Sometimes, keeping sane while following politics involves wildly unwarranted optimism.
You’ve got to be a bit like the condemned criminals at the end of “Monty Python’s Life of Brian,” singing “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” as they’re being executed.
Take Attorney General Merrick Garland, a man far more concerned with attacking our Second Amendment rights, law enforcement officers and parents protesting woke school boards trying to implement critical race theory-based curricula than he is with America’s skyrocketing violent crime rate or crisis at the border.
Sure, he’s a disaster — and a dangerous one at that.
But at least he’s not on the Supreme Court.
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Imagine if a man who treats parents as if they were a domestic terror threat had a lifetime appointment to the high court, as former President Barack Obama thought he should. Remember how he was supposed to be a “moderate” pick, a compromise so that the Republicans in control of the Senate would confirm him? Yeah, not so much.
That’s how I kept calm Thursday when Garland appeared before the House Judiciary Committee and the Democratic committee chairman, Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York, in his opening statement, began by praising Garland and his Department of Justice — at least in comparison to what he inherited.
“You have assumed this enormous responsibility at a crossroads in our nation’s history,” Nadler said in his opening statement, according to a transcript.
“For four years, the democratic institutions you have sworn to protect — first, as a judge, and now, as attorney general — were deeply undermined by the former president and his political enablers. During that time, the Trump administration leveraged the department to protect the president and his friends, and to punish his enemies, both real and imagined.”
Garland, to judge by Nadler’s opening remarks, was some kind of admixture of Cincinnatus, Louis Brandeis and Eliot Ness, a man given the unenviable task of cleaning house after Trump and his poker buddies conspired to blow American democracy sky high.
Now, to hear the chairman tell it, there’s a Proud Boy or an Oath Keeper lurking behind every corner thanks to the former president — maybe even at your local school board meeting! — and it’ll take this gentle apolitical giant named Merrick Garland to clean things up.
This preposterous framing of the current political moment was impressive even by the standards of Nadler, one of the District of Columbia’s great horse-manure artists. Unfortunately for him, the next speaker was GOP Rep. Jim Jordan, a man of considerable caffeination who wasn’t about to let a fiction like that go unchallenged.
“The chairman just said the Trump DOJ was political and went after their opponents. Are you kidding me?’ Jordan began. “Three weeks ago, the National School Board Association writes President Biden asking him to involve the FBI in local school board matters. Five days later, the attorney general of the United States does just that, does exactly what a political organization asks to be done.”
Jordan was referring to an Oct. 4 memo from the Department of Justice in which Garland asserted “there has been a disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff who participate in the vital work of running our nation’s schools.”
“The Department takes these incidents seriously and is committed to using its authority and resources to discourage these threats, identify them when they occur, and prosecute them when appropriate,” the memorandum continued, adding the FBI would “open dedicated lines of communication for threat reporting, assessment, and response.”
“Republicans on this committee have sent the attorney general 13 letters in the last six months,” Jordan said. “Eight of the letters, we’ve got nothing — they just gave us the finger.” Other letters took weeks for a response, he said.
And yet, the congressman noted, it took the NSBA “five days” to get exactly what they wanted — between the letter to Biden to Garland’s memorandum, which included a promise of “open dedicated lines of communication for threat reporting.”
“A snitch line on parents started five days after a left-wing political organization asked for it,” Jordan said. “If that’s not political, I don’t know what is.
“Where’s the dedicated lines of communication with local leaders regarding our southern border — something that frankly is a federal matter? Where’s the dedicated lines of communication on violent crime in our cities?
“Nope, can’t do that, the Biden Justice Department is going to go after parents who object to some racist, hate-America curriculum.”
BREAKING: Ohio Rep. @Jim_Jordan let loose on Attorney General Merrick Garland at Thursday’s hearing: “Folks all around the country, they tell me, for the first time they are afraid of their government” pic.twitter.com/9aWjNCnohU
— Newsmax (@newsmax) October 21, 2021
According to the Daily Mail, Garland said he was focused merely on “violence or threats of violence,” not on treating activist parents as domestic terrorists.
“I want to be as clear as I can be: This is not about what happens inside school board meetings. This is only about threats of violence,” the attorney general said.
Threats of violence, however, are already matters under law enforcement purview. The FBI doesn’t need a memorandum from the attorney general to focus on them, nor does it need dedicated lines of communication.
When this attention happens to align felicitously with opposition to a top-line liberal agenda item — the radical remaking of American education, no matter what parents might think of it — it’s not difficult to deduce where the focus is coming from.
As for the effect the NSBA’s letter had, Garland said he first learned about it by watching the news, Fox News reported. However, he conceded that “was brought to our attention” and that the White House had discussed it with the DOJ.
If this were about threats of violence, that’s what police or, in certain cases, federal law enforcement officers are for.
Garland’s memo wasn’t about that, however.
It was a notice that the FBI was being mobilized against parents who continue to protest school boards that have lurched to the left and demand zero accountability. If the bureau didn’t do it at the behest of a left-wing educators organization, the timing sure seems fortuitous.
And, despite Jerrold Nadler’s best efforts to portray Garland as being as neutral as white paint in a living room, he’s a political operative who’s weaponized the DOJ at the behest of the Biden administration and the Democrats.
But at least Garland isn’t on the Supreme Court.
Sing along with me, folks: “When you’re chewing on life’s gristle / Don’t grumble, give a whistle / And this’ll help things turn out for the best / And always look on the bright side of life …”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.