As the sixth hearing of the House Select Committee on the Jan. 6 Attack unfolded and so many of us were enamored with the unflappability of surprise witness Cassidy Hutchinson, there were already naysayer comments popping up on social media.
No, not from supporters of Donald Trump.
These were from a slew of people on the left and they went something like this:
She’s not a hero! She came forward too late. Don’t elevate her — how principled can she be if she worked for him? Please don’t start putting her on Etsy merchandise.
OK, let’s breathe for a beat and, I don’t know, maybe hold two thoughts at once?
From what I heard during the hearing, I probably agree with Hutchinson — who hails from Pennington and graduated from Hopewell Valley Central High School — on very little politically. Before becoming the assistant to Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, she worked for two vile members of Congress — Ted Cruz and Steve Scalise. Hutchinson can be found in an Associated Press story smiling big and dancing to YMCA with former press secretary Kayleigh McEnany at a Trump rally during the 2020 campaign.
I shudder at the thought of all the above.
But Hutchinson isn’t me. This was her career path based on her belief system.
“I have set a personal goal to pursue a path of civic significance,” she says in an article on the Christopher Newport University website (2018), her alma mater. “Interning on Capitol Hill confirmed my desire to continue a path in government, and when I learned about the White House internship I was eager to apply.”
On the stand, I found her credible, engaging and, yes, courageous.
Do our politics have to be aligned for me to respect what she did? Not at all. She put country over party. She made a decision in her young life not to go down with a sinking ship of mostly power-hungry men who she watched cross a line so egregious that it upended her own feelings of patriotism.
Essentially, this was a woman asking herself repeatedly in her job after the 2020 presidential election — what the heck am I witnessing here? Her disbelief kept mounting.