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MSNBC’s Katie Phang show(05/21/22) did a segment on WaPo’s bombshell revelation that Ginni Thomas’ involvement in the effort to overturn the 2020 election results was much more than has been previously reported. The conversation then turned into how ruthlessly Republicans would have dealt with a similarly situated liberal justice. Guest Kurt Bardella slammed the perennial weakness by congressional Democrats, who he said always played defense as opposed to the attack-minded Republicans. Bardella then made a startling assertion, telling host Katie Phang that if the January 6th Select Committee doesn’t go on the offense by making top Trump officials testify in public like Republicans did Hillary Clinton during Benghazi, then “this[2022 midterms]might be the last free and fair elections we have.”
MSNBC host Katie Phang(video at 5:11): “Kurt I saw you tweeting about how you were surprised that Democrats didn’t immediately start investigations into the Trump administration’s handling of the pandemic as soon as they got into power. Now we see the January 6th Committee is apparently fine with not even getting him to testify…What will it take for the Dems to go on the offensive?”
Kurt Burdella: “I just think back to the Benghazi Select Committee, when Republicans didn’t blink to bring up Hillary Clinton to testify for more than 11 hours and face that type of grilling. I don’t know how you can have a system that has Secretary Clinton at the time having to do that, but you let Donald Trump, and people like Mike Pence, and Ginni Thomas, and Rudy Giuliani, and Steve Bannon, and Mark Meadows avoid that type of public setting. It’s such a parity and I’m telling you, we’re seeing right now, at this very second, Republicans campaign for the midterms on the idea that they are going to do this to the Biden administration. That they are not going to hesitate to use the reins of power to go after the president’s son…to try to impeach the president, to try to impeach the DHS secretary…Democrats are about to get a lesson on how to wield power, whether they like it or not, if they don’t step up right now because they are the last line of defense of stopping Republicans from hijacking democracy. It’s not about 2024 Katie, it’s about 2022 because I promise you, if Republicans are allowed to regain a congressional majority, they will not certify a Democrat win in 2024…This check and balance that we are about to see with the January 6th Select Committee is perhaps the last guardian of defense that we have of our democracy and our process, and if we don’t get answers from everybody who was involved, especially at the very top, this might be the last free and fair elections we have.”
As outlandish as Kurt Bardella’s assertion sounds, rank and file Democrats know it is absolutely true. A lot of the crazy things we’ve witnessed from Trump Republicans are rooted in their belief that Democrats will never muster enough courage to hold them accountable in any meaningful way–all bark no bite. Let’s hope the January 6th Select Committee breaks this expectation of weakness by Republicans, by holding them accountable through lengthy public testimonies, under oath. If the January 6th Select Committee fails to hold Trump and his top lieutenants accountable, then as Bardella correctly points out, democracy as we know it, will be dead this year, not in 2024, and Dem weakness will be partly to blame. This of course, also apples to President Biden’s Department of Justice.
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