Kevin McCarthy and the House Republicans have revealed their picks for the January 6th select committee. The five picks are notorious troublemaker Jim Jordan, along with four Republicans that most Americans have never heard of.
Make no mistake, House Republicans picked Jim Jordan for the 1/6 committee for a reason: Speaker Nancy Pelosi will have to strongly consider vetoing him. Since she’ll have to make a big deal out of vetoing the biggest name the Republicans picked, she might feel compelled at that point to let the other four Republicans slide, even though they’re also unsuitable to varying degrees. But Pelosi has some options.
Pelosi can make a point of vetoing Jordan, while allowing the four no-name House Republicans onto the committee. She can then say something along the lines of “See, I allowed the Republicans to have their people, just not that uniquely objectionable clown Jim Jordan.”
Of the four no-name House Republicans, two voted to certify the election, and two voted against it. So Pelosi can veto the two who voted against it, along with vetoing Jordan. But then the Republicans can claim the committee isn’t bipartisan, because she vetoed three of their five picks.
Pelosi can veto all five picks, seeing as they’re all unsuitable to varying degrees. But it’s not as if McCarthy would pick anyone more suitable to replace them, so Pelosi would then also presumably have to reject McCarthy’s replacement picks, meaning his picks wouldn’t happen. At that point the committee would just be six Democrats – along with Liz Cheney, who’s widely known for opposing the current Republican leadership. That’s perhaps not a realistic option.
Pelosi could also pull a wildcard by allowing Jim Jordan on the committee, under the premise that he’s so embarrassing, he’ll hurt his own side in the eyes of mainstream viewers. But Jordan is such a disruptive dysfunctional motormouth lunatic, it’s hard to imagine the committee functioning at all with him on it.
So what will Nancy Pelosi do? We’ll see. She tends to be a few steps ahead of everyone else when it comes to this stuff. Keep in mind that this is all about how people in the middle will see it. They care about seeing an at least nominal appearance of bipartisanship, because that’s how they see the world.
This committee’s findings, no matter how factual and evidence-based, will only be accepted people in the middle if they see the committee as having been fair and balanced in nature. Pelosi has to figure out how to give off that appearance, while also not allowing any Republican saboteurs on the committee who will use it as a platform for pushing lies.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report