Speaker Pelosi’s Show Trial

Picture this: It’s early 2023, and Congressional Republicans, having regained majority control of the House of Representatives, announce the formation of a select committee to hold hearings on allegations that President Biden had some involvement in son Hunter’s shady business dealings.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, while objecting to the planned hearings, duly submits the names of Democratic House members she has appointed to serve on the committee.

But Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy vetoes several of those names—denying the right of the Democratic House leader to appoint the Democratic members of the committee!

Outraged at this violation of protocol, not to mention fair play, Pelosi pronounces the committee and hearings illegitimate, and refuses to appoint ANY Democrats to participate in them. McCarthy, the Republican leader, then takes it upon himself to appoint the Democratic representatives on the committee—two Democrats whom he knows to be critical of the Bidens’ financial maneuverings.

How do you think mainstream media would react?

I have little doubt they would see Pelosi’s outrage and raise it; echo her denunciation of the hearings as illegitimate; and give them short shrift in terms of news coverage.

And I believe all fair-minded Americans would agree with that judgement.

Yet the above scenario is exactly what has happened—in reverse—with regard to House hearings on the January 6, 2021 storming of the U.S. Capitol by several hundred Trump partisans.

Speaker Pelosi, after announcing the formation of a select House committee to investigate the uprising, vetoed two of the Republicans named to the committee by Republican Minority Leader McCarthy—leading McCarthy to rightly label the committee and its hearings a partisan sham, and refuse to appoint any Republicans to participate. Democrat Pelosi countered by appointing two Republicans known to be harsh critics of Trump and his supporters: Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger.

And the mainstream media, having grown unabashedly partisan itself, barely batted an eye at Pelosi’s flagrantly partisan power-grab; fully embraced the totally one-sided hearings as legitimate; and excoriated anyone who disagreed.

This week, Pelosi and the Democrats—desperately casting about for something to slow the GOP’s perceived momentum heading into the mid-term elections—held public hearings on the Jan. 6 riot. And mainstream media were all in, with wall-to-wall coverage.

Hard to imagine such coverage of hearings into the Bidens’ financial dealings, should the Republicans retake the House and initiate such hearings. Even if those procedures are done legitimately, with both parties able to select their own participants, such hearings are virtually guaranteed to be downplayed by mainstream media outlets.

Now I write this as someone who has forcefully condemned the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol, and who would have welcomed legitimate, bi-partisan hearings designed to get to the bottom of what actually happened, who was actually responsible, and what can be done to prevent a recurrence. For some reason, Speaker Pelosi, supported by her party and mainstream media, did not want such bi-partisan hearings, and used (abused?) her powers to prevent them from happening. Why?

I also recognize that double standards are not the sole province of one political party or one point of view. Take, for example, both parties’ handling of Supreme Court nominations. Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland ten months before a presidential election, then rushed to confirm President Trump’s nomination of Amy Coney Barrett just a month before a presidential election. Democratic Vice President Joe Biden supported confirmation of Garland in 2016, after he had called, as a U.S. Senator prior to the 1992 presidential election (when a Republican, George H.W. Bush, was president), for “not scheduling confirmation hearings” on any potential Supreme Court nominee “until after the political campaign season is over.”

Both parties engage in double standards, and both are fair game for criticism.

But Pelosi’s action seems a new and radical departure. For the leader of the majority party in Congress to presume to dictate to the minority party leader which of his duly elected members he may or may not appoint to a House committee seems like a stake through the heart of any hope for renewed bi-partisanship in Congressional deliberations.

Mainstream media doing their job as public watchdogs should be as one voice in denouncing this. Instead, they are in almost complete lockstep enabling it.

They have their own partisan double standards.

Published by Rick Hinshaw

I have spent the last three decades in primarily Catholic communications work: as a reporter, news editor, columnist, and for eight years editor of The Long Island Catholic; several years as co-host and co-producer of The Catholic Forum program on the diocesan Telecare channel; two stints as Director of Communications for the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights; and a year as Associate Director for Communications at the New York State Catholic Conference. I also served for three years as Public Information Officer for the late Nassau County District Attorney Denis Dillon, a staunchly Catholic and active pro-life leader. Over that more than 30-year career, I have gained an ever deeper understanding of and appreciation for the moral and social teachings of our Church. In my various roles I have lent my voice to articulating those teachings and their applicability to the critical issues of our time. That is what I intend to do with this blog. Moreover, at a time when our political and social disagreements seem to have degenerated into constant vitriol, vilification, verbal abuse and intolerance of those who hold differing opinions, I hope that this blog can contribute, in some small way, to a restoration of respectful debate and discussion, where we can defend our beliefs forcefully without demonizing any who disagree with us. As a Catholic commentator, that is what I have always striven to do--remembering that even as we are called to stand firmly in defense of our Church, her teachings, and our right to be heard in the public square, we are also called always to be the face of Christ to the world--most especially to those with whom we disagree.

4 thoughts on “Speaker Pelosi’s Show Trial

  1. The double standard enacted by the Democrats since they SQUEEKED into a bare majority has been appalling. More to the point, they are breaching long standing protocol in the Congress, and REFUSING to enforce the law in several areas, most obvious of which is their refusal to enforce border security and now refusing to arrest and prosecute those who are attempting to threaten and intimidate Supreme Court justices by mob demonstrations at their homes. ( I guess guys in viking helmets are so much more threatening??) Republicans refusing to put a Democrat Supreme Court candidate up for a vote does not nearly meet this same double standard. Further, as the DEMs now control the news media and use it to suppress free expression of ideas, the Republicans are left with little more than their own political actions to help save the republic. It has been pointed out that if Kavanaugh had been killed in this recent attempt, it would fall to the DEMOCRATS to nominate their own partisan replacement for the justice!!. A frightening thought, which might result in creating open season on all Justices. The thought of them “reaping the whirlwind” as Schumer so irresponsibly suggested to his minions, is food for thought for any REAL American. I did not bother watching the Partisan witch hunt play put on by the Dems last night. They have NOTHING to say to me. An UNARMED “insurrection”??? Really? What a farce. Try again.The whole thing thoguht up by Democrats and partisan RINO republicans THEY appointed. Double standard?? Oh yes! Sadly, most Dem voters are quite ill informed and are ready to cast their ballot for the highest bidder, which I am sad to say bodes badly for the future of America. I hope anyone with a brain and a spine gets out to vote for the Republicans in November. Open borders filtering in terrorists, 100,000 citizens dead by fentenol overdose which could be STOPPED at the BORDER. Inflation at massive levels, gas at $5 a gallon, baby food shortages among others, crime soaring, Russians on the brink of WWIII. Our military shamed by an addled President and military leaders more interested in non-existent “white Rage” than in military training. Our children being indoctrinated to hate their own race, history , and sexuality. Much is wrong in the country, and blood is in the hands of those who voted DEM in the last election. But hey, no “mean tweets”, right? I woinder if they still believe that was worth the price we are all paying?? Disgusting.

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    1. Thank you, Leslie, yes, the entire pro-abortion response to the Alito leak has been one great big double standard. Over the years, whenever there was an abortion clinic bombing or an abortionist murdered (both very rare, actually) pro-abortion activists, politicians and media would blame the mainstream pro-life movement, and usually the Catholic Church, for “bringing out the crazies.” All of us were culpable if we dared to protest the injustice of abortion. Now, however, with pro-life offices and pregnancy centers having been firebombed, Catholic churches vandalized, and the attempted murder of a Supreme Court justice, no one on the pro-abortion side is wagging a finger at Chuck Schumer for his incendiary rhetoric, Mayor Lightfoot of Chicago for issuing a pro-abortion “call to arms,” or those whose doxxing of Supreme Court justices and illegal protesting outside their homes certainly helped this would-be assassin find Justice Kavanaugh’s home. They take no blame for “bringing out the crazies” with their unhinged, irresponsible rhetoric and actions.

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