January 6 was a terrible event, a permanent blot on the United States that perhaps can never be expunged. The January 6 Select Committee in the US House is currently holding televised hearings that do bring lots of light to what happened January 6 and who was responsible. This is a good thing. But it must be supplemented with context and more layers, which at present it is not being done.
Here is why I am personally not enamored with what is being done in the House. This situation is a whole lot more complicated and serious than what is being represented. I increasingly feel the Democrats lack the seriousness to deal with the underlying issues that caused January 6 and this lack of focus, will make the next coup attempt much smoother (and successful!) for the GOP.
1- As discussed yesterday, Governor DeSantis has already telegraphed how the next coup will happen. It’ll be done at the State Legislative level in how electors are selected. Now, the Democrats with majorities in both houses of Congress in 2021 could have addressed this – by at least attempting to reform the Electoral Count Act of 1887, or at the very least talking about it as a impediment to Democracy and creating awareness to stop the next coup attempt. They have done no such thing, in fact avoiding the conversation completely.
2- Personalizing the issue to Donald Trump has made it appear like January 6 happened in a vacuum. It did not. Global winds are creating momentum for illiberal authoritarian movement and domestic militarism. By making Trump personally the focus of all their fire, the Democrats are making it appear like this sort of thing cannot happen again unless Donald Trump is a candidate. As I mention above, I believe it WILL happen again and will be done in a much more logically organized way by the likes of Ron DeSantis. The Hoodlums which Trump called upon won’t be needed by DeSantis. Nor will they be needed by any other disciplined GOPer who manipulates the the wide open legal ways to steal an election in this country.
3- Authoritarian illiberalism is a global problem. MAGA is the US offshoot of a global fascist/far-right movement. What the committee has done thus far is portray this illiberalism as a connected exclusively to a personality cult. Yes, no question Trump has created that personality cult, and those cults whether on the right or left are very dangerous. But this is so much more than just that.
4- I take strong exception to the committee calling Ben Ginsberg, who actually has successfully been involved in (legally) stealing a Presidential Election for George W. Bush in 2000, as an expert to testify. Perhaps Ginsberg should have been honest and said, “you can overturn the will of the electorate, if you adroitly manipulate the court system and voter rolls as we did rather than depending on muscle in the street and a violent coup to do so like Trump.”
I hope the committee and the Democratic leadership do better in the remaining time left they have to make this case.