Dan O’Donnell digs into the real reason Democrats are holding six January 6th hearings (the first tomorrow in prime time) and it has nothing to do with the administration of justice.
Perspective by Dan O’Donnell
June 8, 2022
What is justice in America? Is it the administration of law through an objective finding of facts? Is it the relentless pursuit of truth no matter how ugly it may be? Or is it just a chance for Democrats to take voters’ minds off inflation for a few hours?
In a rare moment of honesty, The New York Times laid bare what tomorrow night’s primetime show trial is really all about: Giving congressional “Democrats a chance to recast [the] midterm message.” Notice that the aim is neither pursuing truth nor administering justice but changing the subject ahead of a grim-looking election.
“House Democrats plan to use a landmark set of investigative hearings beginning this week to try to refocus voters’ attention on January 6th, aiming to tie Republicans directly to an unprecedented plot to undermine democracy itself,” explain Times reporters Annie Karni and Luke Broadwater. “With their control of Congress hanging in the balance, Democrats plan to use made-for-television moments and a carefully choreographed rollout of revelations over the course of six hearings to remind the public of the magnitude of [President] Trump’s effort to overturn the election, and to persuade voters that the coming midterm elections are a chance to hold Republicans accountable for it.”
Jan. 6, supposedly the greatest assault on democracy since Caesar crossed the Rubicon, is in reality just another attempted distraction from the fact that Americans are paying $5 a gallon for gas.
“Democrats are up against the reality that the raw emotions in the aftermath of the attack have faded, even among voters who care about the facts, as attention has turned to an ongoing war in Ukraine, gun violence at home and a deep pessimism about the state of the economy,” Karni and Broadwater continue. “Their task is to persuade voters that the Jan. 6 attack revealed bigger and more important issues at stake, including the Republican Party’s alignment with violent extremists and its decision to make adherence to the ‘big lie’ that the 2020 election was stolen a test of membership.”
In other words, Democrats are going to weaponize the hearings against Republicans in the hopes that voters forget how terribly Democrats have run the country in the 17 months they have been in charge. Why else would they tap James Goldston, the former ABC News president, to help build the drama?
“[He] is busily producing [the] hearing as if it were a blockbuster investigative special,” reports Axios. “He plans to make it raw enough so that skeptical journalists will find the material fresh, and chew over the disclosures in future coverage. And he wants it to draw the eyeballs of Americans who haven’t followed the ins and outs of the Capitol riot probe.”
So is this an impartial, dispassionate search for truth or a blockbuster episode of “60 Minutes?” It certainly isn’t a congressional hearing in any reasonable definition of the phrase. For starters, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would not allow Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to pick the Republicans he wanted to serve on the House Select Committee and instead appointed the two most vocally anti-Trump members of the GOP caucus, Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger.
This would be akin to letting Steph Curry and Draymond Green referee the NBA Finals against the Celtics. Sure, they could call the games fairly, but wouldn’t they have ample reason to tilt things toward the Warriors? This, however, would presume that Democrats have an actual definition of winning the game.
“What will success look like?” wonders NBC News. “The question has weighed on committee members and congressional Democrats who have invited the panel to present both a definitive accounting of the riot and tangible solutions to prevent another.”
Yet they are still, nearly a year and a half after January 6th, still searching for a legitimate legislative purpose for their hearings. Is it to provide support for new laws to protect the Capitol or democracy itself? Members can’t agree on what legislation to recommend. Is it to fix the security failures that allowed the Capitol attack to happen? Two Senate committees did that work a year ago. Is it to unearth evidence that the Justice Department can use to prosecute the attackers? There have already been more than 800 people charged.
What, then, is the purpose of these hearings other than to, as The New York Times admitted, provide a convenient distraction from the record-high inflation, worsening border crisis, sky-high crime rates in Democrat-run cities, and general sense that America is failing?
Democrats say the January 6th hearings are about providing accountability for the Capitol attack, but it seems that they’re really about helping Democrats avoid accountability for their many failures.