From the moment congressional Democrats announced that they intended to investigate what happened on one fateful day in Washington, DC, two months after the 2020 presidential election, the motive seemed clear. The goal was to come up with something that would ensure the one-term 45th president was never able to seek another four years in the White House. Though it is still difficult to entirely dismiss that theory, it does have a flaw. Not only that, but the Jan. 6 hearings may be a temper tantrum that isn’t all about Trump.
The whole enterprise has been something of a farce from the very beginning. The appointment to the Select Committee of the two most zealous Republican Trump-haters in Congress to give the effort a veneer of bipartisanship was the first clue that this whole enterprise was about as serious as a Muppets from Space sequel. Then there is the fact that the committee – and the Jan. 6 hearings – deliberately failed to address the unheeded warnings of potential violence conveyed to Congress and to the mayor of the nation’s capital prior to the huge protest that took place.
Jan. 6 Theater
Fast-forward to June 28. A former White House aide, Cassidy Hutchinson, testified that she had been told then-President Trump, on Jan. 6, 2021, violently reacted to being told that he could not go to the Capitol building after making a speech in DC in front of thousands of supporters. Apparently, just like a scene from a Hollywood movie, the 74-year-old (at the time) Mr. Trump, traveling in the back of the presidential limo, lunged at a Secret Service agent and attempted to take control of the wheel. If the scene described involved Liam Neeson in Taken or perhaps Matt Damon in The Bourne Identity, we could all buy that. Sounds legit. But this was real life, and an aging United States president up against Secret Service agents … the very idea that anyone would believe such a tale seems – well – crazy. But don’t take anyone else’s word for it except for the men who were in the vehicle with Trump at the time, who have indicated their willingness to testify this attempted hijacking did not occur.
The Jan. 6 hearings are a very big deal in the media, these days. Even some right-leaning and formerly balanced outlets have seemingly bought into the hype or, perhaps, bowed to pressure from the anti-Trump crowd and decided to largely throw in their lot with those who want Trump gone forever. Even so, the larger part of the American public is not all that interested. Why is that so? Maybe because they are more concerned with the fact that their grocery bills have almost doubled or because they are paying so much more for gas to drive to work that it’s as though they just got their pay cut.
But are the Jan. 6 hearings really all about Trump? Consider this: Joe Biden reportedly got more votes in 2020 than any other presidential candidate in history. Around 11 million more votes than Obama in 2008 or Trump in 2016. Apparently, then, Trump turned out to be just about the least popular of all presidents, if that many Americans flocked to the polls to get rid of him. Wouldn’t the Democrats want him to run again in 2024, then? Wouldn’t Mr. Biden easily win a rematch, considering that – as we are told on an almost daily basis – he is doing so well? Surely, Biden’s astounding record of success, put up against Trump’s apparently disastrous, chaotic, and tyrannical spell in the White House makes for the mother of all slam-dunk victories for the Democrat incumbent in 2024.
Are Democrats concerned, then, that 2020 was some kind of fluke? If not, there is really no reason why they should fear a Trump 2024 run. That only leaves the possibility that the Jan. 6 hearings are really about teaching Americans that challenges to congressional authority will not be tolerated.
Hundreds of Trump supporters have been arrested and held without trial since that day. At this point, it is fair to compare the level of incarceration with Guantanamo Bay. Does that unconstitutional practice have anything to do with Donald Trump? Of course, it does not. It is about punishing American citizens for daring to challenge the authority of Congress.
This is what the Jan. 6 hearings really mean. If you don’t accept the federal government – meaning Congress – as the ultimate authority, you will be punished. The executive branch is flailing, and the judicial branch is under constant attack. The goal is rule by Congress – and don’t you dare complain.