The New York Independent

Words on Paper Are All That Protect Our Democracy; It’s Time to Take a Stand

Constitution of the United States
Constitution of the United States.

What are laws but words on paper? Without the general consent of the governed and enforcement by the government, they are meaningless. 

If people feel they can get away with anything because “the president has my back,” then anything can happen. And, it has.

Since Donald Trump resoundingly lost the 2020 election, the nation has seen the storming of the Capitol, the torching of a political party headquarters and bomb threats in Washington, just to mention a few right-wing motivated hate crimes.

Some local jurisdictions are refusing to follow federal vaccine mandates or have created “second amendment sanctuaries” to defy any federal effort to protect public safety through reasonable gun controls.

When law enforcement–whether the U.S. Justice Department or the county sheriff–refuses to uphold the law, it’s a recipe for anarchy and dictatorship.

Since the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, the FBI has apprehended about 650 of several thousand insurrectionists. A good portion of them were caught thanks to the hard work of a group of everyday people.

Without the online sleuths who call themselves “Sedition Hunters,” far fewer insurrectionists would be held accountable for their criminal actions.

The FBI says hundreds of arrests are still in the offing, but why is it taking so long? Obviously, there are still countless unanswered questions.

Why did the National Guard wait two hours before being deployed?

How many members of law enforcement or Congress took part in, or abetted the rioters, and are now attempting to cover it up?

Rep. Andrew S. Clyde (R-Ga.) played down the Jan. 6 assault to such an extent he compared the mob to a “normal tourist visit.” And, he’s far from alone.

Reps Majorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Kevin McCarthy, Lauren Opal Boebert (R-Colo), Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Matt Gaetz (R-Fla) among others need to be called to testify.

What did Gen. Charles Flynn, brother of disgraced traitor, Gen. Mike Flynn, do – or not do- in those crucial minutes/hours? And, beyond that, why did the Army lie about its involvement?

Those questions notwithstanding, the Department of Justice (DOJ) inconceivably appears to be treating the Capitol rioters – the ones they’ve managed to catch – like jaywalkers.

Most appear to be pleading down to misdemeanors with no jail time.

A federal judge said Monday that there “have to be consequences” for the Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 and raised concerns that members of the mob were getting off light.

In that case, Judge Tanya Chutkan, a former public defender, expressed concern about the trend and sentenced Capitol rioter Matthew Mazzocco to 45 days in jail.

She turned aside a recommendation from federal prosecutors for a sentence of three months’ home confinement.

“There have to be consequences for participating in an attempted violent overthrow of the government beyond sitting at home,” Chutkan said.

Mazzocco was charged with four misdemeanor crimes and pleaded guilty to one count of “parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building.” 

“That mob was trying to overthrow the government [and] “showed their contempt for the rule of law,” the judge said.

Rachel Maddow recently devoted an entire segment of her MSNBC show to the notable absence of consequences, nationwide, for all sorts of criminal acts.

Case in point: Nothing’s been done to investigate Trump supporters in Texas, who tried to crash a campaign bus filled with Biden campaign staffers by running it off the road.

It appears the entire San Marcos Police Department refused to respond to numerous 911 calls as it was happening, stating “If you’re not reporting a crime, we can’t help you.”

That’s like the NYPD getting a call from a woman saying three men are following her down a dark alley and the police telling her, “Call us after you’re raped.”

Sadly, the staffers involved the bus situation have resorted to suing the police, as well as the perpetrators, to try and get some semblance of justice.

Recently, another right-wing lunatic fire-bombed the Harris County, TX, Democratic headquarters, presumably, because he thinks he can get away with it. Why do you think that is?

Could it be because half our Congress is actively trying to prevent an investigation into an attack on their own Capitol?

Could it be because, when news of the Biden caravan being terrorized reached the former president Trump, he exclaimed, “I love this!?”

Or Sen. Marco “The Jellyfish” Rubio (R-TX) basically echoing those remarks?

Or Gaetz, who sits on the House Intelligence Committee that oversees the DOJ -while being investigated by the DOJ for sex trafficking- actively work to undermine the DOJ?

Or, when a video surfaces of The Proud Boys attacking unarmed protestors with mace, pipes and pepper spray in broad daylight, while the police are seen standing around with their hands in their pockets?

Don’t you think that’s a glowing advertisement to other white nationalists out there to do the same thing in their town?

If you don’t subscribe to The Washington Post, you may not have read Robert Kagan’s brilliantly-on-point-but-terrifyingly-accurate piece on Trump and his attempt at building a “Fourth Reich.”

To me, the sentence that stood out the most was his comment referring to the breakdown of federal authority:

For those of us who still respect our Constitution, we’ve spent four-plus years watching the rule of law be eviscerated on a daily basis by the ones in charge of upholding it.

GOP obstructionism has replaced bi-partisanship on Capitol Hill, which makes a mockery of any attempt to preserve the filibuster. The Jim Crow era procedure gives the obstructionist minority party virtual veto power over legislation.

Republicans, led by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, are trying to sabotage the country and create a worldwide financial crisis by refusing to raise the debt ceiling out of the cynical belief that voters will blame President Biden because it happened on his watch.

Flash back to 2017 when Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress passed a $1.4 trillion tax break for corporations and wealthy Americans. Democrats went along nearly unanimously to raise the debt ceiling to accomodate the giveaway.

On Jan. 20, the day Trump was inaugurated, the national debt was $19.9 trillion. When he left office in 2020, the debt had skyrocketed to $27 trillion, a new record. The GOP showed no sign of concern.

During his time in office, Trump subverted the office of Attorney General, turning it into his private attorney willing to do almost anything to protect him.

He used the presidency for profit, launched an attempted coup, and now, appears to be setting the stage for an even worse situation come 2024.

Republicans are not only continuing to foster the “Big Lie” in lockstep, they are also passing restrictive voting laws and engaging in extreme gerrymandering in the states they control to fix the election once and for all.

It definitely seems as if we’re witnessing what Kagan describes as the breakdown of federal authority.

Personally speaking, from the day Biden was elected, the one thing I and many others were most looking forward to was the prosecution of Trump for crimes against the nation. I mean, it’s a no-brainer, right?

President Biden’s Attorney General, Merrick Garland, should have come out of the gate, guns blazing and nail maybe even the big guy, himself.

Instead, Garland is a soft spoken, by-the-book, institutional lawyer, who actually wound up defending some of the Trump administration’s policies in court. WTF was that? Not a good start for the rule of law.

I’m not saying Garland doesn’t know what he’s doing, but, like Russiagate investigator Robert Mueller, he sure doesn’t seem to be paying attention. I’m sure, in normal times, Garland would make a fine A.G. But these are not normal times.

If we want to save our democracy from the clutches of those who spit on everything it stands for, the gloves need to come off.

So far, sadly – or, more to the point – tragically, it looks like he’s just not up to the task. Yes, he’s suing Texas over the Republicans’ anti-abortion bill, but you know where that’s going to end up? Our hyper-partisan, right-wing kowtowing Supreme Court.

Whatever reasons President Biden had for picking Garland over Sally Yates, is above my pay grade (maybe he felt bad about the SCOTUS snub and wanted to make it up to him, as well as making his old boss smile).

But I, and no doubt, many others were counting on was a swift, stentorian helping of A-C-C-O-U-N-T-A-B-I-L-I-T-Y. But it seems to slip further and further away with each passing day. And with it, a growing sense of hopelessness.

Raise your hand if, at any point during the past four years of congressional obstruction, Russia collusion, or insert latest scandal here, you said to yourself, “One day, they’re gonna pay.”

Every day our former mafioso POTUS continues pushing the Big Lie. Every statement he puts out teases about running again in 2024, just to keep the grift going and dollars flowing into his political action committee (PAC).

Every one of these pathetic attempts to remain relevant, at the expense of truth and integrity, is a middle-finger to justice.

I’m not saying Trump should be behind bars by now. While it’s a beautiful image, Lord knows, the wheels of justice spin slower than a Flintstone’s washing machine powered by a one-legged monkey.

However, I did believe that, at this point in time, nearly ten months into Biden’s tenure, there’d be at least one indictment by a grand jury, or at least the announcement of a grand jury to look into just one of Burrito Mussolini‘s thousands of alleged crimes against the nation. #Crickets

Sadly, that hasn’t happened.

Instead, we’re witnessing the most criminally corrupt president this nation’s ever seen prancing around his little palace like an exiled emperor without a care in the world, using the American flag as toilet paper.

We’re learning more-and-more each day about other high crimes we didn’t even know were taking place. For example, Trump Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s alleged request to have the CIA assassinate Julian Assange.

Add to that the Jeffrey Clark debacle and the John Eastman plot to overturn the election and you’ve got sedition of the highest order.

As we stand by and watch nothing being done to bring these miscreants to justice, the pressure to give up and lose faith in law and order is immense.

It’s made worse when those in power, who refused to speak up when it mattered, are now writing books highlighting the infinite number of ways in which our Constitution was violated.

But don’t fret, kids! Congress’ never-ending line-up of committees (is it me, or does it seem we’d need several hundred committees stretching hundreds of years just to begin to scratch the surface of the crimes Trump, and his sycophants, are guilty of?) will eventually get to the bottom of it all.

Although, I’m not sure how because no one seems to be scared of a Congressional subpoena, anymore. By the time these investigations conclude, we may be on our fourth Trump presidency.

And what about our forever-damaged Supreme Court?

You’d need to have an IQ of four to have watched the pathetically partisan ways hand-picked GOP Justices Neal Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett were confirmed and to not realize the highest court in our land is now beyond corrupted.

Forget about the first sexual predator to wear the robe, Clarence Thomas; forget about the fact Thomas’ wife is a rabid Trump supporter; forget about Moscow Mitch’s blocking of Garland for over a year.

Just think back to the date-raping Kavanaugh’s sham confirmation, and the fact Coney Barrett, a woman of supposed uncompromising principles, had no issue being sworn in – at the White House – by a blatantly corrupt POTUS– days before an election.

You, like me, must be projectile vomiting at the thought of these illegitimate, unqualified GOP operatives telling 320 million of us what is and what isn’t allowed. For the rest of our lives. Talk about pressure.

And we haven’t even talked about the little things like voting and a woman’s right to choose. (Sure, Garland is suing Texas for their open audition for ‘The Handmade’s Tale,’ but guess what court will be the final word in that case?)

Thus, as the hapless Dems continue to try and play by the rules, the Republicans continue to succeed in changing them. It doesn’t help it only takes a few weeks for a law to be passed, but contest it, and you’ll spend the next four years n court.

We are losing confidence in our institutions to provide any semblance of justice, i.e. punishment, for those in power, and out, who break and/or abuse the rules.

And, while we’re here, can we please do away with meaningless bodies like the ethics committee?  

While their intentions are admirable, “ethics investigations” only make it worse, i.e, they have no prosecutorial power, thus, they do nothing but pedal false hopes while tooting their own, castrated horn.

We found Trump has no ethics.” #Shocker. When was the last time anyone convicted of an “ethics violation” was ever held criminally liable? Or forced to resign, immediately? 

The saddest part in all this is to see the hate trickling down to our kids. More and more kids are doing things we never would do, like smacking a teacher’s ass on video to appease a TikTok challenge.

Or an idiot like country singer Jason Aldean and his brain-dead wife dressing their kids in “anti-Biden” clothes and posting it on their social media accounts. 

President Biden says he’s a ‘born optimist’. Thus, he refuses to use the many tricks – some dirty- at his disposal to get obstructionist Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin in line with the program.

I wonder how many years it took his predecessor Barack Obama to realize his ‘kumbaya’ approach wasn’t working? Oh, right. Seven and a half. And, as bad as it was then, it’s ten times worse now.

Thus, If Biden doesn’t start showing results in the area of being able to hold these cockroaches accountable, he won’t get another four years in office.

Personally, if the most corrupt, most unhinged, most anti-American p.o.s. we’ve ever seen winds up running again in 2024, I won’t blame our hapless A.G.

By then he could’ve/should’ve been canned long ago. IMO, the blame will fall squarely on Biden. Not that I wouldn’t vote for him, but what about the ones who don’t?

What will be left of law and order should 2024 be a do-over of 2016?  

If things don’t change fast, we may as well refer to the winner of every presidential election going forward as, “Your Majesty.”

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