Back when congressional Republicans voted down a bipartisan investigation into the January 6th Capitol attack, a whole lot of media pundits were quick to declare that there would be no investigation and that the guilty parties would “get away with it all.” Of course nothing works that way, and it was always clear that Speaker Nancy Pelosi would just appoint a select committee instead.
But what was less clear was precisely what the makeup of that committee would be. For instance, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy was allowed to pick five committee members – and if he hadn’t included Jim Jordan with his picks, he probably could have gotten all five of them. But with McCarthy being the doofus that he is, Pelosi ended up rejecting Jordan and one other pick, and then McCarthy responded by withdrawing all of his picks.
Yet McCarthy’s antics failed to prevent the committee from being bipartisan, because Pelosi was savvy enough to add Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger to the committee. Neither of these two House Republicans can necessarily be trusted in general. But Pelosi was savvy enough to figure out that they could be trusted when it came to the specific matter of January 6th.
Sure enough, the January 6th Committee – which has multiple Republican members – is aggressively moving forward with subpoenas and upcoming hearings. This is arguably a better result than if the Republicans had allowed a bipartisan commission to begin with, and it’s certainly a better result than if McCarthy had allowed his three non-rejected members to remain on the committee.
Nancy Pelosi has played the kind of multi-dimensional chess that produced a January 6th Committee that’s intent on getting to the truth and will be seen by most nonpartisan observers out there are being bipartisan. This was a predictable result, but Pelosi still deserves major credit for making it happen.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report