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Steve Bannon, Fascism, and the Messiness of Democracy

By islander
October 23, 2022 8:23 am
Category: Politics

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We hear a lot of Democrats complaining about things like this, the length of time the justice Department is taking to indict Trump, we know that those involved and charged get pardoned or just get a slap on the wrist etc...but thankfully we have folks like Teri Kanefield to remind of what is actually happening and why.

*"Now let’s start with the timeline of Steve Bannon’s criminal charges:

Fraud / Money Laundering
August 20, 2020: Federal prosecutors brought charges against Bannon and two others for wire fraud and money laundering in connection with Bannon’s “We Build a Wall” fundraiser.
On January 20, 2021: Just before leaving office, Trump issued Bannon a last-minute pardon.
May 25, 2021: A federal judge, therefore, dismissed the indictment.
On September 8, 2022: Bannon was indicted in New York on charges of money laundering and one charge of conspiring to launder money in connection with his “We Build a Wall” fundraiser. (Because federal pardons don’t reach state crimes, Bannon could still be charged with the crimes if they also violated state law.)
The trial is still in the future. Notice the time frame: 16 months for a case already investigated under federal law.

Contempt of Congress
September 23, 2021:
The Select Committee Investigating the January 6 insurrection subpoenaed Bannon.
Bannon blew off the subpoena.
On October 8, an influential account with 1.5 million followers tweeted this:
Twitter melted down. Notice that the tweet got 19K “likes.” Here are the errors in that tweet:
Congress cannot “enforce” a subpoena the way a grand jury can. A grand jury can jail someone until they comply, which is why Susan McDougal was jailed for such a long time. At any time, she could have complied and been released. Instead, what Congress can do is refer the matter to the DOJ for possible prosecution, where the goal is to punish, not secure compliance.
The work of the committee itself has nothing to do with “punishment” which is the purview of the executive branch.
Even if the January 6 committee elected for some reason not to follow up with a subpoena, the conclusion that the investigation will go “unexamined and unpunished” doesn’t follow.
In fact, the committee did follow up on the subpoena, the work of the January 6th committee was completed successfully, and the federal investigation is still ongoing. That tweet, however, was never taken down, and as far as I know, the person who posted it never retracted.


October 21, 2021: Congress asked the DOJ to investigate and prosecute Bannon for refusing to comply with the subpoena.
November 21, 2021:  Steve Bannon was indicted for Contempt of Congress.
July 22, 2022: At trial, Bannon was found guilty of Contempt of Congress.
October 21, 2022: Bannon was sentenced to 4 months for contempt of Congress.
Under the federal sentencing guidelines, the penalty for a first offense of Contempt of Congress is 1 – 6 months. The judge gave Bannon 4 months. Generally, for a first offense, the judge gives the minimum which, in this case, would have been 1 month. The sentence, therefore, was high under the guidelines.
The judge then allowed Bannon to report for jail time after his appeal concluded. (The judge arguably should not have allowed Bannon to put off his jail time until his appeal.)
The Federal Sentencing Guidelines and Rule of Law
The federal sentencing guidelines are complex set of guidelines for federal judges to follow when deciding on punishment. Before the sentencing guidelines, federal judges had a lot of discretion and imposed whatever sentence they thought was fair. As a result, there was no uniformity. Two people could commit the same crime in two different regions and get widely different sentences. (This still happens with state crimes. Each state has its own laws, so California will impose different penalties than, say, Mississippi.)The sentencing guidelines were an attempt to create uniformity among federal courts.

The definition of “Rule of Law” is: The restriction of the arbitrary exercise of power by subordinating it to well-defined and established laws"

So literally, the sentencing guidelines advance rule of law by preventing a judge from following his or her whims.

Because the judge in Bannon’s case followed the guidelines (and in fact, handed down a harsh sentence under the guidelines), I was surprised (but shouldn’t have been) by the outpouring of rage and cynicism when the sentence was handed down."

* above is anexcerpt from Teri Kanefield's blog. Click link to read it in its entirety.


Cited and related links:

  1. terikanefield.com

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Comments on "Steve Bannon, Fascism, and the Messiness of Democracy":

  1. by islander on October 23, 2022 8:26 am
    "insight" should have read indict thanks spell check lol !


  2. by HatetheSwamp on October 23, 2022 10:25 am

    Don't you just hate it when that happens!!!!!?


  3. by Curt_Anderson on October 23, 2022 11:37 am
    I just corrected that for islander.

    In the thread in which "cyber detectives" supposedly uncovered hundreds of "legal violations" by Hunter Biden, I opined that Trumpites are being victimized by scammers and grifters. There is no better example of that than Steve Bannon soliciting funds for his phony "Build The Wall" scam. Then to add insult to injury, grifter-in-chief Trump pardons Bannon.




  4. by HatetheSwamp on October 23, 2022 12:19 pm

    Curt,

    I don't recall that you honored my request that you define "Trumpites."

    I don't think we have any of them here.

    I will say that what I see in this is your side doing a frantic TDS shuffle like it's St. Vitus dance.

    So far, OrangeMan "floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee."

    You haven't laid a glove on him.


  5. by Curt_Anderson on October 23, 2022 12:57 pm
    Trumpite
    [ trump-ite ]
    noun
    1. a person who voted for Trump in 2016 and 2020.
    2. a person who would vote for Trump in the 2024 general election.
    3. an apologist for Trump
    4. a person who believes that Trump was the legitimate winner of the 2020 election.
    5. a person who believes Trump is unfairly victimized by judiciary, media, Democrats, etc.


  6. by HatetheSwamp on October 23, 2022 1:10 pm

    1 & 2 apply to pb...not 3, 4 & 5.

    ...and, I suspect to OD, too.


  7. by Curt_Anderson on October 23, 2022 1:26 pm
    BREAKING NEWS....
    HtS now believes that Joe Biden legitimately won the 2020 election.
    HtS will no longer be an apologist for Trump
    HtS now believes that Trump is fairly treated by judiciary, media, Democrats, etc.


  8. by HatetheSwamp on October 23, 2022 2:13 pm

    Curt, your definition of a "Trumpite" is a good one. One symptom of TDS is to see Trumpites around every corner...like McCarthyites saw commies ubiquitously.

    pb ain't a Trump apologist. He thinks Trump is despicable.

    pb has always believed that there was substantial vote fraud in the 020 election and that there's no way to know who would have won an honest election. He's certainly not convinced that "that feckless dementia-ridden piece of crap" won.



  9. by islander on October 23, 2022 2:37 pm

    A bit more from Teri's blog and Teri nails it:

    Does the Republican Party present a political problem, or a law enforcement problem?

    Last week, when I said that the criminal justice system cannot solve a political problem people resisted and said, “The Republicans are breaking laws, so this is a law enforcement problem, not a political problem.”

    Yes, the Republicans are breaking laws. As early as 2018, a New York Times writer observed that lawbreaking was no longer disqualifying for Republican candidates, and instead had become a badge of honor among Republicans.

    Right now, Americans are poised to elect Republicans to Congress in the midterms despite what we know about Republican lawbreaking. Many Americans are voting Republican because they are breaking laws.

    Wait. What?

    Yup.

    An anti-federal government movement has been taking root in the Republican Party for decades. In the 1990s we saw the rise of anti-government militias. When Steve Bannon talks about the “deep state” he means the rules and regulations put in place since the New Deal. When Steve Bannon talks about destroying the deep state he means dismantling the laws that he doesn’t like. * my emphasis

    Anti-federal government Republicans don’t think that the government represents them. If you don’t think the government represents you, you can slowly dismantle the laws and regulations, or you can bring in a wrecking ball. Trump and DeSantis are wrecking balls. They are all insurrectionists in spirit.

    It is no accident that the anti-federal-government Republicans defend both insurrectionists and Putin. They want America to be like Russia. Really, they do. Once you understand that, you can see that we are dealing with a political problem and a law enforcement problem.



  10. by islander on October 23, 2022 2:52 pm

    "pb ain't a Trump apologist. He thinks Trump is despicable" ~ Hate

    Nonsense! Putting your little disclaimer where you say Trump is despicable is meaningless. More and more Trump apologists are having to acknowledge that truth. They still pretend he was a good leader and was doing wonderful things for the country, and they still pretend Trump was a much better president than President Biden. And yes we do know who legitimately and honstlywon this past election, and yes it was as honest an election as we've ever had and probably more so than ever before.

    PS Thanks for correcting the typo Curt. 👍


  11. by HatetheSwamp on October 23, 2022 3:05 pm

    As early as 2018, a New York Times writer observed...

    Seriously? You're serious? The New York Times? Wasn't there a similar article in the WEEKLY WORLD NEWS? Bahahahahahahahahahaha. Same credibility.

    Right now, Americans are poised to elect Republicans to Congress in the midterms despite what we know about Republican lawbreaking....

    ...because the Dems provide no legitimate alternative.

    Anti-federal government Republicans don’t think that the government represents them. If you don’t think the government represents you, you can slowly dismantle the laws and regulations, or you can bring in a wrecking ball. Trump and DeSantis are wrecking balls. They are all insurrectionists in spirit.

    I think that it's true that the Swamp can only blame itself for Trump...and his followers.


  12. by HatetheSwamp on October 23, 2022 3:22 pm

    isle,

    Go to 538. Compare "that feckless dementia-ridden piece of crap's" 538 polls to Trump’s this far into their presidencies.

    And, all of AMERICA itself "pretends" bahahahahahahahahahaha that Trump is a better President than Biden. It's not even that close. That that seems to surprise you says a lot about how out of touch you are.

    projects.fivethirtyeight.com


  13. by oldedude on October 23, 2022 7:14 pm
    "An anti-federal government movement has been taking root in the Republican Party for decades."
    Teri, terri, terry, or whatever really needs to read our constitution just like you do. She a europhile and not in the good way. Her belief is way different than the written US Constitution. Just my thought. Ditch her like the friggin plague. Run away as fast as possible. I know this is a middle school crush, but she is simply wrong. You may pass this on to her verbatim if you want.

    Right now, Americans are poised to elect Republicans to Congress in the midterms despite what we know about Republican lawbreaking.
    Please cite with charges, person, and what it pertains to.

    I know that Lois Lerner broke her 5th amendment rights by reading a statement before she copped the 5th.
    Cliton admitted under oath to 3300 felonies and was never charged. and then she skirted the central issue of the Bhengazi committee.
    I know congress is still waiting on information from the Bhengazi hearing and many others the GOP asked the federal government for prior to Trump.


  14. by islander on October 24, 2022 5:04 am

    And then Teri gives us an excellent description ofFascism:

    "Fascism as a form of government didn’t come onto the world stage until fairly recently.

    That’s because fascists come to power through legal means (which generally requires a form of democracy) and then, once they are in power, they batter the democratic institutions until they have consolidated power. “Battering democratic institutions” includes lawbreaking.

    Because fascism takes root in democracies, fascism didn’t take root in Europe until after World War I dismantled the empires, and after new nations carved out of the empires tried to create rule-of-law governments. Hitler and Mussolini came to power through legal means. So did Trump and DeSantis, for that matter.

    How did they come to power in a democracy? Because then, as now, a lot of people don’t like democracy. Here are a few reasons:

    Rule of law is slow and cumbersome. Autocracy is swift (“Off with her head!” said the Queen of Hearts.)

    Rule of law is frustrating. On the other hand, the autocrat promises to dispense with rules and
    procedures and deliver the results you want.

    Autocrats appear strong because they bluster and some people like that.

    Democracy and rule of law lead to an expanding electorate, which creates complexity (including diversity) and some people cannot tolerate diversity. Political scientists say people who cannot tolerate complexity or diversity have an “authoritarian personality.”

    Democratic institutions are run by mere humans and will never (and can never) work perfectly. There will always be flaws. Some people cannot tolerate imperfection so they reject the entire “system” without understanding that there are very few alternatives to rule of law."

    Andriy Chirovsky explained it this way: “Democracy is messy. Authoritarianism is neat.”


  15. by Donna on October 24, 2022 6:04 am

    Right now, Americans are poised to elect Republicans to Congress in the midterms despite what we know about Republican lawbreaking....

    ...because the Dems provide no legitimate alternative. - Hts

    More specifically, because the Dems can't magically stop the rampant inflation, and most Anericans don't understand that.


  16. by HatetheSwamp on October 24, 2022 6:13 am

    That’s because fascists come to power through legal means (which generally requires a form of democracy) and then, once they are in power, they batter the democratic institutions until they have consolidated power. “Battering democratic institutions” includes lawbreaking.


    isle,

    Teri is describing what happened in New York City 200 years ago with Tammany Hall, throughout the south after the Civil War when white Dems ruled with an iron fist, a hundred years ago in Chicago...

    ...and, most recently with the despicable J6 Committee Show Trial.

    Teri is a liar. And, you're a fool for falling for the scam.


  17. by HatetheSwamp on October 24, 2022 6:18 am

    Donna,

    This is your convenient naívete again. The reason Dem candidates are vulnerable is that they voted with "that feckless dementia-ridden piece of crap" in all of his brainless spending.

    We're wallowing in inflation because of choices Dems made...and will be held accountable for.


  18. by islander on October 24, 2022 7:02 am

    "Teri is describing what happened in New York City 200 years ago with Tammany Hall, throughout the south after the Civil War when white Dems ruled with an iron fist, a hundred years ago in Chicago...~Hate

    Precisely. In the 20th century though, the two parties each evolved into something different, they switched ideologies so to speak.

    Like President Johnson said when he signed the Civil Rights act, "We have just handed the south over to the Republicans for many years to come" and he was right. That's exactly what happened. The old "Southern Democrats" became today's Republican base.

    This is why so many Republicans are so proud of the Confederate flag...It's their flag now.


  19. by oldedude on October 24, 2022 7:33 am
    Just to sum up all the things the dims have done for blacks in our history. Remember, this is just the Cliff notes version. I didn't want to bore everyone (that wouldn't read it anyway).

    The less racist the South gets, the more Republican it becomes.
    Here’s what the former president of the United States had to say when he eulogized his mentor, an Arkansas senator:

    We come to celebrate and give thanks for the remarkable life of J. William Fulbright, a life that changed our country and our world forever and for the better. . . . In the work he did, the words he spoke and the life he lived, Bill Fulbright stood against the 20th century’s most destructive forces and fought to advance its brightest hopes.

    So spoke President William J. Clinton in 1995 of a man was among the 99 Democrats in Congress to sign the “Southern Manifesto” in 1956. (Two Republicans also signed it.) The Southern Manifesto declared the signatories’ opposition to the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education and their commitment to segregation forever. Fulbright was also among those who filibustered the Civil Rights Act of 1964. That filibuster continued for 83 days.


    Speaking of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, let’s review (since they don’t teach this in schools): The percentage of House Democrats who supported the legislation? 61 percent. House Republicans? 80 percent. In the Senate, 69 percent of Democrats voted yes, compared with 82 percent of Republicans. (Barry Goldwater, a supporter of the NAACP, voted no because he thought it was unconstitutional.)

    "Mea culpa. There is structural and systemic racism in the United States. The inconvenient truth is that it is perpetrated, propagated, and perpetuated by the Left. Birthed in the cesspool of radical Left university departments, demagogic terms like white privilege, whiteness, or white fragility are part of a poisonous and dangerous ideology that is meant to divide rather than unite. Critical race theory and racial equality can be summed up in a single statement: if you are white, you are racist and if you are a person of color, you are oppressed."

    The dims have a long list of racism and stomping on the rights of "the little brown and black people" throughout our history.
    Democrats have been solely responsible for defending slavery, starting the Civil War, opposing reconstruction, lynching blacks, founding the Ku Klux Klan, Jim Crow laws and segregation, poll taxes and literacy tests. The Party voted against the 13th amendment (end slavery), 14th amendment (black citizenship), and 15th amendment (black right to vote), filibustered the 1960 Civil Rights Act (elimination of poll taxes), and tried to filibuster the 1964 Civil Rights Act for 60 days, the longest filibuster in Senate history.

    The Civil War wasn’t North v. South, as highlighted in the Lincoln-Douglas debates in the northern state of Illinois. It was a Democrat v. Republican battle. The infamous Dred Scott decision (blacks were property) in 1857 was a Supreme Court vote of 7 Democrat justices for, and 2 Republican justices against. By 1900, more than 20 black Republicans had served in Congress. Democrats did not elect a single black congressman until 1935. And every black senator until 1979 was a Republican. When federal troops withdrew from the South after reconstruction ended, Democrats’ white supremacy laws re-emerged with a vengeance enforced by the paramilitary arm of the Democratic Party, the KKK, which was used to suppress blacks from voting Republican.

    Democrats are also the party of abortion. Planned Parenthood, founded by eugenics racist Margaret Sanger was created to eliminate the “undesirables” and that continues today where there are more abortions in NYC of black babies than are born.

    Democrat Woodrow Wilson re-segregated many federal agencies and screened the racist film Birth of a Nation at the White House. Democrat FDR refused to invite four-time gold medalist Jessie Owen (a staunch Republican) to the White House (only invited white athletes) and interned 120,000 Japanese Americans. Eisenhower re-integrated the military and forced the integration of schools in Little Rock against the wishes of Democrat governor Orval Faubus.

    The racist Democrat LBJ started the welfare state and said “I’ll have those n#@!rs voting Democrat for the next 200 years,” highlighting the fact that Democrats care about black votes but not blacks. The welfare state has decimated the black family with 77 percent of children growing up fatherless. JFK first mentioned Affirmative Action in 1961 but it was Nixon who passed it in 1971.

    ...

    If Democrats really wanted to help blacks, they would treat abortion as a tragedy, support school choice, work to end the failed welfare state, drop the idea of defunding police, promote advancement based on merit and character not the amount of melanin in your skin, end open borders which flood the market with cheap labor and steal jobs from black Americans, end their support of minimum wage laws which lead to higher black unemployment, and end their social justice mantra which is equality by group not the individual, anathema to America’s founding principles. I know, wishful thinking. So, whenever you hear Democrats calling Republicans racists, just know there is a simple psychological term for this: projection.

    nationalreview.com
    townhall.com


  20. by Donna on October 24, 2022 8:22 am

    The COVID relief program had poor oversight and as a result many people engaged in fraud. Sheri and I personally saw this happen. And yes, that's part if the reason for high inflation, but the sanctions on Russia are also a big factor and there is a also a lot of price gouging going on. Msny factors.


  21. by HatetheSwamp on October 24, 2022 8:27 am

    Oil price gouging?

    You mean Harry's Sunoco down to the corner?


  22. by Donna on October 24, 2022 9:40 am

    Curious - Did I ever mention that has station here?


  23. by HatetheSwamp on October 24, 2022 9:45 am

    Donna,

    Who's doing the price gouging?


  24. by oldedude on October 24, 2022 9:36 pm
    Lead,
    This is just another example of the left hating the small business owner, because that proves that people that work can actually make a better life for themselves and their families.

    I see it all the time down here. A family comes from Honduras (mainland), or cuba, or wherever to build a family. The parents work hard and play the game. They are LEGAL aliens for a bit, and then become citizens. We welcome them with open arms. They are a part of our "American Experience."

    My father was the FIRST in his family to actually go to a college, the only one in his generation, and the first to graduate from anywhere but a high school. I am gen 2 as a US Citizen. I take NOTHING for granted. I don't expect anything from the government that I won't pay for some way.

    Along the way, I found out about fascists. I learned about the "monarchies" that are a sham and are really nothing more than dictatorships the world falls for. I was not allowed to go to the Cz Republic. My job and my clearance were not appropriate for the Russians to deal with. My family went. With a "required" translator (which they had to pay for and tip). Everything from one family to the other was "required" to be "translated" according to the russian translation. It was illegal to even ask questions of a family member about daily life there.

    Welcome to the new United States... Give them 2 years.


  25. by HatetheSwamp on October 25, 2022 4:16 am

    OD,

    I gave Donna a chance to say that she's not trashing Mom n Pop businesses...Nuthin

    Ironically, progressives like Donna and po, are so maniacally pro big business.

    To suggest that Dems are suffering because Mom and Pops are "price gouging" is bonkers. It's the Flatulent Fool's mantra and it's demented. Stunningly, Donna seems to have bitten it off hook, line and sinker. AMAZING!

    Most of my working life, I worked for small businesses. This progressive Mom n Pop hate is insane!


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