The following is a video post (and transcript) of the latest episode of “The Walk Through with That Chris Walker,” a YouTube series from VozWire contributor Chris Walker examining current political topics.
This week’s episode looks at an interaction between House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and a journalist who was forcibly removed from a press conference McCarthy was a part of, connecting McCarthy’s inaction in that event to his long-lasting opposition to the January 6 commission in Congress.
Chris Walker: Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy opposes the January 6 commission to investigate the causes of the attack on the U.S. Capitol building. This, in spite of saying these words just a few days after that attack happened:
[Clip of McCarthy speaking]
McCarthy: Which is why I think a fact-finding commission, and a censure resolution, would be prudent…
Chris Walker: All that and more on this episode of the Walk Through with That Chris Walker.
[Episode Intro Video]
Chris Walker: Hi everyone, thank you for tuning in, I am That Chris Walker, and this is the Walk Through, a YouTube series where I discuss my thoughts on the news of the day. Before we get started, please be sure to subscribe to my channel below, and hit the bell icon if you want to receive alerts when I post new videos. You can also follow me on social media, at Facebook.com/ChrisWalkerMedia, and on Twitter @thatchriswalker.
STORY CONTINUES BELOW...
Kevin McCarthy this week was part of a press conference where he was talking about the U.S. supporting the democratic rights of people in Cuba. But when a journalist challenged him to explain why he didn’t support the examination of the January 6 attack on the Capitol building this year, which was carried out by a mob of Trump loyalists seeking to disrupt the certification of the 2020 presidential election, McCarthy made clear that he doesn’t really care about democratic rights all that much.
Radio broadcaster and executive director of the progressive organization Occupy Democrats Grant Stern filmed McCarthy while posing a question to the Minority Leader. But before he could even finish his question, four police officers, prompted by staffers for McCarthy, forcibly removed Stern from the room.
Stern: Minority Leader, you said that the 1960 revolution created tyranny on the island of Cuba, and I am asking you a question. It’s not a Democratic or Republican issue, so why do you oppose the January 6 commission, sir? why do you —
Chris Walker: In an interview with The Independent after the event, Stern questioned how McCarthy could talk about democratic freedoms while also sitting back and watching the journalist have his freedoms trampled on. Said Stern: “When he saw me being dragged away, why didn’t he speak up and stop it?”
Free press rights are indeed important to preserve, and it’s curious that McCarthy didn’t do anything to prevent Stern from having his rights literally carried out the door.
It’s also peculiar that McCarthy does indeed oppose the January 6 commission. With one important and noteworthy exception, he has done so at every step of lawmakers trying to establish it.
When a bipartisan group of lawmakers tried to create such a commission in May, which would have given an equal number of seats to Democrats and Republicans, McCarthy was against it. When that plan was blocked by a Senate filibuster, McCarthy opposed creating a select committee in the House of Representatives, and suggested he might even punish members of his own party if they agreed to take part in it. When that didn’t work, he made weird claims that Nancy Pelosi, not Trump, was responsible for that day’s events — even though the Speaker of the House doesn’t have control over the Capitol’s security, and that many in the mob that day wanted her dead.
So it’s weird to think back to the week after the attack happened, and see what McCarthy was saying then.
A quick refresher: Lawmakers at that time were split on what action should be taken after the attack. Most in Washington knew, beyond a doubt, that Trump had been at least partially responsible for riling up his base of loyalists to attack the Capitol. But while Democrats wanted to move forward on impeachment proceedings, Republicans, led by McCarthy, said they should not.
McCarthy did offer an alternative idea. Instead of impeachment, he said we should have…a commission to study the day’s events.
Here’s what he said:
[McCarthy House floor clip]
McCarthy: The president [Trump] bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters. He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding. … The president’s immediate action also deserves congressional action, which is why I think a fact-finding commission and a censure resolution would be prudent.
Chris Walker: McCarthy has since demonstrated, through his months of refusing to establish such a commission, that those sentiments he expressed that week after the attack were simply a means to distract from the idea of holding Donald Trump accountable.
The attack on January 6 of the U.S. Capitol building was an attack on our democracy. McCarthy’s refusal to stand up for a journalist who had merely asked a question about the inquiry, and who was removed by police for having asked it, is demonstrative of the Republican lawmaker’s dismay of democratic rights, including the rights of the American people to know that their democracy will remain intact through the commission’s work.
It is not unreasonable to expect, at the bare minimum, that the leader of a major political party in our nation’s government should be someone with high enough moral caliber to back an inquiry meant to safeguard our democracy. But McCarthy is unwilling to be that kind of leader.
Unfortunately, the Republican Party will not replace him with someone who WILL display such morals, showcasing how the party itself stands in stark opposition to keeping your democratic rights preserved.
That does it for this week’s episode, thanks once again for watching. Again, be sure to subscribe to this channel, and to follow me on social media, for more updates on this and other important topics.
I’m Chris Walker, and this has been The Walk Through.
Featured image credit: Public Domain/Flickr