Opinion: It’s Time For Democrats To Accept That Norms Are Dead

When members of the House Select Committee on Jan. 6 asked Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) to meet with them, they probably should’ve known that he wouldn’t comply with their request. The Republican answered their perfectly legitimate ask with a four-page letter detailing his quibbles with the committee, including a declaration that the request “violates core Constitutional principles.”

When did congressional hearings become unconstitutional? It must have been after Republicans hauled then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in for a 12-hour probe over the attacks in Benghazi, Libya, in 2012.

Jordan is just one of the countless members of the GOP who will meet facts with absurdity without a second thought. There’s Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who tweeted an anti-Semitic trope claiming “upscale liberals who control the media” believe that Jan. 6 is another 9/11, despite the fact that on the day of the Capitol riot, he also condemned the attackers.

We can’t forget Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), who touted the perfect solution to the pandemic: God. “Why do we assume that the body’s natural immune system isn’t the marvel that it is?” he asked on a conservative radio show earlier this month. “Why do we think that we can create something better than God in terms of combating disease?”

Because of statements like these, we know that political discourse has fully entered the theater of the absurd. There is no “truth” anymore because we can no longer trust one of our two major parties to stay moored to reality. Instead, we have a GOP that never hesitates to lie, engages in wild conspiracy theories, and makes even the biggest hypocrites look like saints.

Where does this leave Democrats who are still concerned with the norms that used to dictate the government?

It’s time for Democrats to stop mourning the death of “norms” and move to the acceptance phase — norms are dead, and you can’t reach across the aisle to someone who is not bound by reality.

Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) speak on the one-year anniversary of the attack on the U.S. Capitol. (Photo: Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press)
Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) speak on the one-year anniversary of the attack on the U.S. Capitol. (Photo: Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press)

Consider Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.). The pair of right-wing conservatives, like the rest of the GOP, skipped the official proceedings to commemorate the Jan. 6 insurrection and held their own event. Both have been accused of being more involved with the attack, so they used the mantle of the federal government to claim that the very same federal government had orchestrated the riot.

“We are here to expose the truth and ask key questions about the extent to which the federal government was involved,” Gaetz said at a press conference. “January 6 was not an insurrection… [but] there may very well have been a ‘fedsurrection.’”

The conspiracy theory is that Ray Epps, a man seen in footage from that day, was secretly an FBI informant who tricked Trump supporters into ransacking the Capitol.

It’s an outlandish theory. Not only was the Trump administration still in charge of the federal government at the time, but what purpose would framing Trump supporters even serve? Yet since logic and common sense are not necessary for the GOP, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) hopped on the bandwagon. He’d been in the middle of begging for forgiveness for accidentally telling the truth about Jan. 6, and this was the perfect way to humiliate himself even further.

In an effort to inject some sanity into the discourse, the House committee tasked with investigating the insurrection put out a statement saying that Epps had been cooperating with law enforcement and was not an informant of any kind.

Originally posted by huffpost.com