- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 16, 2021

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi chose Presidents Day to announce her intent to form a “9/11-type commission” to investigate what she deemed the Jan. 6 “domestic terrorist attack” on the U.S. Capitol.

The timing and the wording of Mrs. Pelosi’s announcement caught the eye of Tyler O’Neil, senior editor of PJ Media. He notes in particular that Madame Speaker also referred to both Presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln during her announcement.

“Considering the violent attacks on American heroes like Washington and Lincoln this past summer, it’s heartening to see Pelosi quote these men with such esteem. However, it seems she used their words to bolster the dangerous idea of launching a domestic ‘War on Terror’ that treats conservative ideas as a threat to America’s security,” writes Mr. O’Neil.

“In recent weeks, Democrats have weaponized the Capitol riot — a truly heinous event in American history — in order to demonize their opposition,” he says.

“Congress arguably should investigate the riot, but comparisons to 9/11 are chilling. Such rhetoric should remind conservatives that many of America’s institutional elites consider their ideas not just false but dangerous ‘misinformation.’ Increasingly radical Democrats now control Congress, the presidency, and the vast bureaucratic state,” Mr. O’Neil says.



COMPLICATED EVEN THEN

And speaking of the first U.S. president, here is one of George Washington‘s commentaries on the national circumstances of his time, 226 years ago.

“When one side only of a story is heard and often repeated, the human mind becomes impressed with it insensibly,” Washington wrote in a letter to Edmund Pendleton dated Jan. 22, 1795.

Pendleton, a Virginia lawyer and a judge, had been a member of the First Continental Congress, along with Washington, Patrick Henry and many more.

What were the circumstances?

The entire letter explains that annual gifts to American Indians at the time “were not given so much with a view to purchase peace,” but as “retribution for injuries, not otherwise to be redressed” — this according to an analysis of the text by the Mount Vernon Association.

“Washington feared that Native Americans, only seeing the bad side of the United States, would come to resent whites,” the analysis noted.

TRULY A ‘CRISIS’

The winter weather now sweeping across the nation is one of many challenges — spreading ice, snow and disruption in the wake of the contested election, the U.S. Capitol riots, an unprecedented presidential impeachment and the continuing threat of COVID-19.

So how bad is this weather? It’s bad.

AccuWeather chief meteorologist Jonathan Porter calls the winter storm a “life-threatening crisis.” The current icy woes are part of the most active winter weather pattern in 30 years, he says.

“To understand the magnitude of this particular coast-to-coast storm, it is important to understand the full impacts of how this massive storm is being experienced across the country. The sheer number of people affected will put an additional strain on an already overburdened system that should be of grave concern to our elected officials, including first responders and public safety officials,” Mr. Porter tells Inside the Beltway

“Services from emergency management, transportation, health, housing, energy, vaccine administration and the economy will be overall disrupted due to major snow, ice storms and extreme cold temperatures in what has been the most active winter weather pattern in almost 30 years. Nearly every state in the contiguous U.S. has been or will be impacted in a significant manner — threatening lives and impairing commerce,” Mr. Porter says.

He signed off with on more message.

“This is a significantly dangerous storm, and I wanted to provide a comprehensive response for you and your readers to understand the full weight of what is at stake,” Mr. Porter tells Inside the Beltway.

PINING FOR AN ALTERNATIVE

Interest in a third political party is intensifying and now has reached an unprecedented level of approval, according to a new Gallup poll.

“Americans’ appetite for a third party has never been greater in Gallup’s nearly two decades of polling on the subject, and now a majority of Republicans are joining the usual majority of independents in wanting that option,” wrote senior editor Jeffrey M. Jones in an analysis released Monday.

“Sixty-two percent of U.S. adults say the ‘parties do such a poor job representing the American people that a third party is needed,’ an increase from 57% in September,” he said.

The survey found that 63% of Republicans, 70% of independents and 46% of Democrats support the creation of a third party.

“That represents a dramatic shift for Republicans since last September when 40% favored a third party,” Mr. Jones said.

“Republicans’ record desire for a third party comes at a time when they are deciding whether to remain loyal to [former President Donald] Trump or to move on from him,” he continued.

“Currently, 68% of Republicans prefer that Trump remain the party leader, while 31% want the party to have a new leader. Republican-leaning independents, however, are divided, with 47% wanting Trump to continue leading and 51% preferring a new voice.”

The poll of 906 U.S. adults was conducted Jan. 21-Feb. 2.

POLL DU JOUR

57% of U.S. adults think that political “extremism” is growing in the U.S.; 60% of Republicans, 52% of independents and 60% of Democrats agree.

34% overall think the level of extremism is “staying the same”; 30% of Republicans, 38% of independents and 33% of Democrats agree.

4% overall say the level of extremism is “subsiding”; 2% of Republicans, 4% of independents and 5% of Democrats agree.

6% overall don’t know or are undecided; 7% of Republicans, 7% of independents and 2% of Democrats agree.

Source: A Quinnipiac University poll of 1,056 U.S. adults conducted Feb. 11-14.

• Helpful information to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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