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Jan. 6 commission defeat previews dangerous failures ahead

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The Bible says the truth will set you free. Leading Republicans say the truth could cost you elections and power, so the hell with it.

The successful Senate filibuster blocking an independent, bipartisan commission to investigate the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol should not be viewed as just another round of dysfunction. Barring shocking displays of procedural courage by Democrats or political courage by Republicans, it is a preview of massive failures to come in the project of trying to preserve American democracy.

“I’m deeply disappointed,” Rep. Lee Hamilton, a Democrat who was vice chair of the 9/11 Commission, told me. He called the Jan. 6 riot “a very dark day in the history of our country. We came very close to losing our republic and our form of government. Obviously Congress should investigate.”

“The country needs to clear the air” and learn the facts, former New Jersey Gov. Tom Kean, the Republican chair of the 9/11 Commission, said in a separate interview. He said the many unanswered questions include how involved then-President Donald Trump was and why the Capitol was “so lightly defended.”

Congress is rushing forward without information, Kean said – spending money to “refortify” the Capitol, but that won’t matter if we don’t find out who the groups were and how they did it. In a democracy, he added, “you never keep yourself safe just by building walls.”



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