The Blue Party’s Trump-era Embrace of Authoritarianism Isn’t Just Wrong, it’s a Fatal Political Mistake
And you're leaving out the about-face on #MeToo. Look, the disparaged conservative critique of CBF was that the incorrect standard was being applied, and it would say the same thing about Tara Reade but for the fact that the groups that turned CBF's accusations into a national spectacle must now either admit their proffered standard was wrong, or acknowledge they hold a different standard when their guy is in the hotseat. The criticism by conservatives now isn't that we should adopt the absurd standard set by the outrage crowd, it's that the outrage crowd needs to own up to the standard they themselves set or take one on the chin. Democrats for some reason seem to have decided on the latter, even when there are probably more creative alternatives for them.
This was an entirely foreseeable outcome, but a disappointing continuation of the Democrats making very short-sighted political plays without any regard for the fact that they'll be bitten in the ass when their turn comes around. Some examples - burning Robert Bork's and Manuel Estrada's nominations; eliminating the filibuster; attempting to burn Kavanaugh's nomination; the long-term consequences of impeachment over strictly non-criminal charges are still TBD.
Right now, they push on three fronts that are guaranteed to be pyrrhic victories - Trumps tax returns; the prosecution of Flynn; state authoritarianism. All three of these are certain to be ass-kickers during the next Democratic administration. Buy popcorn futures.
I'm not a D anymore (or an R for that matter) but I have to thank you for being honest. There are a few of you out there actually practicing journalism, it has to get lonely as your numbers are disappearing. Always applauded Wyden when he was fighting this shit with Paul, not a peep now. And the ACLU fighting to take away due process from college students. I'm 64 and fear for the future. Young people who think this is just political posturing that doesn't matter because Trump=Hitler may be in for a rude awakening. The guys who do this shit never think the shoe will be on the other foot and it always ends up there. The overall mediocrity of our self important elite is mind boggling and I hope folks wise up.
Why has it taken so long for a JFK and Hubert Humphrey Democratic to write this story. I’m 56. I grew up when Democrats would rather die than let civil liberties be taken from anyone, including Republicans. Now, those people seem to be gone. I voted for Trump, and I will again for those exact reasons.
COINTELPRO seems forgotten. After years of fighting against government overreach including the USAPATRIOT Act (esp. The Librarians' Connecticut Four), the liberal democrats with whom I have always identified & voted now are pro-censorship when it comes to Big Tech and ready to give the state full-power over our every move. Maybe too many have COVID-safe paychecks. The ACLU is no longer a beacon. FISA passed the Senate yesterday. Bernie didn't even vote. The only thing that makes sense is they all have their secret deals (usually through their children or siblings like Biden) and they don't want to lose power and have that exposed.
Excellent piece. Thank you.
Chelsea Manning's outrageous fines were actually paid by supporters through a crowdfunding platform. https://couragetoresist.org/chelsea-manning-free-fines-nearly-paid/ I was proud to contribute a small amount to it.
On the broader issues, the Democratic Party's behavior these last few months was enough to get me to finally give up my right to vote, when piled on top of their behavior over the last five years or so. I just don't give a shit about them anymore, because they don't give a shit about anything real anymore.
Because they are not liberals. They are The Left. Completely different animal. Utterly corrupt and anti-American. The Left IS the Democratic Party and the media now. And they did not want a civilized discussion. They want to jail and destroy their enemies. And their enemies are the rest of us.
Thank you for this piece. Your investigative work always shows an honest effort to think and reason irregardless of the lines, and I appreciate your wit and clarity. There is a broad range of comments here; It looks a lot like party line enforcement, particularly from the Blue Team. I hope you continue to not pay any attention to any of it, from either side. Personally, I grew up with Democrats of the most progressive, liberal type, and as a working class kid sacking groceries to keep an old car on the road, I saw as much as I needed to by the time I went to University.
Since the Bolshevik Revolution, the Democratic Party in the USA has been all about winning elections. It is the primary practical aim of the Party. I think you should examine carefully what effect this has on their philosophy and on their actions, and ask yourself: What do I imagine would be the price too high to pay, for the Democratic Party to be willing to consider a loss? Then look for it, in practice. Throughout my youth, the Party was eager to embrace revolution, reform, and the ideas of individual rights. But it's a mistake to imagine they believed any of it. It was just a game plan to win, and now: they have a new plan.
What we're witnessing is the real-time maturation of a liberal--in the true "classic" sense" (individual rights, freedom of speech/expression, worker's rights, etc). Oddly, it is the conservative movement over the past 40 years that has been most consistent with the original ideology. The American "liberal" movement which espoused noble, egalitarian ideals was corrupted long-ago by selfish hijacking of moral movements to establish their elite status in media, academia, and global political/economic self-serving...power, the ultimate corrupter.
The media was transparently partisan and hypocritical before Trump, but in the past 4 years they have behaved so badly that most of the public no longer has any respect for the profession of "journalism." Personally, I love to watch Trump berate and abuse the twits in the White House press corps. Most of their questions aren't serious inquiries and don't deserve a serious response.
This ignores the valid reasons for concern related to Flynn’s activities. Flynn was undermining US foreign policy by taking a different position on sanctions. He was opening himself to blackmail by lying to the Vice President. And he lied to the FBI during one of the biggest assaults on our democratic process by Russia. Yes, in hindsight it seems tame because there wasn’t some Trump-Putin conspiracy exposed. But these actions by Flynn (in which he pled guilty) would still warrant action in my view. But I completely agree about the excessive use of surveillance. But are you going to write articles like this for every American prosecuted through these means? Is Trump going to apply this same legal jujitsu in every federal case? No, because Trump wants to help Flynn. Not because he actually wantS to reform the surveillance state. So I don’t think the judge is acting in an authoritarian manner. It’s a valid check on a politically motivated executive.
"Blue-staters have gone from dismissing constitutional concerns as Trumpian ruse to sneering at them, in the manner of French aristocrats, as evidence of proletarian mental defect."
Sad but, in my opinion as well, true.
I used to think it was a joke when the right accused the left of supporting tyranny. Now I'm beginning to wonder if it wasn't always true and I just hadn't noticed it before.
Matt Taibbi is one of the few journalists remaining on the left with any ethics and integrity. The NYT, WaPo, and major TV networks are revealed as partisan hacks who don’t do their homework and can’t be counted on to stand up for what’s right and just.
This might be the most important piece of the author's acclaimed career. When the facts came to light, I expected Democrats to admit that, even if Trump is the worst president in history, what happened was not only illegal, but dangerous for our democracy. Instead, no Democrat came close to condemning the multiyear witch hunt, before this writing. A two party system cannot continue if one side chucks the rules because, they believe, a bunch of hick voters chose poorly. Like many suburban woman, I did not vote for Trump. My lack of support doesn't prevent me from understanding what really transpired. Career politicians and law enforcement officers decided the American voters made a mistake and they decided to rectify the situation by destroying the new administration. Calling the whole thing a distraction is an insult to any average person's intelligence. Now the 302 form is missing? Joe Biden unmasked Flynn eight days before retirement? A judge that lacks a criminal complaint has conscripted another Judge to play the part of Prosecutor? Loathe Trump all you want, an inept President is not nearly as terrifying as an unpunished attempted coup or the refusal of the Press to call it out. The behavior of Blue States regarding the coronavirus is fueled by the same hubris as the Flynn debacle . Tell me what public health policy is served by preventing a family of four, residing in the same house, from enjoying their boat together? Many counties in this country have yet to experience a single virus death. Why should they be shuddered like NYC?
You are one of the few real journalists left out there. It is a dying trade and is extremely concerning. You do not let your own personal biases affect your analysis and discussion of serious issues and maintain a consistent criteria to conduct your evaluation. Keep up the good work!!!
As a Democrat who has walked away, I think you hit the nail on the head here. The left has lurched so far into state-worship and anti-Trump derangement (and I'm no Trump supporter) that it borders on suicidal. It pains me, but we're watching some terrifying trends emerge.
It's Watergate alright. And Andrew McCabe is G. Gordon Liddy.
Actually, it's far, far, worse than Watergate.