Manchin and Sinema say, "A bipartisan commission to investigate the events of that day has passed the House of Representatives with a bipartisan vote and is a critical step to ensuring out nation never has to endure an attack at the hands of our countrymen again." Great. Fine. A bill that already structures a commission that can be sabotaged by Republicans leaders Kevin McCarthy and Mitch McConnell should be watered down even further so it can continue to be bipartisan?
There are now two Republicans, Mitt Romney and Lisa Murkowski, who say they’ll vote in favor of a commission. They're going to be it, because McConnell won't allow anymore.
Instead, he's deputized Susan Collins to do exactly what Manchin and Sinema are inviting: find a way forward to Republicans supporting it, which means watering it down even more.
Note that the supposed problems Collins sees with the existing bill aren't actually problems. It already does the two things she insists it must do—end by December 31, 2021 and allow Republicans to hire Republican staff. It does more as it stands. It allows McCarthy and McConnell to pick whoever they want to serve on it. They could pick racist Trump adviser Stephen Miller, or any of the corrupt former Trump administration officials who helped foster the Big Lie and cover up the insurrection from the inside. If McConnell were actually the savvy politician every Beltway reporter wants to make him out to be, he'd see that and take this chance, releasing eight more of his members to vote for the thing.
In some ways, it's good that he's refusing to do even that. He remains opposed to what he's calling a "purely political exercise." It might end up being the thing that finally breaks through to Manchin and Sinema, the thing that proves to them that Mitch isn't their friend and has been using them.
Maybe. But that might take more self-awareness than either are capable of.
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