The Jan 6th Commission

The January 6th Commission is doing valuable work unpacking the details of the events that led up the attack on the Capitol. And it offers Congress a chance to reassert its authority. Congress was violently attacked while carrying out its constitutional responsibilities. If it does not demand answers, and use its constitutional power to get them, it will seem more feckless than ever. But will this matter politically in the short term? That seems highly unlikely. 

As Quinta Jurecic argues in an essay in The Atlantic: “These details, if they bear out, are valuable—but they are details. The main facts of what happened on January 6—that Trump whipped up a political frenzy in his efforts to overturn the election, that his supporters broke into the Capitol after a speech in which he promised to ‘stop the steal,’ and that the president declined for hours to tell them to stop—happened in plain sight.”

As Jurecic says: “It’s tempting to imagine that there must be something the January 6 committee could reveal that would turn the party against him. But January 6 itself was that something[.]”

However extraordinary the committee’s findings, it’s difficult to think they will alter the current political landscape. 

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