Democrats in Congress have set out to take down former White House adviser Steve Bannon and former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows for the crime of contempt. As if all of America didn’t regard the Democratic-controlled Congress with contempt. Right?
But there’s a deeper play going on here, one that’s purely ugly politics buoyed by abuses of power. And that sparks this key question: When the so-called laws have become contemptible, is it really contemptuous to defy them?
Think about it. Democrats just spent three-plus years investigating the former president, Donald Trump, for Russia collusion, followed by Russia-related conflicts of interest, followed by Ukraine collusion-light, all along — even before he was inaugurated — calling to impeach, impeach, impeach. He urinated on prostitutes, they cried. He used mean words on Twitter, they wailed.
He dared to fight the hidden and not-so-hidden anti-America forces — they stewed, but dared not say aloud.
And they finally impeached. Twice. The second time when he was on his way out the White House door — when he was well on his way to becoming a private citizen again. How’s that for a “take that” attempt?
Yet it didn’t work.
It didn’t kill the “Make America Great Again” spirit that marked Trump’s administration, and the “America First” policies that still course strong among his base.
So Democrats, fear-filled Democrats, ever fearful of Americans who know their rights come from God, not government — and who aren’t afraid to fight for that American Exceptionalism concept — have taken to going after the staunchest Trump supporters in recent times.
They’re sending in their FBI minions.
They’re drumming out their deep-state ranks.
Democrats and anti-Trumping Republicans on the hunt for fresh MAGA meat are yukking up their lies and doubling down on their deceptions and preparing for their parades of Political Righteousness. They’re pulling out their shiny-covered Constitutions and researching for their best Abraham Lincoln quotes. They’re grabbing at Bibles, frantically skimming for passages about truth and justice and how Jesus, if he were alive and walking the land today, would demand total obedience to Big Government. They know nothing about what they speak, of course. It’s all political theater.
Democrats, you see, have to kill the American spirit and if takes roping in — figuratively, roping up — every determined defender of that spirit, of that MAGA-bearing spirit, so be it. Whatever chilling messages must be sent, so be it. Truth? Facts? Truthful, factual charges? Eh. No need. No bother. It worked for former special counsel Robert Mueller. It’s all about Twitter feeds and New York Times’ headlines and five-second snappy remarks on the 6 p.m. cable news.
So they’ve sought and won two indictments against Bannon for criminal contempt because he didn’t come when called; he didn’t speak on demand; he didn’t provide the demanded documents when demanded; he didn’t sacrifice at the altar of the Democratic Party.
“Bannon, like … Trump … has refused to comply with an order from the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection to turn over records and testify about his actions leading up to the attack, when a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol trying to stop the certification of President Joe Biden’s electoral college win,” The Washington Post sneered.
Meadows, et tu.
For that, Meadows must pay, too.
“When ultimately witnesses decide, as Meadows has, that they’re not even going to bother showing up [for committee depositions], that they have that much contempt for the law, then it pretty much forces our hand and we’ll move quickly,” House Intelligence Chairman Adam B. Schiff, who also serves on the select committee investigating Jan. 6, said, CNN wrote.
Translation: Meadows, watch your back.
But let’s reel back the high-and-mighty from the Democrats for a moment and consider this: If neither Bannon nor Meadows qualify for executive privilege — then who does? Hmm. Payback is a you-know-what.
“There are a lot of Republicans eager to hear testimony from [Joe Biden’s White House Chief of Staff] Ron Klein and [Biden National Security Adviser] Jake Sullivan when we take back the House,” as Rep. Jim Jordan tweeted.
What goes around, comes around.
What one weaponized Justice Department wreaks, another weaponized Justice Department can just as easily wreak.
But really, do Democrats truly want to take on the well-regarded, solidly reputable Mark Meadows? Or the politically savvy, politically strategic Steve Bannon? For what’s sure to be another Democratic-run political witch hunt? There’s a reason Bannon in particular won’t play the left’s game.
“We’re taking over all the elections,” Bannon said on his most recent “War Room” episode about the rising tide of conservative wins in recent times.
“Suck on this,” he added, the Seattle Times reported.
For a man whom the Democrats have painted as the nation’s Enemy Number One, Bannon really doesn’t seem that worried. Neither does Meadows, for that matter. That, in itself, should give the Democrats pause. It won’t. It won’t because this all has very little to do with the crime of contempt and much more to do with the “crime” of patriotism. If Dems can muzzle MAGA, they can move forward all the more quickly with their globalism and elitism.
Well, make way for a modern Mr. Smith movie-like moment. Steve Bannon and Mark Meadows are going to Washington, and like their Hollywood character counterpart, Jimmy Stewart, who took on the powers-who-be armed with nothing but principle and determination — and won — they’re going to emerge with a massive wind of conservative support at their back. The midterms sure are looking good.
• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE. Her latest book, “Socialists Don’t Sleep: Christians Must Rise Or America Will Fall,” is available by clicking HERE.