Opinion I thought the Jan. 6 committee wouldn’t matter. I was wrong.

cigaretteman

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May 29, 2001
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I admit to having been skeptical, ahead of time, of the hearings planned by the House select committee investigating the events of Jan. 6, 2021. What more is there to be said, I wondered? The evidence of Donald Trump’s guilt in inciting an insurrection was already so obvious that it was hard to imagine that the committee would have much to add. This was not, after all, a situation such as Watergate, where the scandal happened behind closed doors. The entire nation saw Trump’s incendiary remarks and tweets, and the riot that followed, on national television.
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I am happy to say I was wrong. The committee’s hearings are exceeding expectations, because it is not behaving like a typical congressional committee. There is no grandstanding and no preening. There are no petty partisan squabbles. There is not even the disjointedness that normally occurs when a bunch of politicians are each given five minutes to question each witness. There is only the relentless march of evidence, all of it deeply incriminating to a certain former president who keeps insisting that he was robbed of his rightful election victory.
The committee’s recent hearings — there have been two in the past week, with more planned — have been organized like carefully choreographed television productions, and I mean that as a compliment. The committee has been focused on doing what all good television productions, whether factual or fictional, do: telling a story that enthralls the viewer.






ADVERTISING


Only a few of the committee members have spoken so far. Imagine what heroic self-restraint it takes for elected officials to understand that they can make a greater impact with their silence than with noisy blather. The members are allowing their staffers to play an unusually prominent role not only in questioning witnesses on tape but acting as narrators for mini-documentaries laying out what they have found.


The biggest complaint against the committee, heard at ever-increasing decibels from Republicans, is that it is a partisan hit job — and never mind that two prominent Republicans sit on the committee. Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.) and Rep. Adam Kinzinger (Ill.) are denigrated as RINOs (Republicans in Name Only) because they had the courage to act on House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s convictions. (McCarthy initially held Trump responsible for the mob attack but voted against impeaching him.)
Accusations of partisanship have been amply refuted by the hearings, which have been entirely factual and notably free of partisan rancor. There have been no anti-Trump, much less anti-Republican, rants. The committee members are focused with forensic, factual intensity on the question of Trump’s responsibility for the events of Jan. 6. They are making a case beyond any reasonable doubt in the court of public opinion, even if it remains to be seen whether there is sufficient evidence to indict Trump in an actual court of law.



The committee’s most potent weapon is the words of Trump’s own aides. One after another, we have heard Trump loyalists say that the election was fair and that Trump has no rational basis for thinking otherwise. Last week’s star witness was Ivanka Trump, who testified that she accepted then-Attorney General William P. Barr’s conclusion that her father lost the election. This led the former president to go on a public rant against his own daughter, claiming that she was “not involved in looking at, or studying, Election results.” The implication is that if only Ivanka had been as deep in the weeds as dear old Dad, she would have been convinced that the vote was the “crime of the century.”
Except that the committee has now heard from many Trump aides who were deeply involved in the vote count, and they also concluded there was no significant fraud. The only people who thought otherwise were weirdos like Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani, who was described by Trump adviser Jason Miller as being “definitely intoxicated” on election night. (Giuliani denies it.) Bill Stepien, Trump’s campaign manager, testified that he was part of “Team Normal” and that Powell, Giuliani, et al., were on the opposite team. Presumably that would be Team Crazy. Guess which team Trump was rooting for?
The most damaging witness for Trump was his own attorney general. Barr described Trump’s election lies as “bulls--t,” “crazy stuff,” “complete nonsense,” and suggested that Trump “has become detached from reality if he really believes this stuff.” Barr said he had tried to set Trump straight, but there was “never an indication of interest in what the actual facts were.”



Barr’s statement was seen by some lawyers as evidence of the “criminal intent” that would be needed to convict Trump of crimes such as sedition. Whether that is accurate or not, Trump’s own aides have made an open-and-shut case that he is not fit to run Mar-a-Lago, much less the United States of America. Either Trump is spectacularly delusional or spectacularly dishonest. Take your choice. Or maybe he’s both? Whichever the case, he has no business returning to the nation’s highest office.

 
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torbee

HR King
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I haven't watched a single second because I remain deeply, deeply cynical that there is political will in this country to hold Trump and his enablers accountable.

We shall see if this author is correct that it will matter and that I am wrong for being cynical.

I definitely doubt it, though.
 

THE_DEVIL

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We are going to have to see the tie in between Trump and Oathkeepers/Proud Boys communicated directly from Trump or one of his proxies before anything really sways anyone from the repub side. Then there will be acknowledgement but we will get...yeah, so what. Its time to move on. The repubs en masse have too much invested to desire any charges against the Trump Cabal.
 

torbee

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We are going to have to see the tie in between Trump and Oathkeepers/Proud Boys communicated directly from Trump or one of his proxies before anything really sways anyone from the repub side. Then there will be acknowledgement but we will get...yeah, so what. Its time to move on. The repubs en masse have too much invested to desire any charges against the Trump Cabal.
And have effectively wielded the power of gerrymandering so any elective relief from the lies and bullshit is impossible.

We are pretty much fooked --- one party in an unassailable two-party system is pretty much 100 percent off the reservation of reality and there is no going back.
 

cigaretteman

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May 29, 2001
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Attorney General Merrick Garland said Monday he is watching the televised hearings of the congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot, as members of the House panel focused on former President Donald Trump's election fraud claims on the second day of testimony.

“I am watching, and I will be watching all the hearings, although I may not be able to watch all of it live,” he said. “And I can assure you that the Jan. 6 prosecutors are watching all the hearings.”


The House panel held its second day of hearings on Monday and plans to hold several more before the end of July.

 

Tom Paris

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I haven't watched a single second because I remain deeply, deeply cynical that there is political will in this country to hold Trump and his enablers accountable.

We shall see if this author is correct that it will matter and that I am wrong for being cynical.

I definitely doubt it, though.
I hope you are at least seeing the highlights. The part that needs to sink in to, MAGAs especially, is these are TRUMP'S inner circle people testifying about him. The bombshell yesterday that TRUMP KNEW that there wasn't election fraud, continued to claim it was, and then took in 250 million dollars into a fake "Election Defense Fund". All that money went right into his businesses. He again grifted his supporters. Stole their money. Now it is up to them to realize they've been conned by a lifetime conman. They aren't listening to you and me.

250 million dollars he stole from his MAGA donors. Unbelievable.
 
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torbee

HR King
Gold Member
I hope you are at least seeing the highlights. The part that needs to sink into, MAGAs especially, is these are TRUMP'S inner circle people testifying about him. The bombshell yesterday that TRUMP KNEW that there wasn't election fraud, continued to claim it was, and then took in 250 million dollars into a fake "Election Defense Fund". All that money went right into his businesses. He again grifted his supporters. Stole their money. Now it is up to them to realize they've been conned by a lifetime conman. They aren't listening to you and me.

250 million dollars he stole from his MAGA donors. Unbelievable.
None of them care. Nothing will be done.
 
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Tom Paris

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None of them care. Nothing will be done.
I don't comprehend that way of thinking. Literally everything my FiL says to my wife about politics is wrong or backwards. I told her to tell him, the next time he brings politics up, is, "Dad, before I talk politics with you I need to hear you say, you were right. I was duped."

I mean, I get it when they get mad or dismiss something Rachel Maddow says, but when actual Republicans and NOW TRUMP'S INNER CIRCLE are testifying and they STILL stick with the great conman as their beacon of truth??? It makes no sense whatsoever.
 

wcbtee

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Tom 1/3 of the country would support Trump if he shot someone on live TV. Another 1/3 of the country wouldn't support him if he cured cancer. I only care about what the remaining 1/3 thinks & I believe that 1/3 is paying attention.
 
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torbee

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I don't comprehend that way of thinking. Literally everything my FiL says to my wife about politics is wrong or backwards. I told her to tell him, the next time he brings politics up, is, "Dad, before I talk politics with you I need to hear you say, you were right. I was duped."

I mean, I get it when they get mad or dismiss something Rachel Maddow says, but when actual Republicans and NOW TRUMP'S INNER CIRCLE are testifying and they STILL stick with the great conman as their beacon of truth??? It makes no sense whatsoever.
It is not rational, but there is an explanation for it. I know people throw this term around too indiscriminately now, but the political environment in this country is suffering massively from it right now and that is indisiputable:

COGNITIVE DISSONANCE:

Cognitive dissonance is a theory in social psychology. It refers to the mental conflict that occurs when a person’s behaviors and beliefs do not align.
It may also happen when a person holds two beliefs that contradict one another.

Cognitive dissonance causes feelings of unease and tension, and people attempt to relieve this discomfort in different ways. Examples include “explaining things away” or rejecting new information that conflicts with their existing beliefs.


 

ihhawk

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You don't need to worry pal, your boy is going to make it through unscathed as he always does thanks to large numbers of enablers and clueless voters.
I didn’t know Ron was involved in the Jan 6th stuff.

I want Trump to get prosecuted.
 

theiacowtipper

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Tom 1/3 of the country would support Trump if he shot someone on live TV. Another 1/3 of the country wouldn't support him if he cured cancer. I only care about what the remaining 1/3 thinks & I believe that 1/3 is paying attention.
I’m one of the 1/3 of the country that wouldn’t support him under any circumstance. Why should I? I was willing to give him a chance in 2017. He turned out to be exactly what we knew him to be. A lying POS that only looks after himself. Why, exactly, should anyone in this country be undecided about Trump?

Trump was given a fair shot and is unworthy of another. Anyone who supports him should be judged as well.
 

binsfeldcyhawk2

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I haven't watched a single second because I remain deeply, deeply cynical that there is political will in this country to hold Trump and his enablers accountable.

We shall see if this author is correct that it will matter and that I am wrong for being cynical.

I definitely doubt it, though.
I think there is a political will since it's a AG appointed by the D's...

The question is "is there a case to made that could win in court"?

Trumps an expert at skirting the law....been doing it his whole life. Maybe there will be indictments but for my money they'll be for lesser charges and nothing approaching "insurrection" or "sedition". Tough cases to prove.

There's also the fact that any jury would probably have a couple Trumpers in it so....tough to get a conviction.

In short.,...don't think it's a question of "will" as the D's and the Garland Justice Department would probably love to send him and his cronies to jail.

If at the end of all this Trump can't run in 2024 the hearings ect will have been a success in my book.
 

tarheelbybirth

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Tom 1/3 of the country would support Trump if he shot someone on live TV. Another 1/3 of the country wouldn't support him if he cured cancer. I only care about what the remaining 1/3 thinks & I believe that 1/3 is paying attention.
Sorry...but Trump is morally and intellectually capable of only one of those acts. Were he actually intelligent enough to have a chance to cure cancer, however, he'd never have garnered the support of your first third. Your second third would be happy to support him but know with absolute certainty that it could never happen. The truly surprising thing is that a third of the country in your hypothetical could conceivably be on the fence regarding Trump. He is a hateful, venal, lying sack of absolute horseshit
 

Chishawk1425

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Sorry...but Trump is morally and intellectually capable of only one of those acts. Were he actually intelligent enough to have a chance to cure cancer, however, he'd never have garnered the support of your first third. Your second third would be happy to support him but know with absolute certainty that it could never happen. The truly surprising thing is that a third of the country in your hypothetical could conceivably be on the fence regarding Trump. He is a hateful, venal, lying sack of absolute horseshit
I still can't believe he was elected in 2016
 

Titanhawk2

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"The evidence of Donald Trump’s guilt in inciting an insurrection was already so obvious" - so obvious that nobody can actually list it out
 
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noStemsnoSTICKS

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Feb 16, 2006
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I hope you are at least seeing the highlights. The part that needs to sink in to, MAGAs especially, is these are TRUMP'S inner circle people testifying about him. The bombshell yesterday that TRUMP KNEW that there wasn't election fraud, continued to claim it was, and then took in 250 million dollars into a fake "Election Defense Fund". All that money went right into his businesses. He again grifted his supporters. Stole their money. Now it is up to them to realize they've been conned by a lifetime conman. They aren't listening to you and me.

250 million dollars he stole from his MAGA donors. Unbelievable.
That was my takeaway as well. $250M between election day and Jan 6. Most of his sheep will cast this off as fake news, even though it's coming from his inner circle, including his own children. But there's got to be some Trumpers out there who see this and KNOW they were duped.

The other takeaway was that he went against the advice of the best campaign strategy talent in the business, and instead followed the advice of a drunk-ass Rudy G.
 

tarheelbybirth

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That was my takeaway as well. $250M between election day and Jan 6. Most of his sheep will cast this off as fake news, even though it's coming from his inner circle, including his own children. But there's got to be some Trumpers out there who see this and KNOW they were duped.

The other takeaway was that he went against the advice of the best campaign strategy talent in the business, and instead followed the advice of a drunk-ass Rudy G.
He was always going to side with fawning sycophants over anyone who told him what he didn't want to hear. The quickest path to unemployment with that asswipe was to tell him the truth.
 

Morrison71

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Nov 10, 2006
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I haven't watched a single second because I remain deeply, deeply cynical that there is political will in this country to hold Trump and his enablers accountable.

We shall see if this author is correct that it will matter and that I am wrong for being cynical.

I definitely doubt it, though.
I am with you Torbee. There is no way the system, is allowed to see a President of the United States walked around in hand cuffs.

Trump won’t be charged with anything, even though he should be. I would love to be wrong but I have no faith in either the American Judicial system or political system.
 
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Torg

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I am with you Torbee. There is no way the system, is allowed to see a President of the United States walked around in hand cuffs.

Trump won’t be charged with anything, even though he should be. I would love to be wrong but I have no faith in either the American Judicial system or political system.
I actually think he will get charge and I certainly hope convicted.
 
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torbee

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That’s a bit revisionist. There’s a climate in which he was elected, and a reason he was elected.
To sit here 6 years later and play I told you so doesn’t really help.
Anyone paying attention has known since the 1980s that Donald Trump was a morally bankrupt, loathsome lying piece of crap. Entire magazine series were dedicated to the coverage.
 

kc78

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I'm an ex-Republican turned Democrat voter who hates the Trump administration and those like them with all my being. That said, I didn't watch a minute of the hearings because it all just feels like grandstanding. When you start actually handing out indictments and getting safe guards in place so this doesn't happen again I'll care. Until then it just continues to feel like political theater even when I don't believe that those on the committee mean it in that way.

And why does that matter? Because if I'm not listening, then those who most need to be convinced of how awful this all was certainly aren't listening. We need real action, not hearings.
 

TennNole17

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Anyone paying attention has known since the 1980s that Donald Trump was a morally bankrupt, loathsome lying piece of crap. Entire magazine series were dedicated to the coverage.
You assume the majority of America has knowledge of who they vote, before campaigns
 

binsfeldcyhawk2

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I'm an ex-Republican turned Democrat voter who hates the Trump administration and those like them with all my being. That said, I didn't watch a minute of the hearings because it all just feels like grandstanding. When you start actually handing out indictments and getting safe guards in place so this doesn't happen again I'll care. Until then it just continues to feel like political theater even when I don't believe that those on the committee mean it in that way.

And why does that matter? Because if I'm not listening, then those who most need to be convinced of how awful this all was certainly aren't listening. We need real action, not hearings.
Sometimes I think D's lose sight of who their target audience is for this....

It's not the 40% that are already totally onboard with thinking this was an existential threat to Democracy.

It's not the 40% that think it's a nothing burger.

It's the 20% that think it's somewhere in the middle....those are the folks that they need to shift. Seems like it's directed at the first group in a lot of ways...