Wineke: The insurrection is not over

House Panel Seeks Records From Tech Companies In Riot Probe
John Minchillo

FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo insurrections loyal to President Donald Trump riot outside the Capitol in Washington. The House panel investigation of the riot at the U.S. Capitol issued sweeping document requests on Friday, Aug. 27, to social media companies, expanding the committee’s investigation as it seeks to examine the events leading to January’s insurrection.

MADISON, Wis. — We talk about the Jan. 6 attack on our nation’s Capitol as if it was “over.”  It’s not.

We all watched it on television. We all watched rioters breaking through windows in the Capitol, saw them attacking police officers, listened to them shouting “Hang Mike Pence!”

Then, finally, auxiliary police and National Guard units showed up and ended the insurrection.

Or so we hoped.

But the insurrection didn’t go away; it just changed venues. Top Republicans still refuse to condemn it. State legislators in states including Wisconsin are standing up audit committees purporting to dig out instances of fraud in ballots that have been counted and recounted numerous times.

Republicans in the Senate refused to even discuss creating a bipartisan commission to investigate the most frightening attack on the legislative process since the War of 1812.

When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi set up a Congressional committee to investigate the insurrection, Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy tried to stack it with members dedicated to crippling the effort.

And now, when the committee took action asking various communications companies to save records of politicians who may have been involved one way or another with the insurrection, McCarthy warned them they will be in big trouble should the Republicans retake Congress.

Let’s just stop there for a second: McCarthy is warning private companies he will use the force of the U.S. government to punish those companies should they comply with a request by a legally authorized Congressional committee.

Oh, and just to be sure we understand, on Sept. 18, a rally will commence in Washington to support those insurrectionists who have been arrested for ransacking the Capitol.

Those arrested, supporters say, are not criminals or insurrectionists. They are “political prisoners.”

It is still unclear whether a nation that claims its legitimacy rests on the basis of the peaceful transfer of power from one set of leaders to another elected by the people can survive if one of the political parties refuses to accept the legitimacy of an election.

The danger to democracy is not just that the Republicans will somehow seize power and keep it. The Republican Party is in the midst of its own insurrection, one that treats names like Bush, or Romney, or Cheney or Ryan as RINOs, Republicans In Name Only, and lifts up those who openly call for the imposition of a defeated president on the people who elected a successor.

The danger is that we become an ungovernable, chaotic nation at a time when the world needs us most.