Congressional committee comforts conservative crackpots, fools nobody

Based on numerous polls and independent fact checks, expectations were already very, very low for any credible matters to be raised last week by MAGA House Republicans on the so-called “Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government.” 

Those expectations were driven by the panel’s makeup of conspiratorial election deniers including subpoena-dodging Chairman Jim Jordan, accused insurance fraudster Darrell Issa, and ethical-blackhole Matt Gaetz.

Within minutes after starting the committee’s first hearing, all suspicions were confirmed that the subcommittee is nothing more than a platform for political stunts from MAGA extremists trying to keep the Biden administration from its work lowering costs for families, creating even more jobs, expanding fundamental rights, and strengthening Americans’ health and retirement security. 

In one particularly egregious example, witness Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) baselessly accused federal civil servants of acting as part of a conspiracy against conservatives.

Later, committee member Matt Gaetz used his time to spread an anti-Covid-19-vaccine conspiracy from a highly dubious source. 

“This subcommittee stacked with extreme MAGA election deniers wasted no time exposing its real motive – performing political stunts and spreading crackpot conspiracies designed to keep the Biden administration from addressing real problems impacting everyday Americans,” said Jeremy Funk, a spokesperson for Accountable.US. “

“Throwing as much disinformation against the wall and hoping something sticks may give purpose for the likes of Tucker Carlson, but polls show the public wants no part of it, especially when it’s conducted by members of Congress at taxpayer expense,” said Funk. “The extreme MAGA majority will say or do anything to distract the public from their own plans to force a debt default crisis unless they get a crushing 30% tax hike on middle-class families and devastating cuts to Social Security and Medicare benefits for seniors.”

The hearing featured testimony from members of Congress and frequent Fox News guests who accused the government of unfairly targeting conservatives and big tech of censorship.

Democrats argued that the committee itself was an example of improper weaponization of government, continuing a pattern begun under former President Donald Trump and his administration of using the levers of power to target political opponents.

“Millions of Americans already fear that weaponization is the right name for this special subcommittee — not because weaponization of the government is its target but because weaponization of the government is its purpose,” said Rep. Jamie Raskin, the only Democrat invited to speak as a witness.

Beside Raskin, the first witnesses included Republican Sens. Chuck Grassley and Ron Johnson plus Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who left the Democratic Party to become an ‘independent’ who appears frequently on Fox News, a propaganda outlet created by Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes to support the Republican Party.

Jordan said in his opening statement that the committee will look into “concerns” he says Americans have about the Justice Department, including the FBI, as well as the Department of Homeland Security, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the IRS and Big Tech’s alleged moves to “suppress information and censor Americans.”

A study performed by political scientists David Broockman and Joshua Kalla found that Fox News viewers aren’t just manipulated and misinformed — they are literally being made ignorant by their consumption habits.

Ian Sams, spokesman for the White House Counsel’s Office, called the panel a “Fox News reboot of the House Un-American Activities Committee with a political stunt that weaponizes Congress to carry out the priorities of extreme MAGA Republicans in Congress.”

“These extreme MAGA Republicans in Congress are choosing to make it their top priority to go down the rabbit hole of debunked conspiracy theories about a ‘deep state’ instead of taking a deep breath and deciding to work with the president and Democrats in Congress to improve Americans’ everyday lives,” said Sams.

“I’m deeply concerned about the use of the select subcommittee as a place to settle scores, showcase conspiracy theories and advance an extreme agenda that risks undermining Americans’ faith in our democracy,” said Del. Stacey Plaskett, the panel’s ranking Democrat.

Public opinion surveys suggest Americans have a negative perception of the subcommittee: 56 percent of Americans said the panel is “just an attempt to score political points” in a Washington Post-ABC News poll.

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