Department of Justice?




If anyone doubts that we have gangsters at the helm of the federal government who have nothing but contempt for traditional American liberties, the Obama administration quite nicely continues to supply plenty of evidence to support their hostility to the Bill of Rights, as Mary Katharine Ham at Hot Air notes:

This is heinous— a betrayal so blatant of American values so fundamental I have trouble wrapping my mind around it:

The U.S. Department of Justice has joined the discussions over a controversial float in the Norfolk Independence Day parade.

The department sent a member of its Community Relations Service team, which gets involved in discrimination disputes, to a Thursday meeting about the issue. Also at the meeting were the NAACP, the Norfolk mayor and The Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

The float was created by a Nebraska veteran, Dale Emmerich, and featured a zombified mannequin figure standing in front of an outhouse bearing the sign, “Obama Presidential Library.” Emmerich said the mannequin represented him and other veterans, and the float was a comment on the horrors of the VA scandal. Which, given the level of broken trust, deceit, and death exposed at nearly every level of that corrupt system, I cannot begrudge the man his dissent. It used to be that we valued such things even when— especially when, dare I say— we disagreed personally with such speech or found it problematic.

I describe the content of the float to put us all on the same page but it’s irrelevant because making a parade float that offends people is not in any way against the law. Charles C.W. Cooke on the virtues of the formerly universally understood freedom to mock one’s leaders:

Now for the obvious question: Why? What, exactly, was the problem here? Nobody was killed. Nobody was injured. Nobody had their material or spiritual interests injured, nor were they stripped of their livelihoods. No federal or state laws were broken. Indeed, not even private rules were broken. More to the point, there was no “discrimination dispute” of the sort with which the DOJ likes to concern itself. Instead, a few free people were vexed because a politician that they like was depicted in an unflattering light. One might well ask, “So what?” Once, Americans tackled the Oregon Trail. Are they now in need of their political “discussions” being arbitrated by glorified social workers sent by Uncle Sam?

In a typically risible statement, Nebraska’s state Democratic party described the incident as one of the “worst shows of racism and disrespect for the office of the presidency that Nebraska has ever seen.” That this is almost certainly true demonstrates just how much progress the United States has made in the last 50 years — and, in consequence, how extraordinarily difficult the professionally aggrieved are finding it to fill their quotas. If a fairly standard old saw is among the worst things to have happened to the Cornhusker State in recent memory, the country is in rather good shape, n’est-ce pas?

“The float was political satire and an expression of political disgust.
There was no racism involved, no hate for anyone,” Remmich said.

Go here to read the rest.  After Lenin toppled the Kerensky government in 1917, the Bolsheviks were briefly in coalition with other left wing parties, and Isaac Steinberg, an Anarchist, was Commissar of Justice.  When he protested the summary executions ordered by Lenin, Lenin waved off his objections that these were unjust:

He resented my opposition in the name of revolutionary justice.  So I called out in exasperation:  “Then why do we bother with a Commissariat of Justice?  Let’s call it frankly the Commissariat for Social Extermination and be done with it.”  Lenin’s face suddenly brightened and he replied, “Well put…that’s exactly what it should be…but we can’t say that.”

As in that case, the Department of Justice in this administration deserves another name:  Department of Repression of our Political Adversaries.  Of course no such name change will be made, but the name of a thing never alters the substance of a thing.

More to explorer


  1. Remember the rodeo clown? The thing is, this is precisely the disposition you see in higher education. It’s not just a function of the current President’s psychopathology. It’s how important strands of the Democratic Party nexus think by default.

  2. Presidential libraries are self-made physical, structural homage to the president’s ideas and legacy. The float shows the float designer’s image of what the Obama presidential library would represent to him and others like him. That is fine and dandy. I think that people first thought the mannequin was an unattractive picture of the president, and even it it were, people are allowed to think the president is unattractive.
    That float structure expresses something very different than the Greek columns that the Democratic party used in Colorado to present their idea about what Obama represented… Fine and also dandy. I didn’t like it because I didn’t think it was a good representation of him ( he is far from anything traditional!)
    People are allowed to think freely AND people are free to express their opinions. Freedom of speech is still protected, and this float was speech.

  3. The second eloquent sentence in the quote below is taken from today’s article about the degeneration of Catholic education at Crisis Magazine.

    ” … These forces continue to dominate many philosophy and theology departments in Catholic universities across the country, with the Boomers who dominate these institutions showing no signs of ceding power any time soon to the succeeding generation of Millennials. Having raged against “the Establishment” in their youth, they are now firmly ensconced in it themselves, having become what they most hated: old fogeys who resist change and insist on living in the past. … “

  4. This is mildly complicated. People may recall that the organizers of the St. Patrick’s Day parade in NYC have excluded homosexual groups from marching, and that this exclusion has been uphold by the courts. It would seem that the Norfolk parade is a municipally sponsored event and so any such exclusion is out of the question.

    Since the parade is viewed by children of all ages, it would seem that this float was in poor taste. Young children need to be introduced to politics in a way that does not plant the seeds of antisocial radicalism, and so a parade float with the outhouse of Obama or Bush or Clinton or Reagan is simply inappropriate.

    Still, there is no legal reason why the float should not have participated, and the actions of the Justice Department are just another in a long series of such actions by government at all levels. Just this past weekend a banner with swastikas was towed by an airplane over New York beaches; it was sponsored by the Raelian cult, the emblem of which is a swastika embedded in the center of a Star of David. The banner was seen by several descendants of Holocaust survivors who were understandably upset. Local politicians have fallen all over themselves in an attempt to pass ordinances to prohibit such displays and therefore violate the Constitution.

    Of course, this Justice Department action is also tinged with sensitivity to racism, since their only legal reason for involvement arises from the jurisdiction of the civil rights laws. John H. McWhorter, an Obama supporter, just published an excellent article on this subject in the City Journal entitled The Case For Moving On: On ice cream trucks, memory, and race in America whew he argues, in effect, that we just have to grow up. See

    The good people of Norfolk had a great opportunity to teach their small children about political decency. They could have simply exercised their rights and turned their backs on the float. What a powerful lesson! To work, though, they would have needed to be forewarned, and perhaps that did not happen.

  5. I’m sure they have they have thousands of lawyers at the Justice Dept. Surely some of them have heard of the 1st Amendment?

    The NAACP’s positions seems to be, “I don’t think that’s funny. AT ALL!” Tough.

    Let’s all keep Community Relations Services on speed-dial for the next time someone makes a snide remark about His Holiness or mocks us for wearing a crucifix or scapular & see what response we get.

  6. Since the parade is viewed by children of all ages, it would seem that this float was in poor taste. Young children need to be introduced to politics in a way that does not plant the seeds of antisocial radicalism, and so a parade float with the outhouse of Obama or Bush or Clinton or Reagan is simply inappropriate.

    Your remarks are parody, right?

  7. “I’m sure they have they have thousands of lawyers at the Justice Dept. Surely some of them have heard of the 1st Amendment?”

    Doubtless they believe Thomas that it evolves with the times and does not apply if something/anything offends a member of an official victim class, unless the member of the official victim class is a conservative. The abysmal understanding of this administration, and for much of the left, of freedom for those who disagree with them is a bad portent for long term civic peace in this country.

  8. Richard Fernandez: “It is impossible to understand the politics of the Left without grasping that it is all about deniable intimidation.”

    IRS, Benghazi, Fast and Furious, armed black terrorists at pollin places, etc.

    But, racist racketeers Obama and Holder go after a parade float.


    Hayek, The Road to Serfdom: Hayek: “Everything which might cause doubt about the wisdom of the government or create discontent will be kept from the people. The basis of unfavorable comparisons with elsewhere, the knowledge of possible alternatives to the course actually taken, information which might suggest failure on the part of the government to live up to its promises or to take advantage of opportunities to improve conditions–all will be suppressed. There is consequently no field where the systematic control of information will not be practiced and uniformity of views not enforced.”

    St. Augustine wrote, “Government without justice is organized brigandage.”

  9. Your remarks are parody, right?
    No, of course not. I once took my children out of a minor league baseball game because people where shouting obscenities, and I explained to them that the language was why we left. The ballpark lost our business for years until the kids were old enough to shrug off that behavior.

    The rough and tumble of modern politics is no place for children (the education of the Red Diaper babies is a case in point – I could cite others). If a municipal patriotic parade is a place for children, then rough and tumble politics has no place there. I am, of course, making a social statement and not a legal one. Is it really possible to argue otherwise?

  10. Surely some of them have heard of the 1st Amendment?

    We live in a world where it’s the default position of the portside that a constitutional amendment adopted in 1868 to over-ride Southern ‘black codes” and extend certain liberties to freed slaves requires that county clerks issue marriage licenses to pairs of dudes. The black letters are just ornamentation.

    Try this: the Democratic Party is an electoral vehicle for a series of social strands, among them the bar and the higher education apparat. These social strata understand their role re the rest of society as a tutelary one. They’re the faculty and the administration, we’re the student body, and we’ve no franchise to be ‘disruptive’. (The media are manipulative sharp-elbowed organization kids a-la Tracy Flick).

  11. There hasn’t been the same reaction to freely expressed ugliness against holocaust survivors, or people wearing crucifix etc. but it seems to me they equate statements against the current administration with sedition.

  12. Is it really possible to argue otherwise?

    Yes, I’m afraid a parade incorporates a political sentiment, though usually a consensual one. As for the sensibilities of youth, we had this thing called television news when I was young, and a good deal of war footage thereon. In my mother’s youth, there was radio broadcasting, to which my grandfather paid meticulous attention. There were also characters like Westbrook Pegler employed to write newspaper columns, men who’d have broken the gaffe meter in the Newseum era of journalism. My grandparents (and my parents) had a great regard for manners. That extended to the rubrics of daily life and discussion of matters obscene. It never extended to public affairs, which are, er PUBLIC.

  13. There is always the good old standby of “threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour,” within the hearing or sight of a person “likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress thereby” and likely to cause a breach of the peace, to the terror of the lieges &c

  14. CNN ran a story recently accusing House Republicans of “making fun” of Obumbler. That thin skinned ninny isn’t allowed to be criticized or his buddies get riled up.

    To paraphrase Simcha Fisher, “To hell with them.”

  15. Yes, I’m afraid a parade incorporates a political sentiment, though usually a consensual one.
    There are many kinds of parades, Art. In my town the patriotic parades are largely about and for the children. The large majority of marchers are children – school bands, scouts, little league, pop warner, 4-H, Sunday schools, etc. etc. etc. Many of the spectators are. Very few of the town residents who currently do not have children in the extended family attend. State and local politicians march side by side in these parades without regard to their political differences. Why? Because the community expects it of them. The idea that the community can have no expectations of public manners at such an event, just because the parade happens in a public venue, is an idea that would be foreign to my fellow citizens.

    Every counter example you may give is true, but only for your example. You can keep listing them ad nauseam, and I’d agree that your reasoning about each one. War news on the public airwaves at prime time? An important public service, I agree. A patriotic parade is the one – perhaps the only – counter-example that I can think of that shows that your reasoning cannot apply 100% of the time.

  16. Here in the West of Scotland, we are in the middle of the Marching Season, commemorating the Battle of the Boyne and the Apprentice Boys of Derry.
    I am told the marchers wear those white glove to stop them grazing their knuckles on the ground.
    Personally, I shall be raising a glass to the “Little Gentleman in Black Velvet.”

  17. Slainte! Long live the little gentleman in the black velvet waistcoat…would that he and his brother moles had made their presence known at the Battle of the Boyne.

  18. From the Lincoln Journal-Star

    Four representatives of the NAACP and the U.S. Department of Justice met with Norfolk Mayor Sue Fuchtman Thursday to talk about a controversial float in the Fourth of July parade.
    . . .

    The Justice Department official is a member of the Community Relations Service team that handles discrimination disputes.

    Gee, I figured it was bad enough having the DOJ investigating, but a private organisation with one gov’t along for camouflage?
    Read the whole article, they’re way beyond the float issue, now it’s about diversity and yadda, yadda.

    The NAACP has been losing members, money and influence for years but God bless ’em they still have the DOJ at their beck and call.
    I think the last person who tried to challenge that situation was Clarence Thomas when he headed the Civil Rights Division.

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