Sleepwalking in the garden of fascism: “Merrily we roll along!”

Merrily We Roll Along
by Eddie Cantor

Too many frowns can change the brightest disposition
As sure as clouds can darken the dawn
Yet every joy in life has been our one ambition.
And that’s how we intend to go on!

Merrily we roll along, my honey and me
Verily there’s no one half as happy as we
Though we’re twice as poor as mice, say what do we care?
For we’ve been so wealthy in the love that we share

Merrily we dance along while facing the sun
Merrily our slogan is: ‘say, don’t we have fun?’
We live in style, with a smile and a song
As we merrily roll along!

Merrily we roll along, my honey and me
Why we get along is very easy to see
She and I won’t buy unless we pay in cash
And we still enjoy the thrill of corn-beef and hash

Though we often quarrel for it’s human I’m sure
But we find there’s nothing that a kiss cannot cure
We’re for each other, how can we go wrong?
As we merrily roll along!

Reading the newspapers and watching cable news, one would think that life is moving along, merrily moving along, and that all is well in the United States.

President Joe Biden is pushing his initiatives, while he appears to have that old-fashioned belief that good deeds and policies will be rewarded by voters at the polls.

The House Democrats are continuing merrily along their path, now planning some kind of further investigation into the Capitol insurrection on January 6.

At the Justice Department, prosecutors are moving merrily along with their endless investigations into what are essentially peripheral matters.  Attorney General Merrick Garland, who at his confirmation hearings swore that he would not allow political considerations to influence the work of the Justice Department, and in particular decisions whether or not to prosecute individuals, seems to be moving merrily along.

Newspapers have relegated threats to American democracy to the periphery of their attention, while Op-eds seem to focus on secondary subjects, the kind of subjects that would merit attention if everything in America were moving merrily along.

This is the way the guardians of democracy, in the press, in the Congress, and in the White House, appear to be moving merrily along.

What could possibly go wrong?

Republicans are working hard, in seeming unison, to pass voter suppression laws and electoral laws that would give state officials and legislators the power to overthrow the results of popular elections, as some Republican officials tried to do in 2020.

Democratic and non Trump-compliant Republican officials appear to be influenced by threats of physical harm to themselves and their families.  The threat of political violence in the country seems to lie just below the surface, while mass shootings appear to have become almost a daily occurrence.

What could be wrong?

What could possibly go wrong?

Former President Donald Trump and numerous co-conspirators and presumptive felons run around freely, with no fear of arrest or prosecution.

Everyone seems quite undisturbed by the non-prosecution of politicians in high places who have committed serious and blatant crimes, in broad daylight.

Trump introduced the normalization of the unthinkable, and the normalization of the unforgivable.

The Biden Administration and Attorney General Garland are now introducing the normalization of impunity for politically-motivated crimes at the highest levels.

House Democrats should forget the immense distraction of conducting yet another investigation of the insurrection on January 6.

Instead, they should be holding hearings into why the Biden Administration and the Justice Department are not prosecuting serious felonies committed by the former president and his Republican co-conspirators, who sought to overthrow the election and the Constitution of the United States.

The country faces a stark choice between prosecuting the presumptive criminals, who committed their crimes in broad daylight, or accepting the normalization of impunity for political crimes at high levels, as the country rolls merrily along.

If America chooses the second path, what could possibly go wrong?

The Trenchant Observer

See also,

1) “The U.S. doesn’t need investigations or commissions. It needs prosecutions.,”The Trenchant Observer, May 28, 2021.

2) “Liz Cheney and the Republican ‘Gleichschaltung’,” The Trenchant Observer, May 6, 2021.

3) “When will Trump be indicted?”The Trenchant Observer, May 2, 2021.

About the Author

James Rowles
"The Trenchant Observer" is edited and published by James Rowles (aka "The Observer"), an author and international lawyer who has taught International Law, Human Rights, and Comparative Law at major U.S. universities, including Harvard, Brandeis, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Kansas. Dr. Rowles is a former staff attorney at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the Organization of American States OAS), in Wasington, D.C., , where he was in charge of Brazil, Haiti, Mexico and the United States, and also worked on complaints from and reports on other countries including Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. As an international development expert, he has worked on Rule of Law, Human Rights, and Judicial Reform in a number of countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and the Russian Federation. In the private sector, Dr. Rowles has worked as an international attorney for a leading national law firm and major global companies, on joint ventures and other matters in a number of countries in Europe (including Russia and the Ukraine), throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, and in Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and Japan. The Trenchant Observer blog provides an unfiltered international perspective for news and opinion on current events, in their historical context, drawing on a daily review of leading German, French, Spanish and English newspapers as well as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and other American newspapers, and on sources in other countries relevant to issues being analyzed. Dr. Rowles speaks fluent English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish, and also knows other languages. He holds an S.J.D. or Doctor of Juridical Science in International Law from Harvard University, and a Doctor of Law (J.D.) and a Master of the Science of Law (J.S.M.=LL.M.), from Stanford University. As an undergraduate, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree, also from Stanford, where he graduated “With Great Distinction” (summa cum laude) and received the James Birdsall Weter Prize for the best Senior Honors Thesis in History. In addition to having taught as a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, Dr. Rowles has been a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University's Center for International Affairs (CFIA). His fellowships include a Stanford Postdoctoral Fellowship in Law and Development, the Rómulo Gallegos Fellowship in International Human Rights awarded by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and a Harvard MacArthur Fellowship in International Peace and Security. Beyond his articles in The Trenchant Observer, he is the author of two books and numerous scholarly articles on subjects of international and comparative law. Currently he is working on a manuscript drawing on some the best articles that have appeared in the blog.

1 Comment on "Sleepwalking in the garden of fascism: “Merrily we roll along!”"

  1. Michael Mauldin | June 3, 2021 at 8:57 am |

    Once again you are a “voice in the wilderness”…please send these posts in to as many newspapers as you can. And. Keep on keeping on TO!

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