Lack of Accountability for Abuses Sowed Present Discord
Republicans bear some blame for responding too weakly to previous Demo efforts.
The country seems ready to tear itself apart as the Democrat-led House of Representatives prepares to impeach President Donald Trump (and let’s be honest, they will have an impeachment vote that will lead to at least some charges). Patriots need to engage in some self-reflection. The upcoming fight will be very bitter, and we will never be able to affect what healing (if any) can be done unless we know how we got here.
What got us here was a lack of accountability on multiple fronts. Americans, by a slim margin, elected Trump to address problems that were not being addressed, and which they believed the political establishment had no intention of addressing. For many Patriots, there was also a frustration with a clear double standard.
Much of this came into focus with the Obama administration. That featured Operation Fast and Furious, in which the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives literally allowed a large number of modern multi-purpose semiautomatic firearms to fall into drug cartel hands. That exploded into the public’s consciousness with the murder of CBP agent Brian Terry. No one — and by that we at The Patriot Post do not refer to Faceless Men — was ever held accountable.
Then came the big one — the IRS targeted Tea Party groups. That took place at high gear from the Citizens United ruling to when Lois Lerner outright admitted it in 2013. Lerner, it was later discovered, quarterbacked the abuses committed against the Tea Party groups. After initial feigned outrage by some on the Left, including Barack Obama, nothing happened. Lerner has retired with a six-figure pension.
As that went on, conservative activists in Wisconsin who had successfully supported Scott Walker in budget battles and recall elections were targeted by left-wing prosecutors. Eventually, the Wisconsin Supreme Court stepped in, ruling the “John Doe” investigations illegal. Our Arnold Ahlert did a masterful job covering those abuses, but the prosecutors who ran them never faced consequences.
Then, in 2016, there was Spygate. The intelligence community’s capabilities were turned on the presidential campaign of the party out of power. The initial reasons for the probe were flimsy. The investigators’ texts revealed flagrant bias. Robert Mueller found nothing, but aside from a couple of firings that are being contested, no real consequences have been imposed.
In 2018, there was New York Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s assault on the NRA. His actions — that nobody disputes are taking place — make the unfounded allegations Stacey Abrams has peddled against Georgia Governor Brian Kemp look like tiddlywinks. Cuomo has been open about his desire behind the abuses: To silence dissent from his anti-Second Amendment agenda. And his efforts arguably swung a number of House seats, two Senate races, and a governor’s race. Consequences for his blatant abuse of political opponents? None.
Those are just the abuses of power. Just about every Republican presidential nominee or prominent legislative leader has also been smeared one way or another. Remember how Mitt Romney was labeled a tax cheat who would bring back slavery and abuse dogs? Or the way John Lewis defamed John McCain in 2008? How many times were George W. Bush, Bob Dole, George H.W. Bush, and Ronald Reagan labeled “racists”? Remember when Paul Ryan was portrayed pushing an old woman in a wheelchair off a cliff? Or what Newt Gingrich was called when he led the 1994 Republican takeover of the House of Representatives? Heck, Republicans can’t even fix a botched school-lunch program without being smeared.
There has been no accountability for these leftist smears, either. Clearly, leftists are the perpetrators, but a big chunk of the blame falls on leadership of both the conservative movement and the Republican Party. Restraint in the name of civility became unilateral disarmament and a projection of weakness. Donald Trump, for all his character flaws, at least fights back against the smears. He punches back — harder than any of those past Republicans who were defamed. This past weakness is fundamentally why we are at the place we are at today.
If Republicans had committed even a fraction of the alleged abuses — say against Planned Parenthood or any of Michael Bloomberg’s anti-Second Amendment groups — we’d never hear the end of it. And we get the usual scolding from when Trump fights fire with fire. But the harsh truth is that the lack of accountability has created a double standard, both in the application of Rule of Law and in terms of public discourse. America can survive a lot of mistakes, but it is the double standards that are tearing this country apart.