Sunday Morning ~ Seeing the Hearing
Kanthu ndi Khama ~ You only achieve by persevering.
~ Chewa proverb
June 12, 2022
I am investigating my feelings about Liz Cheney. I embarrassingly admit I mostly know about her from the movie Vice. A good movie, but hardly a peer-reviewed resource or biography. I have not admired her in the past but what did I really know of her? I don’t agree with her conservative views. She voted against equal rights for her gay sister; I held that against her. I have a vague understanding of her views on women’s rights and social justice, but nothing academic. I’ve heard sound bites where she disagreed with someone I admired. I hate her father for his war mongering. What else did I know? Not much. When she initially agreed to be on the January 6 committee, I thought: She sees it. She knows this tide will turn and she will be on the right side of it. Whatever her motivation at that time, I could see she was smarter, more courageous, had more self respect and vision than the others. I’m feeling haughtily right about that.
As I watched and listened to her in the first hearing this week, I thought a deep integrity was clearly visible. I’d initially thought it may be a pathway for her future advancement in government, but I was convinced otherwise as I sat riveted. She was not putting on a show. Although the ultimate outcome of this may be shining stardom for her, it could also be obliteration. She sees this all for what it is, knows her colleagues on the right do as well, and she is standing up for justice. I give her tons of credit for that. She’s younger than I thought. She’s more attractive than I thought. She gave me hope for the kind of civilization and society I want: one where I can disagree with her views but co-exist with some modicum of respect.
She spoke like an attorney and I learned she is one. She is the mother of five children. She has only been in Congress since the terrible election of 2016. For some reason I thought she’d been there much longer. I also didn’t know Wyoming only has one representative. Ah, the civics lessons around every turn.
I wonder what her relationship is with her sister? I wonder what influence her children have on her? Does she possess her father’s skill in profiting from war? I don’t know these things but I’m suddenly curious.
I get that these hearings are not a trial. I know their power is limited and they can not prosecute. I understand the frustration when I hear that “nothing will come of it”, even though we are learning, with more and more shocking testimony, how premeditated it all was. I am grateful for this committee. I am glad that Benny Thompson is the chair. As I listened to his opening remarks, I was grateful for the progress we’ve made just by the position he holds. It’s not enough, but it is progress. It felt good to be proud of them. And I am thrilled that other republicans refused to take part. It was so refreshing to listen to intelligent and thoughtful presenters. It was a relief to be spared the theatrics of imbeciles like Jim Jordan. The miscalculations of the cornered are interesting to observe from an anthropological perspective.
I guess what I am most concerned about now is the election this November. We must keep the house and gain two senate seats. That’s all there is to it. It’s what we must do. Imagine a world without the filibuster. Imagine a better world without the electoral college. These are within our power. They are not pipe dreams. With two more senators (Pennsylvania and Florida, I’m talking to you) we never have to hear the names Manchin and Sinema again.
As I sit on my porch watching the phoebes flitting in and out of their nest, it’s easy to feel optimistic. The leaves are fully spread, and though the lilacs are passing, the iris are singing their brief song and the peonies are nearing their moment to show off. In my little paradise here all is as it should be. The phoebes have plenty of mosquitoes to eat and last evening at dusk I saw bats swooping around looking for protein, too. I realize how lucky I am to live here and have this life. It wasn’t always this way, but it was what I envisioned.
None of us know the future, but we can envision one where there is justice. Even just that, envisioning a just outcome, will be a service to those who are putting so much on the line to investigate the insurrection and present the facts. We owe it to them to give them that much. And while we’re at it, imagine a senate without a filibuster! What fun!
Let’s move methodically, toward the goal with the understanding that the only option is to arrive.
Love to all,