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Posts Tagged ‘UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES’

PREVENTING THE RIGHT’S CIVIL WAR: PART FOUR (END)

In Bureaucracy, History, Law, Law Enforcement, Medical, Military, Politics, Social commentary on May 11, 2023 at 12:24 am

On January 6, 2021, thousands of Right-wing Donald Trump supporters—many of them armed—stormed the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.       

Numerous commentators have noted the contrast between the tepid police response to the Capitol attack by white Right-wingers and the brutal crackdown on peaceful liberal blacks protesting the murder of George Floyd in Washington D.C. on June 1, 2020.

The reason for the difference: The George Floyd protesters were liberal blacks. The Capitol attackers were Right-wing whites.

Although their January 6 coup attempt failed, Republicans and their Right-wing allies at local, state and federal levels continue to plot at establishing an absolute dictatorship.

Can future Right-wing attacks on democracy be prevented?

Yes—provided those in the administration of President Joseph Biden are willing to use the same methods America has applied against foreign enemies. One option has already been discussed:

The Justice Department could wage all-out war on state and Federal Republican politicians plotting to subvert American democracy.   

Here is the second:

The Justice Department could begin waging all-out war on Right-wing militia groups planning to unleash violence in 2024. 

After 9/11, American law enforcement and Intelligence agencies initiated major reforms to focus on Islamic terrorism.

A similar reform effort, focusing on Right-wing terrorism, could include the following:

  • The FBI’s designating Right-wing political and terrorist groups as the Nation’s #1 enemy.  
  • Reviving the FBI’s legendary COINTELPRO (“Counterintelligence Program”) that destroyed the Ku Klux Klan in the late 1960s. Among the methods that can be used:  
  • Turning the Bureau’s powerful arsenal—bugs, wiretaps, informants, SWAT teams—on them.
  • Buying the cooperation of informants within Right-wing organizations.
  • Conducting “black bag jobs” to steal membership lists of of Right-wing organizations.
  • Breaking up the marriages of prominent Right-wingers by circulating rumors of their infidelity among their wives.
  • Informing the employers of known Right-wing terrorists of their employees’ criminal activity, resulting in the firing of untold numbers of them.
  • Contacting the news media to publicize the arrests of prominent Right-wing leaders.
  • When Right-wing terrorists target Federal law enforcement agents and/or their families for harassment or worse, they can be targeted for similar intimidation or removal.

FBI SWAT Team Training - YouTube

FBI SWAT member

A revised COINTELPRO could be supplemented by the following: 

  • Creating tip hotlines for reporting illegal Right-wing activities—and offering rewards for information that leads to arrests.
  • Prosecuting militia groups for violating Federal firearms laws. 
  • Treating calls for the murder of members of Congress—as Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene has done—as felonies punishable by lengthy imprisonment.
  • Prosecuting Right-wing leaders involved in the treasonous assault on the United States Capitol Building.
  • Prosecuting as “accessories to treason” all those Republican members of Congress who stoked Right-wing anger by lying that the 2020 Presidential election had been stolen from Donald Trump, although every objective news source proved he had lost.
  • Directing the Treasury Department’s Terrorist Finance Tracking Program (TFTP) at fundamentalist Christian churches that finance Right-wing terrorism-–just as it halts the financing of Islamic terrorist groups by Islamic organizations.

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  • Using drones, planes and/or helicopters to provide security against similar Right-wing terror demonstrations—especially in Washington, D.C.
  • Using the Federal Communications Commission to ban Fox News—the Nation’s #1 Right-wing propaganda network—from representing itself as a legitimate news network, and requiring that its stories carry labels warning viewers: “This is Right-wing propaganda, NOT news.”
  • Encouraging victims of Right-wing hate-speech to file libel/slander lawsuits against their abusers—such as the parents of murdered children at Sandy Hook Elementary School successfully did against Alex Jones. 
  • Using Federal anti-terrorist laws to arrest, prosecute and imprison Right-wingers who openly carry firearms and threaten violence, even if states allow such display of firearms. 
  • Seizing the assets of individuals and organizations found guilty of Right-wing terrorism offenses. 

Option 3: The “Caligula Solution.” 

Like Donald Trump, the Roman emperor Gaius Caligula delighted in humiliating others. His fatal mistake was taunting Cassius Chaerea, a member of his own bodyguard.    

On January 22 41 A.D. Chaerea and several other bodyguards hacked Caligula to death with swords before other guards could save him.

Trump has similarly behaved arrogantly toward his Secret Service guards.

  • He forced them to work without pay during his 35-day government shutdown in 2018.
  • He also forced them to accompany him to COVID-infected states—both during the Presidential campaign and afterward.
  • Many of them have been stricken with this often lethal disease as a result.

Even as an ex-President, Trump continues to insult anyone who challenges him. This includes not only Democrats but Republicans he feels don’t pay him sufficient homage—or, worse, dare to oppose him for the party’s 2024 Presidential nomination.

At the same time, he publicly exposes himself to a potential assassin virtually every day. And the mere presence of bodyguards is no guarantee against assassination. 

Presidential candidate George C. Wallace was shot and paralyzed by a gunman while mingling with supporters in a Maryland shopping center in 1972. And President Ronald Reagan was shot and almost killed in 1981 while walking to his bulletproof limousine in Washington, D.C.

Both men were under protection by the U.S. Secret Service at the time. 

PREVENTING THE RIGHT’S CIVIL WAR: PART THREE (OF FOUR)

In Bureaucracy, Law, Law Enforcement, Medical, Military, Social commentary on May 10, 2023 at 12:11 am

Can a Republican coup—or a Republican-inspired civil war—be prevented?          

In theory, yes—if the administration of President Joseph Biden is willing to use the same methods America has applied against foreign enemies. 

The Justice Department could wage all-out war on state and Federal Republican politicians plotting to subvert American democracy. 

By May 5, 2023, more than two years after the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol—more than 600 Stormtrumper rioters have been convicted.

Yet no major Donald Trump supporter has been arrested, let alone criminally indicted.

  • NOT Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who pressed lawmakers to overturn Joe Biden’s 2020 victory in Arizona and Wisconsin.
  • NOT Senators Ted Cruz (TX) and Josh Hawley (MO), who voted to reject the Electoral College votes from Arizona and Pennsylvania.
  • NOT Representatives Andy Biggs (AZ), Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA) and Lauren Boebert (CO) who voted to reject the Electoral College votes from Arizona and Pennsylvania.
  • And, above all, NOT Donald Trump. He not only incited his followers to attack the Capitol, he has spent the last year spreading poisonous lies that the 2020 election was “stolen” from him through “massive” voter fraud. As a result, he continues to undermine the democratic process as he terrorizes the Republican party to stand behind him.

Had anyone but a President orchestrated such an attack on Congress, the Justice Department would have come down on him with a vengeance. 

Obstructing Congressional or administrative proceedings is a Federal offense. According to 18 U.S.C 1505: It’s a felony, punishable by imprisonment of five to eight years if domestic or international terrorism is involved.

Before a prosecution can be initiated, three essential conditions must be met:

  1. There must be a proceeding pending before a department or agency of the United States.
  2. The defendant must know that a proceeding was occurring.
  3. S/he must have intentionally tried to “corruptly” influence, obstruct or impede the pending proceeding.

Every one of the men and women who stormed the Capitol Building stands guilty of violating U.S.C. 1505.

And so do those who egged them on—such as Missouri Rep. Mo Brooks and Missouri Senator Josh Hawley.

Still other Republican Congressional members played a coup-supporting role in trying to overturn the results of a legitimate Presidential election.

Hours after the Capitol attack, 147 Republicans who hid during the attempted coup returned to the House and Senate floors and voted just as Trump wanted them to: To overturn the election results in his favor, based on lies about widespread voter fraud.

The Justice Department could charge every one of these Congressional members as an accessory to terrorism under the USA Patriot Act for “activities that…appear to be intended…to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion [and]…occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.”

Seal of the United States Department of Justice.svg

United States Department of Justice

Had this happened early in 2021—by March or April at the latest—this would have sent a message that even the most ardent Trump supporters would have understood.

In addition, this would have deprived Republicans of the numerical power to obstruct the legislative agenda of the Joseph Biden administration.

Those members indicted would have been forced to spend most of their time strategizing with their attorneys to stay out of prison. They would have been forced to pony up huge legal fees—which would have had to come from funds intended for re-election campaigns.

(Contrary to popular belief, indictment—or even a felony conviction—of a member of Congress does not force him to vacate his seat.)

The Justice Department could begin waging all-out war on Right-wing militia groups planning to unleash violence in 2024. 

According to American political scientist George Michael: “Right-wing terrorism and violence has a long history in America.”

The Supreme Court’s decision, in Brown v. Board of Education (1954), striking down segregated facilities, unleashed a wave of Ku Klux Klan violence against blacks, civil rights activists and Jews. Between 1956 and 1963, an estimated 130 bombings ravaged the South. 

File:KKK-Flag.svg - Wikimedia Commons

Ku Klux Klan flag

During the 1980s, more than 75 Right-wing extremists were prosecuted in the United States for acts of terrorism, carrying out six attacks.

The April 19, 1995 attack on the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City by Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols killed 168 people. It was the deadliest act of domestic terrorism in the history of the United States until 9/11.

By 2020, Right-wing terrorism accounted for the majority of terrorist attacks and plots in the United States. A 2017 Government Accountability Office report stated that Right-wing extremist groups were responsible for 73% of violent extremist incidents resulting in deaths since September 12, 2001.

Right-wing violence rose sharply during the Barack Obama administration and especially during the Presidency of Donald Trump. His remark after the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that there were “some very fine people on both sides” convinced white supremacists that he favored their goals, if not their methods.

On January 6, 2021, thousands of Right-wing Donald Trump supporters—many of them armed—stormed the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.

U.S. Congress Under Attack, Trump Supporters Enter Capitol Building - YouTube

Their goal: To stop members of Congress from counting Electoral Votes cast in the 2020 Presidential election, from which former Vice President Joseph R. Biden was expected to emerge the winner. 

PREVENTING THE RIGHT’S CIVIL WAR: PART TWO (OF FOUR)

In Bureaucracy, History, Law, Law Enforcement, Medical, Military, Politics, Social commentary on May 9, 2023 at 12:10 am

“For more than a year now, with tacit and explicit support from their party’s national leaders, state Republican operatives have been building an apparatus of election theft. Elected officials in Arizona, Texas, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, and other states have studied Donald Trump’s crusade to overturn the 2020 election.”   

So opened a frightening, December 9, 2021 article in The Atlantic: “Trump’s Next Coup Has Already Begun.”        

Wrote Barton Gellman:    

“They have noted the points of failure and have taken concrete steps to avoid failure next time. Some of them have rewritten statutes to seize partisan control of decisions about which ballots to count and which to discard, which results to certify and which to reject.

“They are driving out or stripping power from election officials who refused to go along with the plot last November, aiming to replace them with exponents of the Big Lie. They are fine-tuning a legal argument that purports to allow state legislators to override the choice of the voters.”

Can this be pre-empted?  

In theory, yes—provided those in the administration of President Joseph Biden are willing to use the same methods America has applied against foreign enemies.

The Justice Department could wage all-out war on state and Federal Republican politicians plotting to subvert American democracy.  

Seal of the United States Department of Justice.svg

Seal of the Justice Department

The place to start would be with former President Donald Trump. 

On January 6, 2021, he incited—on TV—thousands of his fanatical supporters to storm the United States Capitol Building where Electoral College votes in the 2020 Presidential election were being counted.  

Trump knew that former Vice President Joseph Biden had received more Electoral College votes than he had—306 to 232. 

And he wanted that vote-count stopped—thus allowing him to remain in office as “President-for-Life.”

For weeks Trump had ordered his legions of Right-wing Stormtrumpers to descend on Washington, D.C. on January 6. 

On December 20, 2020, he had tweeted: “Statistically impossible to have lost the 2020 Election. Big protest in DC on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!” 

In tweets, he promoted the rally again on December 27 and 30, and January 1.

Thus, through his lies, he had aroused the fury of his Right-wing supporters.

It would take only his command to send it hurtling at his perceived enemies: Those who would dare elect Joseph Biden in his place.

Melania Trump 'disappointed' by Trump supporters' Capitol riot - ABC7 Chicago

Donald Trump addresses his Stormtrumpers 

On January 6, Trump appeared at the Ellipse, a 52-acre park south of the White House fence and north of Constitution Avenue and the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

A stage had been set up for him to address tens of thousands of his supporters, who eagerly awaited him. 

Trump ordered them to march on the Capitol building to express their anger at the voting process and to intimidate their elected officials to reject the results: 

“And after this, we’re going to walk down and I’ll be there with you. We’re going to walk down to the Capitol. And we’re going to cheer on our brave Senators and Congressmen and women and we’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them.

“Because you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength and you have to be strong. We have come to demand that Congress do the right thing and only count the electors who have been lawfully slated.”

The Stormtrumpers marched to the United States Capitol—and quickly overwhelmed Capitol Police.

  • Members of the mob attacked police with chemical agents or lead pipes. 
  • Many  of  the  lawmakers’  office buildings were occupied  and  vandalized—including  that  of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a favorite Right-wing target.
  • Shouts of “Hang Pence!” and “Hang Pelosi!” often rang out. 
  • According to CBS News, more than 150 officers were injured in the attack.
  • Several rioters carried plastic handcuffs, possibly intending to take hostages.
  • Others carried treasonous Confederate flags.  

These are some of the high-profile figures who were seen storming the US Capitol

Stormtrumpers scaling Capitol Building walls

After more than three hours, police—using riot gear, shields and batons—retook control of the Capitol. 

And Trump?  After giving his inflammatory speech, he returned to the White House to watch his handiwork on television. Although he received multiple pleas to publicly call for his supporter to stand down, he refused to do so.

Two years and three months later—by May 5—more than 600 Stormtrumper rioters have been convicted.

Yet no major Trump supporter has been arrested, let alone convicted.

  • NOT Trump’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani, who cried to the demonstrators, “Let’s have trial by combat!”
  • NOT Donald Trump, Jr., who, just hours before the Trump mob stormed Congress, threatened Republican lawmakers at a large rally outside the White House: “These guys better fight for Trump. Because if they’re not, guess what? I’m going to be in your backyard in a couple of months!”
  • And, above all, NOT Donald Trump. He not only incited his followers to attack the Capitol, he has spent the last year spreading poisonous lies that the 2020 election was “stolen” from him through “massive” voter fraud. To this day, he continues to undermine the democratic process as he terrorizes the Republican party to stand behind him.

NEXT UP: How to prosecute Trump-supporting Republican politicians.  

PREVENTING THE RIGHT’S CIVIL WAR: PART ONE (OF FOUR)

In Bureaucracy, History, Law, Law Enforcement, Medical, Military, Politics, Social commentary on May 8, 2023 at 12:10 am

If a second American Civil War erupts, it will be vastly different from the first one.        

The first one lasted from 1861 to 1865. It pitted 13 Southern states against 19 fighting for the Union. 

The Southern states consisted of: South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina, Kentucky and Missouri. 

The states fighting for the Union consisted of: Maine, New York, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, California, Nevada, and Oregon.

Map of U.S. showing two kinds of Union states, two phases of secession and territories

Civil War America

Júlio Reis, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0&gt;, via Wikimedia Commons

It’s estimated that 750,000 Americans lost their lives during the Civil War—110,000 Union soldiers died in battle as opposed to 258,000 Confederates

The overwhelming reason for the war: Slavery. Southern states wanted to preserve it. Northern ones wanted to abolish it. And, in 1860, Northern states had elected Abraham Lincoln—an anti-slavery candidate—the 16th President of the United States.

But the blunt truth remained: Lincoln had no authority to abolish slavery—which had been legally upheld by the United States Supreme Court. And, in his Inaugural Address, he said exactly that:

“I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.”

But he warned that he would not allow the Union to be peacefully dissolved. “We cannot separate. …The Union….will constitutionally defend, and maintain itself.

“In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The government will not assail you. You can have no conflict, without being yourselves the aggressors.”

A bearded Abraham Lincoln showing his head and shoulders

Abraham Lincoln

Ultimately, the South wanted to secede from the Union to preserve its “peculiar institution.” It did not seek to conquer the North and made no military moves against it—until April 12, 1861. 

That was when Confederate batteries in South Carolina’s Charleston Harbor opened fire on Union Fort Sumter. The next day, the fort surrendered. 

The attack led directly to the outbreak of the American Civil War, which lasted until April 9, 1865. Confederate general Robert E. Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia to Union general Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House. 

A second Civil War would erupt with an entirely different goal in mind. Republican states do not want to be “left alone” by Washington and/or Democratic-controlled states. They want to dictatorially rule Democratically-controlled states from Washington.

And their populations believe that, through Donald Trump, they can achieve just such control. 

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Donald Trump

To achieve victory in the 2024 Presidential election, legislators in Republican-controlled states are now working to nullify the votes of millions of Democratic voters

Thousands—or millions—of votes will be thrown away, to ensure that the Democratic winner will be declared the loser. The Republican loser will be certified President-elect.

According to a December 9, 2021 article in The Atlantic“Trump’s Next Coup Has Already Begun”-–while those who believe in democracy are blissfully ignoring the approaching threat:

Democrats, big and small D, are not behaving as if they believe the threat is real. Some of them, including President Joe Biden, have taken passing rhetorical notice, but their attention wanders. They are making a grievous mistake.”

“The democratic emergency is already here,” says Richard L. Hasen, a professor of law and political science at UC Irvine. “We face a serious risk that American democracy as we know it will come to an end in 2024, but urgent action is not happening.”

And retiring journalist Brian Williams echoes this fear:

“My biggest worry is for my country. I’m not a liberal or a conservative. I’m an institutionalist. I believe in this place. And in my love of my country I yield to no one, but the darkness on the edge of town has spread to the main roads and highways and neighborhoods. It’s now at the local bar and the bowling alley, the school broad and the grocery store. It must be acknowledged and answered for.

“Grown men and women who swore an oath to our constitution, elected by our constituents, possessing the kinds of college degrees I can only dream of, have decided to join the mob and become something they are not, while hoping we somehow forget who they were.

“They’ve decided to burn it all down with us inside. That should scare you to no end as much as it scares an aging volunteer fireman.” 

Brian Williams is leaving MSNBC. What's next? - CNN Video

Brian Williams

From The Atlantic

“For more than a year now, with tacit and explicit support from their party’s national leaders, state Republican operatives have been building an apparatus of election theft. Elected officials in Arizona, Texas, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, and other states have studied Donald Trump’s crusade to overturn the 2020 election.

“They have noted the points of failure and have taken concrete steps to avoid failure next time. Some of them have rewritten statutes to seize partisan control of decisions about which ballots to count and which to discard, which results to certify and which to reject.” 

NEXT UP: How the coming Donald Trump dictatorship can be prevented.

ONCE AGAIN, ACCOMPLICES TO OUR OWN DESTRUCTION: PART TWO (END)

In Bureaucracy, History, Law, Law Enforcement, Military, Politics, Social commentary on March 31, 2023 at 12:13 am

Once he became the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump began undermining one public or private institution after another.         

On November 3, 2020, 80 million voters decided they wanted a change—and elected former Vice President Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States.

Trump refused to accept that verdict. 

Speaking from the White House in the early hours of November 4, he said:

“Millions and millions of people voted for us tonight, and a very sad group of people is trying to disenfranchise that group of people and we won’t stand for it.”

For the first time in American history, a President demanded a halt to the counting of votes while the outcome of an election hung in doubt.

States ignored his demand and kept counting.

Next, Trump ordered his attorneys to file lawsuits to overturn the election results, charging electoral fraud.

Specifically:

  • Illegal aliens had been allowed to vote.
  • Trump ballots had been systematically destroyed.
  • Tampered voting machines had turned Trump votes into Biden ones.

Throughout November and December, cases were filed in Wisconsin, Arizona, Nevada, Michigan, Minnesota and Georgia challenging the election results. And, one by one, more than 30 cases were withdrawn by Trump’s attorneys or dismissed by Federal judges—some of them appointed by Trump himself.

For 20 days, General Services Administrator Emily Murphy refused to release $7.3 million in transition funding and Federal resources to the President-elect’s team.

Under the law governing presidential transitions, Murphy was responsible for determining the winner based on publicly available information before the actual Electoral College vote. 

Finally, on November 23, Murphy released the transition funding and resources.

Losing in the courts, Trump invited two Republican legislative leaders from Michigan to the White House to persuade them to stop the state from certifying the vote.

Nothing changed. 

On December 5, Trump called Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and asked him to call a special legislative session and convince state legislators to select their own electors that would support him, thus overturning Biden’s win.

Kemp refused, saying he lacked the authority to do so.

Meanwhile, top Republicans—such as Vice President Mike Pence and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell—refused to congratulate Biden as the winner. 

None of them branded Trump’s efforts to overturn the election as those of a tyrant.

Just as Germans did nothing to stop Adolf Hitler’s inexorable march toward war—and the destruction of millions of lives and Germany itself—so, too, did Americans seem paralyzed to put an end to the equally self-destructive reign of the man often dubbed “Carrot Caligula.”

Gaius Caligula was “the mad emperor” of ancient Rome. Like Trump, he lived by a philosophy of “Let them hate me, so long as they fear me.”

He ruled as the most powerful man of his time—three years, 10 months and eight days. And all but the first six months of his reign were drenched in slaughter and debauchery.   

There are basically three ways America’s continuing slide into tyranny could have been stopped:

Congressional Republicans could have revolted against Trump’s authority and/or agenda.

They could, for example, have demanded that Trump accept the verdict of the electorate—as every other past President had. But they didn’t.

Invoking the Twenty-Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

This allows the Vice President and a majority of the Cabinet to recommend the removal of the President in cases where he is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.” It also allows the House and Senate to confirm the recommendation over the President’s objection by two-thirds vote. 

The Vice President then takes over as President.

A case could easily have been made that Trump, emotionally distraught over his loss and determined to circumvent the will of the electorate, had been rendered unfit to continue in office. But, once again, Republicans let fear be their guide.

He had fired FBI Director James Comey in 2017 and publicly humiliated his Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, for more than a year until firing him in 2018. Vice President Mike Pence in particular had set new records for sycophancy. 

The “Caligula solution.” Like Trump, Roman emperor Gaius Caligula delighted in humiliating others. His fatal mistake was taunting Cassius Chaerea, a member of his own bodyguard. Caligula considered Chaerea effeminate because of a weak voice and mocked him with names like “Priapus” and “Venus.”

Gaius Caligula

On January 22 41 A.D. Chaerea and several other bodyguards hacked Caligula to death with swords before other guards could save him.

Trump had similarly behaved arrogantly toward his Secret Service guards. He forced them to work without pay during his 35-day government shutdown in 2018. He also forced them to accompany him to COVID-infected states—both during the Presidential campaign and afterward. Many of them were stricken with this often lethal disease as a result. 

During the 12 years that Adolf Hitler ruled Nazi Germany, at least 42 assassination plots were launched against him.

The best-known of these literally exploded on July 20, 1944, when Colonel Count Claus Shenk von Stauffenberg planted a bomb in a conference room attended by Hitler and his generals. Hitler survived only by sheer luck. 

By contrast, no similar plot was aimed at Donald Trump.

ONCE AGAIN, ACCOMPLICES TO OUR OWN DESTRUCTION: PART ONE (OF TWO)

In Bureaucracy, History, Law, Law Enforcement, Military, Politics, Social commentary on March 30, 2023 at 12:13 am

“Why are we letting one man systematically destroy our nation before our eyes?”       

It’s a question millions of Americans asked themselves since Donald Trump became President of the United States.

Millions of Germans asked themselves the same question throughout the six years of World War II.

In September, 1938, as Adolf Hitler threatened to go to war against France and England over Czechoslovakia, most Germans feared he would. They knew that Germany was not ready for war, despite all of their Fuhrer’s boasts about how invincible the Third Reich was.

A group of high-ranking German army officers was prepared to overthrow Hitler—provided that England and France held firm and handed him a major diplomatic reverse.

But then England and France—though more powerful than Germany—flinched at the thought of war.

They surrendered to Hitler’s demands that he be given the “Sudetenland”—the northern, southwest and western regions of Czechoslovakia, inhabited mostly by ethnic Germans.

Hitler’s popularity among Germans soared. He had expanded the territories of the Reich by absorbing Austria and Czechoslovakia—without a shot being fired!

The plotters in the German high command, realizing that public opinion stood overwhelmingly against them, abandoned their plans for a coup. They decided to wait for a more favorable time.

It never came.

Adolf Hitler and his generals

Less than one year after the infamous “Munich conference,” England and France were at war—and fighting for the lives of their peoples.

As for the Germans: Most of them blindly followed their Fuhrer right to the end—believing his lies (or at least wanting to believe them), serving in his legions, defending his rampant criminality.

And then, in April, 1945, with Russian armies pouring into Berlin, it was too late for conspiracies against the man who had led them to total destruction. 

Soviet flag waves over defeated Nazi Germany

Berliners paid the price for their loyalty to a murderous dictator—through countless rapes, murders and the wholesale destruction of their city. And from 1945 to 1989, Germans living in the eastern part of their country paid the price as slaves to the Soviet Union. 

Have Americans learned anything from this warning from history about subservience to a madman? 

The answer seems to be half-no, half-yes.

Half-no: In 2016, almost 63 million Americans elected Donald Trump—a racist, serial adulterer and longtime fraudster—as President.

On November 3, 2020, 81,255,933 Democratic voters outvoted  74,196,153 Republican voters to elect former Vice President Joseph Biden as the 46th President of the United States.

Related image

Donald Trump

Upon taking office on January 20, 2017, Trump began undermining one public or private institution after another.   

  • Repeatedly attacking the nation’s free press for daring to report his growing list of crimes and disasters, calling it “the enemy of the American people.”
  • Siding with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin against the FBI, CIA and National Security Agency which unanimously agreed that Russia had subverted the 2016 Presidential election. 
  • Firing FBI Director James Comey for investigating that subversion.
  • Giving Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergey  Kislyak highly classified CIA Intelligence about an Islamic State plot to turn laptops into concealable bombs.  
  • Shutting down the Federal Government for 35 days because Democrats refused to fund his ineffective “border wall” between the United States and Mexico. An estimated 380,000 government employees were furloughed and another 420,000 were ordered to work without pay. The shutdown ended due to public outrage—without Trump getting the funding amount he had demanded.
  • Trying to coerce Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to smear former Vice President Joe Biden, who was likely to be his Democratic opponent in the 2020 Presidential election.
  • Allowing the deadly COVID-19 virus to ravage the country, infecting (to date) 14.8 million Americans and killing 282,000.
  • Attacking medical experts and governors who urged Americans to wear masks and socially distance to protect themselves from COVID-19.
  • Ordering his Right-wing followers to defy states’ orders to citizens to “stay-at-home” and wear of masks in public to halt surging COVID-19 rates.

And throughout all those outrages, House and Senate Republican majorities remained silent or vigorously supported him.

A typical example:

On June 4, 2020, during protests over the police murder of black security guard George Floyd, a curfew was imposed on Buffalo, New York. As police swept through Niagara Square, Martin Gugino, a 75-year-old peace activist with the Catholic Worker Movement, walked into their path as if attempting to speak with them.

Two officers pushed him and he fell backwards, hitting the back of his head on the pavement and losing consciousness. 

On June 9, Trump charged that Gugino was part of a radical leftist “set up.” Trump offered no evidence to back up his slander.

Typical Republican responses included:  

  • Kentucky Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to say whether Trump’s tweet was appropriate.
  • Texas Senator Ted Cruz: “I don’t comment on the tweets.” 
  • Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson said he hadn’t seen the tweet—and didn’t want it read to him: “I would rather not hear it.”
  • Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander: “Voters can evaluate that. I’m not going to give a running commentary on the President’s tweets.”

Half-yes: On November 3, 2020, 80 million voters decided they wanted a change—and elected former Vice President Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States.

IF “QUEERS” STRIKE BACK: PART THREE (END)

In Bureaucracy, Law, Law Enforcement, Medical, Politics, Social commentary on March 1, 2023 at 12:12 am

Given the all-out Republican assault on their liberties, gays could become convinced that they are becoming the targets of state-sponsored terrorism—as were Jews in Nazi Germany.   

In such a case, they may turn to a more drastic means than elections and the courts to protect themselves: Violence.

Political violence has a long and deadly history in the United States.    

Before the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, violence was commonplace along the Kansas-Missouri border as pro- and anti-slavery elements slaughtered one another.

After the Civil War ended in 1865, Ku Klux Klansmen across the South terrorized blacks into submission even though slavery was now illegal.

With the advent of the civil rights movement in 1960, blacks and their supporters once again became targets for violence.

A minority of black leaders like Malcom X and H. Rapp Brown told blacks they should violently defend themselves. But the vast majority of blacks—including bloodied civil rights workers—adhered to Martin Luther King’s call for non-violence.

Martin Luther King (left), Malcom X (right)

Still, there is no guarantee that those who suffer persecution and violence will remain non-violent. Their motive could be revenge—or to send a message to ward off future attacks.

Such was the fate of SS-Obergruppenfuhrer Reinhard Heydrich.. 

A tall, blond-haired formal naval officer, he was both a champion fencer and talented violinist. Heydrich joined the Schutzstaffel, or Protective Squads, better known as the SS, in 1931, and quickly became head of its counterintelligence service.

Reinhard Heydrich

In September, 1941, Heydrich was appointed “Reich Protector” of Czechoslovakia, which had fallen prey to Germany in 1938 but whose citizens were growing restless under Nazi rule.   

Heydrich immediately ordered a purge, executing 92 people within the first three days of his arrival in Prague. By February, 1942, 4,000-5,000 people had been arrested.

In January, 1942, Heydrich convened a meeting of high-ranking political and military leaders in Wannsee, Germany, to streamline “the Final Solution to the Jewish Question.”  

An estimated six million Jews were thus slaughtered.

On May 27, 1942, two British-trained Czech commandos—Jan Kubis and Joseph Gabcik—waited in Prague at a hairpin turn in the road always taken by Heydrich. When Heydrich’s Mercedes slowed down, Gabcik raised his machinegun—which jammed.

Heydrich ordered his driver to halt so he could take aim at his would-be assassins. It proved a fatal mistake.

Rising in his seat, he aimed his revolver at Gabcik—as Kubis lobbed a hand grenade at the car. The explosion drove steel and leather fragments of the car’s upholstery into Heydrich’s diaphragm, spleen and lung.

Hitler dispatched doctors from Berlin to save the Reich Protector. But infection set in, and on June 4, Heydrich died at age 38.  

Heydrich’s wrecked Mercedes

The assassination sent shockwaves through the upper echelons of the Third Reich. No one had dared assault—much less assassinate—a high-ranking Nazi official.

The Nazis had slaughtered tens of thousands without hesitation—or fear that the same might happen to them. 

Suddenly they realized that the fury they had aroused could be turned against themselves.

Which brings us to the leaders of America’s own Right-wing.

The names of infamous Nazis were widely known:

  • Reichsmarshall Hermann Goering;
  • Propaganda Minister Paul Joseph Goebbels;
  • SS-Reichsfuhrer Heinrich Himmler;
  • Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop;
  • SS Obergruppenfuhrer Reinhard Heydrich;
  • Adolf Hitler.

And so are the names of infamous leaders of the American Right: 

  • Texas Senator Ted Cruz; 
  • Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas;
  • Commentator Tucker Carlson;
  • Evangelist Franklin Graham;
  • Florida Governor Ron DeSantis; 
  • Former President Donald Trump.

The differences between these two infamous groups are these:

In Nazi Germany, ordinary Germans could not learn about the personal lives of their dictators—including their home addresses—and conspire against them.

In the United States, ordinary citizens can learn about the personal lives of their would-be dictators by newspapers, Internet and TV—even on the Right’s own propaganda network, Fox News. “People finder” websites, for a modest price, provide names and addresses of potential targets—and their relatives. 

In Nazi Germany, firearms were tightly controlled.

In the United States, the Right-wing National Rifle Association has successfully lobbied to put lethal firepower into the hands of virtually anyone who wants it.  

Since their reversal of abortion rights in Roe v. Wade on June 24, 2022, at least six Right-wing Supreme Court Justices have lived under heavy guard by the U.S. Marshals Service. They may well be forced to do so for the rest of their lives. 

But radical evangelists like Franklin Graham and Right-wing propagandists like Tucker Carlson cannot expect lifelong government protection. They would have to provide their own security—or take their chances.

So many Republicans are calling for an all-out war on gays that any number of them could become the targets—and victims—of retaliation. 

Republicans boast that they want to “get the government off the backs of the people.” Yet they are waging war against people for the most intimate of reasons: Their choice of sex partners. 

Reinhard Heydrich believed he was invulnerable to the hatred of the enemies he had raised against himself. That arrogance cost him his life.    

The day may soon come when America’s own Right-wingers start learning the same lesson.

IF “QUEERS” STRIKE BACK: PART TWO (OF THREE)

In Bureaucracy, History, Law, Law Enforcement, Medical, Politics, Social commentary on February 28, 2023 at 12:13 am

The politics of “smear and fear” have been good to Republicans—and their Right-wing allies.       

Meanwhile, the Republican “base” refuses to learn that those who portray themselves as morally superior are usually:

  1. Hypocrites, who are in effect saying: “Do as I say, not as I do,” or   
  2. Fanatics, who intend to force their version of morality on others.

So long as millions of hate-filled Right-wingers support the endless succession of “two minute hates,” Republicans will continue to target an endless series of victims.

And Right-wingers who are stirred up by Republicans’ anti-gay rhetoric often target gays, lesbians and transgenders in violent attacks. 

  • According to the Southern Poverty Law Center: “In the first six months of 2022, the Proud Boys counterprotested or harassed people on at least 28 separate occasions at LGBTQ and reproductive justice events around the country – together acting as a coordinated attack on gender equity and bodily autonomy….
  • “On June 26, library patrons attending a drag queen story hour at a public library in Sparks, Nevada, encountered what has now become an increasingly regular sight: a group of men clad in the Proud Boys’ black-and-yellow uniform.
  • “They held signs that accused participants of ‘grooming’ children and yelled at parents that they were ‘sick.’ One of those Proud Boys allegedly approached the building with a gun, causing patrons – including a number of children – to flee inside to safety. ‘We had some people who were visibly shaken and sobbing,’ a librarian told a local reporter.”     

Proud Boys PB and Wreath Logo.jpg

Proud Boys Flag

Anthony Crider, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0&gt;, via Wikimedia Commons

According to a December 10, 2022 story in Business Insider:

  • “By the end of November, far-right activists took part in at least 55 public actions targeting members of the LGBT+ community — up from 16 the year before, an increase of some 340% — with a corresponding rise in violent attacks on people perceived to be gay or transgender, according to a report released this week by the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project, or ACLED….
  • “While racism remains the primary driver of the far right,  anti-LGBTQ actions have ‘fueled the largest increase in far-right protest activity,’ [according to an FBI annual risk assessment for 2022] with the rise in such activity ‘strongly’ correlating with a rise in violent attacks, of which there have been no fewer than 20, including the murder….of five people at a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs. Though we don’t have a specific motive the suspect has a history of online and offline bigotry.” 

So what’s the reason for the GOP’s constantly dialing up fear and hatred of gays? 

“They have an interest in keeping the base riled up about one thing or another, and when one issue fades, as with same-sex relationships and same-sex marriage, they’ve got to find something else. It’s almost frantic,” said Randall Balmer, a Dartmouth professor who authored Bad Faith: Race and the Rise of the Religious Right.

Bad Faith: Race and the Rise of the Religious Right: Balmer, Randall: 9780802879349: Amazon.com: Books

According to Balmer, the rise of the Religious Right was now driving Republican support for anti-trans legislation.

White Right-wing evangelicals backed Ronald Reagan against Jimmy Carter in 1980 and catapulted him to the White House.

Any Republican who wanted to gain the Presidency had to pay homage to the evangelical base, Balmer says.

In 2015, Donald Trump initially campaigned on welcoming gays and lesbians into the Republican platform. But he soon dropped this stance to win support from Right-wing evangelicals.

Related image

Donald Trump

That support proved crucial to his gaining the White House—just as it had proved crucial to Reagan in 1980 and 1984.

Gays have fought back on political and legal fronts, with mixed success.

According to move.org, among the best states for gays are: California, Oregon, Colorado and New York.

It’s no coincidence that these states have a majority Democratic population and legislature.

Among the worst states for gays are: Arizona, Idaho, Texas, Oklahoma, Wyoming, Arkansas and South Carolina

Gays increasingly fear that the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade could lead to a reversal of its previous legalizing of same-sex marriage.

And this could very well happen. For decades, abortion rights advocates believed the Court wouldn’t dare strike down a right it had recognized as far back as 1973. 

Immediately following the Court’s decision on Roe, Justice Clarence Thomas said that the landmark high court rulings that legalized same-sex marriage and contraception rights should be reconsidered.

Clarence Thomas official SCOTUS portrait.jpg

Clarence Thomas

Thomas’ remark has been widely interpreted as an invitation to Right-wing states to bring challenges to those rulings.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton hopes the state legislature enacts a law that criminalizes sodomy so he can defend it at the Supreme Court.

And Stuart Adams, the Republican president of the State Senate, would support Utah’s joining other states to press the Supreme Court’s ending the right to same-sex marriage. 

Given the all-out Republican assault on their liberties, gays could become convinced that they are becoming the targets of state-sponsored terrorism—as were Jews in Nazi Germany.

In such a case, they may turn to a more drastic means than elections and the courts to protect themselves: Violence.

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable,” said President John F. Kennedy in a 1962 address on the first anniversary of the Alliance for Progress.

His warning remains as valid today as it did 61 years ago. 

IF “QUEERS” STRIKE BACK: PART ONE (OF THREE)

In Bureaucracy, History, Law, Law Enforcement, Medical, Politics, Social commentary on February 27, 2023 at 12:12 am

In a June 19, 2015 editorial, Rolling Stone magazine writer Jeb Lund noted:        

“The Republican Party has weaponized its supporters, made violence a virtue and, with almost every pronouncement for 50 years, given them an enemy politicized, racialized and indivisible.

“Movement conservatives have fetishized a tendentious and ahistorical reading of the Second Amendment to the point that the Constitution itself somehow paradoxically ‘legitimizes’ an armed insurrection against the government created by it.

“Those leading said insurrection are swaddled by the blanket exculpation of patriotism. At the same time, they have synonymized the Democratic Party with illegitimacy and abuse of the American order.

“This is no longer an argument about whether one party’s beliefs are beneficial or harmful, but an attitude that labels leftism so antithetical to the American idea that empowering it on any level is an act of usurpation.”

Not content with this, Republicans have aimed slander and hatred at those who dare to vote Democratic. In the past, this has included:

  • Blacks
  • Women
  • The disabled
  • Environmentalists
  • Liberals 

More recently, the groups Republicans most delight in vilifying are:

  • Hispanics
  • Gays
  • Lesbians
  • Transgenders

Republican National Committee | LinkedIn

George Orwell’s classic 1949 novel, 1984, serves as a better guide to Republican electioneering strategy than any official statement of the GOP. 

1984 is set in a futuristic dictatorship called Oceania, whose constantly alternating mortal enemies are Eurasia and Eastasia.

A daily fixture of life in Oceania is the “Two Minutes Hate.” During this, Party members must watch a film depicting the Party’s enemies and express their hatred for them in exactly two minutes.

Chief among these is Emmanuel Goldstein, who is obviously based on Leon Trotsky, the longtime antagonist of Joseph Stalin, dictator of the Soviet Union for almost 30 years.

The “Two Minutes Hate” serves as a form of brainwashing, whose purpose is to whip ordinary citizens into a frenzy of hatred and loathing for whoever the Party designates as its—and their—-mortal enemies.

It fully describes the motivations—and effects—of Republicans’ attacks on their self-proclaimed enemies.

Without a speck of evidence to back up such defamatory claims, Republicans—both politicians and their followers—attack Democratic candidates as “groomers” and “pedophiles.” 

This has led to deadly attacks on gays, lesbians and transgenders.

In December, 2014, Republicans in the Michigan House of Representatives passed “The Religious Freedom Restoration Act.”

The bill allows public agencies and private businesses to refuse service to anyone under the claim that their “religious beliefs” had been affronted.

And the State government is legally prevented from intervening if a person claimed that his/her “deeply-held religious beliefs” was the reason for acting—or not acting—in a certain way.

Thus:

  • An emergency room doctor can refuse service to a gay or lesbian needing medical care.
  • A pharmacist can refuse to fill a doctor’s prescription for birth control or HIV medication.
  • A DMV clerk can refuse to give a driver’s license to someone who’s divorced.  
  • An employer can deny equal pay to women.

Republicans have introduced similar “right-to-discriminate” legislation in other states as well:

  • On March 28, 2022, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law the “Parental Rights in Education” bill. This bans public school teachers from holding classroom instruction about sexual orientation or gender identity in kindergarten through grade three.
  • In October, 33 Congressional Republicans introduced a similar “Don’t Say Gay” bill that would prohibit, on a nationwide basis, the use of federal funds “to develop, implement, facilitate, or fund any sexually-oriented program, event, or literature for children under the age of 10, and for other purposes.”
  • On June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court’s reversed Roe v. Wade, guaranteeing a woman’s legal right to abortion. Soon afterward, Texas, Attorney General Ken Paxton said that he would willingly defend at the Supreme Court any law the Legislature enacted that criminalized sodomy. 
  • In Utah, Stuart Adams, the Republican president of the State Senate, said he would support Utah’s joining with other states to press the Supreme Court to end the right to same-sex marriage. 

Republicans have defended such legislation by equating gays with child predators.

In fact, the Child Molestation Research & Prevention Institute states that 90% of child molesters target children in their network of family and friends, and the majority are men married to women.

Yet Republicans and their Rightist allies have refused to condemn such heterosexual—and Right-wing—child molesters as Dennis Hastert and Josh Duggar.

Josh Duggar, the “all-American” child molester

On May 21, 2015, responding to press leaks, Duggar resigned as director of the Family Research Council, a Right-wing organization dedicated to fighting sexually-oriented issues such as same-sex marriage, abortion and pornography.

In 2002-3, as a 14-15 year-old, Duggar had fondled the breasts and vaginas of five underage girls—four of whom were his own sisters.

And on October 28, 2015, Hastert—Speaker of the House of Representatives from 1999 to 2007–pleaded guilty to structuring money transactions in a way to avoid requirements to report where the money was going.

The reason: One of his victims had started blackmailing him.

Dennis Hastert

The reason: To conceal the truth about his past as a child molester. Hastert had abused four young boys when he was their high school wrestling coach. One was only 14 years old

HOW DEMOCRATS CAN DEFEAT EXTORTION: PART TWO (END)

In Bureaucracy, History, Law, Law Enforcement, Politics, Social commentary on January 18, 2023 at 12:13 am

….A man who wishes to make a profession of goodness in everything must inevitably come to grief among so many who are not good.  And therefore it is necessary, for a prince who wishes to maintain himself, to learn how not to be good, and to use this knowledge and not use it, according to the necessity of the case.
—Niccolo Machiavelli’s advice to President Joseph Biden in “The Prince”

Related image

Niccolo Machiavelli

Republicans, having won control of the House of Representatives, are eagerly seeking to destroy whatever legacy President Joseph R. Biden hopes to leave.

Intending to abuse their new-found powers to the utmost, their topmost goals include:

  • Bringing false impeachment charges against President Biden;
  • Investigating FBI officials who rightly investigated evidence of Donald Trump’s collaboration with Russia;
  • Investigating the President’s son, Hunter, for unspecified offenses, to damage his father’s credibility; and
  • Holding America’s economy hostage by refusing to raise the debt ceiling unless Biden makes cuts in taxes and aid programs for the poor and middle class.

Yet their dictatorial ambitions—lavishly funded by Russian “campaign contributions” (i.e., bribes)—can be thwarted. 

Two methods for achieving this have already been discussed in Part one of this series: 

  1. Attack Republicans as traitors selling out the country to Vladimir Putin, and
  2. Concede NOTHING to Republicans

Here are two more: 

Counterattack Strategy #3: One Biden for Two Trumps

House Republicans will undoubtedly attack Joseph Biden’s son, Hunter, to damage the President’s  credibility.

“What’s on Hunter’s laptop?” will become their latest version of “Who promoted Peress?” Irving Peress was a New York City dentist who became a primary target for Red-baiting Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy during the 1954 Army-McCarthy hearings.

Democrats cannot prevent this attack. Republicans are too dedicated to the politics of “smear and fear” to be persuaded otherwise.

But Democrats can at least effectively blunt it: Senatorial Democrats can hold similar investigative hearings on the actions of Donald Trump, Jr., and Eric Trump during their father’s White House tenure.

Both were highly involved with President Trump’s finances during his four years in office. And Trump never hesitated to violate the Emoluments Clause of the United States Constitution. 

Constitution of the United States, page 1.jpg

United States Constitution

Article I, Section 9, Paragraph 8 prohibits federal office holders from receiving gifts, payments, or anything of value from a foreign state or its rulers, officers, or representatives.

The Founders wanted to ensure that the country’s leaders would not be corrupted, even unconsciously, through bribes. At that time, bribery was a common practice among European rulers and diplomats. 

Trump encouraged diplomats, lobbyists and insiders to stay at his Washington, D.C. hotel—which lay only a short walk from the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue.

And the prices charged there weren’t cheap:

  • Cocktails ran from $23 for a gin and tonic to $100 for a vodka concoction with raw oysters and caviar.
  • A seafood pyramid called “the Trump Tower” cost $120.
  • A salt-aged Kansas City strip steak cost $59.  

It’s a certainty that Trump’s sons, Eric and Donald, Jr., oversaw the profits sheet for this hotel—and other Trump properties across the country visited by members of foreign governments.

Thus, there are legitimate avenues for investigation open to Senatorial subcommittees—just as Robert F. Kennedy once probed financial ties between the Mafia and the International Brother of Teamsters Union. 

The Justice Department might even be persuaded to launch its own investigation—not only into possible financial corruption during the Trump administration but into widespread reports of cocaine use by Donald, Jr. 

Donald Trump, Jr. (51770696331) (cropped).jpg

Donald Trump, Jr.

Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0&gt;, via Wikimedia Commons

The House cannot bring criminal penalties against anyone. But the Justice Department can.

Counterattack Strategy #4: One Biden for Two Houses of Congress

After Donald Trump refused to concede the 2020 Presidential election, 17 Republican state Attorney Generals—and 126 Republican members from both houses of Congress—supported a Texas lawsuit to overturn the results in four battleground states: Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. 

This was nothing less than a Right-wing coup attempt to overturn the results of a legitimate election. As a result, every one of these men and women can be legitimately indicted for treason—provided the Biden Justice Department has has the courage to do so.

Had the Justice Department brought such indictments in 2021 or 2022, the Republican party would now be facing legal and financial ruin. 

Even if some of its members escaped conviction, they would have been forced to pony up tens of thousands of dollars in legal expenses. 

And those who were convicted and sent to prison would serve as a long-remembered lesson to the Right of the dangers of treason and abuse of power. 

For decades, Republicans have turned Carl von Clausewitz’ famous dictum—“War is the continuation of politics by other means”—on its head: “Politics is a continuation of war by other means.” 

By contrast, Democrats have too often adhered to the Michelle Obama mantra: “When they go low, we go high.”

That strategy has given the United States Richard Nixon, Spiro Agnew, George W. Bush, Donald Trump—and a Republican Congress willing to destroy the country it claims to love.

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