The Current Worst Republican
Illinois Congressman Adam Kinzinger seem to have entered into his final stage of political demise by accepting the invitation of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to serve on her kangaroo court Select Committee supposedly investigating the Capitol Hill riot.
Of all the Republicans she could have selected, she chose the second most vociferous anti-Trump Republican – following the initial appointment of Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney. Pelosi reaffirmed her desire to have a totally biased panel that will go through the process to arrive at her preordained conclusion. In fact, every member of that Committee has already publicly rendered their judgment on what happened and who is responsible.
In describing Pelosi’s final choice, the fawning news media now describes Kinzinger as a staunch conservative, patriot and one of the most intelligent members of the House. In fact, Kinzinger’s conservative rating has never been very high. He has always been a member of the so-called moderate faction of the GOP. I will not question his patriotism, but he is not even in the upper rank of the most intelligent members of Congress. He is not stupid, but more or less average intelligence.
I could forgive their votes for impeachment as an anomaly of their otherwise excellent (Cheney) and okay (Kinzinger) service to the Republican Party. But their actions and statements following the Capitol Hill riot have removed them from the Republican political reservation. The acceptance of Pelosi malignant invitation is their well-deserved political coup de gras.
In selecting Kinzinger – after Cheney – Pelosi is proving beyond all doubt that she wants to have no opposition to her mission to convict Trump, GOP members of Congress and the Republican Party in the court-of-public-opinion for treasonous acts against the American republic. Pelosi is not launching an investigation, but rather staging a propaganda play for which she has already written the script. Kinzinger is just the latest actor to be hired.
Kinzinger is a very ambitious man. I know that because I got to know him when I was managing his opponent’s campaign in his first Republican primary. At the time, he was the darling of the National Republican Congressional Committee. They had designated him as one of the “top gun” candidates. He did not run as a conservative – that was my candidate, businessman Henry Meers.
Illinois Republican leaders were never enthused over principled conservatives. They thought victory would come by being Democrat-lite. You can see how well that turned out. But it worked for Kinzinger.
Several times in the more than ten years he has served in Congress, Kinzinger sent out feelers for a shot at the Senate seat. Among his closest buddies – like former Congressman Aaron Schock — who was force out of Congress in scandal – Kinzinger was actually thought of as a downrange presidential or vice-presidential candidate, with Schock running alongside to the top of the political peak. It did not entirely seem unreasonable at the time. Their other commonality was they were both beefcake legislators – often appearing topless in national magazines. Schock’s political career ended in 2015 and Kinzinger’s is in the death throes at this moment. But he has not crashed and burned yet.
So, what is in Kinzinger’s future. He will maintain national visibility for the next year or so thanks to Pelosi and the leftwing media. He already has seen a significant increase in his appearances as a CNN/MSNBC interviewee after his impeachment vote. That will increase even more since he seems more willing to go on those programs that does Cheney.
It may be that Kinzinger’s more recent harsh statements about Trump – not typical of his previous mealy-mouthed view – have actually been motivated by his desire to maintain visibility on the national scene. That maybe partially why he accepted Pelosi’s poison apple invitation.
It is certain that his service on the Pelosi committee will end before the next congressional election in 2022. After all, Pelosi wants her politically-baised findings out in time to damage the Republican Party in the midterm election. That is the one and only purpose of the Select Committee.
It is not at all certain as to whether Kinzinger will seek reelection as a Republican or, as some have conjectured, as a Democrat. The latter choice is likely to be Kinzinger’s only chance of remaining in Congress.
Kinzinger ran as a political wannabe rather than a wannado. Principles take a rear seat to ambition. Ever since Kinzinger ran for Congress, he has been a member-in-good-standing of the old guard Washington establishment – that elitist bipartisan group of elected officials, bureaucrats, lobbyists, media and power players who see themselves as holders of permanent power in America. They are the folks Trump came after – those he sought to disrupt and dislodge.
If Kinzinger is to have a political future, the path is unclear. Certainly, he will have to obtain some high visibility elective of appointive office in the future. Even staying in Congress may not be enough. Follow his service as the useful idiot for Pelosi and the Democratic Party, he may find that his old friends are gone and his new friends are only a matter of temporary convenience.
So, there ‘tis.