The time to act forcefully is now. It was probably a few months ago to be honest. Forget bipartisanship, abolish the filibuster and ram some legislation through. Get serious. Do it now.

    I suspect when push comes to shove, Manchin will fall in line. Sinema is a wildcard so I say threaten to primary her kooky ass and put some big money into her opponent’s campaign. Have a cozy little talk with her about that. She is not very popular in AZ. There are Democratic House members from AZ who could run against her and probably win. Also have a talk with her about any lobbyist job she might be interested in. Maybe it won’t be available if she loses her Senate seat. Gee, that would be too bad.

    Play some hardball. If Biden can’t do it, find someone in the Party who can.

    • Beata, I think that the Democrats are confident that they will pass the infrastructure bill. Of course, that could be misplaced, it has been so before. But Senator Tester seemed pretty sure that they had enough votes.

      Yes, voting rights is the big hurdle, and I don’t know what Biden and his aides thought would happen; weren’t they aware that the Republicans would never support such a bill? I agree that Manchin will likely eventually help, he is not a bad person, just stubborn and of course he is not a liberal. Sinema is the one I do not trust a bit. If someone told me that she took money from shadowy right-wing places, i would not be surprised. And if not, good for her, but then she is incredibly unperceptive as to thinking that keeping the filibuster is going to help the Democrats, when they are likely to be a minority party in both Houses if their voters cannot sufficiently vote. I don’t know what they can do to convince her to support a voting rights bill; her personal or political priorities seem somewhere else.

      • William, I hope you are correct about the infrastructure bill. It still feels like a Lucy with the football moment to me.

      • agree that Manchin will likely eventually help, he is not a bad person

        I wish I could be sure of that, but then I see stuff like this: https://apple.news/AeX20-SrlTXCmf4hcjgxudg

        I think he’s corrupt and out for himself. I think Sinema is, too.

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