If Democrats Criminalize Opposition And Cripple The Court, Democracy Is Dead
Democrats are seeking to land a one-two punch to cement their control of America today and for generations to come: Criminalize the political opposition and cripple the last authority to which the opposition might appeal in defense of its rights.
This is one way to understand two running lines of attack that may appear independent but are inextricably intertwined.
The first consists of the unprecedented, Soviet show trial-style “show me the man and I’ll show you the crime” “cases” conjured up against Donald Trump and two dozen others in his orbit, chiefly including his lawyers. The zealous prosecutors have many motives for torturing laws to hang them around the neck of the former president and GOP front-runner in the middle of a campaign — a frivolous and vengeful prosecutorial effort pursued arguably in violation of laws, norms, and core principles of justice.
While turning the First and Sixth Amendments into dead letters, these cases also effectively criminalize the seeking of office of anyone who might hold unauthorized views, the Republican contesting of elections or questioning of election integrity, and such Republicans’ legal defense.
“You can go to jail if you disagree with us, and particularly if you threaten our power and privilege,” our betters are saying through their chilling lawfare jihad. The point is that if Americans cannot be trusted to choose leaders within a narrow set of regime-approved bounds, the regime will have to force them upon us by hook or by crook. Locking up the opposition has always been a potential endgame for the ruling class in its war on wrongthink.
Jan. 6, 2021, was the beginning of that endgame. It served as a pretext to accelerate the war, as predicted at the time. It was also used to justify treating rioters with the “wrong” views not as everyday Americans-turned-petty criminals in a political protest that got out of hand, but as domestic terrorists.
The Justice Department went so far as to attempt to add terrorism enhancements to some Jan. 6 sentences. Myriad Capitol breach defendants were hit with the very Enron-driven “obstruction of an official proceeding” felony charge, never before applied to protesters, with which Special Counsel Jack Smith would ultimately charge Trump. Perhaps in a superseding indictment, Trump too, like other defendants, will be hit with a “seditious conspiracy” charge.
A political memester who had mockingly tweeted that Clinton voters could text their vote to a phone number was slapped with the Ku Klux Klan-driven “conspiracy against rights” charge that Trump would ultimately face too. Now it’s the former president’s turn in the dock. The regime is threatening his most fundamental rights, the most fundamental rights of those in his orbit, and by extension the most fundamental rights of us all.
Crippling the Court
The only thing that may stand in the way of Trump, or any other political dissenters threatened with contrived charges going forward, is the Supreme Court. This brings us to part two of the one-two punch: the Democrats’ sustained attack on the highest court in the land.
Democrats have grown ever more unhinged about the Supreme Court because it represents perhaps the last powerful American institution they do not wholly control. “Borking,” the “high-tech lynching” of Justice Clarence Thomas, and the caper against Justice Brett Kavanaugh normalized vicious political attacks on non-leftist justices aimed at destroying them or, at minimum, cowing them into submission once seated.
By extension, these assaults normalized vicious political attacks on the court itself. For if the justices themselves were deplorable and irredeemable, then so too was the court — a court now to be treated with the same contempt as any other political institution. In reality, what the leftist assailants objected to was that these justices might not rule in accord with the left’s wishes. The court, in short, was illegitimate if it was not leftist.
The assault on the court escalated with the Dobbs leak, which imperiled its ability to function. The intent was not only to exert maximum political pressure on the justices to alter their ruling in accord with pro-abortion activists, but to intimidate them into doing so under threat of bodily harm. The left-wing mob’s threatening conduct was abided by a law enforcement apparatus that refused to arrest those who illegally agitated outside the justices’ homes. Kavanaugh even faced an assassination attempt. The Dobbsleak reflected contempt for the rule of law, for the court as an institution, and for the American people whose rights the court exists to protect.
For months now, the left and its media mouthpieces have been waging another assault on the court, this time by leveling phony and hypocritical charges of ethics violations at the court’s most exceptional jurist, Justice Clarence Thomas, and to a lesser degree his peers. These attacks aim to further delegitimize the court and ramp up calls for members to recuse themselves, resign, or face future impeachment proceedings. They may even perhaps aim to soften the ground for nullification efforts.
Thomas will never waver in the face of the barrage of attacks on him. But what of his potentially more wobbly-kneed colleagues, bearing witness to the ever-growing hysteria over their opinions at times out of step with the ruling class?
Imagine for a moment that one or several cases land at the Supreme Court that could result in criminal convictions for Donald Trump. One would expect pressure on the non-liberal judges to rule against the former president, recuse, or face literally or figuratively deathly consequences — more intense than anything ever seen in our lifetime. The threats to pack the court, abolish it, or otherwise neuter its conservatives will grow exponentially. Surrender to the mob, practically every power center in the land will demand, or else.
Will the justices be “red-pilled” in the face of these efforts — ever more determined to hew to the Constitution in their jurisprudence? Or will they crumble under pressure?
Democrats no doubt see that the court is the last backstop for justice — the last respite for the opposition to protect their rights from leftists aimed at seizing complete control. Hence their withering assault on it.
The one-two punch aims to knock out Trump. But at a deeper level, it is about ensuring de facto one-party rule at the point of a gun. Only if a critical mass of Americans “know what time it is” will there be any hope of combating this onslaught.
Ben Weingarten is Editor at Large for RealClearInvestigations. He is a senior contributor to The Federalist, columnist at Newsweek, and a contributor to the New York Post and Epoch Times, among other publications. Subscribe to his newsletter at weingarten.substack.com, and follow him on Twitter: @bhweingarten.