Harold Hutchison / December 22, 2020

Who’s Been Violating Norms and Standards?

Here once again, leftists accuse President Trump of precisely what they’ve been guilty of.

The Never-Trumpers who now seem to be either defecting to the Democrats or becoming “independents” (read: de facto Democrats) often make the claim that they’ve been driven to do so by Donald Trump’s attacks on “norms” and “standards.” The record, however, tells a very different tale about who’s been doing the attacking.

We can go back a ways, too. Because the emergence of Trump came about not just from the failure of the Republican establishment but also from decades of attacks on those aforementioned norms and standards by the Left.

If there was a catalyzing event in our nation’s unraveling civility, it’d be hard to top the 1987 Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Judge Robert Bork. Prior to that, such hearings were rarely controversial. But that all changed with a full-on character assassination that has become the all-too-common norm — at least when a Republican president is doing the nominating. Trump didn’t do that; the Left did. And the Senate Judiciary Committee was then chaired by a mediocrity named Joe Biden, a guy who graduated 76th out of 85 at Syracuse Law School.

Prior to 2000, there had never been a concerted effort to challenge electoral votes or flip electors after a presidential election. Yet the Left did both when George W. Bush edged out Al Gore and repeated the attempt in 2016. In 2004, with Bush seeking reelection, Democrats even forced a vote in Congress over Ohio’s electoral votes. Many who were active in those efforts are now howling with indignation that Republicans are contemplating similar action on January 6.

And since when has doxing average citizens as punishment for their vote or their support of a cause ever been acceptable? Well, it happened to supporters of Prop 8 in California a few years back. Who was responsible? Hint: It wasn’t Trump supporters.

Was it ever normal to let weapons fall into the hands of drug cartels? Barack Obama’s ATF did even worse with its disastrous Operation Fast and Furious, which put hundreds of guns into the hands of murderous Mexican drug cartels. The blood of Brian Terry, a Border Patrol agent who was killed with one of those weapons, is on the Obama administration’s hands. And yet, silence from the “norm” police.

Richard Nixon’s enemies list was widely seen as government abuse. But when Obama used the IRS and other federal agencies to target his political opponents, including GOP donors and the Tea Party, those champions of norms and standards were, again, silent.

When rogue prosecutors in Wisconsin used “John Doe” laws to go after conservative activists in the state, where was the outrage? How about when some state attorneys general wanted to use the RICO statute to silence critics of certain environmental policy proposals?

Worst of all? These same defenders of “norms and standards” had no problem with the Gitmo bar’s efforts on behalf of al-Qaida cutthroats. Those Bush-hating leftist law firms did plenty of damage to our nation during wartime, even attacking a Patriot for having had the temerity to question their decency.

Those same folks who were silent about sucking up to terrorists, though, are fine with doxing, harassing, and intimidating lawyers who wish to help a Republican president pursue legal challenges in the face of voting irregularities that an experienced observer said would cause him to refuse to certify the election as free and fair.

Is it really normal to insist that Islamist terrorists deserve better access to our legal system than Donald Trump? Or is it the ultimate in disgraceful double standards? Indeed, what standards justify ignoring the myriad red flags in this election?

Once we think it through, we’re left with no doubt about who’s been attacking our norms and standards over the years. And it isn’t Donald Trump.

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