MEGHAN MCCAIN: Jan 6 cmte hearing gave reason to fear Capitol riot is tragic milestone in US decline
The Select House Committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot premiered Thursday in primetime — it was a predictable flop.
The presentation to reveal the committee’s findings started at 8pm GMT – just after I put my daughter to bed.
Like most Americans, I had other things I’d rather do.
But nevertheless I asked my husband to turn it on downstairs so I could watch after I was done with her.
I suppose, like most Americans, I kept thinking, What’s the point?
I remember January 6, as we all do, as one of our darkest days.
I was in Washington DC and saw Trump supporters gather at the Capitol before the riots. I saw it happening in real time on television after I got home from work.
It was frightening, an embarrassment to our country and the final nail in the coffin, as far as I’m concerned, with President Trump’s legacy.
The Select House Committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot premiered Thursday in primetime — it was a predictable flop. (Above) Rep. Bennie Thompson (left), chair of the Select Committee on Investigation’s January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol and Vice Chairman Rep. Liz Cheney (right)
My sister-in-law, Emily, who is an adviser to Congresswoman Kevin McCarthy, had her office searched and her desk defaced.
Friends of ours had to barricade themselves in their offices and find blunt objects to defend themselves in case of attack.
There’s no way to downplay January 6, and I wouldn’t dare.
I believe that any person who was involved in criminal activity that day should come under the full weight of the law. There must also be consequences for anyone, including President Trump, who may have instigated the uprising and did nothing to stop it.
But I also believe that it is critical that we tackle the root of the extremism that inspired so many people to believe that there was no alternative in our great country than to storm the Capitol after their candidate lost.
However, Thursday night’s event brought none of these goals further.
In fact, this highly produced yet stunningly bland presentation could actually make things worse in this country.
First, little new information was revealed, and the new testimonies we were presented with cut against the mainstream media’s narrative that the riots were an organized uprising or coup d’état.
In fact, the most compelling aspect of the testimony was insight into the drama in the West Wing between President Trump and his family, Attorney General and Vice President.
They all rejected the idea that the election was somehow stolen.
We saw Attorney General Bill Barr tell investigators on camera (Barr revealed this earlier in his book) that he told Trump that election fraud allegations were “bulls***.”
There must also be consequences for anyone, including President Trump, who may have instigated the uprising and did nothing to stop it
First, little new information was revealed and the new testimonies we were presented with cut against the mainstream media’s narrative that the riots were an organized uprising or coup.
Trump’s daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump told the committee she agreed with Bill Barr and accepted his assessment that there was no significant election fraud.
Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley said Vice President Mike Pence had contacted him, pleading with him to send the National Guard to restore order to the Capitol.
These aren’t big revelations to anyone, and besides, this will in no way convince people who support Trump to abandon him now.
The flaw in this hearing strategy is that it is inherently political, and it appears that way.
There are only two Republicans on the committee, Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger. They are both politicians, which I personally am a fan of, but that didn’t make their arguments any more convincing.
If they had the smoking-gun evidence that Trump staged an uprising, then they should show it to us immediately.
Thursday was more of a story-building exercise than a fact-finding mission.
Obviously, I believe Trump disgraced his office and committed a dereliction of duty on January 6. But I don’t need to be convinced.
The people who need to be convinced are those who have already rejected the American political system.
What would have been more interesting is an investigation into why a significant number of Americans feel that the political system has let them down.
Why did those people feel that there was no option in their lives but to storm the Capitol?
There is a whole population of people in America who feel forgotten, disrespected and desperate.
This is a disease that festers in our country, and I don’t believe we got any closer on Thursday to understand why this poison is spreading.
Lately, like so many millions of Americans, I’ve been having conversations about the economy with my friends and family.
We woke up Friday morning to news that consumer prices rose 8.6% in May – a new record in four decades.
Anyone who has filled up their gas tank or ran errands is well aware of how much prices have risen and they are rightly afraid of how much worse it will get.
These are the issues that will motivate Americans to vote. In the words of James Carville ‘it’s the economy, stupid.’
I think it will be difficult for people who already have so much on their plate to expend the emotional energy it takes to take in weeks of repetitive hearings and disappointing presentations from the January 6 committee.
We woke up Friday morning to news that consumer prices rose 8.6% in May – a new record in four decades
At best, January 6 hearings are simply re-examining obscure and disturbing information we already know. At worst, the hearing will only make disillusioned Americans even more disgusted by a political system that seems to serve itself for them.
Roughly speaking, they just don’t have time for this right now. My advice to those in power is to hold a prime-time hearing on the economy, admit that inflation was fueled by reckless spending, and find two-pronged solutions.
That is of course a fantasy.
It’s much more convenient for politicians to blame every problem in the Biden administration for nearly two years on a disgraced ex-president loitering in Florida.
At best, the January 6 hearings are simply a reiteration of obscure and disturbing information we already know.
At worst, the hearing will make disillusioned Americans even more disgusted by a political system that seems to serve itself.
America is a darker, less inspiring, more depressing place today than it was a few years ago.
President Joe Biden and the Democrats promised a turnaround and instead things are getting noticeably worse.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: If President Biden and our current leaders fail to solve these problems, someone will come along and inspire Americans to do so.
If we don’t address the underlying disease behind January 6, I fear the Capitol riots could become a tragic milestone in America’s decline, rather than a footnote in our proud history.