The Jan. 6 riot commission is basically toast

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Despite Joe Manchin’s best efforts at being persuasive and the Democrat’s enlistment of grieving family members, the Senate vote on creating a commission to study the causes of the January 6th Capitol Hill riot have been “put on hold.” The vote had already been pushed back until today, but now it’s not even on the calendar. You don’t need to be a swamp insider to read into this news. Chuck Schumer has whipped the votes and they aren’t even close to 60. And this wasn’t even a vote on creating the commission. It was just a vote on opening the measure up for discussion. This isn’t a budget measure, so they can’t threaten to shove it through via reconciliation and that means that the filibuster will essentially kill it. (Associated Press)

Senate Republicans are poised to block the creation of a special commission to study the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, dashing hopes for a bipartisan panel amid a GOP push to put the violent insurrection by Donald Trump’s supporters behind them.

Broad Republican opposition was expected in what would be the first successful Senate filibuster of the Biden presidency, even as the family of a Capitol Police officer who collapsed and died after the siege and other officers who battled rioters went office to office asking GOP senators to support the commission. The insurrection was the worst attack on the Capitol in 200 years and interrupted the certification of Democrat Joe Biden’s win over Trump.

A vote on the procedural motion was bumped to Friday after delays on an unrelated bill to boost scientific research and development pushed back the schedule.

I’ve been of two minds regarding the formation of the proposed commission ever since it was first brought up. It’s not that there would be anything particularly unusual about such a plan. Congress creates commissions to study all manner of things on a regular basis. The January 6th attack on the Capitol Building was obviously a notable event with troubling implications and it raised many questions about the existing levels of security that are in place. If there were honest actors at the table who wanted to look into those questions and make recommendations about how we could be better prepared to respond to another such incident in the future, I could certainly support that.

Unfortunately, that’s not what’s going to happen if they move forward with this proposal. The Democrats are looking to basically relitigate the entire Trump presidency and the claims by many of Trump’s supporters that the election was stolen. And, if given the opportunity, they will drag out the commission’s work well into next year, generating endless headlines of that sort, with the mainstream media eagerly snapping them up and running with them. In short, they will try to make the 2022 midterms all about Donald Trump and the riot. In fairness, that would probably work out a lot better for them than being forced to talk about how Democratic policies are stalling the economic recovery from the pandemic.

Also, we’re hearing constant comparisons between this proposed commission and the 9/11 commission. That’s a false narrative, creating yet another reason to take a pass on this. There was actually a very real need for an in-depth commission study after the 9/11 attacks. It was a legitimate act of terror on an unprecedented scale, involving foreign terrorists from multiple countries and years of undercover operations inside of our nation. There were a lot of moving parts to it and sorting it out was a critical objective.

The January 6 riot was a criminal act. Granted, it was a big criminal act involving hundreds of people, but there isn’t much of a mystery behind it. There are already multiple criminal investigations ongoing to sort the matter out and literally hundreds of people have already been arrested and charged, with more still to come. (A job made far easier by all of the idiots who posted videos of themselves rioting on social media.) I suppose a commission could look into the online communications between those planning the riot, but law enforcement is already doing that as well. If Congress wanted to ask the Justice Department to prepare a final report on the prosecution efforts and what was discovered, that would be appropriate. But if we turn this over to the legislature, the Democrats will try to make it all about Trump (despite the fact his speech on January 6th included a statement about the assembled protesters going to peacefully raise their voices at the Capitol) and not the people who actually committed the crimes.

An actual investigatory commission would be fine, as I already said. But what we don’t need in the middle of the various debacles we’re currently dealing with is yet another political circus. And it’s just hard to see how this commission would turn out to be anything other than that.