sarahpessin@sarahpessin.com

Clemelia Bloodsworth Meets NYT 8.10.22

New York Times, 8.10.22: Calling out Trump’s Rudeness

A Thought:

I fear that this NYT writeup helps make the point (almost to comedic levels) that liberal politics is not designed to combat anti-democratic revolution. Our legal system allows Trump to do all the things this article expresses shock at: it allows him to plead the fifth–yes, even repeatedly. It allows him to “openly question the legitimacy of the legal process.” And it allows him to “insult a law enforcement official”–yes, even if (heavens to Betsy!) they are “sitting just a few feet away.”

That last point is almost too much. Along with the endless ketchup op-eds, it’s bit like reporting that Mussolini should really know better than wearing white slacks after Labor Day. Which is to say, it’d be funny if it weren’t tragic: we liberals don’t really seem to get what fascism is or how it works–which makes it harder for us to figure out what to do about it.

Revolutionaries are flooding into the field; it won’t help to reprimand them for not minding their Ps and Qs.


I finally ‘get’-get what Schmitt was on about regarding the failure of liberalism to understand that due process does not prevent brute power: Yes, due process can handle the standalone agent who defies the entirety of the law. But when a sufficiently large and sufficiently violent band of actors defy the entirety of the law, due process can only work so much and for so long.

Due process cannot extinguish the fires of hell.

As a liberal, a news story like this makes me fear that liberals will be clutching their pearls and swooning onto well-appointed fainting couches as insurgents take over the country. “Oh my! How repugnant!” they will politely opine, as the flames of fascism overpower them.

I don’t know what the solution is. But I worry that liberalism is so concerned with decorum and so sure that “truth will win out!” that it prevents us from even diagnosing the problem, much less solving it.

Clemelia is a character from the Netlix show Bojack Horseman; the ‘how repugnant!’ quote is from an episode called “Time’s Arrow”