It’s time to flip the script. For decades, Republicans have been normalizing corruption. Norms such as presidential candidates releasing tax returns, and the peaceful transition of power, have been brazenly flouted. They commit crimes in plain sight mocking our legal system. Villains like Steve Bannon, Marjorie Taylor Green, and Lauren Boebert are not an anomaly, they’re the new GOP normal, installed to push the limits. These are tactics of dictators, even installing a collaborator to run a propaganda machine via Twitter.
But Democratic legislators have limited the damage, mostly preserving our institutions, ingeniously, by simply behaving as our founding fathers intended. If Democrats had been as reckless with our Legislative, Executive and Judicial branches, our democracy would have been ripped asunder by now. If you doubt what Democrats have done, here is a list of recent things we can be grateful for. Democrats are normalizing integrity.
Not only did the January 6th Select Committee lay out in riveting detail how Donald Trump incited the insurrection, but now Merrick Garland appointed a special counsel and declared Trump, and anyone involved with the peaceful transfer of power, are being investigated. Those likely include GOP members of Congress who requested a pardon from Trump: Lauren Boebert, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Matt Gaetz, Jim Jordan, Scott Perry, Mo Brooks, Louie Gohmert, and Paul Gosart. They may include Mark Meadows, Mike Lee, Ginni Thomas, Ronny Jackson, and Cleta Mitchell, some who have testified to the J6 Committee.
There is already precedent for conviction. George W. Bush appointee Judge Reggie Walton sentenced insurrectionist Dustin Thompson, who blamed Trump for the insurrection, to 3 years in prison, comparing right-wing extremists to Nazis. But most compelling, this week newly appointed Special Counsel Jack Smith argued to the 11th Circuit Court that they should immediately shut down the Special Master process created by Judge Aileen Cannon. Former Federal Prosecutor Mitchell Epner wrote, “If the 11th Circuit rules against Trump, I expect Jack Smith will indict Trump on multiple counts…related to the removal and retention of national security documents in violation of the Espionage Act arguably committed when Trump removed them from the White House, making D.C. a possible venue for an indictment on those charges.”
Last, but not least, Democrats have launched a rapid-response counter offensive against an “expected investigative onslaught” against Democrats by the new House GOP majority. That should be fun. Republicans may have tried to normalize corruption under the false claim of “balance of power.” But justice is the new balance of power. Justice is the new normal.
Chicago native Lorraine Evanoff earned her degree in French from DePaul University then became a Certified Financial Manager. She worked as a finance exec in film production for seven years in Paris, then in Silicon Valley during the dot-com era, and later for various Hollywood production companies, notably as CFO of National Lampoon. She is currently living in Los Angeles with her husband.