One benefit of retirement is that it will enable me to watch most if not all of the upcoming hearings of United States House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack, the first of which will proceed this evening. Anyone who has followed these pages for any length of time – and seen the analogies drawn between the activities of former President Donald Trump and his cohort and passages in Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf – knows the deep antipathy for and concern I have about what the former president and his co-conspirators have done, have attempted to do, and are continuing to do to our country. That said – and subject to the caveat that outrage at the revelation of some particularly-egregious traitorous act may drive me to write – I plan to enter very little here about the evidence presented by the hearings, for reasons I expressed in a note in early January:
“The almost certain: that the House … Committee … will [set] forth damning evidence showing that … former President Donald Trump and his traitorous cohort sought to overturn … a free and fair election and instigated the Capitol insurrection. I believe that the political ramifications … will be … nil. … [T]hose citizens with – to paraphrase the Lord – eyes to see and ears to hear already know that Mr. Trump and his acolytes are guilty of sedition. Those who willfully and steadfastly reject this fundamental and blatantly obvious truth will be unmoved by whatever the Committee brings forth.”
Noteworthy but not surprising is that many in the latter group won’t even see what the Committee brings forth, because Fox News – with its wide conservative audience – isn’t televising the hearings. (I have seen one wag tweet that such failure is Fox claiming its Fifth Amendment right not to testify against itself.)
In reviewing my earlier post, however, I do believe that the hearings might ultimately have some effect, to the benefit of Democrats and, ironically, “organization” Republicans such as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell: it may weaken Mr. Trump’s hold on sensible Republicans and conservative independents (who I think will watch some, if not all of the hearings), thereby widening what already seems be a developing schism between Trumplicans and those who wish to move on from him. Any such schism will help Democrats in 2024, if not this year, and – for good or ill, and whether or not Democrats hold the White House in 2024 – facilitate the return of control of the Washington GOP to Mr. McConnell and party regulars.