The House of Representatives has passed a bill that would establish a commission to investigate the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. The vote was 252-to-175, with 35 Republicans supporting the measure.
The Senate is unlikely to follow suit. Majority Leader McConnell opposes the House bill. He calls it a “slanted and unbalanced proposal” and a “Democrat trap.” Enough Republican Senators agree, or else don’t want to buck the Leader (not to mention former president Trump), to prevent the bill’s passage.
I don’t doubt that the House bill is slanted in favor of the Democrats and that the Dems’ motivation is political. They want to milk the January 6 attack for all its worth, and more.
But the key question is whether investigation by a commission is needed. The events of January 6 were appalling, in my view. However, not every appalling event requires a commission to investigate it.
The events of 9/11 warranted a commission, and the commission the Dems want now has been compared to that one. But to me, the comparison makes the case against a 1/6 commission.
The events of January 6 were nothing like the 9/11 attacks; indeed, such a comparison strikes me as obscene. They are much more akin to the political rioting that has been going on throughout the U.S. for the past year — rioting that features attacks on government buildings including court houses.
The Democrats aren’t calling for a commission to investigate these attacks. Is this because the attacks are being carried out by people on their side of the political divide?
I don’t assume so. I assume there is no serious call to investigate left-wing rioting because, unlike 9/11, it’s a law enforcement matter.
So is the January 6 attack. And “law enforcement” is investigating it to the hilt. Thus, a commission isn’t necessary for any legitimate purpose I can discern.
Part of the commission’s focus presumably would be on Donald Trump’s role in the events of January 6, and the Democrats surely have this in mind. Keeping Trump front-and-center helps deflect attention from the stumbles of his successor.
But we know what Trump said, and did not say, to the crowd that assembled in Washington on January 6. Americans can decide for themselves whether, or to what extent, his words that day (or earlier) brought about the attack by a small portion of those who came to D.C. to support the president.
Moreover, this matter was “litigated” during the impeachment proceedings. There’s no legitimate need for a rehash by a commission.
Personally, I found Trump’s behavior troubling (though not grounds for impeachment). If his conduct causes him to lose Republican support, that would be fine with me.
But my political preferences aren’t a grounds for establishing a commission. Neither are those of the Democrats.