Kinzinger to Serve on 1/6 Committee

Another GOP member is added to the investigation.

Via CNN:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Sunday she has appointed GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger to the House select committee to investigate the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.

“Today, I am announcing the appointment of Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger, an Air Force veteran and Lieutenant Colonel in the Air National Guard, to serve on the Select Committee,” she said in a statement. “He brings great patriotism to the Committee’s mission: to find the facts and protect our Democracy.”

Kinzinger, a vocal Republican critic of former President Donald Trump who was one of 10 House Republicans to vote for his second impeachment, is joining Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming as the only Republicans on the new select committee.

I have no illusions that this will make pro-Trump Republicans happy or lead to some broad acceptance of the findings of the investigation.

Nonetheless, it is a positive move, as Kinzginer is certainly a far more serious member of the Republican caucus than, say, Jim Jordan.

McCarthy now has some choices to make in regards to both Kinzinger and Cheney.

FILED UNDER: US Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. James Joyner says:

    I can’t imagine that the two Republicans chosen by Nancy Pelosi will satisfy any Republicans.

    3
  2. @James Joyner: Well, it will satisfy the handful of Republicans who think that Cheney and Kinzinger voted correctly to impeach–but that is a distinct minority.

    14
  3. Stormy Dragon says:

    @James Joyner:

    I can’t imagine anyone cares if the Republicans are satisfied.

    15
  4. Kathy says:

    We need new terminology in Congress:

    There’s a Democratic caucus, a trump caucus, and a miniscule Republican caucus left.

    3
  5. James Joyner says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: @Stormy Dragon: @Kathy: I think I’ve been clear in where I stand on Trump, the Big Lie, and the Capitol riots. I just think thst, objectively, Cheney and Kinzinger are serving in this committee at the behest of the Democratic Speaker and do not represent the Republican leadership, Congressional Caucus, or the broader Republican Party as it’s now comprised in any meaningful way.

    2
  6. charon says:

    McCarthy now has some choices to make in regards to both Kinzinger and Cheney.

    What would those be? He has already been consulted, no need for any more of his input.

    1
  7. Stormy Dragon says:

    @James Joyner:

    And I think I’ve made clear that the fact it doesn’t represent the Republican leadership, Congressional Caucus, or the broader Republican Party is a feature, not a bug.

    The Republicans are trying to pull a “Sheriff Bart takes himself hostage”, and you’re playing the part of the “Isn’t anybody gonna help that poor man?” lady.

    They’ve had multiple chances to participate and at each step refused. The rest of us aren’t obligated to wait around until they agree to start acting like adults.

    18
  8. Stormy Dragon says:

    McCarthy now has some choices to make in regards to both Kinzinger and Cheney.

    One thing to point out here: while GOP caucus can unilaterally remove a member of their caucus from a committee, they actually need Democrat votes to add a replacement. While these have generally been pro forma votes in the past, I’d like for Pelosi to make clear that if anyone sitting on the 1/6 select commission is removed from a committee assignment in retaliation, then the seat will remain empty for the rest of this congress and the Republicans will just have to deal with being a vote short on all those committees.

    12
  9. @James Joyner:

    I just think thst, objectively, Cheney and Kinzinger are serving in this committee at the behest of the Democratic Speaker and do not represent the Republican leadership, Congressional Caucus, or the broader Republican Party as it’s now comprised in any meaningful way.

    This is manifestly true.

    But it still strikes me as better than no GOP representatives at all. At a minimum, they will take it seriously and it does underscore that there is a faction of the GOP, however small, that is doing so. That may not be a major good, but it is better than nothing.

    8
  10. @charon: He has made threats about committee assignments. He also has to decide how to talk about these two members of his caucus.

    1
  11. CSK says:

    @charon:

    Let me quote Adam Kinzinger himself: “Who gives a shit?”

    He said this in response to McCarthy’s warning to GOP members not to serve on the committee.

    4
  12. Sleeping Dog says:

    @James Joyner:

    Cheny and Kinzinger on the panel, will exert some pressure on McCarthy to add R’s to the committee. Those R’s won’t be the crazies that TFG wanted, Jordan and Banks being the only ones who Pelosi rejected, but they will participate with an R bias.

    Who knows, perhaps Pelosi has other R’s who are willing to accept the assignment. If so, R messaging on this committee becomes awfully complicated.

    1
  13. Stormy Dragon says:

    The biggest irony here is that if the GOP had voted for the original bipartisan agreement, McCarthy could have appointed Jordan and Banks without Pelosi having a veto.

    16
  14. de stijl says:

    Imagine a 9/11 panel where half of the panel were okay with or friendly towards the terrorists.

    2021 is an odd place in time.

    8
  15. Moosebreath says:

    @James Joyner:

    “I can’t imagine that the two Republicans chosen by Nancy Pelosi will satisfy any Republicans.”

    I can’t imagine that having Republicans on the committee who actively supported the insurrection as it occurred (like Jim Jordan) would have satisfied any Democrats.

    Or to put it another way, McCarthy had the chance to accept a far better deal from his point of view with the select committee, the terms of which were reached in negotiations with his chosen negotiator. He chose to blow it up and walk away. So rewarding McCarthy’s behavior should not be high on Pelosi’s agenda.

    8
  16. Gustopher says:

    I was hoping there would be a compromise where Jim Jordan gets to be there, but with electrodes placed on his sensitive regions that are activated when his microphone detects a loud sound.

    6
  17. James Joyner says:

    @Moosebreath: I don’t much care what Pelosi does here. I’m just saying that any pretense that this is “bipartisan” or going to be accepted by Republicans who weren’t already on board is silly. McCarthey got what he wanted: a Democratic investigation that he can portray as a partisan stunt.

    3
  18. charon says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    So he can make a show of how ineffectual a clown he is, great choices.

    2
  19. charon says:

    @James Joyner:

    I’m just saying that any pretense that this is “bipartisan” or going to be accepted by Republicans who weren’t already on board is silly.

    Fetishizing “bipartisanship” is an historical curiosity that belongs in the past.

    Given the Mitch McConnell/SCOTUS led GOP dedication to obstruction, it’s just a mug’s game that hurts the Blue Team.

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  20. dazedandconfused says:

    @James Joyner:

    ’m just saying that any pretense that this is “bipartisan” or going to be accepted by Republicans who weren’t already on board is silly. McCarthey got what he wanted: a Democratic investigation that he can portray as a partisan stunt.

    But does that pretense actually exist in anyone’s mind? I can’t think of anyone who honestly holds that opinion. IMO the outcome of the committee producing anything the leadership could endorse was never considered as being in the cards. Jordan’s presence on the committee was about insuring outraged protest would be the official position of the GOP. I doubt McCarty was that naive enough to believe Jordan et al had any shot at influencing the committee into a position Trump would approve of, and he set his goal accordingly. I can’t think of a way that goal could’ve been thwarted.

    3
  21. Joe says:

    When last we were on this subject, I mentioned my rep, Rodney Davis, who was one of the collateral damage in the original McCarthy nomination/nomination-pulling misadventure. He had been a “moderate” Republican insofar as he had not joined the Texas lawsuit, nor tried to de-certify the election. In today’s local newspaper, our distinctly not-liberal news analyst was making fun of Davis’s new campaign literature describing the January 6 rioters as “patriots” in need of protection and the investigative panel as simply out to get Trump. As I said in my prior post, he has been known to disappoint.

  22. Scott F. says:

    @James Joyner:

    I don’t much care what Pelosi does here. I’m just saying that any pretense that this is “bipartisan” or going to be accepted by Republicans who weren’t already on board is silly. McCarthey got what he wanted: a Democratic investigation that he can portray as a partisan stunt.

    Can you elaborate on “already on board,” James? Are you saying that there are no rank & file Republicans who are persuadable? We know that Trump has the numbers for control of the Republican politicians in Congress, but are you conceding the battle for the soul of the GOP has already been lost by the establishment? Cheney clearly doesn’t think so and the same for Kinzinger. I don’t know Kinzinger’s numbers, but Cheney is doing some big fundraising off being the standard bearer for the Republican Old Guard. This tells me that there is some contingent of the GOP donor class who are putting their money on the end of Trumpism.

    That McCarthy would portray the Select Committee as a partisan stunt was a given, even if he’d gotten Banks and Jordan their seats. We both know that, right? The Trumpists will do as Trumpists do – scream, deny and obfuscate. But, if you can bring yourself to believe that the American Democracy Project is not doomed, then Pelosi is doing what she needs to do to give this committee the credibility to put important information about the Capitol Riot in front of the public.

    4
  23. MarkedMan says:

    @James Joyner: Look, what you say is true, but it doesn’t change the value of this investigation one iota. The Republican Party has self selected itself to the point where it almost completely comprised of cowards, grifters and loons, incapable of dealing with anything more serious than Mr. Potatohead’s sexual orientation. The fact that they cannot contribute anything serious is built in now, and we should celebrate any time they remove themselves from a serious enterprise.

    Put another way, the committee is better off without the Republicans in Good Standing, because what it takes to be an RIGS automatically makes them useless for anything else.

    8
  24. Scott F. says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Well, it will satisfy the handful of Republicans who think that Cheney and Kinzinger voted correctly to impeach–but that is a distinct minority.

    I humbly submit that the most meaningful objective in the Recover American Democracy project is to grow this distinct minority. The big problems in US governance are in the Republican house. Democrats will not be able to fix the foundational issues in our system with a nihilistic party as the opposition. Either the Republican Party claws itself back to something resembling a functionally Conservative party or it collapses. Otherwise, the authoritarians will whittle away until they have complete control.

    5
  25. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @James Joyner: I don’t think any of the three are in disagreement with you beyond what appears to be a fervent (and in my take empty) hope that there are still “good” Republicans out there to be appealed to. McCarthy will take whatever reprisals on his rebels that the caucus deems necessary in his role as House Republican Windsock. On a personal level, I agree with you that this is just another circus. On the other hand, who doesn’t like going to the circus (other than me, that is)?

    1
  26. @James Joyner:

    I’m just saying that any pretense that this is “bipartisan” or going to be accepted by Republicans who weren’t already on board is silly.

    Honest question: is anyone saying that?

    McCarthey got what he wanted: a Democratic investigation that he can portray as a partisan stunt.

    He would have done that even if the original, truly bipartisan commission had been named.

    10
  27. @charon: Very possibly.

  28. Kathy says:

    @charon:

    Fetishizing “bipartisanship” is an historical curiosity that belongs in the past.

    To paraphrase: It belongs to a more civilized age. before the dark times.

    BTW, at some point the Democrats need to realize the majority of the country’s voters did not give them the Presidency, the House, and the Senate, just so they could let McConnell call the shots.

    6
  29. Matt says:

    @James Joyner: Indeed she could appoint Trump and Jesus to the panel and the GOP would still throw a fit…

    2
  30. Moosebreath says:

    @dazedandconfused:

    “Jordan’s presence on the committee was about insuring outraged protest would be the official position of the GOP.”

    More specifically, Jordan’s presence on the committee was about preventing the committee from holding a coherent hearing, as opposed to one where the Republicans fling poo to distract from what the witnesses say.

    2
  31. Barry says:

    @James Joyner: James, this is just serving the Trumpist Caucus of the GOP.

  32. James Joyner says:

    @Barry: It’s been clear for quite some time that the Trumpist Caucus is the de facto controlling faction. It’s possible that could change. I hope it does. But it is what it is.

    1
  33. James Joyner says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Certainly multiple commenters here claimed the other day that having Cheney and Kinzinger would make it ‘bipartisan.’ And surely that’s what Pelosi et al will claim.

    2
  34. @James Joyner: I suppose it is technically
    “bipartisan” definitionally, but clearly not in any consensus fashion (but, then again, most “bipartisan” things are of that type).

    I guess I was especially asking about “going to be accepted by Republicans who weren’t already on board.”

    3
  35. Jay L Gischer says:

    I’d guess that the political goal is not the word “bipartisan” but to have people like Kinzinger and Cheney go in front of cameras and say “this is what we are looking at today”. And to be in front of cameras during hearings, with “R” next to their name.

    The Big Lie can’t really tolerate dissent, or different opinions, and this will undermine it, to some extent. People are really good at sticking their fingers in their ears and not listening, but there’s a limit to that.

    2
  36. James Joyner says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    I guess I was especially asking about “going to be accepted by Republicans who weren’t already on board.”

    Oh, I think that’s all but unachievable. I’m criticizing the farce more than arguing that the addition of Kinzinger delegitimates something that would otherwise be seen as legitimate.

  37. Dude Kembro says:

    Amusing a blog called “Outside the Beltway” often parrots distinctly inside-the-Beltway conventional wisdom, only sometimes as intellectually lazy Chris Cillizza’s tripe, but almost always more creatively written, thankfully.

    One, the committee *is* bipartisan. Not only as a matter of fact because it includes meaningful participation from high profile, respected members of both parties, but because a not insignificant number of Republicans across the country are supportive. Qevin McQarthy and Moscow Mitch do not get to redefine bipartisanship as only that which has the buy-in of GQP nutjobs in congress, a point the Biden admin has made. As proved shown in Cheney’s and Kinzinger’s fundraising hauls, Trumpists are not the only conservatives who exist. Media bros still can’t accept that Trump voters are not the only Americans who matter.

    Two, this “bipartisanship” shell game does not matter to most Americans outside the beltway, where Biden’s approval is steady, where Republican Party identification is at lows, and where 72% poll as believing there is more to know about 1/6.

    What’s important is that we get a full fact-finding. Bipartisanship would be nice for “optics” (another largely meaningless I-T-B fetish) but it is not required to give Americans the facts we want. The delusional deplorables who embrace Drama Queen Donnie’s sore loser election lies were not going to believe any report put out by a Democratic House, even inclusive of Jordan/Banks clownery. We’re not children, we know that. Just like we know congressional Republicans blocked an independent commission negotiated by Republican congressmen, because they know the full Jan 6 facts will reveal the establishment right’s complicity. Their whining now is unconvincing.

    Tangerine Hitler lost the popular vote twice by millions of votes for a reason, please give folks outside the beltway a bit more credit.

    3
  38. Fog says:

    There are a lot of people in this country who should be praying Dante was wrong when he reserved an unusually hot ring of Hell to those who, in time of great moral crisis, decided to stay neutral.