Glenn Reynolds Instapundit (repeated meme)
On Sunday Morning as a perused the net while Dawife resisted waking, I saw this headline at Memeorandum
In an age where CNN honestly fact checking Hillary Clinton draws a “Wow!” an opinion piece at the Boston Globe hitting a presumptive GOP nominee for president as a potential authoritarian is practically evergreen.
Nor is the substance of Mr Cohen’s argument incoherent as it is, of particular note. After all you can’t lead a piece talking about the Trump flips and flops, describing a man whose words can’t be taken seriously and then tell us we should be concerned about Trump as an authoritarian thus:
But there’s a good reason why Bezos might be concerned about Trump going after him, if he became president.
Trump said he would.
What caught my eye about this particular piece, what makes this something beyond the redundant, “GOP is Evil”, “Trump is Evil” media line was his big finish warning the American people about the oppression that would come under a Trump presidency:
What he’s hinting at is that he would use the anti-trust division of the Justice Department to go after a newspaper publisher who writes stories that he doesn’t like.
This is a direct threat. And even if Trump has no intention of following through, he is clearly trying to intimidate Bezos and in turn The Washington Post from running negative stories about him. Indeed, Trump is trying to get Bezos to use his position as owner of the paper to influence the Post’s coverage.
Trump, who is running for an office in which the oath for that position demands he “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States,” is actively calling for a measure that would violate the spirit if not the letter of the First Amendment. In an ordinary democracy, comments like these would practically be disqualifying for a presidential candidate. In America 2016, they barely garner notice. If anything, Trump is using it as a campaign selling point. Perhaps he should create a new tab on his campaign website titled “Planned Abuses of Power.”
It is easy to become inured to Trump’s obnoxiousness, crudeness, and know-nothingness. But, make no mistake, a man who so casually suggests using the awesome powers of the federal government to investigate newspaper owners is a direct threat to our democracy.
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