Monday, March 27, 2023

Authoritarian Allies


It's an interesting, not rhetorical question, asked by one tweeter: "why are we letting one man systematically destroy our nation right before our eyes?"

Among the many answers is that it's not only one man (or woman).  Note that

A group of lawmakers led by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) visited the D.C. jail Friday where Donald Trump supporters have been held for rioting at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

The delegation consisted of House Oversight Committee members investigating the supposed unequal treatment of Jan. 6 rioters Greene describes as “political prisoners"...

After touring the facility for about two hours with about a dozen colleagues, including two Democrats, Greene told reporters the visit confirmed her view that there’s a double standard.

“There’s a very different treatment for pretrial Jan. 6 defendants,” she said.

The two Democrats from the committee, Reps. Robert Garcia (Ca.) and Jasmine Crockett (Texas), agreed that Jan. 6 defendants received different treatment ― except they said it was better treatment.

Meanwhile

A trio of House Republican committee chairs say the House of Representatives could soon take up legislation to strip state and local prosecutors of the authority to prosecute former presidents in response to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s potential indictment of former president Donald Trump.

In a letter to Mr Bragg, House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan, Oversight Committee Chair James Comer, and House Administration Committee Chair Bryan Steil rejected arguments the Manhattan prosecutor gave in response to the trio’s demand that he give evidence before their panels about the ongoing investigation into Mr Trump.

Mr Bragg’s probe could result in the twice-impeached ex-president becoming the first former US chief executive to face criminal charges over hush money payments he made to adult film star Stormy Daniels in 2016.

Last week, Mr Bragg’s office slammed the 20 March demand for his testimony as “an unprecedented inquiry into a pending local prosecution” which only arose “after Donald Trump created a false expectation that he would be arrested the next day and his lawyers reportedly urged [Congress] to intervene”.

“Your letter treads into territory very clearly reserved to the states. It suggests that Congress’s investigation is being ‘conducted solely for the personal aggrandizement of the investigators or to ‘punish’ those investigated,’ and is, therefore, ‘indefensible,’” said Leslie Dubek, who is Mr Bragg’s general counsel, in a response sent to the chairmen on Thursday.

There is a story here beyond the obvious ones about criminality and the separation of powers.

Grossly lacking prescience, Politico on the day after last year's mid-term elections reported

As the night wore on, Republicans began to express concern that the results were not what they were expecting, or hoping for. Senior party officials vented that in too many contests, candidates had embraced positions adopted by Trump that were too far outside the mainstream.

With Trump poised to announce a 2024 bid, some said the party needed to have a post-election reckoning — and a discussion about whether the GOP needed to turn to someone else.

How times have changed- and in less than five months.  Tim Alberta in The Atlantic finds

Piety aside, raw political calculation was at work. Trump’s relationship with the evangelical movement—once seemingly shatterproof, then shaky after his violent departure from the White House—is now in pieces, thanks to his social-media tirade last fall blaming pro-lifers for the Republicans’ lackluster midterm performance.

And yet, as the perspective of white evangelicals has takes a slightly nuanced (not what they're know for) turn, House Republicans are fronting for Donald Trump's authoritarian schemes.

Only a few seconds into the video below, Michael Steele remarks "I need to start with a question for today's Republican Party. What the hell's wrong with you?

You will get the answer to that question from few pundits or journalists and from even fewer Democratic politicians. But the problem is that, whether they actually agree with Donald Trump- the jury is out- House Republicans really like what Donald Trump is doing. They really, really do like it, and want to make sure everyone knows it.





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