Saturday, June 15, 2024

"A banana republic—if you can keep it"

According to the Wall Street Journal's Editorial Board, the case against Donald Trump is akin to a "Russian nesting doll structure" doubling as "a bizarre turducken":

The nation might soon regret this rough turn. [The] guilty verdict wasn’t entirely surprising, given the jury pool in Manhattan. If Mr. Trump had lucked out, he might have drawn one or two stubborn skeptics, like the Henry Fonda character in “12 Angry Men,” resulting in at least a hung jury. Instead the fortunate one was Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who filed the weakest of the four indictments of Mr. Trump, but who managed to drag his case first over the finish line.

 … Mr. Bragg might have opened a new destabilizing era of American politics, and no one can say how it will end.

Courtroom dramas, both literary and cinematographic, such as (multi-awards-nominated) 12 Angry Men and (Pulitzer-Prize-winning) To Kill a Mockingbird, were once the darlings of liberals. Until it was no longer convenient to treat stories exposing lynch mob hysteria as such (thanks to Ed Driscoll).

In response to the WSJ, David Gay invokes Benjamin Franklin's single most famous sentence (thanks to Vincent Bourdonneau) as he writes from Alamo Heights, Texas:

Regarding your editorial “A Guilty Verdict and Its Consequences” (May 31):

If President Biden were asked what kind of government we have, he could reply honestly: A banana republic—if you can keep it.

As Dennis Prager writes, 

one must first understand the most important rule of modern life: Everything the Left touches it destroys.

The Justice Department and the American legal system are only the most immediate examples.

 … The reason for the trial was the same reason dictatorships put opponents on trial: to prevent them from assuming or regaining power.

When dictatorships do this, such as in the former Soviet Union, we call it a show trial -- because the verdict has been predetermined. The "hush money trial" was such a trial. The first such trial of an American president and head of the opposition in American history.

 … Andrew C. McCarthy, a former assistant United States attorney for the Southern District of New York (which includes Manhattan) and no Trump fan, writes:

"The country we love has become unlovely. ... Our system embodied the rule of law, the sturdy undercarriage of a free, prosperous, pluralistic society. Now, on its good days, it's a clown show. On the bad days -- there are far too many of those -- it's a political weapon. ...

"As the rule of law degrades into the rule of partisan lawyers, a constitutional republic inexorably decays into a banana republic. And it won't take long. Again, this isn't about Trump. ...

"To objective, experienced eyes, Alvin Bragg's prosecution of Trump shocks the conscience. ... The DA did not so much find a crime as manufacture one."

What Bragg did was to turn a misdemeanor -- whose statute of limitations had expired -- into a felony under a New York statute that requires an accompanying crime without ever explaining what that secondary crime was.

We are bequeathing our children and grandchildren a completely different country than the one our parents, grandparents and Founders bequeathed to us.

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