Know the Rules

Brutal Irony of Those Crying Foul Over Legitimate Search

Exciting and unprecedented happenings as I was boarding a plane yesterday evening to return home after visiting family. I never dreamed I’d be positively giddy about what I was seeing on Twitter, and I was bummed I had to miss Maddow Monday on MSNBC.

But as I’ve perused social media over coffee this morning, a few things come into focus. First, folks might finally be grasping the difference between the term rule of law, meaning the Constitution and our system of US laws derived from it and its Bill of Rights, as opposed to this kneejerk cowboy-conservative crazed craving called “law and order.” The latter is also the name of a TV show, so perhaps that’s part of the problem, and the confusion.

Conservatives and their MAGA cultists live and breathe to spout off about “law and order” because, as can be clearly seen in this moment, they aren’t so fond of law, but they love their personal idea of “order,” which isn’t the opposite of disorder. It really means they want to force everyone else to get in lockstep with their Christofascist, white supremacist fanaticism while they see themselves and their corrupt cohorts as above the actual rule of law.

Here’s the kicker: If they attempt to actually legally challenge this Fourth Amendment search, as opposed to whining and issuing threats about it, they are in for a SCOTUS-eviscerated rude awakening. They can cry foul till the cows come home, but they have only their willful stupidity to blame.

That rule against unreasonable search and seizure that they’ve not been bothered by before (because it usually only adversely and unconstitutionally affects those whom they want the police to brutalize and abuse) has now stabbed them in their duplicitous backs.

Fourth Amendment rights have been eroded over time by the rabid rightwing, but just recently the extremist SCOTUS six took a wrecking ball to any last shred of what might constitute unreasonable when it comes to the actions or integrity of police when executing a Fourth Amendment search and seizure (and oftentimes an unlawful execution in the process, like shooting an unarmed person stopped for a traffic violation).

One thing hasn’t changed, however. And that’s the stark inescapable reality—for the former occupant of the White House and his cohorts in Congress—that in order for the FBI to execute a search warrant on the home of anyone, because one supposedly has their highest Fourth Amendment protection in the home per previous precedential SCOTUS rulings (which admittedly doesn’t mean much to six current Christofascist justices), law enforcement must have a search warrant derived of probable cause and signed off on by a judge.

Probable cause means police must have valid, concrete evidence—that pesky detail the law-and-order folks aren’t too fond of—to believe that a specific crime has been or is being committed. The warrant has to clearly state this probable cause and must also state with particularity what they are intending to search and seize. As in the why, the who, and the what. And the perpetrator of said potential crimes doesn’t get to know when, for reasons obvious to everyone but the MAGA mulish crying foul on social media and on the sensationalist entertainment fodder that is Fox “News.”

Consequently, while this search on a former occupant of the White House might be unprecedented, when the FBI enters any residence to blow open an office safe, they must have a damned good idea of what they’re looking for, and why. Furthermore, a federal judge (likely appointed at the behest of baffled buffoons now enraged at having the actual rule of law apply to them and theirs) had to have given the green light for this Fourth Amendment-derived search and seizure.

You know what else is both titillating and downright disgusting? The number of potential crimes we could be looking at here, especially when it comes to classified information. Racketeering? Extortion? Blackmail? Or has the depraved sociopath attempted to sell state secrets to the highest bidder? The sheer astounding number of possibilities is a precedent like no other. This lumbering pile of pestilence’s entire life’s work wreaks of the very essence of what the Constitution denotes as “high crimes.”

But I have to go unpack now. And figure out how I’m going to get creative with this for the next book of my Other Worldly series. Despite the reality that anything I come up with as fiction will pale in comparison to what we will learn about the maniacal machinations of this appalling excuse for a past president and his minions.

Anyone who voted for and continues to support this should be having a seizure of conscience, although searching them for a clue will likely turn up nothing but gob smacking hubris and ignorance. And the current media focus on fearmongering about the MAGA violent base and their reactive rage is ridiculous. Are they advocating that the rule of law shouldn’t be enforced because a bunch of seditionists who neither know nor want to know the rules plan to throw their witless weight around?

Unprecedented criminal acts by a now former president beget an unprecedented search and seizure. This isn’t difficult to comprehend. Unless you’re one of the clueless who confuse the rule of law with law and order and think the rules don’t apply to you or shouldn’t be enforced because you’ll make unlawful trouble when they do.

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