Gertrude Stein famously warned that it was important to know how far to go when going too far.
It pains me to admit that Democrats seem to have a far better sense of all that than do Republicans. Perhaps it’s because Democrats have a visceral appreciation of William Hazlitt’s observation that “those who lack delicacy hold us in their power.” The Democrats, that is to say, long ago became expert at the game of holding their opponents to standards that they themselves violate not just with impunity but with ostentatious glee.
The news last week that Michael Sussmann was found not guilty by a D.C. jury of his ideological peers was another thumb in the eye of the American so-called system of justice. Scary-looking super-cop John Durham had indicted Sussmann for the same thing that brought down Trump’s flash-in-the-pan National Security Advisor Mike Flynn—lying to the FBI—but no one who has been paying attention thought the two men would be treated the same way. Flynn was close to Donald Trump, therefore he must be considered a sacrificial beast, someone to be made an example of, a pariah. And so he was.
Sussmann, by contrast, was a covert employee of the 'Resting-Bitch-Face' Hillary Clinton campaign. He helped get the Russian Collusion Delusion going and lied to the FBI in the process. But he was on the side of the regime party, so, as Jonathan Turley observed as the Sussmann case unfolded, he was afforded every consideration while Flynn found himself ruined. In this tale of two trials, we got a textbook illustration of how you can deploy a two-tier system of justice in which, as George Orwell put it in Animal Farm: All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.
Sure, it’s a contradiction. It doesn’t, intellectually, make sense. It also violates every canon of justice, which depends upon a publicly acknowledged ideal of impartiality. But in the larger, more cynical realm of the Thrasymachean dispensation of American regime politics circa 2022, it is just what the doctor ordered. Washington, D.C., is a company town. The company is the regime, the deep state, populated by swamp creatures battening at the public trough and fueled by the rancid clichés of identity politics. I think Roger Simon was right when he observed that Sussmann’s exoneration marked “the end of American justice as we know it.” (Actually, it was just another plaque on the tombstone; “American justice” has been an oxymoron for years.)
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Author: Ruth King
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