Home > Uncategorized > Republicans are not a law and order party – posted 10/9/2022

Republicans are not a law and order party – posted 10/9/2022

Going as far back as the Richard Nixon presidency, the Republican Party has played the law and order card, arguing they are the party that will keep Americans safe from crime and disorder. Of course, Nixon was ultimately driven out of the White House because of his reckless pattern of committing crimes.

The classic example is probably the 1988 Willie Horton ad when Republicans tied presidential candidate Mike Dukakis to a black man who committed a rape on a weekend furlough in a prison release program. The ad linked together Dukakis, blackness, and criminal depravity. The Republicans did not disclose the fact that in the mid to late 1980’s all 50 states and the federal government had such furlough programs.

The Horton ad proved effective and a winning message for George Bush Sr. The strategy was to paint Democrats as soft on crime.

Donald Trump has tried to carry that same tradition forward with his American carnage shtick. Using homicide rates in large cities and assorted misinformation, Trump has tarred Democrats and has tried to present Republicans as the law and order saviors. But facts do not support Trump. The six states with the highest per capita murder rates all voted for the former President, as did 8 of the top 10 states. Murder is not a blue state phenomenon. It is a national problem.

It is impossible to take the Republican law and order proclamations seriously because the hypocrisy runs too deep. The behavior of Republican leaders is in sharp conflict with any law and order message. Their lawlessness and nihilism shock the conscience.

We must begin with that most prominent Republican, former President Trump, still the GOP leader. In his four years in the White House, Trump took corruption to a new level. He used the presidency to enrich Trump organization businesses. He constantly patronized his own golf courses and used his properties for fundraising events and meetings with foreign groups and heads of state.

This grift, which certainly raised emolument clause questions, made a fortune. Open Secrets, an organization that tracks money in American politics, has tracked payments to Trump properties from Trump-related entities and from special interests. Tens of millions were raised. Holding a Trump fundraiser at a Trump property was a golden way to curry favor.

This was a departure from previous presidents who had severed ties to companies that posed or presented the appearance of a conflict of interest. Trump turned the Republican Party into a business opportunity so that he could personally profit from public service. Whether this violated any laws like the emoluments clause, Trump’s actions demonstrated a disinterest in any ethical standards of behavior.

But really it was the end of Trump’s administration that showed the almost schizophrenic take on law and order. Posturing fidelity to law and order co-existed with brazen lawlessness.

How many criminal investigations are ongoing? There is January 6, the Georgia voting investigation, the New York real estate and tax fraud investigations, E. Jean Carroll’s sexual assault/defamation case, and the stolen documents taken to Mar-a Lago. Trump needs his scam fundraising slush fund millions just to pay endless attorney fees. The slush fund itself was a fraud where he raised millions based on the lie of a stolen election.

Where white collar crime is concerned, Republicans have a soft spot. Wealthy and powerful white defendants do not fit their model of what a criminal is. They may well belong to the same social clubs or golf courses as the lawyers and judges handling their cases. Misstating the value of properties for tax advantage is a staggering fraud but MAGA Republicans prefer to associate crime with poor Black men – not white executives.

Probably no recent experience brought out Republican hypocrisy more than January 6. When police officers were attacked by the mob, where were the cries for law and order? Interestingly, 21 House Republicans voted against bestowing Congressional Gold Medals on the police officers who confronted the insurrectionists. And then there were the many House and Senate Republicans who refused to accept the election even after federal courts repeatedly found no election fraud.

Law and order includes following election law, not violating it when your candidate loses. Since the Mar-a-Lago search, Trump branded the FBI and the Department of Justice “political monsters”. In Florida, Federal Judge Bruce Reinhart who had approved the FBI search warrant received death threats after his name was publicized. One Trump supporter, Ricky Shiffer, attacked an FBI office in Cincinnati and was later killed by the police after he fled.

Republicans attack Democrats for wanting to defund the police but it is Republicans who are loudly calling for the FBI and the DOJ to be defunded.

Michael Bromwich, former Justice Department inspector general commented :
“I have been dealing with law enforcement and the criminal justice system for close to 40 years. I have never seen the type of virulence of attacks being made everyday against the FBI, DOJ lawyers and judges.”

When your party is running senate candidates like Herschel Walker in Georgia, you might think it is a stretch to go after Pennsylvania Democrat John Fetterman as “dangerously liberal on crime”. Walker has previously held a gun to his ex-wife’s head several times, a knife to her throat and he tried to choke her. It should not have to be said but such domestic violence should be disqualifying for any candidate.

Whether the Republicans can still successfully use law and order as they have in the past remains to be seen. Contradictions abound and voters would have to overlook so much to buy into the Republican law and order mantra now.

Still, it is curious how white collar crime committed by rich people is not recognized and prosecuted in a way commensurate with the gravity of the actual offenses committed. The Republican success in using law and order as an issue is directly tied to our national inability to see and take seriously white collar crime. If Americans did that, Republicans would not make it to first base in using crime to swing elections.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Doug McCallum
    October 9, 2022 at 4:36 pm

    I have not fact checked this, but I read recently that overall crime rates are higher in “red” states.

    • October 9, 2022 at 6:04 pm

      I think it is kind of complicated. Crime stats are not the most reliable. There was a new article in the Guardian about this. I will send it if I can find it.

  2. jlewandohotmailcom
    October 9, 2022 at 6:39 pm

    This is the kind of willful blindness that drives me craziest. It also points to the fascistic nature of what’s left of the GOP. Peel away all pretense of values (like whoever it was who just explained they didn’t care if Herschel Walker turned out to be an abortion provider, they’d still vote for him), and all that’s left is blind loyalty to the strongman.

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