Schwab: Read Constitution on last time before Trump shreds it

Considering how some in the GOP misinterpret the First Amendment, a closer read is warranted.

By Sid Schwab / Herald columnist

Last weekend featured the explosive, mind-blowing, scandalous, earth-shaking, unimaginably horrifying news that pre-Musk Twitter — following concomitantly-revealed discussions of its published content guidelines — agreed to a request from pre-president Joe Biden’s campaign to remove pornographic photos and questionably-sourced Hunter Biden emails. They also took down a link (for one day!) to a newspaper story about Hunter. Not the story. A link. The article was and remains in the public domain.

Also in author Matt Taibbi’s pivotal tweetstorm was news that Twitter had similarly acceded to requests from Trump’s campaign. Not important. Same with Fox “news” and other right-wing media suppressing stories damaging to Trump while pushing lies favorable to him (Law and Crime: tinyurl.com/TrumpFox4u; and CNN: tinyurl.com/hushpay4u).

The shocking revelations lit up rightwing media like the Boeing plant at night. With characteristic restraint, Tucker Carlson determined it to be “… a systemic violation of the First Amendment, the largest example of that in modern history” (Chattanooga Times Free Press: tinyurl.com/tucker4u).

Which begs the obvious: Why is “Congress shall make no law…” so incomprehensible to Foxotrumpists? Like it or don’t, Twitter can publish or reject however it wants. It’s not Congress. It’s not our government; not yet, anyway. Unlike Russia’s undeleted fake posts, removing questionable content isn’t election interference, claims from the right notwithstanding. The First Amendment has nothing to do with Twitter’s or any private entity’s censorship choices. People who pine to peek at presidential progeny’s penises must procure portals patiently, elsewhere. Helpfully, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, immediately flashed his online fans with it.

It’s the scandal of Republican crackpipe dreams, a Trump-tax-fraud-ignoring excuse to continue fanning falsehoods while presenting no solutions to critically important issues: climate change, health care, energy solutions, child poverty, and more. Not even to the issues on which they ran: crime, inflation, “wide open” borders. To them, Hunter Biden’s genitals demand closer inspection than Jared Kushner’s gentle tales of receiving $2 billion from his pal, journalist-murdering, Saudi prince Mohammed bin Salman. Or Ivanka traveling to China during Trump’s “presidency” to secure copyrights for her businesses.

Not one to share the spotlight, not even with his most fervid defenders, Trump had some randomly-capitalized thoughts: “So with the revelation of MASSIVE FRAUD AND DECEPTION … do you throw the 2020 presidential election results OUT and declare the RIGHTFUL WINNER or do you have A NEW ELECTION? A Massive Fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution …” he truthed, socially. “Termination.” “All rules.” “Even those found in the Constitution.” Also: MASSIVE.

Plug your ears while giving Trump’s fulmination the consideration it deserves, lest your brain seeks an exit. A former “president,” psychopathologically unable to admit he lost a convincingly fraud-free election, would “terminate” — not merely suspend! — the Constitution over what amounts to nothing. (He’s now truthing that he didn’t say what he said. In print.) Predictably, Trumpists’ anger was white-hot. One, a former House candidate, wrote, “We can no longer get rid of tyranny by the ballots. It’s only by bullets now.” Tyranny! The danger of Trump’s present and lifelong disregard for the law couldn’t be more obvious. That he was ever his party’s choice is an indelible stain on America. That he could be again sullies us all.

How will the “party of law and order” react when Trump is indicted for multi-level law-breaking and repeatedly fomenting violence? A few lesser-known Republicans have spoken — mildly — against Trump’s screed. Yet none, so far, have said they’d refuse to vote for him if he becomes their nominee. Other than principled Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wy., who rightly called him “an enemy of the Constitution,” how have Republican icons, like Mitch McConnell, Cruz, Lindsey Graham, Marjorie Taylor Greene, etc., condemned Trump’s anti-constitutional tirade? For convenience, their words are collected and summarized here: (tinyurl.com/Rwords4u)

Stemming directly from Trump’s insane election lie, this is serious stuff. It ought to end his claim on his party, forever. Any remaining supporters must admit that, like Trump, the Constitution means nothing to them (tinyurl.com/8ball4u).

For a clear and comprehensive summary, beginning with the laptop (which, by now, may be corrupted), continuing to the present, Robert Hubbell’s Substack newsletter is worth your time: tinyurl.com/Hubbell4u. And this, from history professor Heather Cox Richardson: tinyurl.com/Richardson4u.

But let’s not end on funereal news. Remember when Ron DeSantis proudly declared, “Florida is where woke goes to die”? Well, in a trial in which he’s being sued for his publicity-seeking, vote-chasing bullying of the LGBTQ community, the judge asked DeSantis’ lawyer to define “woke.” The unexpectedly truthful answer: “The belief there are systemic injustices in American society and the need to address them.”

Florida: Where justice goes to die, from Tallahassee to Mar-a-Lago.

Email Sid Schwab at columnsid@gmail.com.

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