Guest by post by Bob Unruh
This article originally appeared on WND.com
‘The popularity of urban legends is a testament to the will to believe’
An increasing number of voices on the left are demanding that, like in countries like Iran, America’s ballot be subjected to a “cleansing” in which the government officials now in power will determine who will be on the ballot to succeed them in their power.
But constitutional expert Jonathan Turley, who has testified before Congress and represented members in court, said the implications of that agenda are “chilling.”
The issue is that infamous Jan. 6, 2021, protest-turned-riot at the Capitol. Leftists insist President Trump is to blame for everything that happened that day. And they have chosen to define it themselves as an “insurrection.”
They say that means they can apply the Constitution’s 14th Amendment, which was adopted after the Civil War and bars those who participate in a rebellion or insurrection to overturn the government from later being elected.
“Such ballot cleansing is common in countries like Iran where citizens wait to learn which opposition candidates will be allowed to run,” he said.
Turley explained, “The popularity of urban legends is a testament to the will to believe. The desire of people to keep Elvis alive or prove that a Sasquatch could exist furtively in our backyards shows the resilience of fables.
“Constitutional urban legends often have an even more immediate appeal and tend to arise out of the desperation of divided times. One of the most popular today is that former President Donald Trump can be barred from office, even if he is not convicted in any of the four indictments he faces, under a long-dormant clause of the 14th Amendment.”
Among other issues is the definition of “insurrection,” which is recognized to include “the act of rising against civil authority or governmental restraint; specifically, the armed resistance of a number of persons to the power of the state; incipient or limited rebellion.”
The Jan. 6 rioters were unarmed and further, the disputes all were about a clash of opinions about the integrity of the 2020 election, which now is known to have been unduly influenced by Mark Zuckerberg’s handout of $400 million to elections officials plus the FBI’s interference when it instructed media organizations to suppress accurate reporting about the Biden family’s international business schemes.
Turley explained, “This 14th Amendment theory is something that good liberals will read to their children at night. It goes something like this: Donald Trump can never be president again, because the 14th Amendment bars those who previously took federal oaths from assuming office if they engaged in insurrection or rebellion. With that, and a kiss on the forehead, a progressive’s child can sleep peacefully through the night.”
But he said the Constitution allows Trump to take office if he is elected, “even if he is convicted.”
“Democrats have long pushed this theory about the 14th Amendment as a way of disqualifying not only Trump but also dozens of Republican members of Congress. For some, it is the ultimate Hail Mary pass if four indictments, roughly 100 criminal charges and more than a dozen opposing candidates fail to get the job done,” Turley explained.
He said there are those who hold a contrary opinion, as Trump held an opinion contrary to the Democrats following the 2020 vote.
He said the text, history and purpose of the 14th Amendment simply doesn’t align with the anti-Trump activists.
It’s because the question still remains, “Was January 6 an insurrection or rebellion?
The claim it was insurrection “is, in my view, wildly out of sync with the purpose of the amendment, which followed an actual rebellion, the Civil War.”
He pointed out that polls show most of the public sees the protest that became a riot as a protest that became a riot.
In fact, Trump never was impeached on any such charges, nor has special counsel Jack Smith made such allegations.
“The reason is obvious. The evidence and constitutional standards would not have supported a charge of incitement or insurrection,” Turley wrote. “Yet these experts still believe that Trump can be barred from office without any such charge even being brought, let alone a conviction. Just judicial fiat that certain challenges were made in bad faith or were rebellious in character.”
He explained, “If Trump supported a rebellion or insurrection, what was the plan? Not only did Smith not charge him with any such crime, but there was little evidence that even the most radical defendants charged were planning to overthrow the nation’s government or were part of a broader conspiracy. There were no troops standing by, no plan for a post-democratic takeover by Trump or his alleged minions. The courts had already ruled against the president and would likely continue to do so. Many congressional Republicans had already joined Democrats in supporting certification and would continue to do so. Military leaders had already said that they would support the transition and would continue to do so.”
He said the end result is that leftists want Trump banished from the ballot for challenging the electoral process.
And if that’s the case, “figures such as Rep. Jamie Raskin (D., Md) could be summarily purged from office for having sought to overturn an election.”
And what about those who claimed, and sometimes still claim, that Russia helped Trump “steal” the 2016 election from twice-failed candidate Hillary Clinton? She repeatedly has made that claim, as have others.
Turley said the simply explanation of Jan. 6 is that “A political protest became a political riot.”
It was a column by J. Michael Luttig and Laurence H. Tribe that they recently used to claim Trump is forever barred from office, or even the ballot.
They claimed Trump was being a “treasonous president” for contesting the election, even though multitudes of Democrats previously had contested election results, in fact calling Trump an “illegitimate” president without any condemnation whatsoever.
They based their opinions on “having thought long and deeply about the text, history, and purpose of the 14th Amendment.”
Their opinion, they explained, is based on the opinion that the riot was, in fact, an “insurrection or rebellion.”
They claimed it would be intellectually dishonest to deny that the event is what the Constitution refers to as “insurrection.”
They note that as recently as months ago Trump posted on Truth Social “his persistent view that the last presidential election was a ‘Massive Fraud.’”
Trump himself has described the multiple legal attacks by Democrats and others in Joe Biden’s Department of Justice as a witch hunt, similar to the fabricated and false claims about his campaign’s “collusion” with Russia, a scheme created by Deep Staters in Washington and Hillary Clinton.
Further, Glen Greenwald added his opinion, noting that, “As BuzzFeed’s Joseph Bernstein documented almost a year ago, Tribe has become one of the internet’s most unhinged cranks, churning out wild conspiracy theories and, in the process, becoming a social media star and MSNBC favorite.”
It was National Review that noted after Clinton’s 2016 defeat, Tribe wrote, “It certainly looks like Putin, with the help of Manifort [sic] and Trump, stole the 2016 election from Hillary Clinton but, more importantly, from the 65.8 million people who voted against the Thief in Chief, Donald Trump, who, btw, won just 62.9 million votes despite Putin’s efforts.”
That reported noted Tribe is “deeply tied to Democratic leaders, including the current president.”
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