When Nancy Pelosi rightfully called Kevin McCarthy’s attempt to sabotage the Jan 6 commission for what it was, an array of pundits said that she was doing exactly what he wanted – by taking away any suggestion that the congressional hearings would be nonpartisan. They seemed to ignore the fact that McCarthy didn’t have to spitefully withdraw his picks, even though he had her approval on two of them. While this was likely the move McCarthy was hoping for – and media coverage framing the story as though he has already won the battle probably didn’t hurt him – as usual, the Republicans are overplaying their hand in an embarrassing way.
The House Freedom Caucus – responsible for some of the more insane Republican ideas, has called on the notoriously spineless House Minority Leader to remove Nancy Pelosi as House Speaker, essentially asking for a coup to happen against leadership that was elected by a solid majority of the people. This has, of course, naturally led a bunch of people to panic that there really is a chance of this happening – even though it would need at least some form of support from the Democrats to actually work at all.
This is an opportunity for two reasons – because once again McCarthy looks weak and indecisive, which are the two worst things a political candidate can be regardless of their party, and because Republicans are once again in broad daylight showing their contempt for democracy as they try to downplay what was an assault on elected government. The latter means that the findings from the committee are likely to be that much worse – and we need to play it in such a way that Republican candidates for office are forced to take a position on Kevin McCarthy – someone who shouldn’t be leader of a local Republican club chapter, let alone the next House Speaker.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making