From Esquire, by Charles P. Pierce:
As an alumnus, long ago, of what eventually became the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, I’d like to state proudly that I associate myself with what the newspaper said about Senator Ron (Shreds of Freedom) Johnson last week, particularly in light of what he said on Tuesday, when ol’ Shreds took yet another opportunity to dance the tarantella on his own dick.
Johnson said at Tuesday’s hearing the violence that day was sickening and reprehensible. At the same time, he has dismissed the idea that the riot was an “armed insurrection,” because the rioters used flag poles and pipes, gas and chemicals, and hockey sticks, baseball bats and police shields instead of firearms to attack law enforcement defending the building. But one witness at the hearing, former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, offered a different view, calling it a “military-style” attack, and saying, “These criminals came prepared for war.”
Johnson also read aloud from a whackadoo “report” from The Federalist about how the insurrection was the product of agents provocateur and, possibly, moles from Antifa. Nobody on the committee interrupted this schizoid episode. Nobody on the committee hit Johnson in the face with a pie, although I would’ve supported this action with all my heart. After the hearing was over, committee chair Amy Klobuchar dropped a hammer on Johnson’s head, tweeting:
As our hearing concludes, I want to make one thing clear: “provocateurs” did not storm the Capitol. They were not “fake Trump protestors.” The mood on January 6th was not “festive.” That is disinformation.
The damage already had been done, however, and Johnson once again had disgraced his office and the Senate generally. What was completely disheartening was that this was the first attempt at investigating the assault on the Capitol being conducted by the institution that was targeted for the assault. The consensus from the witnesses was that the events of January 6 were a coordinated military-style assault by a dedicated insurgency that shows no real sign of abating, not with Republican members of Congress enabling it in the immediate historical memory, for reasons to be found only amid the stalagmites in their minds. Senator Josh Hawley, immortalized in a photo in which he gave the insurgents a big ol’ attaboy outside the Capitol immediately before the attack began, got all snippy with a reporter who asked him about his (heavily video-ed) instigation.
This leads me to believe that a) the Republicans have regrouped and decided that insurrection has a substantial constituency within their party, and therefore, b) any attempt to thoroughly investigate the assault on the Capitol that includes elected Republicans, be that by congressional committee or Special Commission, is doomed to failure. At the very least, they will do nothing except serve up weak tea about “taking the politics out” of the investigation of the most serious act of political violence by Americans since Timothy McVeigh rented a truck. (Senator Rob Portman favors this approach.) At the very worst, they will poison the exercise with what has become their now-customary lunatic bad faith. And, one day in the future, it will become the Beltway consensus that we should all move past the divisions of the past four years and work together. Which is when the most evil among us win.