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Trump & Our Late Roman Moment

He might well be guilty of hoarding documents. But consider the corruption of the Ruling Class attacking him
Trump & Our Late Roman Moment

Hello from Limassol, a city on the south coast of Cyprus. I came here to do some research for my next book. I boarded the plane for Cyprus in Vienna as the Trump raid news was breaking. The monastery where I stayed the past day and a half did not have wi-fi, which was actually a blessing, because it compelled me to wait until more information emerged before commenting. You're welcome.

On the journey up to the mountain monastery, my jovial Cypriot driver gave me an earful about America. He's a conservative, and admires Trump. He explained that Trump was a president who understood how badly the United States screwed up in the Arab world with its wars, and was eager to draw back America's warmaking. The driver also talked about how scandalized and angry he is that his young daughter's school is introducing gender ideology to the kids. He blamed the EU for this, saying that Brussels forces this stuff onto Cypriots by threatening to take away their money for roads if they don't accept pro-LGBT liberalism. He talked further about American culture as the driver of all this, saying, "we think you are all like Rome before the fall."

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He said a couple of times that he hopes he wasn't offending me, but he felt that he needed to be honest about how conservative Christians like him have turned against America. "What happened to you?" he asked. He is somewhat pro-Russian, not (he says) because he admires Vladimir Putin, but because he likes to see somebody stand up to what he regards as an arrogant America.

It was hard to argue with most of what he had to say. I asked him if he had heard about the Boston Children's Hospital, which brags about performing hysterectomies on little girls with gender dysphoria. I told him about this happy-clappy promotional video from the prominent children's hospital:

He had not. "Oh my God," he said. "It's sickening."

It is. But this is what America stands for now to a lot of people around the world -- and to many of our own people. I bring this up because it conditions the way I see the Trump raid. I will explain later.

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So, the Trump raid. When I first heard about it, I thought it was a jaw-dropping escalation, but I also was not willing to jump on the right-wing bandwagon defending Trump, until I learned what, exactly, was in the federal search warrant. Surely the feds wouldn't take this extraordinary move without having something radioactive in mind.

Well, at this point, it appears that they really were just looking for documents Trump was supposed to have turned over, but allegedly did not. I thought this couldn't be real. I mean, look, if Trump really does have these documents, it's outrageous that he hasn't turned them over. But surely the FBI wouldn't conduct a raid on a former president's house unless something truly spectacular was at stake -- and especially not the house of Donald Trump, not in this political environment. Right? I was secretly glad that I would have a day and a half at the monastery without wi-fi, so things could clear up.

Well, it seems that the feds did just that: raided Trump's house looking for documents that they believed Trump had on premises illegally.

On one hand, this could be seen as a vindication of the principle that no man, not even a former president, is above the law.

On the other hand -- who are you kidding?!

I think Donald Trump is capable of doing just about anything ... but I do not trust the FBI or the Department of Justice, which was highly politicized under Obama's AG Eric Holder. I don't trust Washington authority at all. I am surprised to realize this, but it took the Trump raid to clarify it for me.

Because you cannot understand the Trump raid out of context of the past few years. There was Russiagate, which turned out to be nothing, but consumed a massive amount of time and resources, and damaged the Trump administration. There was the Hunter Biden laptop story, which the entire Regime insisted was Russian disinformation designed to hurt Joe Biden's election chances ... but which they now admit was real. As Ross Douthat tweeted the other day in response to the Mar-a-Lago raid:

Trump might be guilty as hell in this matter, but I still wouldn't trust the Department of Justice when it comes to Trump matters. In fact -- and this is important as a political matter -- I find it hard to trust any institutional authority. Remember the Summer Of Floyd, when we had race riots and looting, but were told it was legitimate rebellion? Remember when doctors and others said that it was okay to suspend Covid rules as long as you were out protesting for a Regime-approved cause? Remember Covid, and how Dr. Fauci lied strategically? For that matter, notice monkeypox, a horrible communicable disease that (for now) is passed almost exclusively among gay men, through intimate contact: we couldn't send our kids to school, go to church, do normal community activities, or anything like that for a couple of years ... but the public health authorities refuse to call off gay orgies and close sex clubs and kink events, because gays are privileged in Regime culture.

Remember Jeffrey Epstein? Oh look, the judge who signed off on the Trump raid used to work for Epstein. Imagine that.

The Regime tells us that this is a woman, and if you disagree, you are a bigot who might find yourself cancelled:

Levine and the administration he represents advocate for full-spectrum mutilation of gender-dysphoric minors. The Biden Administration and the rest of the Regime want to give hysterectomies to children who ask for them. Let that sink in. This is the level of depravity we are dealing with in our ruling class.

They have also queered the military, while at the same time are presiding over a recruitment crisis. Funny how that works. And while ordinary Americans are struggling to pay bills in these inflationary times, the Regime -- including Congressional Republicans -- continue to throw billions upon billions at Ukraine, to fight this proxy war with Russia. For what?

These are the people we are supposed to trust to fight the Trump menace?

We are also dealing with a Regime that supports open borders:

Additionally, the Regime -- not just the government, but the ruling class and its institutions -- fully supports anti-white racism, and the ideological takeover of higher education by mandating loyalty tests:

Ideological litmus tests are becoming the norm in American academia. Already, many universities require faculty job candidates to submit “diversity statements” — 19% of the faculty job listings in one recent survey. Now, similar requirements increasingly apply to sitting faculty members, as diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) statements and criteria have become standard components of the promotion and tenure process.

To give one example: last year, the highly-ranked Oregon Health and Science University School of Medicine released its Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism Strategic Action Plan, listing dozens of “tactics” for advancing social justice. Here is an example:

“Include a section in promotion packages where faculty members report on the ways they are contributing to improving DEI, anti-racism and social justice. Reinforce the importance of these efforts by establishing clear consequences and influences on promotion packages.

The reference to “consequences” reads like a warning to dissenters, especially given that concepts such as “equity”, “anti-racism”, and “social justice” often simply connote adherence to progressive political views. Thanks to the ubiquity of Ibram X. Kendi’s work, many American professionals are primed to point out that anti-racism, far from merely being “not racist”, entails embracing “race conscious” policies, coupled with the belief that any disparity is by definition racism.

With official DEI requirements for promotion and tenure on the rise, Kendian “anti-racism” has come closer to a formal requirement for many in academia. In its 2022 survey of tenure practices, the American Association of University Professors found that 21.5% of the institutions it surveyed had DEI criteria in their tenure standards. For larger institutions, it was 45.6%.As diversity officers increase, so too will their preferred policies.

And they are training the Great and the Good not to buy from white vendors.

This is a Regime that is destroying people professionally simply for repeating magic words, no matter what the context:

And oh, let us not forget this. Notice who voted down this bill: every single Democratic senator. This is why the claims by angry Trumpers that the FBI is going after Trump today, but ordinary people tomorrow, land with Trump supporters:

By now you are thinking: good grief, Dreher is throwing in the entire kitchen sink! You would be right. But I don't care. As Trump-hating Damon Linker writes in his essay cautioning about the effects of a raid he considers to have been politically unwise:

To this, many Democrats and anti-Trump conservatives respond: All the more reason why we need toprosecute him, to vindicate the rule of law and show that justice can still be done.

And hey, I get it. In theory, that sounds exactly right. I’d love to see Trump punished for any acts that broke the law, both for the sake of justice and in order to deter future acts of political treachery. The problem is that this is a polity, not a graduate seminar in Kantian ethics. If only one of the country’s two major parties accepts the legitimacy of prosecuting a former (and possibly future) president, then the rule of law will not be vindicated, only Democrats will think that justice has been done, and no future bad actors will be deterred. Rather than healing the country’s civic wounds, the effort to punish Trump will only deepen them.

This is a polity, not a graduate seminar in Kantian ethics. He's right, you know. Y'all know that I am not a Trump fan, but in this case, I can't separate the raid on his house from the rest of the rottenness of our ruling class. I am reminded of something I've repeated in this space a lot since I heard it last summer in Budapest. I was talking in a taxi with a younger voter who told me she planned to vote for Viktor Orban's party in the spring election. I asked her why, and she spoke at length about how fed up she was with what she believed was Orban's tolerance for financial corruption among his supporters. So why do you stick with Orban? I asked. She talked about culture -- specifically, about gender ideology that the European Union was trying to push onto Hungarians, but which Orban was fighting tooth and nail. She put it something like this (I paraphrase): "All corruption is bad, but not all corruption is equally bad. Financial corruption is normal. The moral evil of gender ideology is on a totally different level. If we accept that spiritual and moral corruption, we are finished."

I hadn't thought of it that way, but she's right. To the extent that Donald Trump or Viktor Orban is corrupt, it's Mayor Daley's Chicago corruption, or Huey Long's Louisiana corruption. To the extent that the Ruling Class is corrupt, it's Fall of Rome stuff, or Weimar Germany level rot. I would prefer that the champion against the Regime would be a man (or woman) of unimpeachable character. I don't see him or her; I'll take what we have, reminding myself that the faultless man lauded by his contemporaries as "The Incorruptible" was Maximilien Robespierre, a social justice warrior who turned into one of modernity's great political monsters.

My Cypriot driver laughed as we motored up mountain roads: "Who's next for you Americans? Caligula? Nero?" He was kidding, but this came at the end of a discourse in which he talked about how much he used to admire America, but no more. We start wars that ruin people's countries (Cyprus, by virtue of its geography, has lots of ties to the Arab world), and now we have generated a sick way of thinking that is requiring his daughter to learn in school that she might be a boy. He's right about that. Meanwhile, I'm supposed to give a pass to the people who believe all that is fine, but the real crime -- a crime so great that it requires an unprecedented federal law enforcement intervention -- is Donald Trump taking documents he shouldn't have out of the White House? Really?

UPDATE: Caligula America:

Radical gender theory has made sudden inroads in America’s schools. Many parents have watched in confusion as their children repeat the movement’s slogans and adopt synthetic sexual identities such as “non-binary,” “pansexual,” and “genderqueer.” The next question for many families is: Where does this surge in left-wing sexual ideology come from? One answer: from a network of professional activists, who have smuggled university-style gender theory into more than 4,000 schools under the cover of “gender and sexuality” clubs, or GSAs.

The main national organization behind this campaign, the GSA Network, is a professionally staffed nonprofit with a multimillion-dollar annual budget. GSA Network serves as an umbrella organization for more than 4,000 “gender and sexuality alliances” across 40 states. Once called the Gay-Straight Alliance Network, the group rebranded in 2016, reflecting a new focus on “the limits of a binary gender system.” The individual chapters, which operate in elementary, middle, and high schools, often use the language of “LGBTQ inclusion” and “anti-bullying” in their public relations, but behind the scenes, the central organization is driven by pure left-wing radicalism that extends far beyond sexuality.

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JON FRAZIER
JON FRAZIER
At this point we do not know what the FBI was looking for: the warrant has not been made public, although Trump himself is free to do so if he chooses. I'd stay off the Trump bandwagon for the time being if you value your own integrity.
And Rod, does every post these days have to come back somehow to trans people? That stuff is like a leaky roof, no immediate threat though long term it will do expensive damage. But those who seek to subvert the law and the Constitution for the sake of power lust and preening egos are a sparking transformer that can burn the whole house down- and this is a house with a lethal weapons cache locked away that ignited could destroy the world.
schedule 2 months ago
    Michael Campbell
    Michael Campbell
    As Linker said: "The problem is that this is a polity, not a graduate seminar in Kantian ethics." Nor a germ laboratory, as the left likewise never understood on Covid.

    You're focused on the technical rightness, not on the actual implications or practicality. If what you say is true these are dangerous times. All the more reason to navigate them cautiously, and stay away from wells of deep partisan feeling.
    schedule 2 months ago
      JON FRAZIER
      JON FRAZIER
      Good morning Michael. If your point is a pragmatic one that actions of this sort stir up the Trump fanboys in ugly ways, I acknowledge that. Nevertheless there's a pragmatic point on the other side of the debate: powerful men SHOULD be investigated if there are credible claims of wrong-doing-- yes, that includes Russiagate too. There's an ugly attitude in Trump's fans that the man is above all possible reproach. It's almost as they want to revive the concept of lèse majesté. The Justice Department should explain the reasons for this search unless there is an extremely good reason to keep it secret, so that people of good will not enthralled by the Trumpist cult (hopefully that still includes you, and Rod) can judge for themselves the rightness, or not, of the action.
      schedule 2 months ago
        Michael Campbell
        Michael Campbell
        I do think that transparency helps, but its still fairly easy to write off "fig leaf justifications for a partisan hounding". We're just too strung up right now and the FBI's credibility was already too weak among the right wing. Half of the country will still not believe them and I have to sympathize, because the regime has shown itself capable over and over of making things up to justify its actions.

        I like Rod fully expect that Trump is willing to break the law where it suits him, and almost certainly does have things that he could be gotten under. However I'm also 95% certain that Biden is in the same boat, as is Hillary, and only once the man passes will we be allowed to speak of things that today are "right wing misinformation". People see only what they want to see. That applies to both sides.

        As I've said before, I think Trump is basically a cult of personality. I didn't vote for him in 2020. I felt he needed to lose. I would in 2024 however, and in our least bad political system that's a pretty bad indictment of the current regime. However I'd prefer not to and while the current regime maybe thinks Trump is a weak target and get-out-the-vote operation, if they wanted to be the slightest bit helpful in restoring the peace until then, they'd just starve him of oxygen, and secretly tell him he's off the hook if he just stays out.
        schedule 2 months ago
          JON FRAZIER
          JON FRAZIER
          Voting Trump would be a bridge too far for me. Not because of mindless partisanship: I voted for Larry Hogan twice for Maryland governor and in 2016 I was intrigued with John Kasich and might have voted for him had he been the GOP nominee. If worst came to worst I might not cast a vote, or I might vote some third party candidate (as in 1992 when I voted for Perot).
          schedule 2 months ago
Michael Campbell
Michael Campbell
In my adult life I learned from Iraq that the regime will lie lie lie abroad, give you something to fear and someone to hate, hundreds of thousands of people will die, an entire demographic will be unjustly hounded, and you are a fool to trust them. Then I learned from Covid that the regime will lie lie lie at home, give you something to fear and someone to hate, children's education will be destroyed, people will be thrown out of their jobs, free discourse will be censored for "safety", and you are of course a fool to trust them (and you should have learned that with Iraq).

Nothing organized and morally urgent that the government has ever done in my adult life has been good. Its cheerleaders were always, and still are, monsters, sick people, cultists, fascists - neocons, "progressives", the whole lot. The security state is always in the wrong side, sucking up power like a giant vampire squid whenever the people are foolish enough to offer it, and I'm not really a libertarian - more of a populist - but I can't help but notice that the Ron Paul types were the only ones right in both situations from the very start. It's a tempering idea on the dreams of populism to use the state to tilt the table just a bit back towards the little guy - that state can become your worst enemy, the hammer of the big and powerful, in a flash. Populism that claims to check the powerful, but also expands the state, is certainly a lie.

Linker is absolutely right on the Trump raid. I've been saying it. Justice is only served in a narrow sense, not a broader one, and the decision is in any case foolish and fosters the cult of personality behind Trump against an unjust regime. This just continues to reinforce how poorly suited the left is to restoring peace, signs we should have read better in all their moral preening and crusading in the Trump years. Trump has been out of power for a year and a half, and things have just kept getting worse, because Trump was a distraction, not the cause of the problem.

For peace to return, showman Trump needs to exit the scene, and the current domestic left needs to be thoroughly crushed, and their grave pissed on, so like Prohibition this current generation of vain and idiotic moralizing that you document so well is put to rest for good.
schedule 2 months ago
Chris Karr
Chris Karr
"I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn't lose any voters, OK? It's, like, incredible." -Donald Trump, 2016

"Yes he could shoot someone, and I wouldn't raise my voice to object. But that's not what's important - did you see these guys dressing like women over here, and universities requiring DEI statements, etc." -Rod Dreher, 2022

By making politics more important than justice, you're committing the same grave sin as all those Soros-backed district attorneys (like Chicago's own Kim Foxx) and giving a pass to guys caught committing crimes because you think that the politics are bad. Do you know what's bad politics? When the people who have been given "mulligans" repeatedly go on to commit the same or worse offenses because they enjoy "bad politics" armor that will keep the people from holding them accountable from doing so. The only difference between you and Foxx and Chesa Boudin is what you consider "bad politics". You all share the values that enforcing the law (and preventing future offenses) is secondary.
schedule 2 months ago
    Cooper Gallimore
    Cooper Gallimore
    Maybe a minor point (though I don't think so) but as a practical matter of administration, politics and justice cannot be disentangled. We do a disservice to ourselves and the way that we think about the concept of justice if we refuse to acknowledge the political dimension of our courts and police system. The fact is, we live in a society so overburdened with laws, rules, and regulations that it is impossible (as a practical matter) to exist without breaking them all the time, generally without even realizing it. I am 99% certain that you, or anyone else, while driving a car on any given day, probably breaks a number of "laws" regarding when and how long you must use a blinker in order to turn, how much room you must leave between you and other cars, how quickly you decelerate, and of course the speed limit. You are probably not even aware of these laws, but the police are, and these "laws" have been crafted to provide them with a pretext to pull over just about anyone for any reason, if they have a suspicion about them. Of course, they don't have a suspicion about most people most of the time, but the so-called tools of "justice" (i.e. laws) have been structured to provide them immense discretionary powers, so long as they are careful about how they do the paperwork. Thus the "laws" are merely a subtext and a subterfuge for the system operating just underneath and alongside them. The situation with Trump is analogous to this, laws which are drawn broadly and only applied as a pretext for some other reason. Once you have a legal regime crafted in such a way, so complicated and byzantine that even the lawyers don't claim to have a full handle on the requisite requirements for full compliance, the application of "justice" becomes a mere echo haunting the edges of the system. Don't misunderstand me, justice is perhaps the most important virtue a society should strive to attain; it is a real and laudable thing and we must not become cynical about it as an ideal, or shirk from striving for it in our individual lives and actions. Our legal system, however, is not one primarily concerned with the administration of justice. It has not been for a long time, and does not, and cannot (especially at the levels of power we are talking about here) even aim for the elusive goal of justice. Once we realize this, we can begin to look at the situation before us with clearer eyes. Trump may, in fact, be guilty as hell of a whole host of things. Rod's point (I think) is that the system is not competent to judge him, because it has via the structure and practice of its institutions, shown that it is just as corrupt.
    schedule 2 months ago
      JON FRAZIER
      JON FRAZIER
      If the justice system is incompetent to judge, then what's the alternative? We accept anarchy and leave everything up to God? That is a counsel of despair, and despair is a sin.
      We humans are incapable of perfection in anything. Miscarriages of justice do happen. So what? We still have to try and if we sit on our hands and whine like Eyore that nothing works then we truly merit Judgment, each and everyone of us.
      schedule 2 months ago
      Chris Karr
      Chris Karr
      "The situation with Trump is analogous to this, laws which are drawn broadly and only applied as a pretext for some other reason."

      I understand (and appreciate) the point you're making about getting caught up by laws that we might not even be aware of. However, the Trump situation isn't analogous to him not using his blinker once - the issues around his administration and document retention are extremely well-documented, and this more a case of his willful flouting of those laws that's the issue instead of some sort of accidental ignorance.

      If "the system" is too far gone to judge Trump fairly, then it's too far gone to judge the carjackers, robbers, and killers that our local State's Attorney (Soros-backed Kim Foxx) has decided should pass on prosecuting. You know what happens then? They go on to repeat their crimes, even more brazenly after being released, as they know that there are no consequences (example[1]). What in the world makes ANYONE think that letting Trump off the hook (or as evangelicals like to say, granting him another "mulligan") will increase Trump's respect of the law that he's already flouting?

      If we're at that point, then why have any laws or law enforcement at all? That's a larger danger to the ongoing health of our civilization far moreso than trans kids, a coach being fired for something stupid, us not paying enough attention to Orbán, and all the distractions that Rod's tossing against the wall to get us to ignore what's happened at Mar-a-Lago and refocus on his pet causes.

      [1] https://cwbchicago.com/2022/07/felon-carjacked-a-woman-while-on-parole-for-shooting-someone-and-on-electronic-monitoring-for-a-gun-case-prosecutors-say.html
      schedule 2 months ago
        Michael Campbell
        Michael Campbell
        There's no constituency for killers and other street criminals. That's why Boudin landed out on his butt even in SF. Soros is just being Soros, a radical quasi-terrorist.

        Trump is a political question. Again think of this like the Middle East or the Balkans. This is tribal war. Tribe A can't attack Tribe B's leader, even if the charges are technically correct, without it being seen and reacted to by all in the tribal sense. Like the former is just a pretext for the latter.
        This is why even sane regular Republican pols have used the happening as an opportunity to tee off on a justice system and bureaucracy repeatedly weaponized by political enemies. The trust in the system is just not there.

        In fact Soros' guys are an excellent example of a weaponized justice system. Laws are being selectively ignored and applied, leading to the perception that the law does not exist impartially, it's a weapon.
        schedule 2 months ago
          JON FRAZIER
          JON FRAZIER
          If anything, incompetent prosecutors who let criminals walk should be described as "weaponizing the justice system" but quite the opposite: as disarming it.
          schedule 2 months ago
          JON FRAZIER
          JON FRAZIER
          Should NOT be described (I miss the edit function)
          schedule 1 month ago
          Michael Campbell
          Michael Campbell
          Amen to that - Rod/TAC if you can get that Edit button working, that'd be appreciated.
          schedule 1 month ago
    Michael Campbell
    Michael Campbell
    If you think your enemies have this Chinese model of state aligned capitalism in mind, eventually leading up to "your card was declined because of your hate speech" (in Britain they already haul you in for meme reposting "hate speech" of this sort, and our leaders do have a repeated and eerie fondness for what China's de jure communist, de facto fascist regime does), Trump blowing someone away on Fifth Avenue is the least of your worries, no?

    It's a situation better understood by the Middle East or the Balkans. What is law, but the use of sheer power, and the imposition of one tribe over another? Why would a Kurd expect fair treatment from Baghdad's FBI? And if there was a Kurd strongman who stood up against it, even if he was a corrupt killer, wouldn't he be the only realistic choice for Kurds in the matter? If you're a Kurd you'd vote for a guy who blew away a whole street full of people, if that guy was the only thing standing between you and a terrible fate.

    I became much more sympathetic to Rod's argument after watching the vaccine mandate madness play out. It made it real. "They really are coming for us". I suspect no small number feel the same.

    I don't like the Fifth Avenue shooter, but if he's the only thing left on my side of the fence come 2024, I guess he's at least my bastard.
    schedule 2 months ago
      Chris Karr
      Chris Karr
      "I don't like the Fifth Avenue shooter, but if he's the only thing left on my side of the fence come 2024, I guess he's at least my bastard."

      That's the thing. There's no ironclad Law Of God or Law Of Nature that forces ANYONE from moving on from Trump. Nada. I feel like I'm watching a bunch of lunatics doubling down on the guy because of a mistaken impression that the FBI searched their houses and that his crimes are their crimes. Trump is his own person just as you're your own person. You owe him NOTHING.

      If you want someone to guard and protect you against a Chinese-style surveillance state, you have a whole menu of "bastards" to choose from. I'm certain that there's another fellow in Florida who would be thrilled to serve you in that role. (And odds are pretty good that he'd do a much better job at it than Trump.) I can find any number of other options as well, if he's not your cup of tea.

      Yet, instead of doing the sane thing and moving on (after being given more than enough good reasons prior to this week), folks continue to double down repeatedly, when there are clearly better options available to them, at no significant additional cost. You might as well move on now with some credibility intact instead of waiting for the Grim Reaper to make that choice for you (sooner likelier than later, if insurance actuarial life tables tell us anything useful).
      schedule 2 months ago
        Michael Campbell
        Michael Campbell
        I much, much prefer DeSantis, yes. I think Trump is a cult of personality and have said so. Didn't vote for him in 2020. I look at him as only acceptable when the alternative is something that's even worse.

        If he decides to run, he's got enough cult of personality that he probably sucks all the oxygen out of the rest of the regime opposition. I don't like that fact, but it is what it is. If Trump runs, I will probably have to vote for him in 2024.

        I respect your dislike for Trump and share the vast majority of it, just trying to share my perspective on how one could not like Trump at all, and still support him, from my own rationale.
        schedule 2 months ago
          Chris Karr
          Chris Karr
          Thanks for sharing your perspective with a hardheaded fellow like me. :-)
          schedule 2 months ago
Daniel Baker
Daniel Baker
I disagree with this. I wish I could completely disagree with it. If we are at the point where the government cannot be allowed to perform its legitimate functions (such as gathering evidence pursuant to a lawfully-issued warrant in response to obvious evidence of violation of the Presidential Records Act), because it has lied to us and deceived us on other matters, then there is no polity. We are done. Time to move to Australia, or Hungary, or wherever a chance of civilized life still remains. We may indeed be at that point - - the USSR and Romania collapsed, in large part, because they had reached that point - - but like the true-believing Communists who tried to prop up the USSR to the end, I cannot yet reconcile myself to giving up on the constitutional system of government our Founders created, and which brought this country to greatness. Our system is sick, but I don't yet believe that it is incurable.

So why can't I completely reject Dreher's position? The FBI's deafening silence about the whole thing. The raid is defensible if, and only if, it is a routine exercise of the FBI's normal criminal investigative duties. And in the normal course of the FBI's criminal investigations, when it launches a major raid, it announces it, and talks to the press about what it has done, why, and what the next step is. We have seen and heard practically nothing, except from Trump. Which gives me the sinking suspicion that nothing incriminating was found, and that there are tense backroom meetings going on at DOJ right now about how to spin the nothing that was found. If this turns out to be the WMD of the Biden administration, then the backlash could be fatal to the country.
schedule 2 months ago
    Michael Campbell
    Michael Campbell
    Excellent points.
    schedule 2 months ago
Scuds Lonigan
Scuds Lonigan
The following is a quote from right wing pundit, Pedro Gonzales.

"It's difficult for the right to hear this but it's true and more people need to accept it. The country you are patriotic about is gone. The thing that took its place is shameful and deserves to be destroyed. You're going to have to rebuild something to be proud of."

I think it's accurate.
schedule 2 months ago
Peter Pratt
Peter Pratt
America works when there is equal justice under the law. America is now a place of unequal justice, where government officials and Democrat operatives know they are above the law, and they openly flaunt it.

It was reported today that Clinesmith, the government attorney who convicted of altering an email from the CIA to submit it to federal court for a wiretap on Trump associates and thereby Trump in 2016, who avoided all real punishment except getting his law license suspended, is now reinstated by the DC Bar. No real consequences means no justice.

The Roman Republic went through over a hundred years of civil conflict before Julius Caesar was stabbed by people he had pardoned. The Republic suffered through Sulla and Marius and others during this time. The Masters of Rome series does a good job covering this. The first book is First Man in Rome.

Unless we can have justice again, there is no republic.
schedule 2 months ago
Scuds Lonigan
Scuds Lonigan
Anybody listen to Garland?

Information, no.
Chastisement, yes.
schedule 2 months ago
    Chris Karr
    Chris Karr
    It's not within Garland's power to unilaterally unseal and release the search warrant and other documents himself.

    Be patient.
    schedule 2 months ago
Michael Campbell
Michael Campbell
Latest headlines from the Babylon Bee, for additional perspective for Jon and Chris and others with whom I've argued that current regime credibility is basically shot, regardless whatever anyone thinks of Trump himself:

"FBI to Begin Raiding Homes Of Those Who Criticize FBI Raid" - "We will not tolerate any disparagement of this proud and incorruptible federal law enforcement agency that has never done anything wrong. All who oppose us are dangerous and deplorable. Prepare to be raided, suckas!" said Wray.

"Report: By 2026 Everyone In US Will Be Working for IRS and Will All Just Be Auditing Each Other"

"4D Chess: Trump Saves His Cache of Classified Documents from FBI Confiscation By Labeling them 'Epstein's Client List'"

"Report: FBI Raided Mar-A-Lago After Tip That Parents Were Protesting A School Board Meeting There"

"You'll Never Take Me Alive, Coppers! Shouts Trump Speeding Away From FBI Agents In Golf Cart" (see the contrast? Trump is a clown and unserious, unlike his way-too-serious persecutors)

"Hunter Biden Breathes Sign Of Relief as FBI Raid Team Passes By His House On Way to Mar-A-Lago"

See how past regime overreach and failure has led up to this environment where this is automatically seen as suspect by half of the country and just another exercise of the law as a selective weapon by our enemies? Not as justice, but tribal warfare? And Trump, a man who really doesn't deserve the benefit of the doubt, gets one because he's the avatar of opposition to a system whose legitimacy is teetering more and more?

Your distrust of Trump is going over the heads of the right, as from their perspective their distrust of regime institutions is going over yours.
schedule 2 months ago
    ROBERT GRANO
    ROBERT GRANO
    Or to say this somewhat differently, the fact that Trump and the regime are untrustworthy in different ways does not mean they're not equally untrustworthy. Team R tends to lie about money while Team D lies about power. Personally I think that the latter is more dangerous, since the GOP still at least pretends to support a democratic republic, but that's about as far as my "support" for Team R goes. My biggest concern is that I don't want either party in full control of D.C., and I will vote against that no matter how I have to vote on an individual level.
    schedule 2 months ago
      JON FRAZIER
      JON FRAZIER
      You're probably right that we're better off when we have divided government.
      schedule 1 month ago
    ROBERT GRANO
    ROBERT GRANO
    https://www.frontporchrepublic.com/2022/08/tone-deaf-experts-in-the-hour-of-grift/

    Lest anyone think this is a partisan rant, I've been reading Peters for over a decade and can say without fear of contradiction that he is equally appalled by the other "repugnant political party."
    schedule 2 months ago
      Michael Campbell
      Michael Campbell
      Yeah, he notes that at the end. That was a great read, thanks.

      My voting habit is also always swinging against the party with more power. I'm shelving that for now seeing what institutional dominance the left has. They control a pervasive, and ambitious, "do gooder" state directed capitalist (kind of fascist, no?) technocracy that operates even when they're out of political power. They're clearly enamored with the way China runs, to "synergize us" to their goals, and the way China runs is creepy as hell.

      This regime needs to come down. The right has corrupt power hogs, clowns and con men, and it has some weak religious and racial extremists, but they're nothing like this. They're ordinary politicians. They feel, by far, the more survivable of the two evils.
      schedule 2 months ago
    Chris Karr
    Chris Karr
    You are aware that the Babylon Bee is satire, right? I got a kick out of today's "Angel Outside Trump’s Empty Safe Tells FBI Agents, 'Behold! The Document You Seek Is Not Here!'" headline.
    schedule 2 months ago
      Michael Campbell
      Michael Campbell
      Of course - I take the headlines, which are written to get a laugh out of the audience, as laughing at a truth that the audience perceives. That the regime is unjust and weaponizes institutions against its enemies.
      schedule 2 months ago
        ROBERT GRANO
        ROBERT GRANO
        Exactly right. The Bee does what Limbaugh in his early days was so good at: pointing out the ridiculous by being ridiculous. The Bee has the advantage of being a lot less partisan, however, and takes swipes at both sides with equal glee.
        schedule 1 month ago
      ROBERT GRANO
      ROBERT GRANO
      Satire is pointless if it doesn't ring true with observed realities. Only the densest of persons would miss that aspect of these headlines.
      schedule 1 month ago