Editorial: Jan. 6 and the miracle of America
When they stormed the Capitol, some in the mob hurled American flags as spears at the overwhelmed police trying to guard its doors.
American flags as weapons of insurrection, consider the poignant Orwellian irony of that.
"I pledge allegiance to the flag ..."
U.S. Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell later described the rioters punching, kicking and shoving, some spraying with chemical weapons.
"I could feel myself losing oxygen," Gonell testified, "and recall thinking to myself, 'This is how I'm going to die, trampled defending this entrance.'"
" ... of the United States of America ..."
Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, two of the most conservative members of Congress, now are disparaged as "Pelosi Republicans" because they believe the threat to the republic posed by the Jan. 6 assault demands investigation and accountability.
"The question," Cheney said, "for every one of us who serves in Congress, for every elected official across this great nation, indeed for every American is this: Will we adhere to the rule of law, respect the rulings of our courts, and preserve the peaceful transition of power? Or will we be so blinded by partisanship that we throw away the miracle of America?"
" ... and to the republic for which it stands ..."
Congress that day had convened to carry out its constitutional duty to count the certified votes of the electors in the 2020 presidential election.
And then the storm came.
"We still don't know exactly what happened," Kinzinger said. "Why? Because many in my party have treated this as just another partisan fight. It's toxic and it's a disservice."
Rep. Andrew Clyde of Georgia said the video of the incursion looked like "a normal tourist visit."
House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy described the House Select Committee investigation into Jan. 6 as "a sham that no one can believe."
" ... one nation under God ..."
The original proposal had been to create a bipartisan commission to investigate what took place and the events that led up to it. This was to have been apolitical in approach, with no members of Congress participating. It was to have been similar to the commission that looked into 9/11.
That proposal passed in the House with 217 Democrats and 35 Republicans voting in favor. McCarthy was one of 175 Republicans voting "nay." But it died in the Senate -- despite favorable votes from 50 Democrats and four Republicans, unable to garner the 60 needed to break the filibuster.
" ... indivisible ..."
That meant that if the assault were to be investigated, a select committee of Congress was the only alternative.
McCarthy said the committee also should look into the unrelated 2020 summer riots. He recommended Jim Banks of Indiana to act as the ranking member of the minority faction and Rodney Davis of downstate Illinois, Kelly Armstrong, Jim Jordan and Troy Nehls for four other Republican positions on the committee.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi refused to accept them, prompting charges she politicized the makeup of the committee.
Following the rare rebuke, McCarthy threatened retaliation against any Republican who would accept appointment to the committee.
Some background: Banks, Jordan and Nehls each had voted on Jan. 6 to accept objections to seating the certified electors. Each endorsed the fabrication that Donald Trump had won the election.
Of the five, only Davis had voted in favor of the apolitical commission.
Ask yourself: Who really politicized the process? Ask yourself: Who wanted the process to be politicized?
Ask yourself, what circus would members like Banks, Jordan and Nehls have created?
Ask yourself: Were any of those three on the committee, how long would it have taken for confidential strategies, evidence and interviews to have been passed on to subjects of the investigation?
" ... with liberty and justice for all."
As children, we stood in class, with hand over heart, and recited the Pledge of Allegiance. How much we actually listened to the words we spoke is subject to debate, but not the spirit of our allegiance.
Some of us on the Editorial Board remember hearing back in the day, with our young eyes misting, comedian Red Skeleton close his television program with a tender explanation of what those words meant.
We had -- and have -- such a devotion to this republic. A government of ideals, self-sacrifice and laws.
This land, this union, this common bond we all share. This miracle.
One nation. Indivisible.
We cannot allow the Jan. 6 assault on that republic to go unanswered.
Our liberty is at stake.
"Will we adhere to the rule of law, respect the rulings of our courts, and preserve the peaceful transition of power? Or will we be so blinded by partisanship that we throw away the miracle of America?"