The “problem” conservatives scream about is that, now that the FBI has been used to go after the kinds of criminals who usually set the agency’s agenda, the GOP is upset that the FBI has become a “political tool.” What a load of horseshit and shame on the New York Times whenever it gives unquestioning column inches to this kind of smokescreen from conservatives.
John Ganz over at Unpopular Front is, as usual, blunt and on-the-mark:
It’s time to stop fucking around. All of the savvy political wisdom of the preceding years got us here: with a half-lunatic trying to shake down the country to call off his followers. Trump doesn’t care about precedents: as soon as he’s able, he will use whatever tool he’s able to use against his opponents. This is why his supporters like him. They openly say so. The first time around, he didn’t really know how to wield the power of the state or the most violent core of his supporters, but most likely he will will learn. The Federal oath of office begins, “I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” If that means anybody in the history of the country, that must mean Trump. He cannot be allowed to hide behind his supporters or try to use them to manipulate the U.S. government. Is it possible that this will lead to bad outcomes? Sure, anything is possible. But treating Trump like he’s got special powers has lead us here.
“But, John, are you saying we should use the Justice Department politically? With the express purpose of getting rid of someone you don’t like.” Kind of! As Trump’s intellectual defenders love to remind us, there’s ultimately no neutral administration of justice, everything is political, and when you get the state apparatus in your hands you use it beat up on your enemies and help out your friends. So, in part, these are their rules. (If you start talking about how you are gonna apply the thought of Carl Schmitt when you administer the state, I may start to get the sense you are my enemy.)
Also, let’s not play innocent. Historically speaking, the F.B.I. has always been used “politically:” it was used against Reds, Nazis, Reds again, the KKK, civil rights leaders, black power leaders, Nazis again etc. A lot of this was abusive and terrible and you know where my political sympathies lie, but this was because the political establishment implicitly or explicitly viewed these groups as threats to the United States itself. In many cases, they were not. (Yeah, yeah, I know what you are gonna say, “but J. Edgar Hoover, blah, blah, blah”—The fact is that Hoover lasted so long because powerful people thought he was useful and mostly right.) But here is a case where the real deal has come along: a bonafide domestic threat to the constitution. People these days are willing to call everything from annoying college students to crummy D.E.I. consultants “totalitarian threats to democracy” or whatever, but when a big, fat threat to democracy is standing right there, suddenly everyone is like, “Well…it’s a little complicated, isn’t it?” No, it really isn’t. And, in this case, we don’t have to break the law or do anything underhanded: just actually try to uphold the law for a change and stop playing little political games around it.
I’m still amazed how often I still see a MSM reporter write, without any follow-up information whatsoever, that this is “the first time” that a search warrant has been served on a former president “at his private residence,” no less. (Mar-A-Lago is Trump’s home in the same ways Chicago’s Lexington Hotel was Al Capone’s home.)
Let’s never forget: Nixon would have been in jail had Ford not pardoned him. That is the only reason this is the first time a president might be arrested and prosecuted for serious crimes. It could have happened, and likely would have happened, to another Republican president. And then there is the gargantuan matter that Trump marks the first time a sitting president came perilously close to overthrowing the government. Trump makes Nixon look like a shoplifter in the presence of a hard core criminal.
These things are all self-evident. You know them. I know them. Everyone sane knows them. Yet somehow the Republicans have people in the MSM in Washington bamboozled into thinking that going after Trump is bad because it might antagonize his followers, many of whom believed that JFK. Jr. was about to make a surprise appearance in the place in Dallas in Dealey Plaza. Even more of them believe that the Clintons and George Soros run an international pedophile ring. And even more than that believe Tucker Carlson.
We’re not prosecuting Trump because those people might be antagonized? Nuts.
Anyway, John Ganz is very good and you can read the rest of it at this link.