Balkinization  

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Carl Schmitt's time has come (alas)

Sandy Levinson

I confess that when I read reports of distinguished lawyers defending the actions of the national government in Portland (and, perhaps, Chicago, Boston, ….), I am put in mind yet once more of the person I continue to believe is the most important jurisprudential figure of the 20th century, i.e., the egregious Carl Schmitt.  His most important case as a practicing lawyer was defending the takeover of Prussia, then run by a Socialist government, by the new national government of Germany basically on the ground that intervention by the national government was necessary (and proper) to restore law and order.  He finished his argument to the German court by quoting Abraham Lincoln:  “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” 

I see no more merit to the argument defending the presence of what some hotheads are referring to as “jack-booted thugs.” purporting to represent the United States of America but totally unwilling to provide anything that might count as solid evidence for that proposition to the American citizens who are being swept up in the program of arrests, than to Schmitt's (successful) effort to justify the takeover of Prussia by the new Nazi regime.  Note that I’m not necessarily criticizing Schmitt’s understanding of German law.  Perhaps he was “correct” as to the powers of the national government.  He did win the case, after all.  How important is that to us today in assessing Schmitt’s collaboration? 

No doubt there are relevant statutes that a Trumpista lawyer can cite, representing what might well be regarded as “delegation run riot” (but, nonetheless, constitutional), that support Trump’s power. (I dare not use the word “authority” in this context, which requires some respect for the decisionmaker, even if one “respectfully dissents,” as justices usually (but not always) put it, from the decision that is being made.)  As we know, there was lots of legal support for slavery and Jim Crow, including decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court.  But, rightly or wrongly, Roger B. Taney has never been honored with a commemorative stamp, unlike, bizarrely, Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis.  One virtue of legal positivism is its separation of law and morality; i.e., it is simply foolish (and indefensible) to believe that legal fidelity is automatically respect-worthy.  (Think of John Lewis in this regard.  For all I know, Jim Clark was perfectly within his rights, as Selma’s sheriff, to stop him from crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge.  So what?)

I am fully aware that Donald J. Trump is not Adolf Hitler.  But his attempt basically to take over the lawfully elected and completely legitimate governments of Portland and Oregon, using the pretext of threats to national monuments and office buildings as dire threats to “law and order,” is the equivalent of the takeover of Prussia or the use of the Reichstag fire to consolidate power and should be described as such by anyone who really cares about preserving the American constitutional order. 

As a matter of fact, I don’t think he’ll get away with it because I don’t really see a significant portion of the country rallying ‘round him on this, even though, so far, there has been a typically deafening silence from purported “conservatives” who might ordinarily be expected to criticize “black helicopters.”  Perhaps if Donald J. Trump had earned trust since becoming president, the situation would be different, but even many of his erstwhile supporters seem to realize that he is a congenital liar who cannot in fact be trusted with regard to anything he says.  (Some of them are going to pay for their mistaken trust in the sociopath with their lives, given the current spread of Covid-19.)  But, as already suggested, what really interests me is not Donald J. Trump, but, rather, the lawyers who are willing to defend him, and exactly why we should differentiate them from Carl Schmitt (save for the fact that Schmitt was a genius, albeit a thoroughly evil one). 

At a time when we’re consumed by a national discussion of who is worthy of public honor, I think it a worthwhile exercise to ask who among our “public lawyers” in the last 25 years, say, we’d want to memorialize in statues, building names, or even Dean’s suites.  As to this last, I note that George Washington has renounced the naming of their Dean’s suite after their alumnus William Barr (and, I believe, have offered to return his $100,000 that he contributed).  So the question is not whether Donald J. Trump is Adolf Hitler.  It is, rather, whether at this point those defending his actions in Portland and threatened actions throughout the U.S. (as distinguished, say, from those who defended him against impeachment) are truly comparable, in their collaboration, to Carl Schmitt (who, I will note, was not allowed to teach after World War II because he had the crazy integrity not to renounce his past as a defender of the Nazi regime and, for two years, as a member of the Nazi Party).

UPDATE:  I note that a couple of regular discussants note that some of the protesters in Portland are trying in effect to "overthrow the government."  I have no idea to what degree this is true, but it occurs to me that were we living in the parliamentary system that I increasingly would prefer--I think that presidentialism is an idea that should have run its course in the U.S., whatever its possible merits when we had George Washington--there would be nothing unusual about demonstrators trying to "overthrow the government" of the day by demanding, say, that parliamentary majorities simply vote "no confidence" in the prime minister and organize a new, and presumably, better government.  That is to say, in parliamentary systems, no one confuses the government of the day with "the state" or "the constitutional order." Peaceful "overthrows" of existing governments is simply part of the ordinary course of politics.  Margaret Thatcher was "overthrown" by her own party and no one wrote essays about the demise of the British political system.

In the U.S., however, we have a terrible tendency to identify the President as "the government" and, what is even worse, "the head of State," so that calls to "overthrow a government" seem identical with calls for revolution, the equivalent of overthrowing the Monarch (as was done in the Secession of 1776).  We should have accepted the wise counsel of the late Ross Perot, when he was running for president in 1992, who correctly told us that we should consider the president as our "employee," to be hired (or fired) on the basis of fitness for the job.  As I've posted before, one of the ironies, with regard to those who say that the national government should be run in a more "business-like" manner, is that, unlike the case with "real" businesses, we are unable for a variety of structural and psychological reasons to fire demonstrably incompetent chief executives.  In any event, I applaud every demonstrator who wants to "overthrow our national government" if that means peacefully getting rid of Donald J. Trump and his collaborative enablers at the earliest possible moment.  (And, yes, "peaceful" can include some graffiti on buildings.  It is, as we sometimes say, the price we collectively pay for living in a free society.)





Comments:

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"I am fully aware that Donald J. Trump is not Adolf Hitler."

Yay! You're starting to recover.

Look, rioters are, day after day after day, with the tacit approval of the local government, attacking federal facilities and officers in Portland. Vandalism, arson, assault and battery. Several cops appear to have been permanently blinded by high power lasers.

And it's being done by people who openly brag that they want to bring the national government down.

This is the stuff of insurrection, not regular law breaking. It is perfectly appropriate for the federal government to be there in force. They'd be fully justified in sending in regular military.

I don't see why you think suppressing violent riots is going to hurt Trump with his base. Most people have no tolerance for rioters. Even most people in Portland don't like what's going on.

Put yourself in the position of somebody living or working in the occupied area of Portland. Roving gangs attack anybody who displeases them. Every night the streets become a no-go zone. Vandalism and looting are rampant. And your local government sides with the criminals!

No, I think if anything Trump has been too restrained.
 

The situation in Portland must truly be dire. Many of the examples of "violence" by the protestors given by DHS involved graffiti. Truly a national emergency.

The rest of the violence seems to have been committed mostly by the cops (including Trump's Brown Shirts).

And if "bring the national government down" -- something Brett advocates nearly every day -- means "getting Trump out of office", then a substantial majority of Americans share that view.
 

"Many of the examples of "violence" by the protestors given by DHS involved graffiti."

While others involved violent assaults. But I guess a bit of spray paint makes arson and assault ok.
 

OMG.

Sandy, are you seriously arguing the POTUS should defer to confederates arguing federal law does not apply to their states and cities, and stand aside as terrorist gangs deny the citizenry basic rights to liberty, property and even life?

(1) As a matter of applying the law to the situation on the ground, the Trump is acting with unwarranted restraint by sending a relative handful of federal law enforcement officers to protect federal government property against gangs of dozens to hundreds.

The Insurrection Act, amended to deal with KKK terrorism (10 U.S.C. § 253), perfectly addresses this situation:

The President, by using the militia or the armed forces, or both, or by any other means, shall take such measures as he considers necessary to suppress, in a State, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy, if it—
(1) so hinders the execution of the laws of that State, and of the United States within the State, that any part or class of its people is deprived of a right, privilege, immunity, or protection named in the Constitution and secured by law, and the constituted authorities of that State are unable, fail, or refuse to protect that right, privilege, or immunity, or to give that protection; or
(2) opposes or obstructs the execution of the laws of the United States or impedes the course of justice under those laws.

In any situation covered by clause (1), the State shall be considered to have denied the equal protection of the laws secured by the Constitution.


This insurrection has gone on FAR too long.

Trump should give these confederate states and cities one week to restore order and return their streets to the citizenry. If they refuse, federalize the Guard and put down this insurrection, with the Justice Department assisting to criminally prosecute the insurrectionists the confederates refuse to prosecute. Indeed, Justice may want to consider whether the confederate governments are guilty of conspiracy with and/or aiding and abetting this insurrection.

(2) As a matter of national politics, this insurrection is a complete loss for the confederate political party. Middle class suburbanites are watching the mayhem on their televisions night after night alongside confederates defending the anarchy, while the citizenry in these confederate states and cities are begging for protection from the mobs. Old Joe is actually on video calling for defunding the police.
 

"While others involved violent assaults."

Yeah, but nobody's arresting the Brown Shirts committing them.
 

"Death of Democracy: Hitler's Rise to Power and the Downfall of the Weimer Republic" is a good recent book to provide background. The taking control of the local city incident might have been covered. It's an example of how challenges was pushed down.

As to his after war consequences, readers who have been here for a while might recall the debate that was had here regarding a university even investigating John Yoo. One contributor was rather crude about opposing it (I mean someone who provides actual content; not one of us schlubs), even being a bit nasty to another person. The contributors were very wary about the whole thing. People like Mark (and others who aren't around any more) did a good job responding.

Some people btw are bad prophets about allegedly overheated rhetoric. Anyway. One law professor pissed me off on another blog being all confused about a reference to Stalin. Some senator, a Republican as I recall, was concerned about some of Trump's rhetoric against the press and among other things brought up Stalin. The professor was all confused and upset. Prof. Literal. And, this from a Never Trumper type who actually voted for Hillary Clinton.

I think we can handle Sandy Levinson's stream of consciousness here.
 

"with the tacit approval of the local government"

When Mr. I See Secret Conspiracies Everywhere (Except When People I Like Might Be Involved) uses the word 'tacit' here it should be taken with a few tons of salt for any non-Bircher.
 

"Trump should give these confederate states and cities one week to restore order "

Curious. You'd think our Birchers would want massive statues commemorating these insurrectionists built and maintained by the local and federal government. Guess it's only white supremacist insurrectionists they want to commemorate...
 

Birchers have never really been against the black helicopters secretly arresting Americans, they just wanted to make sure it was the right Americans manning them...
 

افضل شركة تنظيف في الرياض
تعتبر شركتنا من افضل الشركات الموجوده داخل المملكة لانها تمتلك خدمات ليست موجوده داخل اي شركة اخري وذلك يساعدها في انجاز اكبر كمية من العمل في وقت واحد وذلك لانها لديها كمية من العمالة ليست متوفرة ايضا لدي اي شركة اخري وتستخدم شركتنا افضل المنظفات التي نستوردها من الخارج وذلك لتقديم افضل الخدمات واستخدام افضل مواد التعقيم والمطهرات للمحافظه علي سلامة عملائنا .
شركة الصفرات للتنظيف بالرياض

شركة الصفرات لتنظيف الفلل بالرياض

شركة الصفرات لتنظيف المنازل بالرياض

شركة الصفرات لتنظيف الشقق بالرياض

 

Brett: "with the tacit approval of the local government"

Mr. W: When Mr. I See Secret Conspiracies Everywhere (Except When People I Like Might Be Involved) uses the word 'tacit' here it should be taken with a few tons of salt for any non-Bircher.


We are long past "tacit approval."

Portland mayor and arch-confederate, Ted Wheeler, whipped up a crowd of rioters against federal law enforcement last night. Does the US Code have a provision making inciting violence against federal law enforcement a crime?
 

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افضل شركة مكافحة حشرات ورش المبيدات
لدي شركتنا قسم خاص بمكافحة الحشرات ورش المبيدات وهي خدمة متميزة لدينا لان شركتنا تستخدم افضل انواع المبيدات الحشرية غير الضارة للانسان التي تقضي علي الحشرات نهائيا لاطول فتره ممكنة سواء كانت حشرات زاحفة مثل الفئران والنمل والزواحف بصفة عامة او حشرات طائره مثل الذباب والناموس بشكل عام

شركة الصفرات لمكافحة الحشرات بالرياض

شركة الصفرات لرش المبيدات بالرياض

 

"Yeah, but nobody's arresting the Brown Shirts committing them."

Rather, the people being arrested deny being the Black shirt committing them, and the media are, for political reasons, being extremely credulous about that denial.
 

What I find galactically ironic, but scarcely comforting, is the utter silence of the 2A-Black helicopter-sheriffs are the ultimate authoriteye crowd. I guess that only operates outside the city limits.
 

"there would be nothing unusual about demonstrators trying to "overthrow the government" of the day by demanding, say, that parliamentary majorities simply vote "no confidence" in the prime minister and organize a new, and presumably, better government."

But of course, they're not proposing a metaphorical 'overthrow' of what we would term the administration, by votes. They're actually proposing to overthrow the government as a whole by violence. Basically a giant, bloody temper tantrum until everybody else lets them take over.

They're communist revolutionaries. They'll tell you that themselves.

 

As to the addendum, Justice Douglas' dismissive words about the dangers of communists in Dennis v. U.S. comes to mind. It is ridiculous to think the protesters in any realistic way are some threat to overturn the government. To the degree they are a threat to "domestic violence," Art. IV references state request for assistance before the federal government should be used. Not provided.

I don't think we need to rely on Perot here. Do like the line from the movie "Dave" (about that time) that we are talking about someone with a temp job. To the degree the job is a "business," there are ways to remove the person. There are various ways in place in the business world there, depending on the nature of the company.

If we had a parliamentary system, it would depend on the nature of the "no confidence" vote. The best approach there is a generally organized system, not protests. Which are still only a small portion of the community at this point. We are not even talking about John Lewis/civil rights protests here. In an extreme fashion, that might be necessary. That would be a sort of rebellion, which from time to time, at least it would be silly given our origins to not think so, can be necessary.

But, the premise as applied is silliness anyhow. I respect Sandy Levinson's approach in thinking big regardless.


 

"Rather, the people being arrested deny being the Black shirt committing them, and the media are, for political reasons, being extremely credulous about that denial."

Perhaps you could supply a list of the indictments for all these terrible crimes.
 

" It is ridiculous to think the protesters in any realistic way are some threat to overturn the government."

Rioters, not protesters. I will not go along with the lie that they are protesters. And that's all it is.

These revolutionaries are not a real threat to the survival of the country. They're plenty to pull off something like the Irish Troubles, though.

But it isn't going to be just the present rioters. This is just the leading wave of a flood of revolutionaries our universities are pumping out.

These people were shutting down conservative speakers a few years ago. Now they're trying to take that power they enjoyed national. And there are more where they came from.
 

The conservative is wary about protests that in some limited cases break the law. When it's the South declaring independence, "rioters" and such language is not used. Seizing federal forts are touchy matters of "international" dispute development.

The people who protested the English government in the decade before the American Revolution came in a variety of forms. Some took part in lawbreaking, including dumping tea, tar and feathering, raiding the homes of some officials. We don't with a broad brush, however, call these people as a whole "rioters." Since they were not.

Same here. People protested in my own city in response to police injustices and other problems. A small subset of these people broke the law. They weren't as a whole "rioters." Sorry. I don't see the "Irish troubles" here either.
 

"But it isn't going to be just the present rioters. This is just the leading wave of a flood of revolutionaries our universities are pumping out.

These people were shutting down conservative speakers a few years ago. Now they're trying to take that power they enjoyed national. And there are more where they came from."

Brett seems to have taken Minority Report much too seriously. I mean seriously -- you're justifying fascist intervention now on the basis of what *might* happen in the future?

You keep using those words "shutting down". I do not think they mean what you think they mean.
 

No, I wouldn't justify fascist interventions. Wake me when some happen.
 

You should be woke already. :)
 

No, I wouldn't justify fascist interventions. Wake me when some happen.
# posted by Blogger Brett : 9:28 PM


Of course you would. You're doing it right now. But only because you're on the same side as the fascists. If you think the "fascists" are trying to make you wear a mask, then it's suddenly a problem for you. But beating up BLM protesters? You're fine with that sort of fascism. You know. Real fascism. You're fine with that.
 

I wonder how the Trumpistas would react if the Portland protesters showed up with AK-47s and AR-15s, explained by declaring their Second Amendment rights. Praise of true American patriots, I'm sure.
 

"Ted Wheeler, whipped up a crowd of rioters against federal law enforcement last night."

Again, one should take Bircher Brett's characterization of '*whipped up* a crowd of *rioters* against federal law enforcement' with a few more tons of salt. His analysis of when someone's actually broken a law as opposed to his kooky, kasual, konspiracy-charged hyperbolic accusations of the same re: those on his perceived 'other side' is well recorded here over the years.
 

"Real fascism. You're fine with that."

He always has been. His ostensible libertarianism is essentially 'there should be no law to bind me and my kind but strong law with awesome enforcement to bind those not me and my kind.' Always has been.
 

I take it today's definition of "fascism" is "anything I don't like", just like today's definition of "racism". People on the left have a lot of different epithets, but they all just mean "anything I don't like" in the end.

We have violent rioters attacking federal properties in Portland, and not just federal properties, the citizens of Portland, too. The local government isn't being ineffectual in resisting them, it's actively egging them on and enabling them. The police in Portland generally aren't arresting the rioters, they're arresting anybody who defends themselves against them.

In fact, the local authorities are now demanding that the federal government remove the fence they put up to keep the rioters from torching the courthouse, on the basis that it partially obstructs a bike lane. And never mind the mobs, even a passive defense against them is too much to tolerate.

This isn't in any legal respect any different from what the KKK was up to in its heyday: A violent conspiracy that reaches into the local government, and so the local government won't stop it. Both movements are even into wearing masks and matching clothing to make it hard to ID individuals for prosecutions. That's what those robes and hoods were for, that's what the black garb is for today. But, there is one difference I can see: I don't recall hearing that the KKK was stupid enough to openly target the federal government.

Here's your 'peaceful protest', notice the fire? Every "peaceful protester" brings Molotov cocktails, right? They're just standard protest gear, like bottled water. And yeah, that fence that's keeping the rioters away from the building? That's the one the local government is ordering be removed. Because the rioters an the local government are one and the same: The mayor was part of the mob when it was teargassed: He was "addressing" them from inside the riot, because he's one of them.

And I gather you're cool with all of this, because the people setting fires and blinding people are your ideological allies. And because they're your ideological allies, you believe everything they say, and nothing their foes say. If your allies say they're just arresting people at random, hey, they're arresting people at random, and never mind that doing that wouldn't make sense from ANY perspective.

It isn't fascism to send law enforcement to do something about this. Every government can be expected to suppress insurrections, particularly insurrections that openly aim at bringing it down.

Again, you're just using "fascist" to mean, "anything I don't like". And "protester" to mean "rioters engaging in arson."
 

Joe said...The conservative is wary about protests that in some limited cases break the law...The people who protested the English government in the decade before the American Revolution came in a variety of forms. Some took part in lawbreaking, including dumping tea, tar and feathering, raiding the homes of some officials. We don't with a broad brush, however, call these people as a whole "rioters." Since they were not. Same here. People protested in my own city in response to police injustices and other problems. A small subset of these people broke the law. They weren't as a whole "rioters." Sorry. I don't see the "Irish troubles" here either.

In some limited cases break the law? Antifa and core BLM elements have and continue to destroy hundreds of businesses, homes, government buildings and vehicles; unemploy thousands; assaulted and killed dozens of innocents.

Your analogy is correct in that our Founders and Antifa/BLM are both insurrectionists. However, the ends of these insurrections could not be more different. Our Founders sought freedom from a monarchy, while the Marxist Antifa/BLM seek to enslave what is left of the free state our Founders established.
 

Mr. W: His ostensible libertarianism is essentially 'there should be no law to bind me and my kind but strong law with awesome enforcement to bind those not me and my kind.' Always has been.

The revolutionary flag of the coiled snake with the phrase "Don't tread on me" pretty well summarizes libertarianism. So long as you leave me be, peace will reign. Screw with my rights to life, liberty and property, and I will strike. Given the government's first job is to protect our rights, they should most definitely strike on our behalf against those who would deny our rights.

You are correct about one thing, though - the Marxist Antifa/BLM are most definitely not "me or my kind." If they are you or your kind, we most definitely have a problem.
 

"The revolutionary flag of the coiled snake with the phrase "Don't tread on me" pretty well summarizes libertarianism."

Indeed, the people who waved that flag cried 'liberty' while having literal slaves. It's an apt one our Bircher has noted.


 

Brett:

Fascism is defined as a system which:

exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition

I don't know how one could observe Trump's actions and behavior as anything but fascist. Of course, it's tempered by his incompetence, but still...

And it's a bit hypocritical to cast everything you don't like as Marxist while complaining about others who correctly point out fascist behavior which you deny.

 

"I take it today's definition of "fascism" is "anything I don't like""

No, mine would include people who throw themselves behind movements headed by leaders who say things like 'I, alone, can fix the system' and 'I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn't lose any voters.' A leader who scapegoats (at the time even co-Bircher Bart labeled this as a distinct sign of fascism) ethnic groups. A leader who uses his political office to target his domestic political opponents. A leader who had peaceful protestors beaten so he could make a phoney traditional religious appeal photo-op. And a leader who is now sending his preferred federal law enforcement (border patrol? what the?) to '[opposition party]-led cities' and they are engaging in secretly seeming renditions of protestors he doesn't like.

That smells a lot like fascism, much more than some hippies in a handful of streets lighting a police department desk on fire.
 

"while the Marxist Antifa/BLM seek to enslave what is left of the free state our Founders established."

Bircher Bart has repeatedly sad on this site that our current system is, and long has been, a fascist totalitarian state.
 

BD: "The revolutionary flag of the coiled snake with the phrase "Don't tread on me" pretty well summarizes libertarianism."

Mr. W: Indeed, the people who waved that flag cried 'liberty' while having literal slaves. It's an apt one our Bircher has noted.


Colin Kaepernick, Paul Revere employed the symbol in New England revolutionary paper, then a group of Philadelphia marines placed it on a flag. No slave holders.
 

BD: "while the Marxist Antifa/BLM seek to enslave what is left of the free state our Founders established."

Mr, W: Bircher Bart has repeatedly sad on this site that our current system is, and long has been, a fascist totalitarian state.


Thus, my comment: "what is left of the free state our Founders established."

The Marxist Antifa/BLM openly advocate finishing the job.
 

C2H5OH said...Fascism is defined as a system which: exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition. I don't know how one could observe Trump's actions and behavior as anything but fascist.

Apart from exalting the United States, Trump's actual administration is the anti-thesis of your definition of fascism. The rest are Democrat slanders.
 

"Thus, my comment: "what is left of the free state our Founders established."


Suddenly Bircher Bart recognizes these things the rest of us call...degrees!

It just took some scary black protestors for him to come around.
 

BD: "Thus, my comment: "what is left of the free state our Founders established."

Mr. W: Suddenly Bircher Bart recognizes these things the rest of us call...degrees! It just took some scary black protestors for him to come around.


Antifa is overwhelmingly white.
 

Lol, it's literally a Gadsen flag. Christopher Gadsen of South Carolina was, of course, an owner of and trader in human slaves.
 

"Antifa is overwhelmingly white."

"Antifa/BLM"
 

"I don't know how one could observe Trump's actions and behavior as anything but fascist. Of course, it's tempered by his incompetence, but still..."

It's hilarious, because when I read that definition, I thought the next paragraph would be an admission that there wasn't really any fascism to be found.

Trump IS a nationalist, that much is true. He takes the position that each country's government should devote itself to the welfare of it's own citizens.

He has not made racial appeals, which is why the left raves about 'dog whistles'; You only pull out that charge when you don't have any actual racism to point to.

Half the criticism of Trump is that he hasn't been pushing the states around during this pandemic: Respect for local and state authority has been portrayed as inaction.

And forcible suppression of insurrectionary riots is not suppression of 'opposition.'

There is no fascism here outside you imagination.
 

Apart from the krazy, konspiratorial, kooky Birchers, my thoughts on the OP can be summarized as follows:

Antifa and BLM: these are mostly disorganized 'movements' rather than organizations (a lot like 'the militia movement' or in some respects the Tea Party). Some of both movements (more Antifa than BLM to me) are certainly punks, a greater number are well intentioned but still prone to some lawlessness, and another big chunk are well meaning and law respecting (as much as people angry about police can be expected to be I think) but it's hard to generalize about those involved. Moreover, many involved in any given protest are often not affiliated with either group in any real way. To the extent anyone in these movements can individually be thought to be breaking the law they should be subject to arrest. Best practices are that that should be the province of the locality, but if localities are not doing that then federal intervention might be warranted (note, there's a huge difference between the kind of inaction that might warrant this and the much more likely idea of this being *very hard to pull off* without doing more harm than good, of course Birchers are terrible at distinctions like this and by nature assume what they see as 'the worst'). Not being an authoritarian by nature like Birchers I think when Law Enforcement acts they must do so with great, very great care to make sure that innocents are not harmed or hassled.

In this situation there's lots of reasons to be concerned that these principles are at high risk of violation. First, this administration has exhibited past behavior and current sentiment of being motivated by goals of partisanship and entrenchment, so this move can fairly be presumed fishy. Second, the choice of CBP agents is odd enough on its face to suggest questions (what is the criteria, other than their especial loyalty to this President, for them being chosen?). Thirdly, the use of things like generic military gear, rental vans and such invites skepticism from anyone who is properly worried about federal or government abuse of law enforcement powers. Best practice should counsel for identification of agency and often agents themselves when they are using force in our name.
 

"He has not made racial appeals"

And if someone told Brett's American born but 1/2 second generation Filipino son to go back to Manila then no racial appeal has been made I guess...

Otherwise, I'll just note that as is often the case Bircher Brett totally elided my points about Trump's fascist words/actions.
 

This comment has been removed by the author.
 

Mr, W: Lol, it's literally a Gadsen flag. Christopher Gadsen of South Carolina was, of course, an owner of and trader in human slaves.

Gadsden borrowed the revolutionary symbology afterwards and provided another version of the flag to Congress and the Continental Navy. His name stuck to the flag like Betsy Ross's name stuck to one of our national flags.

BD: "Antifa is overwhelmingly white."

Mr. W: "Antifa/BLM"


Antifa runs this insurrection using BLM demonstrations as cover. Core elements of BLM participating in the violence are bit players. However, I do give them a credit for their efforts.

Of course, you know all this after I broke it down in detail for you along with videos and photos on past threads.
 

The mayor is flagged as part of the mob. Checking Brett's link (practice shows, we should take such things with a grain of salt; one article, e.g., is but a snapshot and doesn't tell us how things have gone for months now).

The article says "demonstrators took to the streets of downtown Portland Wednesday night to demand change in policing and racial injustice." A basic 1A response to concerns about the government. The mayor then spoke to them. I'm unsure what is supposedly wrong with this. For instance, in another case, a local police chief went among the protesters and engaged with them. The article notes the mayor said:

"I think it's important for me as the mayor and the police commissioner to be out here where people are demonstrating here are their concerns, not only about the federal government, but also about our local."

Government officials shouldn't be out there? Wouldn't that perhaps be more risky? Representatives of the people, liberal or conservative, being among protests is standard stuff. If some conservative was among anti-shutdown protests, are they too part of a "mob"?

The article then notes some members of the crowd broke the law. This doesn't mean everyone was just a 'mob' or that the mayor was just part of the mob. Guilt by association. Supporting gun rights means supporting gun owners who break the law. Repeatedly, from the very beginning of our history, a portion of protests broke the law. We need careful discussion and response there. Conservative martyrs from federal authorities allegedly overstepping their ground can be found.

Note the article says "Protests in Portland have be ongoing since late May following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis." Most of the time, nothing much of concern actually happens.

Maybe, as conservatives say, local authorities have a good judge of how best to deal with the situation, even if people on the other side of the country don't think so. And, if the feds want to get involved, a careful approach should be used.
 

To underline the point, concern about overheated rhetoric and responses does not mean I think police or federal authorities never are responding to actual concerns.

The basic concern, however, is that there are serious problems that need to be addressed and the governmental response often is counterproductive. Use of tear gas or rubber bullets, let's say, that repeatedly harms third parties including members of the government or the press. Use of police force that leads at the very least dignity harms, but too often worse (death is but the extreme case).

Speaking of "mobs" or criminal elements using whatever choice invective might be (often with racist or other connotations) doesn't answer that, especially since repeatedly it is overheated. We are not at war. And, even in war there are rules of engagement that should be followed. Though once you start that mentality, it's trouble.


 

Mr. W: Antifa and BLM: these are mostly disorganized 'movements' rather than organizations (a lot like 'the militia movement' or in some respects the Tea Party).

The word you are looking for is "decentralized" like al Qaeda. Antifa as we know it today originated as a German Marxist terror group organized along KGB cell lines, so penetration of one cell does not compromise the entire organization.

Some of both movements (more Antifa than BLM to me) are certainly punks, a greater number are well intentioned but still prone to some lawlessness, and another big chunk are well meaning and law respecting (as much as people angry about police can be expected to be I think) but it's hard to generalize about those involved."

So far as Antifa goes, the word you are looking for is "terrorist." Antifa recruits, vets and trains its members in violence with he express goal of destroying the "capitalist system." Project Veritas managed to get one of their reporters inside an Antifa cell and has published video of the encounters.

BLM has a core which shares many of Antifa's goals and some of their violence and millions of perfectly innocent followers who legitimately protest police abuse of force. This core is murky and no much is known about it.

Best practices are that that should be the province of the locality, but if localities are not doing that then federal intervention might be warranted

Agreed.

I think when Law Enforcement acts they must do so with great, very great care to make sure that innocents are not harmed or hassled.

Impossible because the insurrectionists intentionally use demonstrations as cover to launch attacks.

Local government should restrict these protests to designated and cordoned off parks, search demonstrators for weapons and return the streets to the citizenry. Then, make it exceedingly clear that law enforcement will tolerate no violence at those protests and will stop such violence with identified means of force.

Many in these BLM demonstrations proactively and successfully policed their own ranks and identified Antifa to avoid violence. The police should work with these folks.
 

Local government should restrict these protests to designated and cordoned off parks, search demonstrators for weapons and return the streets to the citizenry.
# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 11:09 AM


Lol. When gun toting morons were occupying the Michigan statehouse Sniffles wasn’t even slightly concerned about any of this shit.
 

Brett's description of the protests ranges from "grossly exaggerated" to "mythical". Indeed, the DHS attempts to provide evidence of crimes have been laughable (lots of graffiti, a few gas masks). But if there really were as much violence as you claim, it should be easy for you to respond to my point earlier and identify the indictments.
 

Trump IS a nationalist, that much is true. He takes the position that each country's government should devote itself to the welfare of it's own citizens.

Who isn't devoted to the welfare of our citizens? The debate there is details.

Such bland statement of his position is not too helpful. I put aside the merits and if he actually does think that as compared to his own personal aggrandizement.
 

Mark, articles (including in the NYT), do reference some lawbreaking around federal courthouses. The Seattle Times, e.g., noted:

"State Sen. Lew Frederick, D-Portland, who grew up in Atlanta and as a youth attended civil rights protests, also was on hand. Frederick, who stayed until after midnight and witnessed some of the early volleys of tear gas and pepper balls, said he understands the motivations but does not condone the actions of those who smash windows, set fires and hammer away at the federal courthouse. He said that the nonviolent tactics of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., who was a friend of his family’s, could be an effective foil for law enforcement."

But, we are talking a subset of protests going on for months now, including a range of people. From the NYT: "have drawn diverse crowds, including teenagers, grandmothers, longtime activists and those joining the fray for the first time." And, heavy-handed tactics, especially by federal authorities, is just counterproductive. If anything, it is the sort of thing the anarchist types like. Heavy-handed tactics tend to work in the favor of peaceful protesters too. We saw that in the 1960s.
 

"Gadsden borrowed the revolutionary symbology afterwards and provided another version of the flag to Congress and the Continental Navy. His name stuck to the flag like Betsy Ross's name stuck to one of our national flags. "

Yes, it's literally the Gadsen Flag, and, again, it's a perfectly chosen symbol that of a slave owning and slave trading plantation owner crying 'liberty' is the epitome of the Bircher approach.

"Antifa runs this insurrection using BLM demonstrations as cover."

This has as much credibility as Iraq has WMDs, Romney is going to be President, etc., etc.,.
 

"The word you are looking for is "decentralized" like al Qaeda. Antifa as we know it today originated as a German Marxist terror group organized along KGB cell lines, so penetration of one cell does not compromise the entire organization."

Paranoid nonsense.

"This core is murky and no much is known about it."

But of course he was generalizing and lumping BLM en toto here. Bircher Bart has no credibility.

"Local government should restrict these protests to designated and cordoned off parks, search demonstrators for weapons and return the streets to the citizenry. Then, make it exceedingly clear that law enforcement will tolerate no violence at those protests and will stop such violence with identified means of force. "

Yes, we remember this was Bircher Bart's approach to all the right wing protests when gun toting folks showed up. Partisan incoherent.

"Impossible because the insurrectionists intentionally use demonstrations as cover to launch attacks."

More paranoid nonsense, but also witness how casual the authoritarian mindset is about government use of force on innocents: can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.

Remember, this fellow cheerleaded torture, indefinite detention and mass warrantless surveillance back in the Bush days too.



 

Of course, there's been quite a few well-evidenced cases of police 'rioting' lately. That old fellow shoved down with blood coming from his head (remember Trump's absurd defense of that?). National guard copters rotowashing. Puncturing tires. Using tear gas and rubber bullets in questionable ways. Etc.

Note that draws *nil* concern from our ostensible 'concerned about government power' types.

Day by day their actual, as opposed to ostensible motto seems to be: There must be in-groups whom the law protects but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect.
 

"Local government should restrict these protests to designated and cordoned off parks"

Free speech zones!
 

Now, Mr. W., dealing with peaceful protestors in that fashion is not a threat to liberty akin to requiring for profit corporations to provide campaign funds in the form of PACs.

 

I admit that there have been some crimes committed. It's a question of scale, and that's where Brett is grossly exaggerating.
 

I've no concern at all about the actual protests, but nobody is "protesting" at the court building at night, everybody there knows they're there for a riot.
 

Sounds like proof BARD to me.
 

I mean, who but communist agitators would protest late at nite? I'm long asleep by then! Lol.
 

Mr. W:

Are you an active propagandist for Antifa/BLM or simply a useful fool?
 

Sniffles, are you a Putin propagandist or simply a racist asshole?
 

Here is a full video recording of confederate Portland mayor, Ted Wheeler, thanking an angry mob a couple days back "for coming out to oppose the Trump administration's occupation of Portland." The confederate has an Antifa member right behind him.

Here is an example of the Antifa terrorism against Federal law enforcement which Wheeler was cheering on.

Trump is treating federal law enforcement unfairly asking them to check this insurrection. This is a military matter.




 

Brett said...
I've no concern at all about the actual protests, but nobody is "protesting" at the court building at night, everybody there knows they're there for a riot.


So protesting in the day armed to the teeth is a perfectly ok. Especially if you’re protesting something really important, like being told to wear a mask in public places where you might transmit a deadly disease to someone.

Protesting unarmed at night to demand that the police start treating Black people fairly, well, you’re obviously looking for trouble.

On the plus side, Brett, I doubt that your hood will protect you from Covid.
 

It's a clear example of selective perception to be so sure that the people out in the streets are Antifa (or even aligned with BLM, for that matter.) In Minnesota more than a few of the criminal acts were committed by people associated with "Bugaloo"-- far-right nihilists, in other words. They take advantage of any gatherings to commit arson, vandalism, looting, etc. There were, of course, simple looters in the mix here.

If federal law enforcement had as much intelligence as the Bugaloo bois, they could have foreseen the violence and taken steps then. At this point, the people in the streets are not looting or burning buildings -- although, if the DHS thugs create enough of a confrontation, I'm sure the Bugaloo bois will take advantage.

Antifa appears to be the new "commies" that makes right-wing people hide under their beds, clutching their AR-15's.

 

"thanking an angry mob a couple days back "for coming out to oppose the Trump administration's occupation of Portland."

Yes, certainly you're an insurrectionist if you address an 'angry mob' (conservative protests are, of course, never angry!) saying 'thanks for opposing federal intervention here.'

Partisan incoherent.

to say the least!
 

One thing that I’ve learned from Sniffles is that Karl Marx apparently had a high regard for Black people. I was previously unaware of that.
 

BD: "thanking an angry mob a couple days back "for coming out to oppose the Trump administration's occupation of Portland."

Mr. W: Yes, certainly you're an insurrectionist if you address an 'angry mob'


Yes, you may be an insurrectionists when you thank a screaming mob for showing up to oppose federal law enforcement upholding federal law. Scroll up and read the Insurrection Act language I quoted at the outset.

(conservative protests are, of course, never angry!) saying 'thanks for opposing federal intervention here.'

Let's make that telling contrast.

I am unsure whether you were here at the time, the old timers here may recall my reports on local Tea Party rallies back in 2010. Peaceful and unarmed folks gave speeches and carried signs condemning the various Obama violations of the Constitution, registered voters and trained them how to conduct caucuses, provided food and drink to the single police officer assigned to keep an eye on the proceedings, cleaned up after ourselves and left, then voted a couple months later to fire over 800 Democrats.

 

"when you thank a screaming mob for showing up to oppose federal law enforcement upholding federal law"

Lol, everything he says is meaningless!
 

(2) As a matter of national politics, this insurrection is a complete loss for the confederate political party. Middle class suburbanites are watching the mayhem on their televisions night after night alongside confederates defending the anarchy, while the citizenry in these confederate states and cities are begging for protection from the mobs. Old Joe is actually on video calling for defunding the police.

Of interest in this regard, Trump approval among African Americans in the Rasmussen poll is up to 40% and horse race support for Trump vs. Biden among African Americans and Hispanics in the NBC poll is up 10 points over that for Trump vs. Clinton in 2016.

Maybe minorities don't appreciate rioters running wild destroying their communities.
 

"So protesting in the day armed to the teeth is a perfectly ok. "

Yes, genuinely peacefully protesting with arms, OK. Violently rioting with improvised weapons, not OK. It's the violence that's the problem here, not the arms.

And after over a month of nightly violent riots at the court building, nobody is showing up at night for anything but a riot.
 

Whether the federal response to protests in Portland is legal depends on facts I am really not privy to. Such as (1) how much violence have the protesters really used; and (2) whether there is a proper jurisdictional hook (such as the defense of federal property) for the deployment of force, and whether the federal forces have overstepped their bounds. To the extent the Insurrection Act is invoked, there are some very complicated legal issues involved there too.

But I think most of what is being discussed here are policy questions masquerading as legal ones. The policy issues include (1) whether we would rather have the local or the federal government handle this; (2) is there enough of a public safety threat to justify escalation, or should we de-escalate instead; (3) is sufficient consideration being given to what Nixon called the "silent majority", i.e., the people who are not protesting and who would just like to be able to use the facilities of their city, etc.

Since I don't know enough about what is going on, on the ground, in Portland, I don't know the answers to any of these things. But, I will say, in general, that peaceful protesters should be able to protest without interference by federal OR local law enforcement officials, and when violence or vandalism breaks out, policing becomes a very complex question. And underpolicing has its costs too- remember, Johnnie Cochran sued the LAPD for underpolicing during the 1992 civil unrest, and he was right.
 

I don't see how we can have the local government handle this. Ideally, of course, they should. And it isn't as though they can't. But, they don't want to. The rioters and local government are on the same side! Night after night only a fence and vigorous defense have kept the court building from being burned down, and the local government responds by demanding that the defenders and fence be removed.

And deescalation isn't an option for the side being attacked; Only the rioters are in a position to do that, because they're the aggressors here.
 

We have a lot to worry about this election. The true definition of fascism is The use of the military or police to control the population , The economic system can be capitalism , communism, socialism. or fascism. Fascism is where one man or a group of men control the means of production. The group IE government benefits from the profit. That is what the Soviet Union had not as many republican pretend that when you give free things to the people that is communism or socialism. Some people like to believe that communism is a political system it is not. In the Soviet Union especially during Stalin it was fascism. He used the police and military to control the population the economic system was communism but not true communism nothing in that system benefited the people socialisms. Actually the government owned everything . We in the US now have more police , military , homeland security border patrol that Stalin ever had. This acting president is trying to create a fascist state by using the homeland security and border patrol as storm troupers the same as Hitler did.
Trump is a danger to the US way of life, It is very possible that he will try to prevent a fair election. He will try to use the para military and the feds to prevent a fair election. Trump is the biggest danger that has ever existed to our form of government. He is now experimenting with ways to stay in power. It appears that the military will resist him because it is constitutionally prohibited to use the military against the people. There is a precedent for using the military to stop a resurrection IE the civil war. This must happen again if Trump moves to take over the government.
 

Brett, yeah -- we've all seen the videos of the protesters shooting tear gas at the camo-wearing DHS guys, and the way they've used their truncheons on guys just standing there, "protecting" themselves. And those mothers? I've always been frightened of mothers.

But my favorite "aggression" is Naked Athena. Yeah, terrifying.
 

Surely, Bart, you aren't trying to tar the Portland protesters with a brush that is for the entire country? Also, given that it's the NYPost, they are probably counting policemen who sprained a wrist while beating someone.

How many protesters were injured by the police in the last month? Not that you would even pretend to care. But we know already that dozens of innocent journalists covering the protests have been injured by rubber bullets, gassed, and so forth.



 

The Washington Post publishes threat by confederate DAs in Philly and Baltimore threaten to arrest federal law enforcement officers sent to their cities.



 

I don't see how we can have the local government handle this. Ideally, of course, they should. And it isn't as though they can't. But, they don't want to. The rioters and local government are on the same side!

Same side? An example of how is this shown?

Well, the mayor went and spoke to people who showed up since as he said he thinks that is something public officials should do to members of the public who show up to protest. This is a cited as a "gotcha."

But, that mayor is not "the local government" as a whole. So, per Brett, there is a conspiracy here, including with the local police, of them all being on "the same side" because they did not use enough hard nosed use of local force to stop the select number of people who broke the law.

Night after night only a fence and vigorous defense have kept the court building from being burned down, and the local government responds by demanding that the defenders and fence be removed.

Not shown. It has not been shown that there was an immediate danger of the building being "burned down" -- the WHOLE building. Since a large federal building actually being burned down is likely to not be cabined -- non-federal things nearby are likely to be affected -- this would be rather egregious. But, the fact that the protesters targeted the outer areas of the building does not providence much evidence at all that the whole thing was in danger of being burnt down.

This level of assumption and bogus conspiracy theory makes the debate here harder to take seriously. It very well is a touchy issue. Yes, people here are very well -- to the degree we can judge (NONE of us are insiders on average, so we ALL, including former members of the OLC, are judging from limited evidence) -- influenced by the bad faith shown by the Trump Administration. This also shows the problems with the nature of Chad Wolf's appointment I might add in constitutional structure sort of way.

And deescalation isn't an option for the side being attacked; Only the rioters are in a position to do that, because they're the aggressors here.

This one side alone has responsibility argument is dubious though it is a certain conservative mindset. The balance is treated much differently, e.g., when the Confederates declared independence and seized federal forts. I don't think a "rebellion" is happening here, just a subset of public disorder, but Brett's differing reaction is rather blatant.
 

C2H5OH:

Policemen who sprained a wrist while beating someone? Spare me.

In this single Antifa attack on the Chicago PD, using a BLM demonstration seeking to "Defund the Police" as cover, the terrorists injured 49 officers.
 

One more thing so it can't be latched on to.

There is an assumption that the linked article where the mayor spoke was "obviously" not a protest because of the time (in the summer, where the weather is warm late in the night in many areas & people stay outside late for a variety of reasons) and past actions. As noted, there have been protests for months now in the city by a variety of people. It is Minority Report stuff to assume ahead a time that the only thing that will happen in such a case would be a riot.

To the degree there is a possibility of trouble, it is passing strange to me why it would not reasonably be offered that having public officials there, including some local police presence, would have potential to temper the situation. Instead, the mayor is seen as obviously part of the rioting. Before it actually began, one might add. Again, for months, there were protests in the city. It wasn't a continual riot or something. Balancing just what force to use here is a touchy matter that the typical conservative type would think was a local issue.

Trump rules though at times kick in.
 

"terrorists" "Antifa" (How does Bart know this? Is he a secret Antifa member, in on all the planned attacks?)

Antifa is a disorganized group of people who share a common belief, not a cabal, not even an informal group of people who meet, no not even a movement, yet Bart knows who they are, and all their operations. I call BS.
 

Joe: Same side? An example of how is this shown?

Start by searching Youtube for videos of the mayors of NYC, Chicago, Seattle, Baltimore, and LA defending the rioters as "mostly peaceful" demonstrators.

The resemblance between Democrats in the Old South cheering on the KKK terrorists and Democrats in today's Blue cities cheering on the Marxist terrorists is more than passing.
 

C2H5OH said...Antifa is a disorganized group of people who share a common belief, not a cabal, not even an informal group of people who meet, no not even a movement, yet Bart knows who they are, and all their operations. I call BS.

Try actually researching these terrorists.

Start with the Project Veritas undercover reporting.

Next, go to @MrAndyNgo on Twitter. Ngo has done more than any other journalist to report on Antifa terror and had the shit beaten out of him during that work.

Then, start searching for "Antifa violence" on various search engines.
 

If anyone thinks of trying, don't bother. You can't follow Bart down the wormhole of his certainty without starting with that certainty to begin with, and then shelving any resistance to bias confirmation, as he does.

He's as certain about this as he was that COVID-19 would end up being no more severe than the seasonal flu. Remember that?

Now, Bart, go ahead, take the last word. You are very amusing today. "Marxist" -- sure, Bart.
 

This comment has been removed by the author.
 

C2H5OH said...If anyone thinks of trying, don't bother.

You can lead an ass to knowledge, but... How about some first hand investigation?

Why don't you take a stroll through one of these "mostly peaceful demonstrations" carrying an American flag and tell us all how that goes for you. Extra points for wearing a MAGA hat.
 

One addendum: it would be as unwise to accept Andy Ngo's "journalism" as it would be to accept what Bart claims as fact. Do as Bart says, at least to the extent of looking up who Ngo is, and his history. This is the kind of person Bart views as definitive. (Note: I do not condone assaulting people. What getting beat up has to do with a person's trustworthiness is left as a question for Bart to explain.)
 

Sniffles thinks that being told to wear a mask is Marxism. Hopefully he never figures out that being told to wear pants is equally Marxist.
 

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