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Imran Awan: Why conservatives shouldn’t root for a Wasserman-Schultz prosecution

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The developing case of Congresswoman Deborah Wasserman-Schultz’s information technology officer, Imran Awan, presents the newest moral conflict.

For conservatives!

Let’s analyze what many on our side (or any side in politics) are searching for. On one hand, we see the bloodlust for our “opponents” to fall, and even, to be injured. What’s sometimes expressed by rabid activists is the conclusion that the opponent (today, it’s DWS) is a crook, a criminal, an actual felon in waiting, and thus deserves whatever opprobrium we can muster.

There is a strategic and rational, and too-often-unspoken object (and desire), basis supporting these sentiments. The goal is to see the political opposition weakened in effectiveness. Discrediting them — at least among the sliver of the increasingly apathetic electorate which theoretically might have an open mind — in order to win over undecideds or even “flip” leaners, is thought of as advancing the ball downfield towards the end zone. Or at least, the red zone.

Or at least, a few inches away from your own end zone. This is why we go out to rallies and scream at the protestors on the other side. It’s nothing less than political trench warfare.

Lots of energy spent. Lots of loss. Little gained.

So we want to see our opponent’s downfall. But therein lies the moral quandary. How badly must the opponent suffer?

And for moral conservatives, Christian or otherwise, when does the lust for strategic gain cross into the overreach, the overzealous, even the immoral?

This brings up the other hand of the weighing process. Does possible criminality justify or rationalize our bloodlust? Do our political opponents deserve to lose their liberty, because they disagree with us?

This, my friends, is the practical, logical outcome of the chase for a scalp.

Wasserman-Schultz may personally face criminal prosecution. Her risk comes from several factors.

The federal criminal statutes are broad, and their interpretation is growing in scope to cover an ever-widening array of conduct. The “overcriminalization” trend has gotten increasing notice over the last two decades (perhaps an undesirable symptom of 9/11 and its rationalization for expanded government power), and bipartisan recognition on both sides of the congressional aisle. This trend can easily ensnare Wasserman-Schultz.

The easiest angles to pursue would be obstruction of justice and false statements. These are crimes often charged when an underlying “real” crime cannot be easily proven and the government decides to undercharge and press to prosecute on a simpler (if less deserving) charge.

Obstruction? This can cover lots of conduct taken to impede an ongoing investigation, particularly when the target (today, DWS, or her staff, or all of them) knew of the investigation.

And false statements? This is a related criminal activity, most notoriously used to prosecute Martha Stewart in the wake of insufficient evidence of her insider trading. This can cover any statement made to any government official. This is a broad statute.

When you see how broadly the criminal laws can be applied, you’ll understand why the most terrifying word in Washington is “investigation.”

Throw in the political ambitions or career resume-building of young lawyers trying to use a name prosecution — a “get” in those circles — to later become partners or even rainmakers in powerful law firms, and the ingredients are there for an investigation that will zealously pursue its prey, in search of enough evidence not to indict, but to convict (and ideally, to secure a plea deal).

In light of how these laws can be stretched and even abused, conservatives should stop and ask themselves whether this is a proper use of the fearsome power of the state.

Politics often spark efforts by the zealous to use the immense prosecutorial power of an increasingly overreaching federal government. Conservatives should show restraint and maturity, and ask themselves: Are we sure this is our side?

Conservative corporate lawyer, commentator, blockchain technology patent holder and entrepreneur. Headquartered in a red light district in the middle of a deep blue People's Republic.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Distant Smoke

    August 1, 2017 at 6:39 am

    So DJT should be impeached for having the nerve to be elected President, but we shouldn’t prosecute DWS for treason because it’s a waste of time and energy? This is crazy.

  2. OptimumAnon

    August 2, 2017 at 11:08 am

    Agree with Distant Smoke. Our leadership is rarely held accountable as is (blagojevich in 2009, being the last I recall), and given the extremes of this political climate and the CLEAR crimes and coverups at play, prosecution should be a given. No one should be above the law, and it is clear that any person off the street would have been jailed for similar offenses without delay.

    To wit, how many devices need to be smashed with a hammer while under subpoena, and how many hard drives need to be erased with bleach bit before someone is jailed? Innocent people do not destroy evidence, and the destruction itself is a crime as well. Without accountability at the top here, the people will revolt. There cannot be a separate set of laws for leadership and the common civilian. Period.

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Democrats

New Jersey’s new governor sees California as progressive model

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New Jerseys new governor sees California as progressive model

The next great progressive Democratic hope in 2020 is Phil Murphy.

You’ll know him real soon. Tuesday, he gets sworn in as Governor of New Jersey.

But Murphy has the personal wealth (he’s a former Goldman Sachs executive), the street cred (as President Obama’s Ambassador to Germany) and the fertile ground (Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump by 13 points) to use the Garden State as a launching pad for his sense of progressive nirvana.

That nirvana? California! Murphy wants to make New Jersey into the next California.

That’s right. The state with the highest poverty rate in the nation, according to the Census Bureau. (How does your state compare? Go to page 27 of this fascinating Census report.)

So when Murphy says he sees California as a “model” to emulate, New Jersey residents in the know say “Uh-oh.”

And if they’re really smart they’ll say “U-Haul.”

California’s generous safety-net programs appear to have made poverty worse, according to local, mainstream-media coverage of the lowlights there including:

  • 55% of immigrant families (but only 30% of “native” families) receive some sort of means-tested benefits;
  • A sanctuary state;
  • restrictive land-use (anti-development) policies driving up the cost of housing; and
  • a welfare bureaucracy employing nearly one million people, many of whom might lose their jobs if their “customers” were to graduate off the dependency trap.

Murphy says he will “pursue creative reactions” and possibly challenge in court policies like the Republican tax bill recently signed by President Trump. But he also claims the “only thing we’ve promised is a stronger and fairer economy in this state,”  and quickly adds “that includes for organized labor.”

Whoa! Wait, what’s that? Did I hear a “fairer economy”? (This is when the unnecessary adjective warning goes off, heralding the addition of an adjective acting as an antonym for the word it’s modifying.)

But if the solution is the California-model of social services, there appears to be no end to the downward spiral of higher taxes, more poverty . . . and the public-sector Gravy Train grows and grows, gets longer and longer.

For Murphy, that may not be a bug, but a feature. That’s because there’s a tipping point, where there are simply enough Gravy Train passengers and beneficiaries (recipients and government employees, sometimes they’re both) that if they all get out and vote, the tax-and-spend-more progressives will win, no matter what.

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Democrats

Rich Lowry on Dick Durbin’s desire to make a DACA deal work

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Rich Lowry on Dick Durbins desire to make a DACA deal work

Based upon Senator Dick Durbin’s actions the last few days regarding President Trump’s “s***hole” comments, one would think his intention was to derail talks and have a valid reason to blame Republicans in general and Trump in particular. If he really wanted a DACA deal, wouldn’t he have handled it differently?

JD Rucker had some thoughts on this:

Trump was wrong to say what he said. Durbin was wrong to reveal it.

http://noqreport.com/2018/01/12/trump-wrong-say-said-durbin-wrong-reveal/Durbin crossed that line. He took comments that paint the entire country through the President himself in a way that harms our ability to work with other nations. He wasn’t championing the nations Trump spoke out about. He had a single intention: harm.

Will this help with negotiations? Possibly, but at what cost?

National Review’s Rich Lowry wasn’t quite as accusatory, but he did question Durbin’s motives and whether or not he really wanted to make a DACA deal happen. Perhaps he was just greatly offended. Then again, perhaps he was just being a politician. Here’s Lowry’s quote:

“Everyone seems to think that Durbin really wants a deal, which makes it weird that he has gone out of his way to blow up the s***hole meeting.”

Read all of his comments:

Trump’s “Shithole” Comments, DACA & Political Fallout

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/455430/trump-shithole-comments-daca-political-falloutOne benefit of a merit-based system is that it would move us away from special ethnic pleading in immigration policy. The visa lottery began as affirmative action for Irish immigrants. My understanding is that Dick Durbin said in the meeting that he wanted to preserve the visa lottery in a slightly changed form because the Congressional Black Caucus wanted it. This is not how we should be making decisions about who comes here and who doesn’t.

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Democrats

Emoji loving Manning running for Senate

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After getting off early in the eleventh hour of Obama’s presidency, Manning became an “activist” taking on and getting roasted by many conservatives on Twitter, most memorably, Ben Shapiro. Now he’s filed for a Senate run for Ben Cardin’s seat in Maryland. This would be Manning stepping up to the big leagues of politics for sure.

It’s somewhat similar to Austin Petersen in Missouri, in that we have someone who has built up a social media following prior to launching a high profile campaign. This strategy definitely worked for Trump, among other things, but we await how social media darlings perform in campaigns.

However, this is also possible battle in the Democrat civil war between the Old Party and the Socialists. In The Most Important Races of 2018: Part 1, one of the elections mentioned was the Illinois District 3 race because one of the most moderate pro-life Democrats was being challenged by the pro-abortion and far more leftist Marrie Newman.

This was the first instance of a very formidable leftist challenging a Democrat for not being socialist enough. Manning, whatever his first name is these days, is on the side of Socialist for in the potential intra-party civil war. He is on the Colin Kaepernick, Linda Sarsour, and perhaps Bernie Sanders level.

This looks like it could be battle number two but Ben Cardin is a rock solid product of the Maryland Democrat machine. So in a way, this seems like two liberal going at it but key differences in policies are likely to be found in the area of foreign policy and dealing with Trump.

Being transgender isn’t enough to win a seat in liberal Maryland. The seriousness of Manning will largely depend on his finances.  Maryland seats are so easy to win by Democrats because of how blue the state is and the heavy gerrymandering for the House districts. So when a new seat opens up in Maryland, Democrats invest loads of money to fight for the easy to retain seat.

Thus David Trone spent 10 million losing a House primary in 2016 while Chris Van Hollen spent enormous amounts of money to win his Senate Primary (he was trying to upgrade from the House to the Senate because Barbara Mikulski was retiring). Both of these high dollar primaries were for open seats, so if Manning wants to primary Ben Cardin, he will need a lot of money.

Maryland is Democrat because of its proximity to the Federal government. There are tons of government workers and contractors in Maryland, and several companies where workers need security clearances. Odds are the convicted intel thief isn’t going to get off so easy with voters just because he put lipstick on. It will also be interesting to see Manning’s ability to win the black vote because Bernie Sanders failed to beat Hillary in this category despite being BLM and beyond.

Lastly, it Manning’s likability among independents will also make or break him. Maryland has closed primaries so they won’t be able to stop him if Democrats abandon long-time Senator Cardin.

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Final Thoughts

Republican nominees have their rallying cry. Cardin could be deposed or simply step aside to let the young man take his place and retire at 75. If Manning becomes the nominee, the race just became watchable. In the past, Republican efforts to take the seat have been pitiful, to say the least, but Manning is likely an amateur at campaigning and a polarizing figure, to put it mildly. He lacks experience and has a criminal record. So GOP might have a chance to steal this seat for six years. One thing is for certain: this Senate race just got interesting.

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