Democracy Dying? — ‘A Moment Of Great Peril And Risk’

November 22, 2021

As America wades into the start of the 2021 holiday season there’s violent weirdness seeping into the festivities — along with a fatal SUV attack at a Wisconsin parade, Kyle Rittenhouse walking and a shitload of less notable people, places, and things screwing with any kind of spirit of the season.
Add to the recipe, the GQP Gerry-rigging elections and you have the makings of a massive stomach ache.

The grind of justice is slow, but sometimes pointedly:

Background via CNN this evening:

The House select committee investigating the January 6 riot issued a new round of subpoenas on Monday to five of former President Donald Trump’s allies directly involved in planning “Stop the Steal” rallies, including longtime Republican operative Roger Stone and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.

The latest batch of subpoenas indicates the committee continues to focus, in part, on organizers and funding of the “Stop the Steal” rallies that took place on January 5 and 6, as well as earlier rallies in the months leading up to the US Capitol attack.
Also subpoenaed by the committee Monday: Dustin Stockton and Jennifer Lawrence, key players in the “Stop the Steal” movement after the election, who the committee noted are engaged to each other.

No, not Katniss Everdeen — via Mediaite late this afternoon:

Another name on the list is Jennifer Lawrence, but no it is not the Jennifer Lawrence you are thinking of.

Lawrence and her boyfriend Dustin Stockton — who was also subpoenaed — were involved in organizing “stop the steal” 2020 election rallies.
The committee’s announcement said they assisted the rally “at the Ellipse on January 6th immediately preceding the attack on the U.S. Capitol.”

A Politico profile from just days ago describes them as “The Bonnie and Clyde of MAGA World.”

  • The Jan. 6 rally was, for them, the culmination of work they had been doing for the past decade — work that long predated the election conspiracy, or QAnon, or Donald Trump’s political career. They surfed the waves of a populist tide that grew larger than anyone imagined, one dedicated to tearing down the establishment of both parties and the government itself, replacing it with a government they saw as closer to the people, closer to God, closer to the Constitution.

Back in June, ProPublica reported that Stockton and Lawrence supposedly raised concerns about “possible danger” they wanted to warn the White House about.

  • “A last-minute march, without a permit, without all the metro police that’d usually be there to fortify the perimeter, felt unsafe,” Dustin Stockton said in a recent interview.“And these people aren’t there for a fucking flower contest,” added Jennifer Lynn Lawrence, Stockton’s fiancee and co-organizer.“They’re there because they’re angry.”

Class act.

Also today in other work by the House select committee — T-Rump’s records from the National Archives are needed pronto. From The Hill, also this afternoon:

The select House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol attack told a federal appeals court on Monday that it urgently needs extensive records from former President Trump’s White House, arguing that more time would hinder its probe.

“Delay itself would inflict a serious constitutional injury on the Select Committee by interfering with its legislative duty. The Select Committee needs the documents now because they will shape the direction of the investigation,” the panel’s attorneys wrote in a filing with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.
“For example, the documents could inform which witnesses to depose and what questions to ask them, as well as whether further subpoenas should be issued to others.”

Trump is appealing the case after a trial judge rejected his lawsuit to block the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) from complying with the select committee’s document requests.
The former president argued that the Biden administration’s compliance with the congressional investigation violates his own rights to executive privilege.

A three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit will hear oral arguments in the case next week.
The panel granted Trump a brief reprieve earlier this month by issuing a temporary injunction that delays the release of documents while an accelerated appeals process plays out.

And while that boils on the back burner, think about this shit for a minute — via The Washington Post this morning:

The United States for the first time was added to a list of “backsliding democracies” in a report released Monday by the Stockholm-based International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance.

“The United States, the bastion of global democracy, fell victim to authoritarian tendencies itself, and was knocked down a significant number of steps on the democratic scale,” the International IDEA’s Global State of Democracy 2021 report said.

The study, which analyzed trends from 2020 to 2021, found that more than a quarter of the world’s population now lives in democratically backsliding countries, which International IDEA defines as nations seeing a gradual decline in the quality of their democracy.

“The world is becoming more authoritarian as nondemocratic regimes become even more brazen in their repression and many democratic governments suffer from backsliding by adopting their tactics of restricting free speech and weakening the rule of law, exacerbated by what threatens to become a ‘new normal’ of covid-19 restrictions,” the report found.
“The number [of countries] moving in the direction of authoritarianism is three times the number moving toward democracy.”

Plus the addition of legal beagles:

This is no ordinary moment in the course of our democracy. It is a moment of great peril and risk.

Once again, here we are…

(Illustration out front: Pablo Picasso’s ‘Self Portrait Facing Death‘ (June 30, 1972), was originally found here)

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