Commission and Corruption

Amanda Carpenter has a terrific piece today at The Bulwark laying out the reasons that compel the need for a January 6 Commission to comprehensively review and assess the insurrection at the Capitol. George Thomas recently began a conversation on this topic here at The Constitutionalist.

The House is voting today on a bill to establish this commission. It was crafted in a truly bi-partisan fashion by the House Homeland Security Committee, modeled on the body formed to investigate the 9/11 attacks.

When the January 6 commission was initially discussed, the tentative plan was to model the commission on the normal composition of the Congress with the majority party holding a majority of the appointments to the commission. Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy objected to that initial idea in a letter to the Speaker in which he urged instead that the 9/11 commission be the model. Specifically, he insisted on an equal 5-5 ratio of commissioners appointed by Democrats and Republicans and that there be equal, bi-partisan, subpoena power.

The bill that will be on the floor today embraced and accepted all of the Minority Leader’s concerns — not a compromise, a full acceptance of his terms.

Now Minority Leader McCarthy has reneged on his commitment to an investigation, just as he abandoned all his original concerns during and after the insurrection itself. And over at the Senate, Minority Leader McConnell, as usual, has abandoned principle and duty as well. Although he gave an impassioned speech criticizing President Trump at the conclusion of the impeachment trial he is once again standing with Trump and Trump followers in attempting to rewrite the narrative of the insurrection and of the election of President Biden.

Corruption takes many forms when republics decay, including using ones power to subvert the duties of office. Such abuse, neglect and dereliction is nothing new for Senator McConnell, or Minority Leader McCarthy. When he was President, Trump normalized the outrageous through acts of repetition, deflection, and projection. His “success” can be measured by the consequent failure of the constitutional order — a failure marked by the sustenance of his debased style of leadership now absorbed by the legislative leaders of his party.

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