A few hours ago I wondered whether Cheney would back up Pelosi’s decision to bar Jim Jordan and Jim Banks from the January 6 select committee. For any other Republican (except maybe Adam Kinzinger) that would be an unthinkable heresy, an act of political suicide. But Cheney’s already a de facto conservative independent who’s made holding Trump and the GOP accountable for January 6 her signature issue. And she’s antagonized MAGA so much already that there’s no further marginal cost in continuing to do so. They hate her and are spoiling to beat her in a primary as much as they’re capable of.
Which means the answer to my question was foreordained: Yes, she’d support Pelosi’s decision. Why would either of them want someone who’s anti-anti-insurrection as a member of an anti-insurrection probe?
So it’s war. And the Cheneys have always been comfortable with war.
She dropped a full payload of truth bombs on the steps of the Capitol this afternoon:
She doesn’t name Jordan and Banks but it’s clear that Jordan is the potential material witness to whom she refers while Banks is the one popping off in ways that reveal he’s not serious about holding the rioters and the people who inspired them responsible.
Cheney did tell one lie, though. She claims that a “vast majority” of Republicans across the country recognize that the insurrection was an assault on the Constitution and American democracy. Not true:
Most Americans still call what happened on Jan 6 an insurrection. But descriptors like “defending freedom” and “patriotism” are relegated to a smaller part of the political right, and Trump voters are more likely than Americans as a whole to use them. pic.twitter.com/qczocH8a2u
— CBS News Poll (@CBSNewsPoll) July 20, 2021
If anything, it’s surprising that the minority of Trump voters who believe the riot was an insurrection or an attempt to overturn the election is as large as it is. And they’re right. Just ask an insurrectionist:
Now, four years later, Trump’s supporters swarmed the ornate building. Outside that evening, countless Trump flags flapped in the wind. Clouds of tear gas hung in the air against the purple twilight sky, and the orange light glowing from inside the Capitol’s windows gave the scene a surreal, apocalyptic feel.
Kiczenski was inspired by a vista of Trumpian strength and patriotism: the Washington Monument in the distance, the majestic Capitol in the foreground, and freedom-loving patriots fighting like hell to stop a stolen and fraudulent election, liberate their country and save their president. She snapped pictures and recorded videos.
“It just looked so neat,” she said. “We weren’t there to steal things. We weren’t there to do damage. We were just there to overthrow the government.”
Points for honesty.
As for Cheney, I wrote earlier that both parties will be able to score some points on each other from Pelosi’s decision to bar Jordan and Banks. But having the daughter of a former Republican vice president unleashing on McCarthy and the anti-anti-insurrectionists this way will … complicate the GOP message that the committee is a pure left-wing hit job. I’m sure Cheney fully understands the price of what she’s doing. But she seems willing to pay it, which will make her the most unpredictable member in all of Congress over the next 18 months, until she heads off into retirement.
Here’s McCarthy earlier vowing that House Republicans will conduct their own investigation into the insurrection. Expected findings: It was a diverse array of tourists, peaceful patriot protesters, undercover FBI, and Antifa.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy: “Unless Speaker Pelosi reverses course and seats all five Republicans, we will not participate” in the January 6 commission and instead, “we will run our own investigation” https://t.co/DQpOsYYRye pic.twitter.com/poRJ9vAbag
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) July 21, 2021