WHEN he took the floor in the Senate to reject the Jan. 6 Democrat committee, Mitch McConnell could have saved his party’s chances of regaining the House in 2022.
For this commission, becoming a “bipartisan” effort to learn what “really happened” at the Capitol that fateful day is a democratic plan to include the left-wing version of events on January 6 as the official history of the United States. .
And what is the version on the left?
Is that the forced entry and five-hour occupation of the Capitol by hundreds of Trumpists was “an attempt at a state,” an “armed insurrection,” an act of “domestic terrorism,” the worst attack on the Capitol has since been burned by the British in the War of 1812 ”- and an“ unparalleled threat to our democracy ”since the Civil War.
Also, those who shouted, “Hang Mike Pence!” they went out to kill the vice president to prevent him from doing his duty and oversee the counting of the election votes that would make Joe Biden president.
And the instigation and inspiration for the assault was the two months Donald Trump promoted the “Big Lie” that the presidential election had been “called” and “stolen,” as he made his speech at the mall that day he summoned his followers to march to the Capitol.
This is the party line that the establishment wants to register in the register as an official version of the events of that day.
But is this the truth, or is it a painted version of the truth?
Although the crowd that broke into the Capitol on the afternoon of January 6 was not a “normal tourist visit,” as a member of the Republican Party Congress has suggested, nor was it a coup attempt or a armed insurrection.
No statues were demolished in the Capitol, as would have been the case if Antifa or BLM had invaded the building. No painting was desecrated. No arson was committed. Proud Boys, Oath Keepers or Trumpists did not drop any weapons or throw them inside the building.
The only victim of the shooting at the Capitol that day was a veteran of the Air Force with a decade of service, Ashli Babbitt, who was shot in the neck by a Capitol police officer from the other side of a closed door in the speaker’s room.
Babbitt was involved in an illegal act, but nothing he tried to do justifies being shot dead. Four months later, we still do not know the identity of the police who killed her.
This is not to excuse what happened during that invasion of the Capitol, which was a shameful shame. Police officers were assaulted and injured when the crowd burst in. The windows were broken. Offices, including the speaker, were looted. Crimes were committed.
But the people who should fix it and attribute the blame to where they belong are police and FBI investigators and U.S. and DC prosecutors, not political supporters of a polarized nation’s warring parties.
Democrats had predicted that commission hearings would capture the attention of the nation and the media throughout the year, with the final report coming out at the end of the year. That would allow Democrats and their media allies to take Trump’s actions on Jan. 6, the worst day of his presidency, and not Joe Biden’s record, the 2022 issue.
When Trump called this commission idea a “democratic trap,” he nailed it. Republican Senate whip John Thune was also right:
“Anything that makes us reject the 2020 election … is a day lost in being able to establish a contrast between us and the very radical left-wing agenda of the Democrats.”
To set up the commission, which was passed Wednesday by the House, Senate Democrats now need to find 10 Republican votes, which, after McConnell’s declared opposition, they do not have.
This gambit of the “national commission” is old in US politics
In 1967, after urban unrest in the black communities of Newark and Detroit, LBJ appointed a National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders. Liberal Democratic Gov. Otto Kerner was named president and ultraliberal Republican mayor John Lindsay, New York’s vice president.
In the early election year of 1968, the Kerner Commission declared that white racism was the underlying cause of black riots.
And this has since been a recurring theme on the left.
Again, this does not excuse what happened on January 6th.
But whether it was an insurrection, an act of sedition, an attempted coup, an act of domestic terrorism, the conspirators should be prosecuted, as each of these is a specific crime. And if anyone plotted to kill Mike Pence, he should be charged with that and tried.
But it would be madness for the Republican Party to cooperate on a democratic scheme to accuse the Republican Party presidency and Trump in public opinion court for inciting something close to betrayal, which did not happen.
The idea of the Jan. 6 national commission, understandably backed by all Democrats in Congress, belongs in the trash.
Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “The White House Wars of Nixon: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided the United States Forever.”