How to Think About the January 6th Hearings.
Plus, Liz Cheney’s Star Turn.
Recently at The Bulwark:
CHARLIE SYKES: It's the Crime, Stupid.
The Next Level: The Hearings Matter Because the Threat Is Ongoing.🔐
You can support The Bulwark by subscribing to Bulwark+ or just by sharing this newsletter with someone you think would value it.
AMANDA CARPENTER: How to Think About the January 6th Hearings.
As you watch the House January 6th Committee’s primetime hearings, keep the following top of mind: The committee is not just examining the past. All the conditions that resulted in the violent assault on the U.S. Capitol, on Congress while it was discharging a vital constitutional duty, and on more than 140 police officers remain clear and present.
Donald Trump is still the uncontested leader of the Republican party. His base still clings to the idea the 2020 election was stolen and is nominating election-denying candidates to powerful positions in key swing states. Members of extremist groups that led the charge to the Capitol now have footholds in state and local GOP organizations all over the country. And all the affiliated members of Trump’s elite political, advocacy, and media class remain willing to assist Trump in carrying out his desires.
So don’t settle into the hearings thinking about them as a history lesson. They’re an active threat assessment.
America has a violent heart, even going back to the colonial era. But our gun culture is shifting from self-defense to defiance — where guns are about threats and intimidation, not saving lives. David French joins Charlie Sykes on today’s podcast.
Bulwark+ members can listen to an ad-free version of these podcasts on the player of their choice. Learn more at Bulwark+ Podcast FAQ.
CORBIN BARTHOLD: Trumpism on the Bench?
“If you dislike the religious right,” Ross Douthat said a few years back, “wait till you meet the post-religious right.” His point seemed to be that, by attacking evangelicals, the liberals of the mid-aughts helped clear the way for a more radical and conspiratorial form of conservatism. That’s debatable. But this much is certain: It can always get worse.
Someday, for example, the Supreme Court might conclude that Article II of the Constitution empowers the president to remove all executive officers at will. Now, you might not want the Court to do that. You might think it would be bad. But the history, text, and structure of the Constitution would support such a decision. The Court could base its ruling on a careful study of the Constitution’s Take Care Clause, the “Decision of 1789,” and precedents such as Myers v. United States (1926).
MONA CHAREN: Liz Cheney’s Star Turn.
The House January 6th Committee will begin a series of primetime hearings this week, starting on June 9. For the past 11 months, Liz Cheney has been the face and the voice of the committee. Like the Greek goddess of retribution, Nemesis, she has brought down her hammer on Donald Trump and the Trumpified GOP, delivering blows in the form of truth. As the committee accumulated information, it was she who divulged selected segments to the public. She was the face and voice of accountability.
Last December, Cheney was the one who read out those damning text messages exchanged between Fox News hosts and Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows.
She quoted Sean Hannity: “Can he make a statement? . . . Ask people to leave the Capitol?” She quoted Brian Kilmeade: “Please get him on tv. Destroying everything you guys have accomplished.” She cited texts from Laura Ingraham fretting that Trump was “destroying his legacy.” She quoted from Donald Trump Jr. too. Apparently lacking a direct channel to his father, Jr. was furiously texting Meadows “He’s got to condemn this s***. ASAP. The Capitol Police tweet is not enough.”
A preview of tomorrow night…
I hate the description of a “made for TV” hearing, but we have to be honest: That’s where these things are now, as very few people actually read the reports. And here’s what to expect from House Republicans.
Gov. Pyle? That seems unlikely, but in Kansas, a tale of political intrigue.
LIV golf is here… And I guess I didn’t know what to expect. Teams? And as somebody on the internet joked, the team names seem like those fictional teams you could create in Madden Football.
Are we really going to start giving heatwaves names? Or is a categorical approach better? What percentage of Americans know the difference between a Watch and a Warning?
Unfortunately… We’re probably going to be seeing more of this.
She Helped Create the Big Lie… Records Suggest She Turned It Into a Big Grift.
That’s it for me. Tech support questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions for me? Respond to this message.
Editorial photos provided by Getty Images. For full credits, please consult the article.