Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Schumer’s Threats Reveal a Broader Trend on the Left

 

Democrat Charles Schumer, speaking to “protestors” outside the Supreme Court: “I want to tell you, Gorsuch, I want to tell you, Kavanaugh, you have released the whirlwind, and you will pay the price. You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.”

This statement was clearly a threat, but what kind of threat? Perhaps a direct physical threat, but more likely, I think, a threat to subject the two justices to the kind of orchestrated slander campaign that was already unleashed against Justice Kavanaugh; a slander campaign the would result in great emotional pain to the Justices and their families and great disruption to the operations of the Court.

The crowd to which Schumer was speaking is typically referred to as “protestors” in news reports, but what are they protesting? No decision has been made in this case. Evidently they are protesting the willingness of the Court to even consider the arguments made by the two sides in this case.

I’d call them a mob. Judge Andrew Napolitano, who does not believe Schumer’s statement violated any laws, nevertheless called the statement an “effort to politicize the court, to make them look like they can be intimidated by a mob outside of the courthouse.”

The present-day Democratic Party together with its media/academic/activist archipelago has become quite friendly toward mob action and mob intimidation. One especially appalling event was the attempt to shut down law professor Josh Blackman’s talk at the City University of New York law school. When Blackman said the way to deal with a law you don’t like is to change the law…

A student shouted out “[expletive] the law.” This comment stunned me. I replied, “[expletive] the law? That’s a very odd thing. You are all in law school. And it is a bizarre thing to say [expletive] the law when you are in law school.” They all started to yell and shout over me.

There has been an awful lot of this sort of thing, and it seems to have been increasing exponentially over the last several years. In 2016, Scott Adams wrote:

I’ve been trying to figure out what common trait binds Clinton supporters together. As far as I can tell, the most unifying characteristic is a willingness to bully in all its forms.

If you have a Trump sign in your lawn, they will steal it.

If you have a Trump bumper sticker, they will deface your car.

if you speak of Trump at work you could get fired.

On social media, almost every message I get from a Clinton supporter is a bullying type of message. They insult. They try to shame. They label. And obviously they threaten my livelihood.

But this behavior was by no means limited to Hillary Clinton supporters, and it today pervades the “progressive” Left. A political movement that engages in widespread bullying attracts new members who are bullies: for a certain kind of person, there is great pleasure in exercising rage and cruelty toward other people while operating under the protection of a political or religious banner that yields feelings of virtue.

I don’t think most Progs are necessarily cruel people, but I do think that an increasing number of cruel people are being attracted to their cause; also, some of the non-cruel progs are being drawn into acts of cruelty. See John dos Passos on Conformity, Cruelty, and Political Activism. See also Goethe’s Gretchen (in Faust), repenting having been drawn into the mocking and humiliation of unmarried pregnant girls:

How readily I used to blame
Some poor young soul that came to shame!
Never found sharp enough words like pins
To stick into other people’s sins
Black as it seemed, I tarred it to boot
And never black enough to suit
Would cross myself, exclaim and preen–
Now I myself am bared to sin!

There’s a lot of this “sharp enough words like pins to stick in other people’s sins,” combined with the pleasure of preening, going on today. And many if not most practitioners thereof will, unlike Gretchen, never repent. Cruelty under cover of virtuous feelings is a huge factor in today’s politics.

I am also reminded of something said by Sebastian Haffner, in his memoir of life in Germany between the wars. When Hitler became Chancellor in early 1933, Haffner working as a junior lawyer (refendar) in the Prussian High Court, the Kammergericht. He was comforted by the continuity of the legal process:

The newspapers might report that the constitution was in ruins. Here every paragraph of the Civil Code was still valid and was mulled over and analyzed as carefully as ever…. The Chancellor could daily utter the vilest abuse against the Jews; there was nonetheless still a Jewish Kammergerichtsrat (high court judge) and member of our senate who continued to give his astute and careful judgments, and these judgments had the full weight of the law and could set the entire apparatus of the state in motion for their enforcement–even if the highest office-holder of that state daily called their author a ‘parasite’, a ‘subhuman’ or a ‘plague’.

But things soon changed: the Nazis came to the Kammergericht and enforced their new way of doing things:

It was strange to sit in the Kammergericht again, the same courtroom, the same seats, acting as if nothing had happened. The same ushers stood at the doors and ensured, as ever, that the dignity of the court was not disturbed. Even the judges were for the most part the same people. Of course, the Jewish judge was no longer there. He had not even been dismissed. He was an old gentleman and had served under the Kaiser, so he had been moved to an administrative position at some Amtsgericht (lower court). His position on the senate was taken by an open-faced, blond young Amtsgerichtsrat, with glowing cheeks, who did not seem to belong among the grave Kammergerichtsrats…It was whispered that in private the newcomer was something high up in the SS.

The new judge didn’t seem to know much about law, but asserted his points in a “fresh, confident voice.”

We Refendars, who had just passed our exams, exchanged looks while he expounded. At last the president of the senate remarked with perfect politeness, ‘Colleague, could it be that you have overlooked paragraph 816 of the Civil Code?’ At which the new high court judge looked embarrassed…leafed through his copy of the code and then admitted lightly, ‘Oh, yes. Well, then it’s just the other way around.’ Those were the triumphs of the older law.

There were, however, other cases–cases in which the newcomer did not back down…stating that here the paragraph of the law must yield precedence; he would instruct his co-judges that the meaning was more important than the letter of the law…Then, with the gesture of a romantic stage hero, he would insist on some untenable decision. It was piteous to observe the faces of the older Kammergerichtsrats as this went on. They looked at their notes with an expression of indescribable dejection, while their fingers nervously twisted a paper-clip or a piece of blotting paper. They were used to failing candidates for the Assessor examination for spouting the kind of nonsense that was now being presented as the pinnacle of wisdom; but now this nonsense was backed by the full power of the state, by the threat of dismissal for lack of national reliability, loss of livelihood, the concentration camp…They begged for a little understanding for the Civil Code and tried to save what they could.

I’m afraid kind of court is what is desired by much of the “progressive” movement and much of the mainstream Democratic Party. They are not interested in the kind of “astute and careful” judgments that had been made by the senior judge of whom Haffner wrote; much more are they in tune with the new judge’s assertion that “the paragraph of the law must yield precedence … that the meaning was more important than the letter of the law.” Sometimes, the Democrats/”Progressives” even make such assertions with the gesture of a romantic stage hero.

The extreme danger to America that would result from any increase in the political power of the Democrats and their archipelago becomes more clear every day.

Published in General
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

There are 22 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Jim George Member

    @davidfoster, based on a quick scan of this post, which i intend to study much more thoroughly this afternoon, it is a superb piece; as I am putting together materials for a post of my own regarding this thuggish piece of theater (from a lawyer’s perspective), it really hit home for me. I will almost certainly draw upon some of your references, obviously with the proper credit being given, and just wanted you to know I really appreciated your post and all the work which obviously went into it. 

    Thanks, Jim

    • #1
    • March 7, 2020, at 10:54 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  2. Dr. Bastiat Member

    Outstanding post. Thanks.

    • #2
    • March 7, 2020, at 11:11 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  3. Gossamer Cat Coolidge

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    Outstanding post. Thanks.

    Ditto. The fact that Schumer through his spokesman felt perfectly at east pedaling a bald-faced lie “He was talking about Republicans in the Senate…and, and Trump did it too”, shows you how scary the left has become. He knows that the Left will happily trumpet this verifiable lie on every talk how, social media platform and newspaper.

    Actually, Monica Lewinsky, of all people, said it best in an interview about Bill Clinton: “If you want to know what power looks like, watch a man safely, even smugly, do interviews for decades, without ever worrying whether he will be asked the questions he doesn’t want to answer,”

    • #3
    • March 7, 2020, at 11:22 AM PST
    • 12 likes
  4. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    Interestingly, FDR did something similar to our Supreme Court around 1937. It was not as terrible as the Nazi program, but it broke the connection with the historic and traditional interpretation of the Constitution.

    We have been moving in the direction of restoration, slowly and haltingly, since the 1980s. We seem to be on the verge of victory, which accounts for Schumer’s hysteria.

    But make no mistake. Schumer is not primarily interested in undermining our Constitution, as traditionally understood. That has already been accomplished, to a substantial degree. He is trying to prevent the correction.

    • #4
    • March 7, 2020, at 11:36 AM PST
    • 17 likes
  5. tigerlily Member

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Interestingly, FDR did something similar to our Supreme Court around 1937. It was not as terrible as the Nazi program, but it broke the connection with the historic and traditional interpretation of the Constitution.

    And it worked for FDR didn’t it? It was after this that the Court in 5-4 decisions began to uphold various New Deal laws they’d previously struck down.

    We have been moving in the direction of restoration, slowly and haltingly, since the 1980s. We seem to be on the verge of victory, which accounts for Schumer’s hysteria.

    But make no mistake. Schumer is not primarily interested in undermining our Constitution, as traditionally understood. That has already been accomplished, to a substantial degree. He is trying to prevent the correction.

    Agreed. I think it’s mainly about abortion (Roe v Wade) which almost everyone understands is a thin reed constitutionally.

    • #5
    • March 7, 2020, at 12:13 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  6. Jon1979 Lincoln

    This is also about turnout in November. Schumer feels he has to ramp up the volume to 11 in order to maintain the passion of the activists on the left and (he hopes) less radical or even liberal women voters who want to maintain their options for abortion. So you end up with the current anger at a law designed to require doctors to have hospital admitting privileges for safety reasons, where one of the main arguments 50 years ago for abortion rights was to eliminate unsafe ‘back alley’ abortions by people without medical credentials.

    Of course, he can’t say he was tossing out Boob Bait for Pro-Choice Bubbas in front of the Supreme Court in order to gin up their anger for the vote eight months from now, because those same people think they’re part of the un-manipulable intellectual elites. And in terms of end results, while Schumer doesn’t want anyone to go James Hodgkinson on Gorsuch or Kavanaugh (or Roberts, Thomas or Alito for that matter), he wouldn’t mind seeing them intimidated into upholding the current system, or setting the groundwork for a future Democratic president to try and pull an FDR in packing the court (and the angrier people on the left also might not be in on rubbing out conservative Justices, but might be OK with ginning up enough hate to impeach 1-2 of them, if they ever had the White House and a large enough Senate majority).

    • #6
    • March 7, 2020, at 6:15 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  7. Gary Robbins Reagan

    Excellent post. Schumer is despicable. 

    • #7
    • March 7, 2020, at 6:19 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  8. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge

    Schumer represents the Democrat government and its power. Those that stand against it can expect as much resistance, abuse, violence as possible. Schumer was just directing all parts of the Democrat party and it’s whole ran vassal governments to use any force necessary to achieve their agenda. I suspect a smear campaign soon, maybe some CIA, FBI intelligence showing them as corrupt stooges of other foreign governments. Maybe a death of their family members or if lucky just family members losing their livelihoods. This is the world we live in. To be conservative is taking risks of life and limb.

    • #8
    • March 7, 2020, at 9:09 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  9. Saint Augustine Member

    David Foster: Perhaps a direct physical threat, but more likely, I think, a threat to subject the two justices to the kind of orchestrated slander campaign that was already unleashed against Justice Kavanaugh; a slander campaign the would result in great emotional pain to the Justices and their families and great disruption to the operations of the Court.

    Well said.

    My first thought was of packing the Court, maybe impeachment.

    • #9
    • March 8, 2020, at 3:40 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  10. I Walton Member

    Excellent post. We are witnessing the creation of the Nazi party, times have changed, the economy is strong, unemployment down, the term Nazi anathema, we have to call them progressives, which is basically the same thing, slower, multi-generational and even more difficult to undo once established. It’s a combination of institutionalized political power, mindless youth, and strategic thrust. It won’t go away until we radically overturn our schools, and strip the Federal government of its unconstitutional political/ bureaucratic power. It will grow until some modern organizational Soros types successfully replace the rule of law at which point the bottom up democratic republic will be over. Trump changed the court giving us time to change the schools. The change is simple. Get rid of all overriding educational bureaucracy. If we don’t we lose.

    • #10
    • March 8, 2020, at 6:06 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  11. Phil Turmel Coolidge

    I expect any lefty encountering this essay to dismiss it as another case of “Godwin’s Law” in action. I’m convinced that Godwin formulated his rule precisely because the progressive movement (then under the “liberal” banner”) doesn’t fare well when honestly compared to the Third Reich. In other words, Godwin’s Law is just another “Shut up” from the statists on the left.

    • #11
    • March 8, 2020, at 6:47 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  12. David Foster Member
    David FosterJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Phil Turmel (View Comment):
    I expect any lefty encountering this essay to dismiss it as another case of “Godwin’s Law” in action.

    Yes…I thought of leaving out the Haffner excerpt for that reason, only it is such a fine encapsulation of law vs non-law in the operation of a court.

    Of course, comparisons with other totalitarian regimes are applicable too; for example, Stalin’s secret police leader with his ‘Show me the man and I will show you the crime.’

    • #12
    • March 8, 2020, at 7:13 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  13. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Excellent post. Schumer is despicable.

    Yeah. Biden is despicable, too, if you’ll recall his reprehensible tactics when he was on the Judiciary Committee. You might want to remember that, my friend, and reconsider your support of him.

    • #13
    • March 8, 2020, at 7:20 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  14. MichaelKennedy Coolidge

    What all this comes down to is that Roe v Wade was a bad decision that politicized the Court and has involved it in politics ever since. Even Joe Biden complained at the time about it.
    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/bernie-sanders-drags-biden-for-once-saying-the-supreme-court-went-too-far-with-roe-v-wade

    It preempted state law, which in California had legalized abortion with some restrictions. Roe v Wade wiped all that out and has led to the present situation where infanticide is legal in some states. There seems to be a competition of the left to reach the most outrageous conclusions, then dare the “normals” to oppose them. The gender wars are only one example. I anticipate real violence when the next nomination is made.

     

    • #14
    • March 8, 2020, at 7:45 AM PDT
    • Like
  15. Unsk Member

     IWalton:”We are witnessing the creation of the Nazi party, times have changed, the economy is strong, unemployment down, the term Nazi anathema, we have to call them progressives, which is basically the same thing, slower, multi-generational and even more difficult to undo once established. It’s a combination of institutionalized political power, mindless youth, and strategic thrust. It won’t go away until we radically overturn our schools, and strip the Federal government of its unconstitutional political/ bureaucratic power. It will grow until some modern organizational Soros types successfully replace the rule of law at which point the bottom up democratic republic will be over. Trump changed the court giving us time to change the schools. The change is simple. Get rid of all overriding educational bureaucracy. If we don’t we lose.”

    Unfortunately so very true. All the major points except for one little quibble – the wording”creation of the (new type) of Nazi Party. ”

    Few realize that “NAZI” means the “Nationalist Socialist Party”. What we are seeing with the Progressive Domination of our society is a creation of a “Internationalist Socialist Party” INAZI ? that wants to destroy national sovereignty and replace it with a one- world socialist/ totalitarian government. This new regime will not so obviously bigoted against a people and will not be nationalist at all in it’s intent. It will not seek to glorify America and the American people as Hitler wanted to do with Germany, but will seek to destroy all that America stands for. 

    • #15
    • March 8, 2020, at 10:40 AM PDT
    • Like
  16. Ontheleftcoast Member

    MichaelKennedy (View Comment):

    What all this comes down to is that Roe v Wade was a bad decision that politicized the Court and has involved it in politics ever since. Even Joe Biden complained at the time about it.
    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/bernie-sanders-drags-biden-for-once-saying-the-supreme-court-went-too-far-with-roe-v-wade

    Yes. The rule of law started to die at that point and is now moribund at best. This is from an Andy McCarthy piece I’ve linked before.. Emphasis added:

    When called on his menacing remarks, rather than apologize, Schumer brazenly lied about what he had done. This morning, he was still lying — a tepid apology, offered under pressure while insisting that “in no way was I making a threat.”

    In a rule-of-law society, that should rate censure. Case closed.

    Except it’s not closed, because we are not a rule-of-law society. We just pretend to be. In a rule-of-law society, a mob would not gather on the steps of the courthouse in the first place.

    Where do we go from without the rule of law? How do we salvage something for ourselves and our families? Many religious traditions have an institutional memory of how to preserve what can be preserved when there is no rule of law. None of those traditions have long experience with lawless rule with modern surveillance and data analysis capabilities.

    Hat tip Mas Ayoob for this one from Rob Morse; bold type in the original:

    The Knowns-

    We knew that Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been buying politicians for years. We knew that Virginia Democrats were for sale, but we didn’t know when Bloomberg would have his majority and how far those Democrat legislators would go with Bloomberg’s plans.

    Mayor Bloomberg consolidated his takeover of Virginia in last November’s election. He got most of the political change he wanted when the Virginia legislature went into session in January. I said most, but not all, because the Mayor was frustrated by some of the votes. His most egregious gun control measures were voted down in committee. That is where a few Democrat legislators rejected some of the confiscatory gun control that Mayor Bloomberg wanted.

    Last week, a few Democrat legislators opposed their party and stood up for the citizens in their district. That too happened for a reason.

    Politicians have always been for sale, but the wholesale purchase of politicians by billionaires like Soros and Bloomberg is news….

    Limiting government power and returning the United States to the control of the American people is a dangerous job. It angers the elites like Soros, Bloomberg, and Clinton. I pray for President Trump’s safety.. and for the safety of the elites.

    Rob Morse concludes with this question:

    • #16
    • March 8, 2020, at 10:43 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  17. Skyler Coolidge

    I took the threats to those two judges as a promise to impeach them, in the same loose manner they impeached Trump.

    The Democrat Communist Party must never again be allowed to have power or we will be doomed as a free nation.

    If Trump is reelected and republicans regain the house, we will need to ram through reforms and possibly a constitutional amendment of some kind that will hamstring the ability of future congresses from installing their communist programs.

    • #17
    • March 8, 2020, at 11:31 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  18. OccupantCDN Coolidge

    Schumer is abusing his privilege … If you or I went to the steps of any courthouse and started ranting about a case currently being heard inside the court, and then threatened the judges hearing the case – we’d already be in jail.

    So when will Schumer be arrested?

    • #18
    • March 8, 2020, at 2:39 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  19. Skyler Coolidge

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    Schumer is abusing his privilege … If you or I went to the steps of any courthouse and started ranting about a case currently being heard inside the court, and then threatened the judges hearing the case – we’d already be in jail.

    So when will Schumer be arrested?

    If he made the statement as a senator on the way to the Congress, then I think he might be immune. Don’t quote me on that.

    • #19
    • March 8, 2020, at 4:52 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  20. David Foster Member
    David FosterJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Semester of Violence: physical attacks on conservative college students keep piling up.

     

     

    • #20
    • March 9, 2020, at 6:32 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  21. Rodin Member

    David Foster (View Comment):

    Semester of Violence: physical attacks on conservative college students keep piling up.

    Disturbing.

    • #21
    • March 9, 2020, at 8:23 AM PDT
    • Like
  22. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge

    Rodin (View Comment):

    David Foster (View Comment):

    Semester of Violence: physical attacks on conservative college students keep piling up.

    Disturbing.

    It is against the Deplorables so it is not a problem.

    • #22
    • March 9, 2020, at 9:03 AM PDT
    • 1 like