Washington Post Editorial Board: Kevin McCarthy's Downward Spiral

September 4, 2021
Blog

The Washington Post Editorial Board has joined the growing chorus of Americans calling out Minority Leader McCarthy for 'valorizing a deadly attack on the nation’s seat of government.'

Read key points from the Washington Post's Editorial Board's piece on McCarthy's 'pitiful path':

Washington Post: Opinion: Kevin McCarthy’s downward spiral

  • House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Tuesday warned telecommunications and social media companies not to cooperate with the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol invasion. 
  • He claimed that they might break federal law if they comply with committee requests; he threatened that the companies might lose their ability to operate in the United States; and he vowed that a future “Republican majority will not forget” what they do.
    • What a pitiful path Mr. McCarthy has traveled, from initially placing at least some blame for Jan. 6 on former president Donald Trump to actively undermining congressional inquiries into the riot. His descent reflects the GOP’s broader trend toward embracing Jan. 6 trutherism: minimizing, forgiving or even valorizing a deadly attack on the nation’s seat of government. 
      • In an accelerating misinformation campaign, congressional Republicans have claimed that fake Trump protesters did the rioting, that the mob was not armed, that insurrectionists behaved like normal tourists, that those who were arrested are “political prisoners” and that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was really responsible.
        • Republicans have punished and sidelined the few who have refused to play along, such as Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.). “I feel like I went to hell and back to protect them and the people in this room, but too many are now telling me that hell doesn’t exist or that hell actually wasn’t that bad,” D.C. police officer Michael Fanone testified in the select committee’s first hearing.
          • Congressional Republicans have ducked questions about their interactions with the White House on Jan. 6. Details could reveal what Mr. Trump knew when and how he reacted, giving a better sense of his culpability for sparking and failing to contain the riot. Another open question is whether anyone in the Trump administration, or in Congress, connected with or even abetted the rioters in the run-up to the attack. These are core issues the House empaneled the committee to address. 
            • ...The Jan. 6 probe is not only a legitimate congressional investigation, it is among the most urgent in recent times. 
              • Mr. McCarthy should be defending Congress’s prerogative to investigate, not trying to curb it with threats and bullying. His fevered reaction can only prompt questions about what he and members of the House GOP caucus seek to hide.