“From the FBI’s unprecedented counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign, to state defiance of the president’s federal immigration law, to media partisanship, to the drive-by character assassination of Trump Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, the president’s foes have thrown aside norms, due process, and the rule of law.”
So begins the cover of Kimberley Strassel’s new bestseller, Resistance (At All Costs): How Trump Haters Are Breaking America.
Strassel, a star Wall Street Journal columnist, zeroes in on the decidedly serious problem that all this insane, foaming hatred of a duly elected president has brought to the country.
There is nothing wrong, Strassel correctly notes, with being a Trump critic. Presidents have always had critics, something that comes with the job. But the spread of a virulent Trump hatred is something quite different, and is, Strassel writes, “proving far more corrosive to our institutions and rule of law than anything of which it has accused the president.”
As she notes, the very term “the Resistance” is associated throughout history with movements designed to fight “occupying powers” as, say, the French Resistance came to life to fight the forces of the occupying Nazi Germany. And once one goes down that road, as has the Trump-hating Resistance, the Resisters “view themselves as justified in taking any action necessary to get rid of the occupier.”
Set loose the Department of Justice and the FBI to spy on a presidential campaign? No problem. Ambush a Supreme Court nominee “with uncorroborated sexual assault allegations”? No problem. Use “the impeachment process for political retribution”? No big deal.
This, says Strassel, “has been the behavior of the Resistance leaders, and it has already caused harm to vital institutions.”
Yes indeed. And none more prominent than the self-inflicted massive damage the Justice Department, the FBI, and the “mainstream media” have done to their own credibility. It is in fact alarming, as Strassel notes,
that huge swaths of the country no longer trust the Justice Department or the FBI to administer equal justice. Or that, according to a 2018 Axios poll, 72% of Americans believe that “traditional major news sources report news they know to be fake, false or purposely misleading” — including 92% of Republicans and 79% of independents.
On and on go the Resistance assaults on the very fabric of the American nation, including a demand to abolish the Electoral College, an institution that lies at the very heart of the democracy that demands all American states have an equal voice in their government.
Nowhere has this assault been more evident than in the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Strassel devotes an entire chapter to the FBI as run by the Trump-hating James Comey. The absolutely perfect title of the chapter is “J. Edgar Comey.”
In that chapter, Strassel absolutely fillets Comey and his band of Trump-hating FBI bureaucrats. She begins by reeling off the list of the disgraced:
Director Jim Comey: fired for insubordination. Deputy Director Andy McCabe: terminated for lying to investigators. Senior Counterintelligence Agent Peter Strzok: dismissed for partisan bias. General Counsel James Baker: reassigned and then out on resignation — part of a federal criminal leak investigation. These were just the highlights among a dozen senior FBI leaders who were fired or faded away. They included chief of staff James Rybicki; lawyer Lisa Page; the assistant director of the Counterintelligence Division, Bill Priestap; the head of the National Security Division, Michael Steinbach; the FBI’s top congressional liaison, Greg Brower; and the assistant director for public affairs (and 33-year FBI veteran), Michael Kortan.
The list of corrupt FBI leaders is as stunning for its length as it is for its depth. The damage they have inflicted on that venerable organization is considerable.
Strassel also delves into the shenanigans behind the Mueller report episode and the Deep State. Of the latter she opens with this serious truth about the performance of various actors in the Trump-hating Resistance that is the Washington bureaucracy:
If hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, Washington has no fury like a civil servant defied. Trump has no need to travel to a Resistance rally to meet his opponents; they work for him.
Bingo. And this will be seen in crystal-clear fashion next week when Congressman Adam Schiff finally gets around to opening his impeachment hearings and using career civil servants who are deeply impressed with the ideas that they, and not the elected president of the United States, run American foreign policy.
Strassel ends with this wisdom:
For every Resistance leader who daily makes an inflated claim about Trump’s destruction of democracy, there is a more quiet, average American who is deeply alarmed by the legitimate and lasting harm this movement is causing.
Exactly right. When I hit the road for speeches I am greeted repeatedly by audiences of Americans absolutely furious at what they are seeing unfold. And make no mistake, they see the attacks on President Trump by the Resistance as thinly disguised attacks on … themselves.
Eventually, the Trump era will pass, as history rolls on. But what is immeasurably important in this era is for the star journalists of the day to write the books that will provide future leaders with an up-close and unerring documentation of the biggest political scandal in American history and the Resistance movement that was its driving force.
Kimberley Strassel’s Resistance (At All Costs): How Trump Haters Are Breaking America is indeed one of those books — a home run and a decidedly instructive one.