Thursday, September 21, 2023

In The Lying Den

Merrick Garland acquitted himself in front of the House Judiciary Committee yesterday, according to Charlie Pierce.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Van Heusen) came in hot on Wednesday. Attorney General Merrick Garland was appearing before the House Judiciary Committee of which, because our politics are screwed six ways from Sunday, Jordan is the chairman. In his opening statement, delivered with all the measured tone of a hopeless speed freak, Jordan threw everything at Garland that he’s been throwing at the wall since 2017.

The chair now recognizes himself for an opening statement. The fix is in. Even with the face-saving indictment last week of Hunter Biden, everybody knows the fix is in.

So, as you can see, this was a dispassionate exercise in legislative oversight right from the jump. But, later, in the spirit of his opening diatribe, delivered in the highest of HIGH-sterics, Jordan went all Gene Kelly on his own dick, and Rep. Eric Swalwell caught him. Rep. Thomas Massie, a crackpot from Kentucky had just raved and ranted about FBI operatives in the crowd on January 6 and said that he thought Garland was in contempt of Congress for refusing to answer his blathering insanity. Jordan then recognized Swalwell and beat feet out of the room, possibly because he knew what was coming next.

My colleague said that you should be held in contempt of Congress and that is quite rich because the guy leaving the hearing room, Mr. Jordan, is about 500 days into defying his subpoena. 500 days. if we talk about contempt of Congress, let’s get real. Jim Jordan, are you serious? A witness to one of the greatest crimes ever committed, a crime on which more prosecutions have occurred than any other, refuses to help this country and we get lectured about compliance? Jim Jordan will not honor a lawful subpoena. Are you kidding me? Are you kidding me? There is no credibility on that side. You are serious, they are not. You are fair, they are not.

Which pretty much summed up the whole sorry farce. Garland opened things with a ringing defense of himself and the DOJ. There are those of us who thought Garland had a bottomless bag of fcks to give. This has proven to be inaccurate. It was empty when he came to Congress on Wednesday.

Our job is to pursue justice without fear or favor. Our job is not to do what is politically convenient. Our job is not to take orders from the President, from Congress, or from anyone else about who or what to criminally investigate. as the President himself has said, and I reaffirmed today, I am not the President’s lawyer. I will add that I am not the prosecutor for Congress. The Justice Department works for the American people. Our job is to follow the facts and the law, and that is what we do. All of us recognize that with this work comes public scrutiny, criticism, and legitimate oversight. These are appropriate and important given the matters and gravity of the matters before the Department. singling out individual career public servants who are just doing their jobs is dangerous, particularly at a time of increased threats to the safety of public servants and their families. We will not be intimidated.

That’s about as fiery as Garland ever is likely to get.

The rest of the hearing was Republican jackassery and Democratic responses to Republican jackassery. Garland rope-a-doped as best he could, but there were too many dopes for him to rope. Massie, to name one. This is a guy who protesteth too much on behalf of the “grandmas” who got busted for invading the Capitol. We have passed into that period in which an entire political party will now defend not only the multiply indicted former president* but also the convicted insurrectionists who supported him with a monumental act of violence. Like I said, our politics is screwed, six ways from Sunday.

Like Hillary Clinton at the Benghazi hearing, he made the inquisitors look like deranged fools.  Meanwhile the government may shut down in ten days and they’ve got their tits in an uproar over the price of art.