“Prospect of New Special Counsel Rattles Justice” was the scary front-page headline on a recent, worried edition of The Washington Post. The faux fuss was caused by Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ suggestion that after weighing recommendations from senior prosecutors, he might appoint a special counsel to investigate Hillary Clinton’s role in the Uranium One deal.
The key facts of that deal, for those whose attention has been wholly absorbed by the all-day coverage of the corruption trial of Sen. Bob Menendez (New Jersey Democrat, of course), are: First, Russian interests gave the Clinton Foundation $145 million dollars; second, paid (now finally, not after Harvey Weinstein but only after Roy Moore) disgraced former President Bill Clinton $500,000 for a short speech on tying shoelaces; following which, third, the sale of Uranium One to the Russians was cleared by the State Department then run by (now mostly disgraced for covering shamelessly for the now finally and fully disgraced said Bill Clinton) Hillary Clinton.
It’s true that eight other government agencies also had to approve the sale, but does anyone really think that either a low-level bureaucrat, a mid-level Democratic appointee, or a possible future Democratic candidate for any office in the land (even canine collector) would have crossed the Democratic Party’s very own Wicked Witch of the West?
Democratic Louis Renaults, who are rattled at what they claim is politicization of the Justice Department, should turn the clock back (any conservative can show them how) to the Eric Holder Justice Department days for a master class on politicizing.
John Fund and Hans A. von Spakovsky wrote a whole book on corruption in the Holder Justice Department called “Obama’s Enforcer: Eric Holder’s Justice Department.”
One longtime lawyer in the Civil Rights Division told the authors Mr. Holder had: racialized and radicalized the division to the point of corruption. They embedded politically leftist extremists in the career ranks who have an agenda that does not comport with equal protection or the rule of law; who believe that the ends justify the means; and who behave unprofessionally and unethically. Their policy is to intimidate and threaten employees who do not agree with their politics.
People may differ on what kind of actions they think rise to the level of politicization. That is not only inevitable, but increasingly likely in our increasingly polarized political world.
The real issue, slouching slowly toward our conscientiousness, is: Can two major cultures coexist in our democracy? In any democracy?
American politics has always been rambunctious. One need only read accounts of some of America’s early political campaigns to get a sense of the permanence of political hyperbole — doing business as mudslinging.
Even so, perhaps, but only perhaps, we think the administration of justice should be different. It would be satisfying to blame the high-octane politicization of the courts on Sen. Edward Kennedy’s unspeakable campaign in 1987 against Robert Bork’s confirmation to be a justice on the Supreme Court. In fact, the uber-politicization of the courts began years earlier, perhaps in 1973 with the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade legalizing abortion. That decision was simply legislation from the bench; divisive then, divisive now. And more legislation, and more divisiveness, came with the Supreme Court’s decisions legalizing sodomy, in Lawrence v. Texas (2003), and marriage between homosexuals, in Obergefell v. Hodges (2015).
But now the party’s over, for the left. And you can see why they’re worried. There are 18 vacancies on the Courts of Appeal and 127 in the Federal District Courts. The Senate has already confirmed 12 of President Trump’s nominees. He may fill most of the remaining vacancies during his first term, and will certainly fill them all if he gets a second term. Because the judges serve for life, their influence will be felt for decades to come.
But there are still two cultures. One lives according to traditional Western Civ. morality, the other pushes a feel-good cocktail of new-age practices; one believes in limited government, the other that government power should reign supreme. And the struggle will continue. The leftist side has been most prominently represented by the Clintons, though it does look now as if their day, finally, is passing. It’s passing because of Hillary’s defeat, and because of Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein’s behavior, and that of so many of the left-wing cinematic glitterati whose behavior was just like his and, just like his, known to the rest of the denizens of the glitterati galaxy — including, undoubtedly, the Clintons.
Is it any wonder the Deplorables say, “Lock her up”?
Lock her up, indeed. Tempting. Better, probably — more fun, certainly — to put one of those ankle bracelets on her and on Bill, and sentence them to stay close to each other, always. Till death do them part.
A better slogan might be: “Lock her up — and give culture a chance.” But the rattled writers of scary headlines know that traditional Western Civ. culture may now get a chance even if she stays free.
• Daniel Oliver is chairman of the board of the Education and Research Institute and a director of Citizens for the Republic.