“I was too busy doing work,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell offered when he was pressed to explain why he skipped the coverage. Hey, who’s got time to linger on homegrown terrorist attacks on the U.S. seat of government when you’re trying to kill Biden’s jobs and infrastructure agenda?
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy similarly said he was stuck in “back-to-back meetings” during the hearing. But more than likely, McCarthy was dutifully prepping a bag full pink and red Starbursts—Donald Trump’s favorite flavors—for his next trip south to kiss the ring.
Interestingly, McCarthy did carve time out of his busy schedule to attend a press conference before the hearing in which Republicans tried to scapegoat Pelosi for the mob Trump and his GOP enablers had sicced on the Capitol.
The occasion offered the House GOP’s new messaging czar, Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York, a chance to really shine in her new role. Stefanik labeled Pelosi an “authoritarian who has broken the people’s house.” Apparently Stefanik saw through Pelosi’s dictatorial scheme when the speaker acquiesced to the GOP’s every demand for an evenly split bipartisan commission. Republicans weren’t going to fall for the gambit, by God, so they voted to kill it!
But Stefanik wasn’t going to let her disinformation campaign about Pelosi get mired down in detail.
“The American people deserve to know the truth,” she declared, “that Nancy Pelosi bears responsibility as speaker of the House for the tragedy that occurred on January 6.”
That’s not the way the four officers at the hearing recalled things as the terrorists stormed the Capitol.
“All of them—all of them were telling us Trump sent us,” testified Sgt. Aquilino Gonell of the U.S. Capitol Police. “Nobody else—there was nobody else. It was not antifa, it was not Black Lives Matter, it was not the FBI. It was his supporters that he sent them over to the Capitol that day.”
Well, that’s embarrassing—but only if you watched the hearing! Otherwise, one can just take the “I’m rubber, you’re glue, whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you” approach to reality.
The problem congressional Republicans repeatedly exhibit is that they’ve lost their filter for what’s in the realm of acceptable now that their only real goal is attempting to solidify the support of some 35% of the nation.
That’s especially true in the House, where McCarthy has sought to cauterize any reality that might seep into his caucus’ Trumpian bliss bubble.
Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona, whose constituents widely believe he played a role in the siege, let everyone who has a toehold in reality know they are no longer welcome in the GOP’s tiny, ever-shrinking tent.
“@RepLizCheney and @RepKinzinger have effectively removed themselves from the Republican Conference,” Biggs tweeted Tuesday, just before the two GOP members of the panel took part in the hearing. “We should help them out the door by formalizing their departure.”
Go get ’em, Andy! Shed all that anti-Trump dead weight ahead of the midterms. Who wants all those reality-based conservative voters anyway?
Certainly not the House GOP. If you’re a so-called “Pelosi Republican” like Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, McCarthy wants you to know it’s time to find a new home.