If 'fascist' describes one party over another, it hardly seems to fit the Republicans right now
By Gary Abernathy
Definition of ‘fascism’ seems more suited to today’s left
For quite a while, “racist” was the kneejerk description of Republicans — and, in particular, supporters of Donald Trump — that the left and many in the media chose to use as an interchangeable synonym. Lately, though, thanks to President Joe Biden, the current preference is “fascist,” or, when they’re being kind, “semi-fascist.”
It’s amazing to watch how quickly the follow-the-leader mentality takes hold. Suddenly, pundits, critics and columnists have all jumped on the “fascist” bandwagon and decided to describe Republicans as such.
Here’s the definition of fascism at dictionary.com: “A governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism.”
Considering who’s in control of the White House and both houses of Congress, it’s hardly the Republicans who have “complete power” right now.
The Britannica dictionary describes fascism as “a way of organizing a society in which a government ruled by a dictator controls the lives of the people and in which people are not allowed to disagree with the government.”
Yes, I know — it again sounds a lot more like today’s left than anything else, particularly in suppressing opposition and criticism and cracking down on any disagreement with the government. Pressure on social media companies to ban or censor voices comes much more from the left than the right.
It’s difficult to understand what it is about Trump supporters that would lead Biden and others to compare them to fascists. But that’s the trendy thing to do right now. And Biden’s political decision to go on a series of attacks against “MAGA Republicans” — and then backing off when cornered into explaining who exactly he’s talking about — seems destined to do more harm than good, both for him and the country. But we’ll see. Biden has clearly abandoned his early stated goal of uniting the country.
If they want to insult Republicans in general and Trump supporters in particular, maybe they can think of something more accurate than “fascist.” Of course, if enough media organizations play along, accuracy isn’t really necessary. Racist, fascist — the name-calling grows wearisome. Someday, a grown-up will emerge to lead.
Turns out, it’s ok to attack the courts after all
Donald Trump was often harshly criticized for lashing out at court decisions and judges when rulings didn’t go his way. Turns out, people were just kidding. It’s ok to attack judges after all.
We now know this to be true after U.S District Judge Aileen Cannon granted Trump’s request for a special master to review documents taken from Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago while they were supposed to only be retrieving national security items as defined in a search warrant.
Suddenly, the courts became fair game. The judge’s ruling was “wrong,” “problematic” and even “dangerous.” A Daily Beast headline said, “The Judge in the Trump Mar-a-Lago Investigation Is Recklessly Endangering the Rule of Law.”
Writing for MSNBC, legal analyst Barbara McQuade wrote that the court was particularly wrong in “ordering the government to stop using the seized material in its criminal investigation for now.” Why? Because “this extraordinary relief was granted despite Trump’s failure to make a persuasive case that he had a substantial likelihood of success on the merits of his case, that he would suffer irreparable harm without relief or that an injunction would cause no harm to the public interest…”
Obviously, Trump did not fail to make a “persuasive case” to the only person who mattered — Judge Cannon.
It’s difficult to fathom a legitimate reason for Trump to have taken classified documents with him from the White House. Trump has reportedly been telling his inner circle that he kept the classified documents because among them were items that help prove what a witch hunt the Russian investigation was. But either way, it’s not hard to see why Trump would want someone besides the FBI or DOJ to determine whether all the documents taken from Trump’s home — rather haphazardly it seems — were taken properly or improperly.
This is the same FBI whose director, James Comey, has often smugly boasted about how he pulled a fast one on the Trump White House by sending in agents to question Gen. Michael Flynn while the new administration was getting settled in. He then leaked information to the New York Times to pressure DOJ to appoint a special prosecutor. It’s the same FBI with agents texting each other about how they wouldn’t let Trump win, how “We’ll stop it.” When the FBI says, hey, trust us, we’ve already gone through the documents and everything’s A-OK, well, it’s not hard to see why Trump would want a second opinion.
By the way, it’s been fun to watch Trump critics embrace Bill Barr, the former attorney general who was routinely vilified for not jumping on the bandwagon to bring Trump down after the Mueller report. Barr has been among the critics of the special master court decision, and so suddenly his remarks are shared and applauded by Trump haters everywhere — ignoring the hypocrisy of pretending that Barr has no credibility when he sides with Trump, tons of it when he’s on the other side.
Good analysis of how the right & left have switched
Washington Post columnist Jason Willick recently wrote an insightful piece focusing on how the left and the right have essentially switched positions over the last several decades.
Willick notes that there are “clear parallels between today’s populist right and the new left movement that exploded in the 1960s and 1970s.” He points to Columbia University sociologist C. Wright Mills as the “intellectual godfather” of the “new left” movement of the 1950s.
Willick observes, “What matters is that today’s new right, like the new left before it, is self-consciously animated by a sense of exclusion from what Mills called ‘the higher circles’ — including in universities, professional organizations and the national security state.”
Willick quotes Yuval Levin of the American Enterprise Institute, who said, “Today’s Right implicitly understands itself as the outside party, oppressed by the powerful and banging on the windows of the institutions. Today’s Left implicitly understands itself as the insider, enforcing norms and demanding conformity.”
That’s the polar opposite of the way things were in the 1950s through the 1980s.
The piece is worth a read. You can find it here.
Queen Elizabeth II: A class act amidst the turmoil
Word came this afternoon of the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. The older I get, the more amazing it is that she was already queen (for four years) when I was born. The great majority of people alive today have no recollection of a time when Elizabeth was not queen.
Regardless of whatever circus was going on around her both professionally and personally through the years — and there always seemed to be one at any given time— Elizabeth remained a class act. That’s no small accomplishment.
God rest her soul. Long live the queen, in our hearts.
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