I can respect some Republicans, even though we would rarely agree.
I disagreed with the Republicans' lust for war on Iraq based on lies. I vehemently disagreed with the Bush/Cheney torture program.
There’s something in the conservative/Republican/authoritarian DNA (or amygdala), that has a high tolerance, and even enthusiasm, for punishment.
They love the “tough on crime” and “law and order” rhetoric of their leaders. And why not? It’s an effective political position. Republican Lite Democrats like Clinton and Biden were enthusiastic supporters of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. Clinton’s “triangulation” worked well enough to win him a second term. To his credit he did pass an assault weapons ban, albeit a lame temporary one.
If we take it a radical step beyond law and order into the realm of torture, the split becomes clear.
In terms of public acceptance of torture, you can imagine which demographic has the highest approval rate on torture. If you guessed “white male Republicans”, you would be correct.
Conservatives in general tend to favor harsh punishment. Especially for “other people” they fear, hate or misunderstand. That includes Democrats and progressives. They find great sport in taunting, harassing, insulting, and otherwise waging their psych-ops campaign to punish liberals. “Owning the libs” is what they call it.
They have considerable more tolerance for their own, of course, but their tolerance disappears when some of them fail to conform to the demands of an authoritarian leader like Trump. His attitude towards harsh and extreme punishment was shown by the intentional separation of immigrant children from their parents. He enthusiastically ramped up federal executions of prisoners. He praised a Republican for assaulting a journalist. He wanted to go “a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding”. The list is long, but you get the idea.
Now the radical Right is howling for punishment for a couple of their own, especially Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, for their refusing to toe the line on the Party of Trump’s seditious and authoritarian refusal to even have hearings to investigate January 6th.
Liz has already been stripped of her leadership position for daring to say, "My oath, my duty, all of our oaths, all of our duty are to the Constitution and that will always be my focus, not politics," after Pelosi first announced her appointment earlier this month.
Philip Bump wrote in the Washington Post:
At the White House on Monday, McCarthy was asked about comments from some Republicans who suggested that their party should participate more fully in the probe.
“Who is that? Adam and Liz?” McCarthy replied casually, looking over his shoulder. “Aren’t they kind of like Pelosi Republicans?”
And there you go. Liz Cheney, of the Cheney Cheneys, is a “Pelosi Republican,” not because she broadly sides with the Democratic leader on matters of policy but, instead, because she sides with Pelosi on the idea that the Capitol riot could use a bit more investigation. You know who voted with Pelosi more than Cheney in the 116th Congress? McCarthy. Data from ProPublica makes clear that McCarthy could be described as more of a “Pelosi Republican” than the representative from Wyoming based on votes in the last Congress.
Not satisfied with removing her from leadership, the extremists want to punish her further.
(CNN) A growing group of rank-and-file House Republicans wants House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and GOP leadership to punish Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger for accepting a position from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to serve on the select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection.
Not only do they want to strip Cheney and Kinzinger from their other committee assignments, they want to punish Nancy Pelosi as well. No doubt some of the more malevolent House coup supporters would have welcomed the hanging of the Speaker of the House. As we recall, Lauren Boebert tweeted about the Speaker’s movement during the coup, not long after tweeting, “Today is 1776!”.
The Radical Right white nationalist Freedom Caucus is already pressing McCarthy to file a motion to vacate Pelosi from the speakership. Radical Right authoritarian and House GOP conference chair Elise Stefanik wants to blame and punish the Speaker: “The American people deserve to know the truth. That Nancy Pelosi bears responsibility, as speaker of the House, for the tragedy that occurred on Jan. 6.”
It is the Authoritarian Way.
The nerve of that woman, wanting to investigate the same terrorists who screamed, “Hang Pelosi!” along with, "Hang Mike Pence!" How dare she exclude supporters of Trump’s Big Lie and resulting coup from the committee? She must be punished too.
But there are still some Republicans who understand Trumpism is not conservatism. Ten House Republicans stood for the Constitution and country by voting to impeach Trump for incitement of insurrection.
They know Trump lied about the election and incited his insurrection. They know the truth.
That’s really the only standard for Republicans to be welcome in the House select committee to investigate the January 6 attack on the US Capitol. Why should participants and co-conspirators be allowed to investigate themselves? If they want a voice, let them spew their lies under oath as sworn witnesses.
CNN reports on why the pair are targeted for punishment:
Adam Kinzinger has been a vocal critic of Trump and was one of 10 House Republicans to vote for his second impeachment. Kinzinger served in the Air Force in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. He continues to serve in the Air National Guard as a pilot. “I’m a Republican dedicated to conservative values, but I swore an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution—and while this is not the position I expected to be in or sought out, when duty calls, I will always answer,” Kinzinger said in a statement accepting a position on the committee. “This moment requires a serious, clear-eyed, non-partisan approach. We are duty-bound to conduct a full investigation on the worst attack on the Capitol since 1814 and to make sure it can never happen again.”
Will history eventually be kinder to both of them, or are they just disloyal RINO “socialist appeasers”, for betraying their oaths to Donald Trump?
Oh, wait. They swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution, not Trump.
For that treacherous transgression and disloyalty to their Dear Leader, they must be punished. It is the Authoritarian Way.
For some reason the Party of Trump has a lot more tolerance for their Dear Leader’s loyal gang of terrorist vandals, felons, thugs, racists, white nationalists, Q-Anon true believers, Proud Boys, Nazis, Oath Keepers, Klansmen, and assorted radical Right terrorists from the military and law enforcement.
They first wanted to blame BLM and antifa for Trump’s coup. Then they compared the terrorists to “tourists”.
For some reason the Party of Trump wants to look the other way and deflect from the crimes and terrorist instigators of January Sixth. Not very “law and order” of them, is it?
Despite the efforts by Trump's Radical Right to undermine and block it, the House committee begins their investigation today, Capitol Police officers are the first to testify.
One has already asked the committee if anyone in power abetted the criminals. Officer Dunn: "There was an attack carried out on January 6, and a hit man sent them. I want you to get to the bottom of that."
Like major crime cartels and street mobs, the radical Right Party of Trump will defend their own, until the ones who got arrested take a plea, and inform on their leaders.
Likewise, those who offer aid to investigators will be targeted as well. As we’ve see from the radical Right, that is the greater offense, just begging for punishment.
I would like to hear from clear-eyed conservatives, who can rationally explain their anger and resentment for the two Republican supporters of our Constitutional rule of law and peaceful transition of power.
Is there any chance of that?