…and you wonder why it’s taking so long…
I’ve been reading Adam Schiff’s Midnight In Washington: How We Almost Lost Our Democracy And Still Could.
In one sense, it’s an easy read; in another, difficult. The easy part is Schiff’s clear and flowing language. The difficult part is, oddly, one of the book’s greatest strengths: it is an accurate narrative time line of all the nightmare scenes we’ve lived in since 2016.
Which means I can’t read it in great gulps because I’m always saying, “Oh, no — I forgot about that and how infuriating it was, and how I was saying, ‘Isn’t this fucking illegal? Or criminal?'” And then, having been reminded of, say, the weird and dopey antics of Devin Nunes, I have to take a break, eat chocolate to spark up my endorphins and watch some crime movie on Netflix.
More power to Adam Schiff, who reports on what went on with the kind of precision, passion and outrage he exhibited during the impeachment trials. That is, he expresses the same kind of passion and outrage that’ll rise again in you as you read the book.
What I want to say is, if you’ve shoved into a dark corner of your memory bank specifics of how TFG’s administration was so utterly corrupt, so illegal, so rotten, it’s a good thing to be reminded by Schiff. Because, as if you’re visiting the Bayeux tapestry, you’ll have a panoramic view of how many bad people, how many rotten actions the Department of Justice and its FBI have had dumped on them now.
We’re now getting to a point where so many people, including knowledgeable ones, are giving into the general snipe at Garland because nothing seems to be happening. One expert I revere wrote that his deepest concern is by the time the DOJ does indict, many people in this country will no longer think there were crimes, because it has taken so long to prosecute.
I don’t think urgent response to everyone screaming about “Lock ’em up!” is this Department of Justice’s job. That was the previous DOJ, remember? We don’t want that anymore.
I suspect these estimable worriers do not have their fingers on the pulse of The People. I, for one, am ready and eager for everything they’ll deliver and, truly, I haven’t forgotten any of Trump’s crimes. Not one. I can’t imagine that a major indictment will be greeted by The People with, “Uh? What did you call that thing again — obstruction of justice? What does that mean?” Or “Who cares?”
To me, the DOJ’s first job, post the near-apocalypse, is to reify the Department of Justice in our eyes, by being over-scrupulous in their investigations of the thousands of people and actions which dirtied up our lives and our government agencies — most critically, the DOJ. I don’t want leaks, I don’t want to hear from them until they have something consequential to announce. Virtually everything the DOJ did from 2016 to 2021 was bad, wrong and rotten, from James Comey’s damaging appropriation of powers he did not have, through Barr’s devious lies about the Mueller Report, and on and on. Their leaks were toxic.
I don’t want this DOJ to be like that DOJ. Do you?
Simultaneously, the DOJ has a monstrous second job ahead of it, with millions of pieces of evidence, and thousands of rotters to prosecute. I’m thinking they’re reckoning with something like that looks like Hieronymus Bosch’s vision of hell.
It’ll take a bit more time for them to be cleaner than clean, to come out shining. So read Adam Schiff, get enraged all over again and then calm down a little.