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Pretending that what’s happening isn’t happening


I want to highlight a comment DamnYankeesLGM made in Scott’s post about Merrick Garland’s decision to have the DOJ continue to substitute the United States for Donald Trump as the defendant in E. Jean Carroll’s lawsuit.

What’s going on here is that, before he was president, Trump raped Carroll. Carroll went public with this information in 2019, at which point Trump slandered her, claiming that he had never met her and that she wasn’t his type. Carroll then sued Trump for defamation.

It’s important to realize that when Bill Barr ordered the DOJ to intervene in the suit, this decision, if it were to be upheld by the courts, would in effect put an end to Carroll’s lawsuit. The United States has sovereign immunity against defamation suits, so that would be that.

Let’s not mince words here: Merrick Garland’s position is that the president of the United States should be able to rape a woman when he’s a private citizen, and then be totally immunized forever from lying to the world about this, if he lies about it when he’s president.

Now I realize that respect for The Rule of Law and the Sanctity of Neutral Principles of Adjudication require us all to pretend that we don’t know whether Trump or Carroll is lying here, and that it shouldn’t make any difference at all whether the ex (for the moment) president who used his office to immunize himself from liability for slandering a woman he raped is an aspiring fascist dictator or just a more regular kind of guy.

Take it away DamnYankees:

I’ve been struggling to find the right words the last few days. The word “Weimar” keeps poppuping over and over in my head, though that’s not quite right.

I guess all I can come up with is that the Democrats have basically submitted to Trump. Not that they want him to win or be President, but the large majority of elected Democrats have all agreed to act like he was normal, real, legitimate. They don’t see any need or desire to act like there’s a real threat there. He was just a President.

The analogy here would be Nazi judges. People who were judges in the Weimar Republic, who were not Nazis when it started. But then Hitler took power and banned alternative parties, and the judges just…went along. They just continued doing their job, submitting to Nazi rule and acting on their behalf, because ultimately their job was to be judges, nothing more.

We talk all the time about how we can’t let Trump be normalized, but he has been. And the highest levels of Democratic governance are not just letting it happen, but actively abetting it. Why are they doing this? I dont know. It’s hard to say. But the recent escapades of people like Manchin has made be belief that many, many liberal and democratic leaders are stupid and shallow people. They have better values than their fascist counterparts, but not all that much else.

I don’t know how else to put it. It can’t be more discouraging. Lots of people get on me, yell at me about “oh, so what’s your plan genuis!” I don’t have a plan. I don’t have a solution. All I can do is observe what’s happening and note that we will be annihilated because of it. Politically, of course. But maybe people will die because of the coming fascist onslaught. And we’re just watching it come.

Basically, what we have here is a bunch of Very Serious Institutionalists who are arguing about whether the kitchen backsplash should be switched out. They’re having this argument even though a fire is spreading rapidly through the house, because it’s a lot less disturbing to argue about backsplash options than to contemplate the prospect of being burned alive, and then maybe trying to do something about it.

As to what to do about that, I too am short on bright ideas, but a good first step would be for people like Merrick Garland and his boss to stop pretending that Donald Trump and the Republican party (a distinction for the moment without a difference) aren’t actively trying to destroy the United States.

Yes I realize that in the abstract a “politicized” DOJ is a really bad thing. A worse thing is when someone is trying to literally kill you and you keep trying to get them to appear at an Aspen Institute panel moderated by David Brooks.

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