THE COLUMN: A Dictatorship, If You Can Keep It

Michael Walsh11 Sep, 2023 5 Min Read
Many more than two witness, don't you think?

Everybody knows Benjamin Franklin's famous riposte when asked after the 1787 Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia which type of government the Founders had come up with: "A republic, if you can keep it." The constitution that emerged from the conclave went into effect the following year, and ever since Americans have at least paid lip service both to the document itself and the principles enshrined within. Until now.

From the moment Joe Biden -- infirm, incontinent, mentally challenged (even in the best of times), crotchety, cranky, boastful, and mendacious, a lifelong pig sucking at the teat of government -- took office and immediately decided to "rule" by executive order, the Constitution has been under explicit attack from those who abjure its existence and wish to see it nullified in nearly every particular. Democrat opposition to the nation-as-founded didn't start with Biden, of course: during his term in office, Aaron Burr, Thomas Jefferson's first vice president, murdered Alexander Hamilton and hatched his plot to sell out the United States. Burr was arrested and charged with treason in 1807 under the clause in the Constitution that reads: 

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court. The Congress shall have power to declare the punishment of treason, but no attainder of treason shall work corruption of blood, or forfeiture except during the life of the person attainted.

Owing in large part to specificity of the Treason Clause, Burr was acquitted at trial. Ever since, anti-American rogues have skated. Woodrow Wilson had little or no use for the Constitution and subverted it as often as he could, including his constant odes to "democracy" instead of republican democracy -- now the norm on the "progressive" left. Franklin Roosevelt invoked both the Depression and presidential wartime powers to get around many of its pesky provisions, eventually browbeating the Supreme Court into submission. 

Today, the attack on the Constitution is fiercer than ever. Leftists formerly known as "liberals" have all but abandoned their support for the First Amendment's provisions of freedom of religion, speech, and assembly, especially since such safeguards are no longer useful to them in their charades of patriotism; the Second Amendment, meanwhile, they've always hated. The Ninth and Tenth Amendments they view as nugatory and, soon enough, they'll be advocating the repeal of the Third, although their plan is not to force soldiers into citizens' home but "asylum" spoofers, economic "migrants" and outright infiltrators. 

The Bill of Rights' provisions against unreasonable search and seizure, of course, have long since been abandoned, and the Fifth's protection against self-incrimination will be gone as soon as the show trials get underway in earnest once full criminalization of such transient causes as "misgendering" and "pronouns" get enshrined in the penal code by their legions of lawyers. And ask the January 6 defendants, currently moldering away in the Garland Archipelago, what they think of the Sixth's right to a "speedy and public trial," to know the identities of their accusers, trial by an impartial jury, and the Eighth's prescriptions against excessive bail and "cruel and unusual punishment." 

If they could only see us now.

One might think that Joe Biden's deliberate and willful demolition of the country's borders and his practical dissolution of the country's territorial integrity (in effect, one of the charges against Burr) might qualify as treason, but apparently not; after all, as his puppet master Barack Obama -- the man who himself ruled via pen and phone -- likes to say, "that's not who we are." 

And so the Revolution proceeds by steps, and the frog gets comfortable boiling to death. We've now just seen an elected governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham, unilaterally nullify both the Second Amendment and recent Supreme Court rulings by suspending gun rights in the spurious name of a "public health emergency" following the shooting death of a child in Albuquerque. “I welcome the debate and the fight about making New Mexicans safer,” she said.

Well, now she has it. Lawsuits are flying and, amazingly, even some on the Left have come out against her breathtaking presumption. "I support gun safety laws," wrote lefty congressman Ted Lieu on Twitter. "However, this order from the Governor of New Mexico violates the U.S. Constitution. No state in the union can suspend the federal Constitution. There is no such thing as a state public health emergency exception to the U.S. Constitution." New Mexico police have said they won't enforce the order. Meanwhile, Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis got it just right: 

Just a few months after ending the COVID 'public health emergency,' the Governor of New Mexico has declared a new 'public health emergency': Guns. She is now asserting the power to infringe on Second Amendment rights by executive fiat. This assertion is not surprising — since 2020, 'public health' has become a pretext for depriving citizens of civil liberties and trampling on our Constitutional rights. It ends when I am President. Your 2nd Amendment rights SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.

Grisham will be forced to back down, and this enormity should be the end of her political career. But she's just the canary in the coal mine; "emergencies" -- whether real or, usually, imaginary -- have now become the all-purpose Leftist response as they seek the installation of their policy prescriptions by fiat or force majeure. Climate emergencies, mental-health emergencies, gun-violence emergencies, MAGA emergencies. Never forget that their motto is "by any means necessary."

The most troubling thing about Grisham's action, however, likes not in the "temporary" proscription against carrying firearms in Bernalillo county but in her insouciant attitude toward the U.S. Constitution. Have a listen:

You know we're in trouble when a sitting governor -- a Democrat, of course -- can announce with a straight face that "no Constitutional right is absolute," and that her own order declaring an "emergency" gives her "additional powers" to suspend the law of the land. But hey, why shouldn't she think that? Thanks to the supine final year of the Trump presidency, the unelected bureaucrat Anthony Fauci did just that, and has paid absolutely no legal or financial penalty for his effrontery. Indeed, the pestiferous midget is back in the public eye once more, trying to resurrect the Covid Hoax

The rot starts at the top, however, and over the weekend the semi-ambulatory train wreck masquerading as the president of the United States embarrassed himself and his nation once again with a bizarre press conference in which he rambled, misspoke, and verbally soiled his drawers in public once again. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the president of the United States:

Finally, just today, the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks Biden did his country yet another disservice by announcing his support for international terrorism in the form of $6 billion Iranian assets in the U.S. now being unfrozen as part of a "prisoner swap":

The Biden administration has cleared the way for the release of five American citizens detained in Iran by issuing a blanket waiver for international banks to transfer $6 billion in frozen Iranian money from South Korea to Qatar without fear of U.S. sanctions. In addition, as part of the deal, the administration has agreed to release five Iranian citizens held in the United States.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken signed off on the sanctions waivers late last week, a month after U.S. and Iranian officials said an agreement in principle was in place. Congress was not informed of the waiver decision until Monday, according to the notification, which was obtained by The Associated Press. The waiver drew criticism of President Joe Biden from Republicans and others who say the deal will boost the Iranian economy at a time when Iran poses a growing threat to U.S. troops and Mideast allies.

How much more contemptuous can this administration get? But none dare call it treason, even though we're all watching it unfold in real time. "If you can keep it"? It is to laugh. 

Michael Walsh is a journalist, author, and screenwriter. He was for 16 years the music critic and a foreign correspondent for Time Magazine. His works include the novels As Time Goes By, And All the Saints, and the bestselling “Devlin” series of NSA thrillers; as well as the nonfiction bestseller, The Devil’s Pleasure Palace and its sequel, The Fiery Angel. Last Stands, a study of military history from the Greeks to the present, was published by St. Martin's Press in December 2019. He is also the editor of Against the Great Reset: 18 Theses Contra the New World Order, published on Oct. 18, 2022. Follow him on Twitter: @theAmanuensis


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6 comments on “THE COLUMN: A Dictatorship, If You Can Keep It”

  1. Walsh, because of his background in the arts and culture, has understood what is going on better than those pundits whose backgrounds were in political analysis and government.

  2. So, whatever happened to that 60,000 pounds of ammonium nitrate that went missing from a train back in May? Is it on its way to Harper’s Ferry?

  3. Death, Thou comest
    When I had Thee least in mind.

    Well folks, how dark does it have to get before we engage the enemy within and
    start fighting fire with fire?
    Yes, yes I know... you go first!

  4. Treason doth never prosper: what's the reason?
    For if it prosper, none dare call it treason.
    John Harington: Epigrams

  5. As long as there are no punishments for Grisham that are punitive enough to act as a deterrent these things will continue until the citizenry explodes. The government and its officers exist only to secure liberty and its offshoots. That they practice hacking at the roots of liberty as an excuse to save the tree has to be stopped in a way that puts fear into government officials for daring to go there.

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