A Republican NeverTrump senator reveals more than he meant
I recently wrote to my United States senator, a Republican NeverTrump, respectfully asking why the January 6 detainees are still in jail, with many still in solitary and not arraigned for what was essentially trespassing on public property (forgetting for the moment the role of FBI instigators). (Incidentally, we should all be writing.) His reply saddened me profoundly. I received back a two-page harangue of how horrible January 6 was and how it imperiled our democracy. Buried within that harangue were unexpected admissions about the unconstitutional conditions in which far more prisoners are held than most people realize. Surprisingly enough, these admissions gave me hope.
For anyone who lived through Election Night 2020, and watched Trump winning comfortably at 11:00 P.M. EST, only to lose that massive lead by the following morning, skepticism about the election will always remain intense. (And it seems more people are getting skeptical by the day.) That skepticism is hardened by stories of municipalities that actually stopped counting during the night and reopened with large Biden pluralities.
This sense of wrongdoing doesn't justify trespassing and certainly doesn't justify vandalism. But what happened on January 6 still pales in comparison to the carnage that BLM and Antifa wreaked on many American cities and towns the previous summer — and without cost to its perpetrators in most cases. So a white-hot rage remains in many Americans.
But back to my senator's curious reply. After a lengthy harangue about Jan. 6, the depraved perpetrators, and the evil Donald Trump, he provided two very odd statements. First, he informed me that 570 people are still held in D.C.'s jails.
Five hundred seventy! I had no idea that so many were incarcerated for so long, without trial.
Second, and unexpectedly, he revealed that these 570 were mostly kept in "restricted housing," which translates to solitary confinement or other extreme denials of privileges normally granted to the general prison population. I knew that was the case, but to have a senatorial office confirm it was curious.
Image: Cover of Marjorie Taylor Greene's report about conditions in the D.C. Jail (cropped). Only three other congressmen (Paul Gosar, Matt Gaetz, and Louie Gohmert) joined her in the report.
So here was an admission in writing that a large number of Americans are being held without trial under conditions that the Geneva Conventions would object to. Moreover, they violate the Constitution's promise of both a speedy trial and the right to be free of cruel and unusual punishment (especially before a trial is carried out with the proper due process and an actual conviction).
Land of the Free? Really? This reminds me more of the CCP's China than the America I grew up in.
My truly scary surmise is that these two reveals — following after the harangue — were no accident. The harangue, seemingly, was what was to be expected from a Democrat senator, so some staffer dutifully complied. But the two reveals were perhaps an admission — stealth or subconscious — that things aren't all fine and dandy in our nation's capital. They were an admission from a D.C. insider!
This reply was perhaps a dutiful staffer serving notice that, in addition to the harangue he was supposed to churn out, there are two more items that the establishment would rather the office not ratify. The whole thing suggests that our country is pretty far gone but that there are glimmers of resistance in surprising places.
I'm deeply saddened that people — and families — are being punished way beyond what their crime justifies. It is mercilessly un-American at its core. It is grossly mean-spirited, no matter what your politics. It is chilling to the rest of us that this is what central government in America has regressed to. Maybe that is its purpose: fear. If it is, God help us.
So here's a warning to the swamp (within and outside D.C.): inequity always causes a backlash. The inequitable treatment of Black Americans from 1865 to 1965 unleashed the Civil Rights era. Something similar is smoldering now, but this time, it involves an entire country, not just a segment. The backlash will be proportional, meaning that it will likely be (no pun intended) huge. (We've already seen a staggering shift in party alliance just in the past year.)
The harder the left tightens the spring, the greater the eventual recoil. That spring has been being tightened for over 70 years. The spring back promises to be legendary.