Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Three Senators prove themselves unfit for office

Heather Cox Richardson reports on the reprehensible antics of three Senators - and not one of them is fit for office.

The Senate committees on rules and homeland security today organized into a joint session to hear testimony about what happened on January 6, the day of the deadly insurrection in which rioters attacked the U.S. Capitol to stop the counting of electoral votes that would make Democrat Joe Biden president. …

Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Josh Hawley (R-MO), who encouraged the rioters by their willingness to challenge the counting of the certified ballots, questioned the law enforcement officials about their actions during the insurrection. While Cruz drew criticism for scrolling through his phone during opening testimony, Hawley drew attention by appearing to refer to himself when he said that suggestions that Capitol Police leadership were “complicit” in the insurrection were “disrespectful” and “really quite shocking.”

The only firm information that came out of the hearing was that Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) used his time to read into the record an account of the January 6 insurrection that laid blame for the violence not on right-wing supporters of former president Trump, but on “provocateurs” and “fake Trump protesters.” The account came from a far-right website. Johnson is trying to convince Americans that, contrary to what our eyes and the testimony of the rioters tell us, the attack on our government came not from Trump supporters but from the left. It is a lie, and it is worth questioning why Johnson feels that lie is important to read into the Congressional Record.

Down The Memory Hole reports Charlie Sykes in The Bulwark. Republicans want to rewrite Jan. 6

Spoiler alert: I honestly do not know what is going on in Ron Johnson’s head anymore.

We saw the attack with our own eyes. We’ve watched the images over and over. Dozens of criminal cases have been filed. we have heard hundreds of first-hand accounts.

And yet, we are already seeing the bizarre attempt to drop the insurrection down the memory hole. This is not mere historical revisionism — this is gaslighting on an audacious scale. So expect more of this sort of hackery …

But the low point of yesterday’s session was undoubtedly the performance of the senior senator of my home state of Wisconsin, who “spent most of his time planting seeds of doubt that the violence wasn’t actually the work of Trump supporters.”

Unfortunately, it was worse than that. Ron Johnson did not merely float bizarre counter-factual conspiracy theories about provocateurs and false flags, he did it in the most witless way imaginable.

Johnson didn’t bother to present actual evidence. Instead, he used much of his time reading into the record a sketchy article from (I kid you not) The Federalist, a journal distinguished by its chronic Trumpen obsequiousness, as well as its bad faith bad writing.

Well, then. Good enough for RonJon to put in the official Senate record.

Amy Klobuchar bluntly labelled Johnson’s theories “disinformation.”

As our hearing concludes, I want to make one thing clear: “provocateurs” did not storm the Capitol. They were not “fake Trump protestors.” The mood on January 6th was not “festive.” That is disinformation.

Adam Kinzinger was even more blunt.

It’s disgraceful for a sitting Senator to spread disinformation so blatantly. It’s a disservice to the people he serves to continue lying to them like this. It’s dangerous and it must stop.

ICYMI: the reaction back home to RonJon’s latest gambits has been less than enthusiastic. Last week, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel editorialized: “Ron Johnson’s whitewash of the U.S. Capitol riot shows why Wisconsin’s senior senator has to go”.

I add Cruz and Hawley to that list of senators who have got to go.

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