Made-for-TV Jan. 6 hearings won’t rescue Democrats
Democrats think voters will be so gob-smacked by the revelations of the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack that they will forget about soaring gasoline and food prices, rising crime, a 15,000-person caravan of people about to cross our southern border, the baby formula shortage and power brownouts, which are likely to hit our country this summer.
Yup, they’re convinced that Americans being force-fed (every major network will broadcast the House hearings live during prime time) scenes of yahoos waving flags and storming our Capitol will rebuild President Biden’s dismal approval ratings and put his fellow Democrats on the road to victory just in time for the midterms.
Americans agree: The January 6 riots were a terrible event, and that those who broke the law should be punished.
More and more also agree: It is time to move on.
A recent NBC poll shows a dwindling number of Americans blaming Trump for the attack on the Capitol; 45 percent now say he is “solely” or “mainly” responsible, down from 52 percent the month Joe Biden took office. Moreover, 55 percent say he is “only somewhat” or “not really” to blame for the riots, up from 47 percent in January 2021.
That suggests some of the millions who voted for Joe Biden because he wasn’t Donald Trump are suffering buyer’s remorse. And who can blame them? It’s hard to find any one issue important to voters that is going better today than during Trump’s presidency.
On the contrary, people are way more pessimistic, inflation is devouring moderating wage gains, our border has collapsed, drug deaths are soaring and major crimes in our big cities are out of control.
Democrats will counter that our stature on the world stage is much improved; don’t believe it. Biden has undermined what had been improving relations with the important Gulf Arab states including the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. As a result, those countries – which uniquely could bring oil prices down – have rebuffed calls for higher output.
Meanwhile, as Biden attempts to convene a gathering of the Americas, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, president of our formerly cooperative southern neighbor, Mexico, has refused to attend, embarrassing the White House.
At the same time, Biden takes credit for having united NATO in opposing Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. Some might wonder: to what end? NATO countries have sent billions in aid to Ukraine and yet that valiant country is being obliterated step by grisly step.
Americans are unhappy. That same NBC poll shows only 16 percent of the country thinks we’re headed in the right direction; 75 percent says we’re on the wrong track, and only 39 percent says Biden is doing a good job. Numerous other polls show similar findings.
This level of discontent can drive “wave elections,” when the party in power suffers a shellacking, to use Barack Obama’s word to describe Democrats’ huge losses in the 2010 midterms. Indeed, many are predicting that Republicans will take back control of the House. And despite defending more seats than Democrats, the GOP may also reclaim a majority in the Senate.
To counter ominous signs like lagging voter turnout in recent primary contests and a pronounced “enthusiasm gap,” Democrats have lined up the prime time special on the Jan. 6 hearings.
To make sure it is riveting TV, they have hired a production pro — the former head of ABC News, James Goldston. To make sure it is a failure, Democrats have scheduled a “carefully choreographed rollout of revelations over the course of six hearings to remind the public of the magnitude of Mr. Trump’s effort to overturn the election, and to persuade voters that the coming midterm elections are a chance to hold Republicans accountable for it,” according to the New York Times.
Six hearings? This isn’t The Crown, or Ted Lasso; this will be, at best, a stultifying partisan show trial that follows, please remember, two impeachments and numerous Russia-gate hearings that featured Democrats undermining whatever confidence Americans still have in Congress.
Remember, too, that the supposed blockbuster TV airing of Trump’s first impeachment trial pulled in only 13 million viewers, fewer than re-runs of “Friends.”
Democrats always go too far, and so it is with the Jan. 6 hearings. From the start, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) lost half the country when she rejected representatives put forward to serve on the committee by GOP head Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and instead stacked the deck with never-Trumpers Reps. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.).
Today, on the cusp of their big reveal, Democrats are blowing their credibility further by making it clear these hearings are all about political gain.
They will, according to the Times, use the broadcasts to tie Republicans to “violent extremists.” But Americans remember the riots and actual murders that resulted from the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020; they connect those destructive events with Democrats, whom they also blame for dumbed-down policing in our violence-prone cities.
The recall of San Francisco’s soft-on-crime district attorney is a reminder that our citizens will not tolerate a breakdown of law and order — from either side of the aisle.
Most likely, instead of convincing independent voters that Republicans should be frog-marched to political Siberia, the hearings will further divide the nation. A nation, importantly, that elected Joe Biden largely because he promised to bring the country together. He has not done that, and this bitterly partisan dog-and-pony show will surely remind voters of that failure.
Published on The Hill