House Republican infighting gets ugly

Nancy Pelosi selected Adam Kinzinger to join the January 6 select committee. According to CNN, Kinzinger readily accepted the position with this statement: “Let me be clear, I’m a Republican dedicated to conservative values, but I swore an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution—and while this is not the position I expected to be in or sought out, when duty calls, I will always answer.” Kinzinger is the rare Republican who is willing to put country over party, but apparently, he is the minority.

As CNN reported, other Republican members of Congress want Cheney and Kinzinger punished for agreeing to honor their commitment to the American people. The hardest push is coming from members of the House Freedom Caucus, which is a group of some of the worst in Congress. Jim Jordan served as the first chair of the group, so that tells us about all we need to know. As a result, they are pushing Kevin McCarthy to strip Cheney and Kinzinger of their committee assignments because they agreed to be part of the select committee. Because they are so blind to anything other than what they want, these Republicans fail to see the good in having two members of their party on the committee. McCarthy could have left his remaining three members on the committee after Pelosi vetoed Banks and Jordan, but that would have made too much sense. It was his choice to remove all five, and Republicans cannot now complain about who Pelosi chooses to make up the remainder of the committee. Republicans cannot have it both ways. They either participate or they do not, and that choice is totally theirs.

According to CNN, punishing Cheney and Kinzinger will not be easy because Pelosi has ultimate control over committee assignments. Should Republicans strip Cheney and Kinzinger of their assignments, Pelosi can merely reappoint them. Removing them would, thus, be an effort in futility and a waste of time. It is past time for Republicans to think about the good of this country and not about Republican loyalty. CNN reported that Scott Perry of the Freedom Caucus has called on Elise Stefanik to hold a special meeting to strip committees from Cheney and Kinzinger because they “are not remaining loyal to the conference.” How about showing some loyalty to the country?

Investigating this act of domestic terrorism is good for the country. We have already waited more than six months to unravel details, including the possible involvement of members of Congress who gave speeches to rile the insurrectionists up and those who gave mysterious tours immediately before. Perhaps therein lies the problem. If any members of Congress were involved, they certainly do not want their involvement to come to light, but that involvement absolutely must become public. If Republicans are innocent, they have nothing to worry about and should allow the investigation to proceed unimpeded. Republicans need to stop putting their party above this country. Their loyalties should lie with democracy and the Constitution and nothing else.

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