On Jan. 6, a huge, violent mob stormed the United State Capitol. They fought with police, killing one cop and seriously injuring scores of others. The rabble ransacked congressional offices, sent senators, representatives and their staff members into hiding, and threatened the vice president and Speaker of the House with serious harm. It was an insurrection that aimed to undo a presidential election.
One would assume that the elected officials of a political party that claims to stand for patriotism, law and order, and respect for police officers would be eager to get to the bottom of what happened on that infamous day and find out who was responsible for such a heinous attack on American Democracy.
But, no, to assume that would be very wrong.
When a proposal to form a bipartisan commission to investigate the insurrection came before the House of Representatives this week, only 35 Republicans voted for it while 175 were opposed. In this state, we should once again praise GOP House members Jaime Herrera Beutler and Dan Newhouse for being on the right side of the issue, just as they were when they voted to impeach former President Donald Trump for his incitement of the rioters on Jan. 6. As usual, the third House Republican from Washington, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, put partisanship ahead of patriotism by voting against the commission.
The measure passed, thanks to unanimous support from the Democratic majority, but approval in the Senate seems unlikely because it will take 60 votes to break a Republican filibuster and Mitch McConnell, the GOP leader, is not about to let that happen.
What is going on with these Republicans? Are they in thrall to Trump, who opposes the commission because so much of the blame for the Capitol attack will fall on him? Are some of them worried that it might be discovered that they were closely engaged with the rioters? Or are they cowed by the knowledge that two thirds of GOP voters believe the Big Lie that the election was stolen from Trump and that a great many of those voters actually sympathize with the insurrectionists?
For whatever reason, most Republican members of Congress are choosing to protect their narrow political interests rather than protecting the country and the Constitution.
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