New Federal crimes have been sprouting like mushrooms after heavy spring rains since the Reagan days. Some days it seems like they have criminalized everything already, but then comes a heavy shower, followed by a sunny day, and oooops! There's a big new mushroom!
Kirstjen Nielsen is a high Trump official who is still game to deliver whatever stupid talking points Stephen Miller came up with this morning. Ms. Nielsen is currently our United States Secretary of Homeland Security, although she does have that look in her eye, like she is scanning for exits. She's an old shoe wearing too much polish, if I may be cruel for a moment. I have no idea how she got the job, but I'm sure that it would make interesting reading.
She was ordered to walk point the other day in the administration's daily patrol into enemy territory, which is to say, out the front door of the White House. Alone at the front of the column on a barely visible trail, surrounded by ambushes, land-mines, and booby-traps, her task was to defend our Fearless Leader's policy of family separation at the border.
She earnestly made her point, which was this: (I paraphrase) . . . to say that the policy is inhumane “completely disrespects” the public officials carrying out the policy.
I smell a new Federal crime! Mushroom alert!
Her phrasing of the issue sounds suspiciously like the formula for lese majeste. That would be the crime, still enforced in many countries around the world, of disrespecting the monarch. Lese majeste laws may define the monarchy very broadly, often including the country's military and police forces and even public officials, because they all serve at the will of the king. In our current criminal law environment, declaring it a crime to disrespect public officials would fit right in. Congress would love it, not least because it would offer them some protection from the worst of the obloquy being directed at them. This president would sign it, because he already thinks of himself as a king.
Write it up! Book 'em, Dano!
This could be an ironic legacy for Ms. Nielsen, who does, to her credit, seem to be tiring of this charade. She was one of several administration officials who were driven out of public eating establishments last week. That can't be comfortable. (Although for a very visible Trump stooge to appear in a busy upscale Mexican restaurant in Washington DC cannot be seen as a good idea these days.) Maybe she has realized that she could be damaging the entire Scandinavian brand, which took most of the last thousand years to rebuild after all of that unpleasantness with the Vikings.
The new laws will be masked in fine sounding language, as usual. They will be billed as, “the Decorum and Collegiality Laws,” or some such. Thank God that Trump doesn't read Spin Easy Time! He would love the extra firepower to use against dissent and the press. It could become the law by the end of the summer! Please, whatever you do, don't show him this blog post.