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Breaking News Alert House Republicans Fail To Hold Merrick Garland In Contempt Of Congress

After Trump’s Conviction, Republicans Should Do To Democrats What They Did To Him

Alvin Bragg
Image CreditABC News/YouTube

Either you’re willing to jail Democrats on the same terms they’re using to jail Trump, or you’re merely controlled opposition.


The conviction of former President Donald Trump on manufactured charges in a Stalinist show trial this week marks a crossroads for the Republican Party. From now on, the civil war inside the GOP will be between those who understand they must do to Democrats what Democrats have done to Trump, and those who think they can trundle along with business as usual.

And make no mistake, that divide in the Republican Party is very real — and now, very obvious. In the wake of Trump’s conviction Thursday, for example, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was submissively silent for most of the day.

Not that his conspicuous silence was a surprise. Recall that a year ago McConnell was likewise silent for hours after Trump was indicted in the classified documents probe, as was minority Whip John Thune. Eventually, McConnell issued the weakest possible statement late on Thursday, as did Thune, who belatedly called the Manhattan trial “politically motivated” and bemoaned the “partisan nature of this prosecution.”

Other Republicans were not silent but should have been. Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, whose last notable action before leaving office was to veto a bill that would have protected children from transgender genital mutilation, issued a craven statement that seemed to accept the legitimacy of the trial and conviction: “It is not easy to see a former President and the presumptive GOP nominee convicted of felony crimes; but the jury verdict should be respected. An appeal is in order but let’s not diminish the significance of this verdict.”

Hutchinson wasn’t alone in calling for the rigged, obviously corrupt trial and Soviet-style conviction to be “respected.” The former GOP governor of Maryland, Larry Hogan, who is now running for U.S. Senate, encouraged people “to respect the verdict and legal process” and invoked the “rule of law” — a curious thing to say given how the entire trial made a mockery of the rule of law.

Former National Security Advisor and neocon hack John Bolton said Trump’s conviction was a “fire-bell in the night,” and that Republicans should “change course” and “not nominate a convicted felon for President,” as if he were reading DNC talking points. (Ohio Sen. J.D. Vance had the perfect riposte to this: “John Bolton finally encounters a war he doesn’t want to fight.”)

Republicans like these should be purged from the party immediately — especially McConnell. As Rachel Bovard noted on X, “There is nothing stopping Senate Rs from calling the leadership election now.” Given what the stakes are now, and what we know Democrats are willing to do to cling to power, the only way forward is to do politics on the terms Democrats themselves have set.

That means if you’re a GOP candidate or elected official, and especially if you’re a Republican district attorney or attorney general, and your response to Trump’s conviction isn’t to begin making plans to indict President Biden and other leading Democrats on criminal charges, then you have no idea what time it is and need to be primaried, sidelined, or otherwise run out of the party. 

Take Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares, a Republican who appears to live in a fantasy world. On Thursday in the wake of Trump’s conviction, Miyares said, “In America, we don’t seek to jail political opponents — we seek to defeat them at the ballot box.” Actually, Jason, in America only one major political party does that. The other one holds show trials and imprisons their political opponents on fake charges.

Put bluntly, Republicans have to make Democrats play by their own rules. They have to inflict pain ruthlessly on Democrats with endless show trials and lawfare, just as Democrats have done to Trump. The leftist radicals who run the Democrat Party only understand power, and they will only stop when they are force-fed their own medicine over and over. 

What does that messaging look like? It looks like Anthony Sabatini, a Florida Republican who said Thursday he’s running for Congress “to imprison as many Democrats as possible.”

As my Federalist colleague Sean Davis said Thursday, “If you’re a Republican running for office, you can just go ahead and throw away all of your elegant little policy proposals for this or that corporate exclusion or tax subsidy. Give me a list of which Democrat officials you’re going to put in prison, or get lost.”

What does that look like in practice? Here’s one idea. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton should immediately indict President Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland for the ongoing crisis at the border, which in every way is a criminal human-trafficking conspiracy that they have orchestrated and sustained by flouting federal immigration law.

Top Republicans like McConnell will never support anything like that, which means they’re worse than worthless — they’re actively on the side of Democrats. The only explanation for the weak, belated statement from McConnell is that he’s glad Trump was convicted and hopes he goes to prison.

If the Republican Party is going to be anything other than controlled opposition for the Democrats, fiddling while the republic burns, it needs to purge its ranks of snakes like McConnell and elevate those who aren’t afraid of playing by Democrats’ rules. A good way to separate the two groups would be to start asking Republican officeholders and candidates whether they’d be willing to bring criminal charges against high-ranking Democrats and, if they can, imprison them.

That’s the world Democrats have called into being with this show trial. They are the ones who have cried “no quarter” in this fight. The least Republicans can do at this point is accept their terms and enter the fight on equal footing.

Why is that so important? For two reasons. The first, mentioned above, is that Democrats will never stop unless they are made to suffer exactly what they would inflict on Republicans. If we’re going to start jailing political opponents in America, then it has to go both ways. The other reason is now that Democrats have done this, have made a mockery of our justice system, the only way to restore faith in the rule of law is to make those responsible pay for what they’ve done and bring them to justice. If Democrats get away with this, Americans will be justified in thinking the entire system is illegitimate.

So Republican officials have a choice to make. They can do what’s necessary to stop Democrats and restore faith in our justice system, or they can become Democrat slaves and let the republic burn.

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