As a non-lawyer, I share the rage of my compatriots over what Trump and his lackeys have done to our world. As an idealist, I am pulsing with visions of righteous punishment for Trump and anyone in his rotten administration or in Congress who deserves it.
That’s my heart. My head, though, is murmuring temperance.
I don’t mean pardons, or just “Go the fuck away and never appear in my consciousness again!” sort of thing. But my brain murmurs,”What laws were broken?”
Because it must be our laws that address these awful people. And while my guts know what kind of punishment I want — even torture isn’t remote from my guts; after all, we’ve been tortured for years and while I’m not much of a Jew, what is Jewish about me is Old Testament — what my head knows about law settles me down.
Offending our intelligence and beliefs may not be criminal, or illegal. I wish it were. But since I’m cautioning myself against visions of Trump being hauled out of the White House in handcuffs and/or straitjacket, let me spread my caution widely.
Who broke what laws? And where is the hard evidence? That’s it.
Legal procedures take time. Even though I’ve read some lawyers saying that the Southern District, for one, has all the evidence needed against Trump, there is of course the possibility that Trump will attempt to pardon himself for federal crimes.
So let’s load our need for righteous vengeance onto a slow train and contemplate who will be nominated to wrest the Department of Justice out of Bill Barr’s claws. (I’m already focused on someone.) Whoever it is will first have to restock the DOJ with smart, competent lawyers and investigators. That’ll take time. And then there will be the investigations. They’ll take time, too.
On the other hand, wouldn’t it be great if someone broadcast a new reality TV show called, “Celebrity Criminal”? I’m thinking it’d be constructed the way I heard “American Idol” was: they’d give you an 800 number to call in your vote. Or is that too dystopian for you?
Big sigh, but it is for me. I don’t do dystopia, apocalypses or post-apocalypses. I’ll be sitting here waiting for indictments.