What 'Moving On' Has Cost Us
This is the real difference between Donald Trump and the political establishment, whether Republican or Democrat. The esteemed “conservative” Wall Street Journal editorial board has called on Wisconsin authorities to ignore a preliminary investigation report by former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman that found unethical and illegal acts that he says should prompt the state legislature to “take a hard look” at decertifying the 2020 election.
The Journal says Wisconsin should instead be practical and play it politically safe. In its editorial, the Journal urges Republicans to move on and concentrate on defeating incumbent Democrat Gov. Tom Evers rather than “chasing ghosts.”
For his part, Trump says if investigation is halted, perpetrators will be emboldened to cheat again in this year’s elections.
The “conservative” Journal finds itself arguing the Democrat party’s standard talking point: “Move on.” That preference reveals the extent of the swamp that voters chose Trump to drain in 2016. It’s a bipartisan cesspool and even conservative media champions are caught in the bog.
It’s also nothing new. Republicans have traditionally conformed to the “move on” mentality after every election. After his 1960 loss, Richard Nixon declined to pursue JFK’s obvious election chicanery.
Republicans may score points with voters by complaining about Democrats’ election and governing abuses. But when they must choose to actually do something about it or move on, they move on.
The same theme is playing out regarding the COVID theater of the absurd that devastated the economy, granted Democrat authorities virtual dictatorial control and cost thousands of citizens their jobs, constitutional protections, and in far too many cases, their lives.
In the mold of Donald Trump, Kentucky’s Sen. Rand Paul has vowed to bring the effective ringleader of the COVID scam to justice by promising to investigate Anthony Fauci’s questionable handling of the crisis.
Anyone familiar with Paul doesn’t doubt that he intends to bring the Senate’s investigative powers to bear on Fauci. Anyone familiar with the Republican party’s track record also knows the party will not allow such an investigation to extend to indictments of Fauci and co-conspirators, irrespective of what is uncovered.
Republicans, as a party and as a mindset, are incapable of enforcing justice even when enjoying control of both houses of Congress and the White House. When they reach the threshold requiring a decision, they inevitably choose to “move on” instead. That’s why Trump failed to drain the D.C. swamp. He couldn’t do it alone and his own party didn’t have the courage to take that decisive step.
Now the Journal, despite having earned its reputation as a conservative champion in matters political and social, nevertheless parrots the “move on” line. The Journal’s editorial board says Republicans should instead settle for politics as usual.
What weak-kneed Journal editors and spineless Republican party leaders ignore is that politics as usual always delivers the same old results, as usual.
As Trump put it: “Ignorance is not bliss. Sky high inflation, threats of World War III, and the invasion across our borders are a direct consequence of the stolen 2020 election. What happened in 2020 can never be allowed to happen again!”
As any honest judge, prosecutor, or cop will attest, when wrongdoers are permitted to get away with it, you can expect more wrongdoing. Republicans and ostensibly conservative newspaper pundits loathe facing that reality.
Rather than make the hard decision to pursue wrongdoers to prevent future wrongdoing, they choose instead to move on.
As a result, the nation will get more of what the swampish national political culture produced in 2020. Wisconsin’s Gableman concluded “that without full access to information, [investigators] are unable to provide robust conclusions.”
Or, as Trump puts it with his characteristic plain talk: “Voters know that unless we fix what happened in 2020, those who stole the 2020 election will try to do it again in 2022.”
It's politically dicey to pursue what mainstream media has characterized from Day 1 as a “conspiracy theory.” The CIA popularized the related phrase "conspiracy theorist" half a century ago as a pejorative expressly to discourage talk and publication that conflicted with the government’s position that Lee Harvey Oswald alone was responsible for President John F. Kennedy’s assassination.
For decades only the most courageous -- joined with the habitually distrustful -- dared to buck the official government talking points. But Americans aren’t stupid. In ensuing decades polls showed that upwards of 80% of Americans considered the government case to be a lie and believed a conspiracy killed JFK. But by then, the powers that be had moved on. Chalk it up as another victory for the swamp.
Living with accepting the lie when they knew better created arguably the first major crisis of confidence in government for this nation. Few have trusted government to be forthcoming ever since. Few in government have bothered to be truthful ever since. The MO that works politically to put unpleasant realities behind us is to move on.
Wisconsin faces a pivotal decision as to whether to give investigators more time and encouragement to get to the bottom of what Gableman so far has found to be a swamp-sized nest of illegalities. If he’s ignored, expect more of the same in this election and the next.
Mark Landsbaum is a Christian retired journalist, former investigative reporter, editorial writer, and columnist. He also is a husband, father, grandfather, and Dodgers fan. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Image: Wall Street Journal