For today’s hearing. UPDATE: Greg Sargent comments on its potential significance. I agree with Greg’s main point, which is that Judge Luttig’s statement should provide a basis for the essential overall task for exorcising the Republican Party from the Big Lie’s grip on it. As I’ve said before, diminishing the ratio of election denialists to election realists within the Republican Party, both its leaders and rank-and-file members, needs to be the number one mission for preserving the sustainability of a competitive electoral process as a core component of self-government.
I differ with Greg on whether it should be a priority at today’s hearing to question Judge Luttig about the Supreme Court and particularly John Eastman’s controversial (and perhaps dubious) claim to have inside knowledge of its thinking on cases related to the 2020 presidential election. To understand the extent of the peril that the Republic was in on January 6, 2021–and especially to assess and address the degree of danger that exists with respect to 2024 and other future presidential elections–this breach of the Court’s confidentiality (if it indeed occurred) is a relatively minor side show. Instead, if institutional focus is to be redirected anywhere, I would redirect focus to the role of Congress itself. Congress is the institution that is capable of abusing its constitutional authority to subvert a presidential election, and what January 6, 2021 clearly demonstrated is that multiple members of Congress–both the Senate and the House–were not only willing, but enthusiastically eager, to abuse that constitutionality power. (Everyone should have seared in their memory the image of Senator Hawley’s clenched fist shortly before the joint session began, as he was on his way to play is part in Trump’s scheme to negate the Electoral College outcome.) If democracy is to be protected in the United States, it needs to be protected from the possibility that more members of Congress in the future will attempt to act as Senator Hawley and others did on January 6, 2021.
(Here’s another recent Greg Sargent column related to today’s hearing.)