The cat and mouse game between the January 6 Committee and Mark Meadows has gone down yet another corridor in the maze, but Meadows is pretty much cornered this time. Meadows has continually stonewalled the Committee. He has used the executive privilege argument and different spins off of it that in essence state that a president isn’t accountable to Congress. Interesting notion, that one. So the Committee filed a motion with 250 pages of evidence to compel Meadows’ cooperation and it is a revelation. Letters From An American:
We have heard a lot about independent lawyers and members of the executive branch who were willing to try to keep Trump in office. We have also heard about people at the state level. But while there has been plenty of speculation about what members of Congress were involved, we had little to go on.
We knew that both former energy secretary Rick Perry of Texas and Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH) had texted with Meadows about possible avenues for overturning the election. We knew that Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Lauren Boebert (R-CO) had recorded videos before the insurrection that suggested they supported it. We had an odd statement from Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) on January 5 saying that he, not then–vice president Mike Pence, would count the certified electoral ballots the next day. We had Representative Liz Cheney (R-WY) allegedly saying to Jordan on January 6, “Get away from me. You f**ing did this.”
But the January 6th committee has just given us a bigger—although not the whole, yet—picture.
In last night’s filed motion was part of the testimony to the committee from Cassidy Hutchinson, a former special assistant to the president and the chief of staff. When asked which members of Congress were involved in calls about overturning the election—including calls saying such efforts were illegal—Hutchinson named Representatives Greene, Jordan, Boebert, Scott Perry (R-PA), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Mo Brooks (R-AL), Jody Hice (R-GA), Paul Gosar (R-AZ), and Debbie Lesko (R-AZ).
The heart of this group was the “Freedom Caucus,” which was organized in 2015 to move the Republican Party farther to the right. Its first chair was Jim Jordan; its second was Mark Meadows. Its third was Andy Biggs. Mick Mulvaney, who would go on to Trump’s White House, and Ron DeSantis, who is now governor of Florida, were key organizers.
Let’s be clear: the people working to keep Trump in office by overturning the will of the people were trying to destroy our democracy. Not one of them, or any of those who plotted with them, called out the illegal attempt to destroy our government.
To what end did they seek to overthrow our democracy?
The current Republican Party has two wings: one eager to get rid of any regulation of business, and one that wants to get rid of the civil rights protections that the Supreme Court and Congress began to put into place in the 1950s. Business regulation is actually quite popular in the U.S., so to build a political following, in the 1980s, leaders of the anti-regulation wing of the Republican Party promised racists and the religious right that they would stomp out the civil rights legislation that since the 1950s has tried to make all Americans equal before the law.
But even this marriage has not been enough to win elections, since most Americans like business regulation and the protection of things like the right to use birth control. So, to put its vision into place, the Republican Party has now abandoned democracy. Its leaders have concluded that any Democratic victory is illegitimate, even if voters have clearly chosen a Democrat, as they did with Biden in 2020, by more than 7 million votes.
This is a brilliant essay and I recommend you read it in full. Just a few more thoughts that I will summarize: You recall David Frum, who was Dubya’s speechwriter, so prophetically saying in 2018, “If conservatives become convinced that they cannot win democratically, they will not abandon conservatism. They will reject democracy.” It took less than two years for that observation to crystalize as fact.
The hill that democracy will live or die on is elections. You may have read that yet another elections official was intimidated this week, this time in North Carolina, by an official who threatened to fire her if she didn’t give him access to the country’s vote tabulators. Not the least surprising considering the crazed state of politics in that state. This has become routine since 2020, one of more than 900 instances, according to Reuters.
The bottom line, and I don’t think this is overstating the case at all, is that the GOP has turned fascist. They are completely terrified, so much that they believe that they can’t continue to “win” unless they destroy the system and that’s what they’ve set out to do. They want to take over elections so that only a Republican can win and institute a one-party state, just like Russia. They don’t love them some Vladimir Putin for nothing. And who knows who is on Putin’s payroll these days?
Don’t bother asking Kevin McCarthy who he thinks is, his post-riot pilgrimage to Mar-a-Lago must have landed him on it. I honestly don’t know how corrupt and gone the GOP is, but every single day the news gets worse. That I do know.