The GOP’s Plan to Move On From Jan. 6? Flood the Zone With Shit.
They’re trying to move on, all right, from being a party in a fair and representative democracy to a fascist movement that seeks minority rule by any means necessary.
Move on. That’s the message Republicans delivered on Wednesday as most of them rejected the effort to pursue accountability, justice and transparency for the violent insurrection egged on by President Trump as his cultish supporters tried to overtake the US Capitol and cancel a free and fair election just 133 days ago.
To protect Donald Trump and his yuge lie, Republicans must attack and kill democracy. There’s no other way.
Unfortunately for them, the Democratic majority in the House (where 35 Republicans voted for truth) and the Senate (where the 1/6 Commission bill moves now) is not going to move on despite the bluster, lies, obstructionism and conspiracy theories promoted by Republicans and their propaganda networks. While Senate Republicans could try and filibuster the bill, it looks likely there will be a bipartisan commission to understand how hundreds of armed Trump supporters and a guy in a Viking hat easily breached security and held the US capitol hostage to fulfill their paranoid fever dream of re-electing Donald Trump.
Yet Republicans are following Trump’s lead and rejecting the commission’s work to look into how their rejection of the election result led to the insurrection even before that work begins. The GOP is trying to move on, alright, from a fair and representative democracy to a fascist movement that seeks minority rule by any means necessary.
They’ve just sacrificed conservative royalty and their former number three leader in the House, Liz Cheney, to satiate the base’s rage and move on. Rep. Elise Stefanik, a Harvard educated lawyer who once touted herself as a moderate Republican, shed her skin, transformed into a MAGA warrior, usurped Cheney’s position and revealed once and for all there’s no country for moderates in the GOP. Republicans who were allegedly tough on crime have turned a blind eye to white supremacist terrorism, which has infiltated our law enforcement and is currently the number one domestic terror threat in America. Instead, Republicans chase and beat up unicorn threats like Antifa. The same party that stripped white nationalist Steve King of his committees not so long ago is now indulging and celebrating hateful, anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and celebrating the representatives, including Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar, who spread them.
Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell is echoing the position of House Minority leader Kevin McCarthy in coming out against what he referred to as a “slanted” bipartisan panel of five Republican and five Democratic appointees. This is the same McConnell who said, “President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of [January 6th]” — right after acquitting him in the Republican-led Senate. This is a man who has no principles past power.
In reality, the proposed plan for a bipartisan panel—which, if anything, is slanted in favor of Republicans given equal status by the Democrats who presently control both the Senate and the House—has been negotiated by members of both parties. Even Republican Rep. John Katko admits that the setup is “nearly identical” to the one proposed by dozens of House Republicans in January.
For Republicans who increasingly live in a delusional, twisted, dark fantasy where Jews control space lasers and fund global sex trafficking rings, it makes sense to kill any investigation. It’s not politically convenient to admit that the majority of the Republican base believes in Trump’s Yuge Lie about how the election he lost by over 7 million votes was supposedly stolen from him. So they want to just move on from “the evidence of their eyes and ears” and focus on the mid-term election, as if their true believers hadn’t just violently fought their defeat in the last election.
So they will lie, attack the investigation, attack the few remaining Republicans who support the process, and ultimately “flood the zone with shit,” using Steven Bannon’s preferred tactic to promote disinformation while confusing or exhausting enough Americans that they lose confidence in not just the results of the investigation but also the democratic process.
This explains why Rep. Louie Gohmert, the Elmer Fudd of the GOP, and Senator Ron Johnson, Putin’s Kroshka, recently concluded there was no “armed insurrection” even though they were there for it and even though we have all see the videos of a violent mob wielding hockey sticks, flagpoles, fire extinguishers, knives, stun guns, brass knuckles, and bringing nooses and zip ties. Remember that police also seized explosives and guns around the US Capitol that day.
That was just “a normal tourist visit,” according to Rep. Andrew S. Clyde, who just four months ago was terrified for his life, barricaded with armed security, huddling with his Republican colleagues to protect themselves from an armed mob, some of whom came to hunt and assassinate Mike Pence. That wasn’t enough to convince Mike’s brother, Rep. Greg Pence, to support the commission.
On one level, it’s hard to blame these Republicans. I mean, why would any sane person empower a commission that can issue subpoenas to look into their seditious, anti-Democratic acts in aid and support of a violent mob that left five people, including a police officer, dead. Instead, it’s easier to maintain an alternate reality fighting imaginary enemies like cancel culture and peaceful protestors.
In fact, why prosecute GOP criminals when you can elect them instead? It should surprise no one that the party that elevated murderer Kyle Rittenhouse, who shot and killed two BLM protestors, will now have a chance to vote for Mark McCloskey, who is famous for pointing a gun at peaceful Black Lives Matter protestors and then boasting about doing that at the Republican Convention.
This retreat from reality has been years in the making. House Republicans spent two years and $7 million on Benghazi hearings that McCarthy later admitted weren’t about American security about about harming Clinton in the 2016 election. The party wasted another $20 million investigating her emails. A GOP that sees investigations as a tool to win elections has no interest in one to protect democracy.
Rep. Tim Ryan, a Democrat, passionately addressed the 90% of Republicans who refused to vote for the January 6th commission, asking them, “What else has to happen in this country” to get bipartisanship after a violent insurrection in which people scaled the Capitol wall, chased lawmakers and beat police officers in the head with lead pipes.
I have an answer for him. If Muslims yelling “Allahu Akbar” had descended on the capitol, the GOP would never move on. They might even bomb a country or two, starting with Agrabah. (Though to be fair, a 2015 poll found that only 30% of Republicans would support bombing the fictional kingdom found in Disney’s Aladdin.)
We’re witnessing a sneak preview of what happens if the GOP keeps getting away with “moving on." If at first they don’t succeed in your violent attempt to cancel a free election, try, try again. Jan. 6 was a warning about and a warm up for what will inevitably happen the next time Republicans lose an election despite their best efforts at voter suppression and cheating.