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Will Partisan Lawfare Destroy Trump?

Trump Derangement Syndrome became Orwellian with the recent ruling of the Colorado Supreme Court.

It approved the erasure of Trump from the Republican primary ballot in Colorado, by invoking Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.

That ossified clause was intended to bar any ante-bellum federal officials who joined the Confederacy from again holding federal offices after 1865.

In no way is Trump’s conduct on January 6 comparable to calling for secession, much less prompting a Civil War that cost the country 700,000 lives.

An “insurrectionist” president does not address unarmed protestors with qualifiers like, “I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.”

How also can one be guilty of insurrection without ever being indicted for such a supposed crime, much less convicted of it? 

And the more we learn about January 6, all the more it appears to have been a spontaneous riot, more buffoonish in nature than conspiratorial.

No one has explained the mysterious, politicized January 6 refusal of the Speaker of the House to order a reinforcement of the Capitol police.

Or the FBI stonewalling about its informants in the crowd.

Or the revealing admissions of New York Times reporter Matthew Rosenberg (“a ton of FBI informants among the people who attacked the Capitol”).

Or the warped composition and conduct of the January 6 congressional committee.

Or the months-long official disinformation surrounding the number and circumstances of those who died that day.

That day’s illegality in terms of violence and death paled in comparison to the largely excused and exempted 120 days of summer violence in 2020, when Antifa and BLM engineered riots, arson, and death.

Their planned violence accounted for 35 or so killed, and more than 1,500 injured police officers.

Some $1-2 billion in property was destroyed.

A police precinct, federal courthouse, and iconic Washington, D.C. church were torched.

Mobs attempted to storm the White House grounds and sent the president into a secure underground bunker.

But if one really wishes to imagine genuine “insurrectionary “and actionable language, then recall current Vice President Kamala Harris’s 2020 de facto encouragement to the rioters,

But they’re not gonna stop. They’re not gonna stop, and this is a movement, I’m telling you. They’re not gonna stop, and everyone beware, because they’re not gonna stop. They’re not gonna stop before Election Day in November, and they’re not gonna stop after Election Day. Everyone should take note of that, on both levels, that they’re not going to let up — and they should not. And we should not.

Or remember this 2020 insurrectionary warning to two sitting Supreme Court Justices by then Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

At the very doors of the court, Schumer revved up an angry crowd with undisguised threats:

I want to tell you Gorsuch. I want to tell you Kavanaugh. You have released the whirlwind and you will pay the price. You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.

The Colorado court ruling is sadly only the most recent in a long series of disastrous firsts that are slowly unwinding the republic and making a mockery of the rule of law.

Remember the Russian collusion hoax and the 2016 Clinton/Fusion GPS effort to destroy a presidential candidate?

Recall the 2020 Russian disinformation farcical claim concerning the genuine Hunter Biden laptop?

Do not forget the precedent of impeaching a president twice and then trying an ex-president and private citizen in the Senate.

Then there was another first of raiding an ex-president’s private home over disputes about the removal of presidential papers that are typically solved bureaucratically and as a civil matter.

We are also witnessing ongoing lawfare waged by state and local partisan prosecutors to destroy the current leading presidential candidate.

Their indictments either have no merit or would never have applied to liberal politicians or both.

What will be Colorado’s precedent?

Will red-state courts now respond by erasing Joe Biden from their ballots on grounds that he is “guilty” of insurrectionary activity—by deliberately destroying the southern border, undermining U.S. security, sabotaging federal immigration law, and violating his oath of office?

Will some states remove Vice President Kamala Harris from their 2024 ballots on grounds that in 2020 she deliberately incited insurrectionary protestors who had been engaged in riot, arson, looting, violent assaults on police, and attacks on federal properties?

So does the Left see where it is taking the country?

It is destroying all the old parameters of accepted politics in using any means necessary to deny millions of citizens the right to elect their own highest official.

We have never seen anything like this before in American history. But it is only the latest chapter of an ongoing travesty that will not end well.

 

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About Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson is a distinguished fellow of the Center for American Greatness and the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. He is an American military historian, columnist, a former classics professor, and scholar of ancient warfare. He has been a visiting professor at Hillsdale College since 2004, and is the 2023 Giles O'Malley Distinguished Visiting Professor at the School of Public Policy, Pepperdine University. Hanson was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2007 by President George W. Bush, and the Bradley Prize in 2008. Hanson is also a farmer (growing almonds on a family farm in Selma, California) and a critic of social trends related to farming and agrarianism. He is the author of the just released New York Times best seller, The End of Everything: How Wars Descend into Annihilation, published by Basic Books on May 7, 2024, as well as the recent  The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won, The Case for Trump, and The Dying Citizen.

Photo: TOPSHOT - Former US President and 2024 presidential hopeful Donald Trump gestures during a campaign event in Waterloo, Iowa, on December 19, 2023. An appeals court in Colorado on December 19, 2023 ruled Donald Trump cannot appear on the state's presidential primary ballot because of his involvement in the attack on the Capitol in January 2021. (Photo by KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI / AFP) (Photo by KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

Notable Replies

  1. Avatar for task task says:

    Thanks for elaborating on what is about to happen should the SCOTUS fail to act soon to squash the impending conflagration. This fire needs to be put out with a deluge of sanity before the entire nation is consumed by the greatest threat to its survival since the Civil War. The response to the Colorado decision, on top of everything else, could make Washington bureaucrats feel like Santa Anna after the arrival of Sam Houston.

  2. There is one point I have tried to make in various ways–sometimes subtle, occasionally less so–for the past four years, and that is the left is so determined to stop Trump, it will do literally anything in that effort.

    What the Colorado Supreme Court did–indeed what Agent Smith and the DC courts have done to the J6 martyrs–has nothing to do with the law or the Constitution. It has to do with war, but uses the tactics and process of the law to give a faded tincture of respectability to an otherwise obviously political maneuver.

    What that means is for the left, the end justifies the means, and using the tissue thin facade of legal terms, mechanisms and processes in no way should be considered “legal”. It is in fact all-out war, or to paraphrase Clausewitz, it is war by other means, yet still war.

    I’m afraid that in order to stop this legal assassination of Trump, We the People may need to acquaint ourselves with Clausewitz’s “other means”.

  3. The greatest irony to me in regard to all those defending the Colorado Supreme Court’s actions is that the 14th Amendment is the one most seen as the amendment that defines due process. Since 1948, the 14th Amendment has been to go-to determiner by the US Supreme Court in almost ALL of its decisions. That a subsection originally devised to address the ability to hold elected office by former confederates is applied to Donald Trump is more than nonsensical, it actually robbed Trump of his due process rights. How is that for irony?

  4. Avatar for task task says:

    It was specifically designed for only those officers in the Confederacy that were part of a war. They are all dead now. It clearly left out the word “President” deliberately… not that it matters. It’s an insane overreach. None of it applies.

    The Colorado Supreme Court was correct in the unilateral assertion that there was an insurrection associated with the 2020 election. They just blamed the wrong side. It was, of course, the corrupt and criminal Democratic Party that enabled a coup. The SCOTUS is now going to deal with a whirlwind for which they originally planted the seed. Now it has germinated.

  5. Avatar for task task says:

    What the insane mob has done was never subtle and now they make no attempt at feigning it. We are arriving a moment of primal truth. We make it or we allow it to be broken.

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