At the end of the New York Rangers post-game show, the commentators said that they would “See you in September.” Another year not winning the Stanley Cup. It is an understatement to say that the Rangers have had trouble winning the Stanley Cup. They have won one Stanley Cup in President Biden’s lifetime - in 1994. The Rangers had not even made the playoffs for the past few years, which takes talent, since half of the teams make the playoffs. Thus, making the playoffs was an achievement this year. The team beat expectations by coming back from a 3-1 series deficit to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins and then winning game seven on the Carolina Hurricanes’ home ice. Carolina had not lost one game in the playoffs at home. The Rangers won the first two games at home against the reigning two-time Stanley Cup champions, the Tampa Bay Lightning. They took a lead in game three, but lost the lead and then the game. Tampa ended up winning four straight, which were all close games. It could have been worse; they could have lost to the New York Islanders or the New Jersey Devils as in the past, when both teams went on to win the Stanley Cup.
This Ranger team reminded me of the 1979 team, when the Rangers surprised most fans and made it to the Stanley Cup finals by beating the favored Islanders. They relied on the great goaltending of John Davidson. They won game one of the Stanley Cup against the heavy favored Montreal Canadians. In game two, Davidson let in a bad goal and the Canadians went on to win four straight. As with many things in life, you cannot assume that you will have another chance. Just because the Rangers made the conference finals this year doesn’t mean that it will happen again next year. It wasn’t until 1994 that the Rangers made it back to the Stanley Cup finals.
On Thursday, in prime time, when the Rangers were playing a pivotal game six, the January 6 Committee Hearings started. All the major networks broadcast it except for Fox, which decided that it was more important to broadcast programming such as Master Chef Junior. Also, the Fox News cable channel kept its usual lineup of commentators but made it commercial-free to make sure that G-d forbid someone might turn to the hearing during a commercial. Fox understood that many of its viewers would not be happy with them broadcasting the hearing, so they pretended like it did not exist. This had been Fox’s attitude throughout the committee’s process, when Fox would ignore any significant development. This is unfortunate, since their viewers are the people who should see the presentation so they can be exposed to facts that counter their own beliefs.
The irony is that on Monday, Chris Stirewalt testified at the hearing. Mr. Stirewalt was employed by Fox on Election Day. He had the audacity to project that Biden won Arizona before any other network. For this sin, which upset Trump and his supporters, Mr. Stirewalt was terminated. Another example of right wing cancel culture.
Although we saw the attack on the Capitol with our own eyes, it is still important to remind people what happened through video and witness testimony. Both the video shown and police officer Carolyn Edwards’ testimony were compelling and shocking. She referred to it like a war scene. There was carnage and chaos. She was catching falling officers and stepping in their blood. Even today, many downplay the attack. For example, a coach for the Washington Commanders, Jack Del Rio, referred to it as a “dustup at the Capitol.”
Furthermore, in a recent Reuters poll, a majority of Republicans believe that the attack on the Capitol was led by left-wing groups to embarrass Trump. One would expect that the arrest of more than 820 individuals would have shown these Republicans who was at fault. Thus, the committee needs to establish who was behind the attack to rest the false allegation that it was left wing groups.
The committee is not limiting itself to the attack of the Capitol, but is also going through the entire process to try to overturn the election
I have little confidence that it will change minds or have any effect on the midterms. However, that should not be the purpose. It is important to get the facts out. I have heard the contrary arguments. It is time to move on; people don’t care. This is coming from the same people who still claim that the 2020 election was stolen. In any event, this is a common refrain. It was said after the Civil War, World War II and 9/11. New Yorkers cared about the attack on the World Trade Center much longer than the rest of the country, which moved on. How many people, including New Yorkers, even bothered to read the 9/11 Commission report or at least know its findings?
Another argument is that the panel is biased. They are all against Trump and thus anything they say or present is inherently unreliable. I do not doubt that the committee went in with the intent to establish that Trump was at fault. However, believing is not the same as proving. The analogy is in law enforcement. The police and the district attorney may believe that someone committed a crime. This doesn’t prove that their subsequent arrest and prosecution of that individual must be disregarded. The point is that facts matter, even if the person who is gathering them may have a preconceived notion.
The committee’s investigation is more thorough than you would see in most prosecutions. They questioned a thousand witnesses and looked at thousands of pages of documents. The witnesses were questioned under oath, and if they lied, could be subject to criminal prosecution.
Another argument is that the committee did not interview individuals with opposing views. Many of these individuals, such as certain Republican members of Congress, refused to comply with a subpoena. Some, such as Steve Bannon and Peter Navarro, have been charged with contempt of Congress. It is easy to make public statements that would not subject them to a perjury charge, which they could be subject to if they were questioned by the committee under oath. Others such as Jeffrey Clark and Eric Trump, who did show up, invoked the fifth amendment numerous times.
I plan to watch the rest of the hearing and read the report once it is published. The report is supposed to be published in September. I would hope that the Trumpians will do likewise, but I have little doubt that they will. The truth hurts. To quote Rep. Liz Chaney, “Tonight, I say this to my Republican colleagues who are defending the indefensible: There will come a day when Donald Trump is gone, but your dishonor will remain.”