June 23, 2022 Editor

The Jan. 6 hearings and the spectacle of competence

The televised hearings have offered a rare glimpse at a version of Congress we want to see, as well as one that may soon disappear

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Perspective by 

June 23, 2022

image above: Chairman Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.) and Vice Chair Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) speak to Shaye Moss, a former Georgia election worker, during a June 21 hearing by the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

Donald Trump never changes his playbook. He behaves like a mob boss, and these messages are fashioned in that style. Giving an order without giving the order. No fingerprints attached.–former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen

WN: This is so refreshing in a post-truth world, of which the nadir is America, of which the greater nadir is most of the Republican Party, of which the greatest Supreme Nadir is Trump.

Please also see, by Brett Samuels, June 20: Trump ratchets up attacks amid questions about his presidential viability. In it:

An ABC News-Ipsos poll conducted last Friday and Saturday found that while just 34 percent of respondents are following the hearings closely, 60 percent believe the committee is conducting a fair investigation.

The poll also found that 58 percent of respondents believe Trump bears a good or great amount of responsibility for the events of Jan. 6 and should be charged with a crime, though less than a quarter of Republicans feel that way.

While views on the committee largely fall along partisan lines, the poll indicates enough Americans are taking the proceedings seriously that it could be a real hurdle for Trump should he seek reelection, as many expect he will.

And Trump seems to be responding accordingly.


Every day, from the left and the right and all corners of America, there are reminders that the government is broken. Stagnant, inadequate, wasteful, useless. Whether the issues we face are urgent and emotional (school shootings) or slow but existential (climate change), the extreme polarization and contortionate priorities of our political system, especially on the national level, feel practically designed to discourage hope and change.

Then, a reprieve. The televised Jan. 6 hearings — the fifth of which will air Thursday, followed by at least two more sessions next month — have offered a rare glimpse of administrative credibility, a spectacle of civic competence. America doesn’t have to be a post-truth dumpster fire sinking into largely self-inflicted imperial decline, imply the hearings, which are led by Chairman Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.) and Vice Chair Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.). The values and attributes we want from our leaders — intelligence and empathy in service of integrity, efficacy and bipartisanship — have been on ample display, modeling a version of Congress we want to see, as well as one that may disappear with this year’s midterms.

Please click on: The Spectacle of Competence

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Wayne Northey was Director of Man-to-Man/Woman-to-Woman – Restorative Christian Ministries (M2/W2) in British Columbia, Canada from 1998 to 2014, when he retired. He has been active in the criminal justice arena and a keen promoter of Restorative Justice since 1974. He has published widely on peacemaking and justice themes. You will find more about that on this website: a work in progress.

Always appreciate constructive feedback! Thanks.