By Don Frost
If there was ever any doubt (and there wasn’t) that the House select committee on the Jan. 6 Capitol riot would be a political circus orchestrated for the media, all doubt was dispelled on Day One of the hearings.
For most of this year Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has been insisting the sole purpose of the hearings was to learn the facts of what happened that day so accountability could be assigned. Then, she told us, steps would be taken to assure that it could never happen again. Accordingly she gathered together a bipartisan group of representatives to serve on the panel.
She began by vetoing membership by outspoken Republican supporters of Donald Trump, claiming they wouldn’t be impartial. Then she welcomed outspoken Republican critics of Trump, claiming they would be impartial. And she welcomed outspoken Democratic critics of Trump, claiming they, too, would be impartial. Does the word “hypocrite” spring to mind? Is there any mystery as to what the panel’s final report will determine?
A prolonged anti-Republican, anti-conservative media storm is about to wash over the country, so keep uppermost in mind throughout that the true target of the hearings is not about learning what happened and “accountability.” It’s about the 2022 midterm elections. And beware of the word “accountability.” It will be bandied about repeatedly until those elections. In the context of these hearings all it means is, “Let’s be sure conservatives gets blamed.” Not a very honorable or profitable purpose to occupy Congress or the nation for the coming year and four months.
The entire world knows the rioters broke the law when they stormed the Capitol, leaving major destruction in their wake. That is a fact beyond dispute and more than 500 of the rioters have been identified and will be held accountable. But this is not the accountability Pelosi so fervently desires. Her entire purpose is to cripple the Republican Party and the conservative movement.
It is axiomatic in the practice of law: If you have the law on your side, argue the law. If you have the facts on your side, argue the facts. If you have neither, appeal to emotions. For Pelosi’s purpose, the law and facts are irrelevant. So she and her committee go for emotions.
On July 27, 2021, in Pelosi’s alleged quest for facts, she paraded before the cameras four Metropolitan and Capitol police officers to give emotion-charged narratives on their experiences that day. No fair-minded individual doubts their sincerity. They weren’t lying when they said they feared for their lives during the onslaught by the rioters. It was a day of absolute madness and their fears were utterly justified. But how did their reports – and tears – advance the quest to “learn the facts,” to “assure accountability”?
Not at all. So why were they summoned to testify? Because the blatantly biased panel had neither law nor facts to argue; just emotions. The officers were there simply to display those emotions for a salivating press; to portray the Republican Party and the conservative movement as a collection of knuckle-dragging fanatics determined to turn the country into a Right Wing dictatorship.
Of course the hearings also offer a perfect excuse to play again and again video of the riot for the TV audience. And that’s all it was: A riot, despite grandiose, bellicose, boastful statements by some of the rioters. No one was going to hang Mike Pence. No one was going to declare a coup with Trump as president. It most certainly was not an “insurrection” with the goal of overthrowing the government. But count on Pelosi et al (including the media) to portray it as such: “Yep. That’s those conservatives for you. Just typical of their sort. Remember that when you go to the polls next year.”
The country suffered nearly a year of racial riots in cities all over the country in the wake of the George Floyd murder. Many of them began as legitimate protests, demonstrations, or marches planned by the Black Lives Matter organization. Inevitably they degenerated into riots complete with massive destruction and looting. Always, even with cars burning in the background, the media claimed they were “mostly peaceful” protests that – surprise, surprise – “got hijacked by outsiders.” The assumption the media wants to get across is that the BLM organization was appalled by the looting and arson.
Conservatives are not granted that courtesy of the assumption of innocence. That’s why the media has never suggested that the peaceful Jan. 6 protest at the White House “got hijacked by outsiders” when they marched on the Capitol. There’s an old saying that in chaos there is profit. So who benefitted from the Jan. 6 riot? Trump? Certainly not. The Republican Party? No. The conservative movement? No. Joe Biden and the Democratic Party? Oh, yes; big time.
It doesn’t take much to turn a peaceful protest, march, or demonstration into a riot. Just ask the BLM organizers. One person throws a brick through a store window and makes off with a laptop under each arm and suddenly everyone is throwing bricks and looting. On Jan. 6 one person pushes against a police barrier and suddenly everyone is pushing against the barrier. Mob hysteria just takes over. Doesn’t take a mastermind to plan it. But Pelosi’s inquest will continue on the assumption that Jan. 6 was a carefully planned plot to change the outcome of the election orchestrated by Republican Party conservatives.
Don Frost blogs at www.commonsense931.wordpress.com