The Show Trial Is Back - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
The Show Trial Is Back

The judges also acted as jury. Their guilty verdict was inevitable — one of them, I.T. Nikitchenko, declared prior to the Nuremberg war crimes tribunal on which he served that judicial impartiality would “lead to unnecessary delays.” – Piers Brendon writing on Stalin’s show trials

They’re baaaack.

Like a horror flick that has been sequeled out and prequeled out to the last dollar, the Orange Man horror show has come back. Or maybe it’s the old circus, with Adam Schiff, channeling P. T. (There’s a sucker born every minute”) Barnum, calling out, “Hurry, hurry, hurry into the Big Top!”

Coordinating with their ideological buddies, the media have worked overtime on this. Since they own the movie house or the circus tent, it’s playing in the top slot with all the free publicity you could want. (Did you count how many times during the nightly news the big 8 o’clock show was breathlessly announced? I didn’t bother counting.)

This is what passes for political discourse nowadays. At least Obama could give a good imitation of a philosopher king. But suiting the spirit of the age — entertainment by algorithm — this was just one more try at what has been the response to Trump for six-plus years — accuse him of anything at all and manufacture plausibility.

The pursuit of truth this is not. That takes twists and turns, being open to the surprise of what nature has kept under wraps, and the shedding of every prejudice. Here, there was no doubt of the charge or what the verdict would be. Predictable. The Beria principle in action — the man is decided upon in advance, the only novelty is which charge will get the most traction. Urine parties in a Russian hotel? Verbose phone call with President Zelensky? Stooge for Putin? Or clown seditionist orchestrating a plot revolution replete with an acid-head horned shaman, selfie-snapping trespassers, and everything except the most elementary requirement of a good coup — enough well-armed and trained people to make a serious go of it?

Great art it is not, even by grade B standards, but what the heck? A franchise is a franchise and they might as well plug the algorithm in and churn out another script.

Pursuit of truth is something my high schoolers would know about. We learned the very first principle — to resolve a conflict of ideas with truth, you have to assure that every idea is presented in its best possible expression. No straw man arguments, no cheap shots. That’s propaganda or PR, not truth.

That’s why when weighty issues between people are settled in a court of law or any serious investigative body, there are witnesses and advocates for both sides. That is why the judge and jury must be impartial.

A voice from antiquity tells how important this is.

Many centuries ago in Jewish law, trials of capital cases were held before a judicial tribunal. The judges, none of whom could come as an advocate for or against the accused, would hear testimony, then deliberate and vote on a verdict. If at least two more judges voted to convict than acquit, then the defendant would be declared guilty and punished as the law prescribed.

But there was a strange-seeming exception. If all the judges voted to convict, the defendant was set free. The reason is that in the absence of anyone seeing the defendant’s case, it was not effectively argued. Without anyone actively making the contrary argument, the whole procedure lacked validity and its result was rejected.

Granted the House subcommittee is not a judicial body. It is wading in as a political actor rather than as a true court.

Yet it is demanding its actions be taken with the same seriousness as those House and Senate committees that always allowed the minority party to have its own voice and make the best and most effective defense possible of the case the majority is trying to prosecute. Under what concept of fairness, appealing to what kind of trust, does a majority party name the minority party’s representatives to a committee?

Do the Democrats have such contempt for American citizens that they can truly believe we will all accept as meaningful a committee chosen to exclude every defender of Trump and then proposes to act as policeman, prosecutor, judge and jury?

It is the totalitarian calculation that one can substitute truth for an avalanche of media messaging. And this has been the calculation since the famous dossier was trotted out by Clinton operatives back when no one even thought Trump could possibly win the election. The same media that told us that within a day, within a week, within a month, within a year, there would be the smoking gun of Trump–Russia collusion; the same media that buried the hot evidence of corruption and collusion splattered all over the Hunter Biden laptop and heaped scorn and calumny on those who tried to give it attention; that same media is at it again, offering its services to drown out and distract any discussion of the issues that depart from the outcome that the House leaders think will be best to save them from disaster in November.

And it is that same media that has pushed to the side or buried the story of the arrest of a would-be assassin of a Supreme Court justice, armed to kill, made aware of where the justice lives by the doxing of every conservative on SCOTUS by the activist wing of the Democratic base.

Highlighting this attempt to threaten judges in order to influence the outcome of their deliberations would be distracting for the agenda. From Jeffrey Lord in these pages to the pages of the Washington Post, writers point out the obvious. If we are to use the same standards that the House subcommittee is using to claim that Trump incited insurrection, then Chuck Schumer would be guilty of conspiracy to commit murder for standing before a crowd and threatening that the Supreme Court would suffer murder and mayhem for deciding a way different than he would about abortion.

Did you count the seconds that was spoken of in leftist media?

It is not about principle. It is not about truth. It is about having power free of any responsibility to anything and anyone beyond themselves.

And they expect this will regain the public’s trust.

I don’t think I am wrong in thinking that the great majority of Americans want neither to whitewash Trump nor railroad him. They would like to decide his political future through a fair vote. They want integrity in their political process and elected officials deserving of their trust.

They want to have leaders who do not point them away from truth and reconciliation and peace, but towards them.

The people will decide and the people will have their way. Let’s pray it is sooner rather than later.

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