Thoughts on the Hearings

It was far more compelling than expected.

“The Only Way to Watch” by SLT

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.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2020, 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. Bob@Youngstown says:

    Had to look carefully at your photo. At first it looked like Chaney “serving it up on a silver platter” (which she did).

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  2. gVOR08 says:

    The presentation that the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers were moving to a plan before the official protest should kill any talk of a legitimate protest that got out of hand. It left open a claim that they they were acting on their own initiative in response to vague remarks by Trump like, “stand down and stand by”. I’m hoping later presentations will tie this more directly to Trump and his minions.

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  3. DK says:

    The attempt to paint Liz Cheney as a RINO, if not a hero of the left is just plain ridiculous.

    That Cheney is not now and never will be a hero to the left is why she is unimpeachable on this. Her conservatism is so stubborn that Democrats can only give her grudging respect. That’s why she irritates Trump’s fake conservatives so.

    Hats off to Bennie Thompson and Liz Cheney for last night’s presentation.

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  4. Argon says:

    Interesting to see The Anerican Conservative is taking its sweet time to figure out the best response to indefensible collusion. I’m sure the editors are sending out the marching orders to staff writers now. Prediction: They’ll pinch their noses and walk on by like it’s no big deal.

    3
  5. DK says:

    @gVOR08:

    The presentation that the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers were moving to a plan before the official protest should kill any talk of a legitimate protest that got out of hand.

    Hannity tried to spin this as proof Trump’s Jan 6 speech didn’t incite the terror attack.

    Hannity doesn’t understand the concept of both…and. Or maybe he’s just desperate.

    1
  6. Argon says:

    “The role of the Proud Boys is noteworthy and disturbing.”

    The disturbing, continuing role of the FNC is also made clear as well… Supermarket tabloids have more integrity but don’t reach a third of households

  7. HelloWorld! says:

    @DK: Not true. While I disagree with Liz Cheney 90% of the time on her politics, her patriotism has made me realize that there are some true Americans left in congress. I am greatly hoping that she wins re-election because preserving our common constitutional bond is way more important than her politics right now.

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  8. Tony W says:

    @HelloWorld!: At this point Cheney could be a very disruptive POTUS candidate for 2024. She would force the Republican party to a very damaging discussion.

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  9. CSK says:

    @Tony W:
    It would be entertaining to see Trump debate Liz Cheney. She relentlessly hammers him with facts, and he spews juvenile insults at her.

    4
  10. Mikey says:

    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.

    Same. I didn’t intend to watch the whole hearing but ended up doing so.

    I was especially impressed with Liz Cheney’s presentation and the usage of both video and the two live witnesses (especially Officer Edwards).

    The video of Officer Edwards being injured upset me greatly. She was essentially on her own trying to hold back a mob. She stood her ground as much as she could but what could she do? And even after being injured she continued doing her duty.

    She is an example of everything Trump and his craven, lying, traitorous enablers are not.

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  11. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Paul L.:
    I am literally laughing out loud.

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  12. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    I will never agree with her politics. But I now know that Liz Cheney has bigger balls than anyone else in the Republican party.
    She is getting trounced in her primary back home, but she sat there and did what is right for the nation, with seemingly little concern for herself.
    But for more politicians with such principles. I would vote for this woman based solely on character.
    I bet the former guy soils his diaper whenever he thinks about strong women like Cheney, or Clinton.

    4
  13. Gustopher says:

    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.

    It was a really good episode.

    The hearings though… I think they lacked punch. I said it in yesterdays open thread when the night’s hearing was over, and I’ll say it again — too much “interrupt the peaceful transfer of of power” not enough “coup” or “treason”.

    Simple language grabs peoples’ attention. Mild assholery can grab the media’s attention and shape the narrative.

  14. @Paul L.:

    Democrat party

    I find it utterly pathetic that people think this is clever.

    As to the rest of it: if you don’t take seriously the violence done by a mob against Capitol police, think it is fine they chanted “hang Mike Pence,” and are untroubled by the attempt to disrupt a constitutional process, you might be a fascist.

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  15. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Paul L.:

    by the laughable, partisan, Democrat party campaign ad, witch hunt, Pelosi handpicked, star chamber, communist show trial.

    You read the instructions on the troll packet wrong. You were supposed to pick one of the adjective phrases supplied. I know that you’re all excited that you got a new “talking points” sheet from your monthly Trolls-R-us subscription, but–like Ikea furniture–it’s best to read all the way through the instructions and understand them before you pull out the allen wrench.

    You’re going to end up with a three-legged table that won’t hold your Bud Lite, and look like a fool.

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  16. gVOR08 says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Democrat party
    I find it utterly pathetic that people think this is clever.

    That, and “Let’s Go Brandon”. I really, really don’t want the country run by people who think that stuff is clever.

    A couple months ago my local semi-pro newspaper used “Democrat Party” in one of their columns. I wrote them a letter pointing out the phrase is focus group tested Republican messaging, intended as a slur, and included a link to a WIKI page making this case. They replied to apologize, claiming they hadn’t known that, and would sin no more. But I couldn’t get them to print my letter.

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  17. DK says:

    @Paul L.:

    I enjoyed the videos of the legal Constitutionally protected activities outside the US Capitol

    Beating police officers bloody in an attempt to assassinate politicians and overturn an election is a legal Constitutionally protected activity?

    Nice to see Trump Republicans admitting they hate cops as much as they hate America.

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  18. Mikey says:

    @DK:

    Nice to see Trump Republicans admitting they hate cops as much as they hate America.

    Republicans love cops…but only when the cops kneel on a black man’s neck.

    6
  19. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Paul L.:

    I do not see how using all the parts supplied results in a missing table leg? Can you explain how a table is just so complex?

    And with that razor sharp comeback, I’m done for the day.*

    Here. Have a table and chair.

    * [foghorn_leghorn] That’s sarcasm, boy. Sarcasm! It’s a joke, son.[/foghorn_leghorn]

    2
  20. @Paul L.: To quote myself, ” What about. What about.”

    Not only are you trying to change the subject, your word salad is sincerely difficult to follow.

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  21. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    After seeing Ivanka on TV last night Trump can barely imagine sleeping with her anymore.

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  22. Kathy says:

    Cut the troll some slack. It’s natural to root for the leader of one’s party, and to feel defeated when he suffers a major setback.

    For instance, take what the video testimony at the hearings showed yesterday. We know Benito wants to screw his daughter, but yesterday she screwed him instead.

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  23. CSK says:

    @Paul L.:
    I don’t know what point you’re trying to make, but the rioters did defecate in the Capitol and then smear it around the building. They also urinated in the corridors.

    Are you disappointed not to see videos of this?

    1
  24. CSK says:

    @Paul L:
    Okay, Paul, I really don’t know what the hell you’re talking about here. Pedantry? Cluelessness? On whose part?

    You did, I assume, see the video of the rioters chanting “hang Mike Pence,” did you not? You did, I equally assume, see the numerous stills and videos of the gallows being erected outside the Capitol, did you not?

  25. Scott F. says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:
    Watching the time-stamped video of new footage from January 6th, I was particularly angered by how many rioters saw themselves as patriots fighting for a just cause. Even as they beat on Capitol police with the American flag, shattered windows, called for the heads of elected officials, they still managed to see themselves as the good guys. Trump’s own rioter-praising voiceover coming in at the end of the video just cemented my fury. It’s as though being proud to be an American was stolen from me by armed thugs.

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  26. @Paul L:

    Pedantry and cluelessness do not indicate intelligence.

    This is an extremely self-aware statement.

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  27. @Scott F.:

    how many rioters saw themselves as patriots fighting for a just cause

    People are rarely the villains of their own tales.

    But yes, I agree it was quite infuriating.

    5
  28. The Q says:

    Paul, the great thing about free speech is that morons like you are able to spew moronic bullshit and folks like me are free to point out moronic comments uttered by a moron.

    Feel free to fire back with another moronic comment defending your previous moronic comments.

    4
  29. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Paul L.:
    You either believe your bullshit, in which case you’re a moron. Or you just spout it without believing it, which makes you a liar. Those are your only two options. Either one makes you a bore.

    4
  30. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Paul L.:
    Sorry, that doesn’t really clarify the liar vs. moron question. It does still leave you as a bore.

    2