Thoughts on the Hearings
It was far more compelling than expected.
So, despite the misgivings I expressed in yesterday’s open forum, I watched last night’s hearings. They were compelling enough that I did not watch the new episode of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds which means that they were far more compelling than expected. I was especially impressed with Liz Cheney’s presentation and the usage of both video and the two live witnesses (especially Officer Edwards). As she spoke (and as I watched the footage of the attack), I kept thinking that I hope Jack Del Rio of the Washington Commanders was watching the accounts of what he called a “dust-up” because whatever else one wants to call it, it was far more than that. Indeed, I was especially struck by the violence of the insurrectionists as they attacked the Capitol Police. Anyone who says that being “law and order” is part of their political views and does not roundly condemn the event, and those who fueled it, need to have their “law and order” card revoked.
As James Joyner noted in his news round-up, I am not sure any of this will affect those who need to be influenced, but at a minimum, I think Dan Drezner gets it right:
Speaking of the lack of influence over those most needing to be influenced, the following is visually stunning and underscores the degree to which FNC is interested in entertaining their viewers at best, and simply engaging in propaganda as worst (and the worst interpretation is likely the most accurate):
The attempt to paint Liz Cheney as a RINO, if not a hero of the left is just plain ridiculous. And if she is a hero, it is out of fidelity to the truth, not out of any ideological reasons (indeed, quite the contrary).
I did come away from last night with the following:
- The evidence of a conspiracy within the White House to overturn the election grows.
- The direct evidence that Trump was being told that he had lost. This was not a surprise, but it was striking to hear Barr (and others) say that they directly told him that he had lost.
- Along the those having Ivanka Trump admit on video that she believed Barr was pretty damning.
- As noted above, the violence of the mob was striking given the footage shown.
- The threat to Pence continues to grow in significance–and the fact that people like McCarthy (and, indeed, Pence himself) continue to downplay, if not ignore it, is an illustration of how the quest for power can clearly corrupt.
- The role of the Proud Boys is noteworthy and disturbing. Along those lines I would also recommend this episode of The Daily from this week: The Proud Boy’s Path to Jan. 6.
At a minimum, I came away with the view that this was a more useful exercise than I feared it was going to be. But I also expect most Republicans to minimize the events and continue to ask what about BLM? What about inflation? What about. What about.