By Sid Schwab / Herald columnist
Add this to the list of differences between Democrats and Republicans: not considering it “weaponization” when Merrick Garland’s Department of Justice indicted Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., whose bill of particulars, like Trump’s, appalls.
No cries of “witch hunt” or “two-tiered justice,” except from Menendez himself, who Trump-eted: “Those behind this campaign simply can’t stand that a first-generation Latino-American from humble beginnings can rise to become a US Senator. …” Similarly, as to Hunter Biden, many on the left have noted that federal indictments are rare for his alleged infractions and have questioned the insecure handling of THE LAPTOP!!!!, but none has said he did nothing wrong.
From Democrats there have been no calls for presidential pardons, none for defunding the Department of Justice. No liberal has characterized as gestapo tactics the FBI’s search of the senator’s home. Instead, one hears escalating calls for Menendez to resign or be booted (not from Republicans, though); and agreement that if Hunter Biden is found guilty, he deserves appropriate punishment. Menendez has already had to step aside from his powerful Foreign Relations Committee chairmanship. Imagine that: Recognizing its indispensability, one party respects our system of justice, while another — a self-proclaimed defender of law and order — doesn’t. Wants, rather, to stifle its independence or defund it entirely.
Unfamiliar with the concept of integrity, rightwing icons like Charlie Kirk and the usual Foxing heads want to convince their ungulate followers that the Menendez indictment was a “deep state” ploy to make it appear that the DOJ is impartial. With today’s “conservatives” and their media, you can’t win. Anything good done by President Biden or his government is bad. Anything bad done or said by Trump is good. Facts that breach the bubble are fake. Trump’s crimes aren’t crimes, while Biden’s lack of crimes demands investigation. That mentality provides excellent ratings for Fox “news” and plenty of airtime for Trumpublicans, but it’s a parody of responsible governance. (Would I credit Trump if he did something good? Read on.)
Daily examples confirm Republicans’ disinterest in and inability to produce serious legislation. For a budget to pass, Gym Jordan, R-Ohio, prattled on Fox “Business,” “no money can be used to target your political opponents, which is exactly what Jack Smith is doing to President Trump.” Then, without irony, he went on to update the audience on his made-for-Foxification targeting of Hunter Biden. Another: Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Jezero Crater (NASA: tinyurl.com/MTGhome4u) announced she’ll vote against any budget that includes money for Ukraine because they “sex traffic” children and “harvest their organs.” Thereupon, Semispeaker Kevin McCarthy stripped funding from their proposal. Making America great, people actually voted for that lady. Is she a liar or just surpassingly stupid? Either way, she’s angling for and may well be Trump’s VP pick. A vengeful authoritarian plus a meretricious conspiracist: Trumpism’s pinnacle and America’s agonal breath. Kari Lake? Interchangeable.
Without desperate vote suppression and unscrupulous gerrymandering, lunatic MTG, crotchety Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., and the rest of the Caucus of Crazy would be babbling on street corners, as passersby hurried on, avoiding eye contact. Prone to confusion as he is, when Trump said, “They aren’t sending their best,” he might have meant Republican states, not Mexico. It’s possible, though, that those people are the best they have.
Definitely not our best, but reading the ketchup on the wall, Trump, who brags that, by anointing bench-legislating, billionaire-selected ideologues to the Supreme Court, he deserves credit for ending reproductive choice, is suddenly simulating sensibility. Now he’s suggesting there’s middle ground, rather than, say, making felons of people who drive women to another state for a legal abortion. I’ll say it: Good for him. I’ll also say: His epiphany comes more from electoral worries than empathy derived from a rumored past.
Lest we conclude that Trump, aka defendent No. P01135809 out on bail, has turned toward the light, something he’s done only during a solar eclipse (X; tinyurl.com/2thesun4u), he confirmed his plans for a second “presidency,” should the combination of anti-democracy voters and third-party candidates return him to the Oval Office. Implying Gen. Mark Milley deserves death, he pretended it was because, as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the general wisely reassured China of America’s stability after 9/11 (MSNBC: tinyurl.com/2china4u). In reality, he was furious over Milley’s book revealing Trump’s dangerous ignorance and incompetence (Atlantic: tinyurl.com/milley4u). Trump also promised government weaponization to punish “treasonous” news organizations. To His Errancy, criticism in any form is a capital crime. But P01135809 and Trumpists call Democrats fascists.
Finally, for a chuckle: Because they knew of Sen. Menendez’s sleaze, Trump presumes, he demands that all Democratic senators must resign. Having covered projection last week, it should be unnecessary to identify it again. But there it is. Same with his rant about media, leaving out the real danger, Fox “news” et ilk. His just-rendered conviction of fraud, isn’t projection. It’s a decades-long truth.
Oh, and that over-hyped poll? (Newsweek: tinyurl.com/crazypoll4u) There’s only one that matters: “Democracy or autocracy: choose one.”
Email Sid Schwab at email@example.com.