The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Friday, August 12, 2022


Back at a time when the USSR and the USA were global superpowers, armed with thousands of megatons of nuclear weapons, a hot war was avoided because mutually assured destruction (M.A.D.) was ensured. If one side released their weapons, the other would assuredly respond, and both countries would be destroyed. 

An analogous situation has existed in American politics for generations. Forget civility or collegiality. Dems and the GOP dislike one another, but when one side is in power, it grudgingly follows prescribed precedent to avoid payback when the other is in power.

All of that is changing at warp speed. Driven by a white-hot hatred of Donald Trump, the Dems have jettisoned the long established version of political M.A.D. and decided to weaponize a willing bureaucracy against their opposition. Early indictments of key aides based on bad FISA warrants, a Russia collusion hoax, a two-year special prosecutor investigation, two failed impeachments (in the early 1990s, the GOP made a grave error in forgetting M.A.D. and impeached Bill Clinton—payback took almost 30 years, but came nonetheless), and finally, the J-6 investigation conducted over 18 months after Trump left office were all precedent setting. 

Cheered on by their rabid base and gleefully backed by their trained hamsters in the media, the Dems appear to have embraced the fantasy that their opposition will not opt for political payback when it gains power. It will, and the result will be very bad for the country.

Kim Strassel comments:

In descending on Mar-a-Lago, the department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation shifted the U.S. into the category of countries whose ruling parties use government power to investigate political rivals. No attorney general has ever signed off on a raid on a former president’s home, in what could be the groundwork for criminal charges.

Yet to read the left’s media scribes, Monday’s search was a ho-hum day in crime-fighting. The Beltway press circled the wagons around Attorney General Merrick Garland and primly parroted Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s piety that “no one is above the law.” “The Mar-a-Lago Raid Proves the U.S. Isn’t a Banana Republic,” pronounced the Atlantic, clearly worried readers might conclude the opposite. It is “bedrock principle” that those who “commit crimes” “must answer for them,” it lectured.

The GOP disputes this sanctimonious position by providing counter examples ad nauseum, but that really isn't the point. 

There's a reason for precedent. There's a reason to tread lightly when moving against the opposition. There's a reason to use judgement when considering criminal charges against an ex-president—whether it's Bill Clinton or Donald Trump. And that reason is PAYBACK.

Strassel continues:

Payback could come even sooner. Democrats set a new low with their Ukrainian impeachment circus, and a GOP House next year might be up for a reprise. Get ready for a few more select committees—perhaps excluding the minority party, as the Democrats effectively did with the Jan. 6 committee—to investigate Mr. Garland’s politicized department or Hunter Biden’s finances. Watch them subpoena sitting Democratic representatives, as the Jan. 6 committee did to Republicans. Reps. Adam Schiff, Ilhan Omar and Eric Swalwell may find themselves on the back bench with a new Republican majority eager to follow Mrs. Pelosi’s example and strip the opposing team’s members of committee assignments.

All this tit for tat will further undermine our institutions and polarize the nation—but such is the nature of retributive politics. Which is why the wholesale Democratic and media defense of this week’s events is so reckless. Both parties long understood that political restraint was less about civility than self-preservation. What goes around always comes around. What went around this week will come around hard. 

I'm not a big fan of Hillary who ran her charitable organization—the Clinton Initiative—like a criminal enterprise. I believe Biden was involved (at least indirectly) in influence peddling while vice president. I think Schiff, Omar, and Swalwell are despicable. But going after them, as satisfying as that might be emotionally, is wrong. 

But now that the Democrats have decided to ignore political M.A.D., that's what we're going to get—"further undermin[ing] our institutions and polariz[ing] the nation."