If you have any memory of the Brett Kavanaugh hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee a few years back, you might remember this:
To me, the most important snippet of Senator Graham’s tirade is when he points to the Democrats on the committee and says “These have been my friends.” It’s a massively revealing statement, and massively relevant to many events that have occurred since that time.
It hardly needs to be said that the corrupt, power-obsessed Democrats recognize no priority above that of getting their way. From that perspective, it can legitimately be said that they have no friends, as we would use the term. Friends don’t sacrifice one another in a quest for power over others. As the Kavanaugh hearings made plain, the much-ballyhooed “collegiality” of the Senate means nothing of substance to them.
Now, it can be argued that there are similarly corrupt and power-obsessed Republicans, and I’m sure that’s true. But when we seek the reasons for overall Republican spinelessness, sometimes amounting to passive collaboration, in the face of Democrat aggression, there’s another motivation to be addressed that might weigh more heavily still. It brings us back to that “collegiality” business, and not in a pleasant way.
Commenting on the themes and motifs in his novel Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, British espionage writer “John le Carre” (his real name is David Cornwall) spoke of the “member of my club” effect. That is, a high-ranking member of Britain’s intelligence service would automatically reject an accusation of treason lodged against another high-ranking member, because both are part of an elite: “It can’t be! Not a member of my club!” The elevated social circle that encloses both persons protects either against suspicion by the other.
The “member of my club” effect reaches much further than that, especially among persons in government service. It weakens Republicans’ opposition to Democrat initiatives by gentling their objections to such things. After all, one wouldn’t want to give offense to “a member of my club.”
Democrats feel no such reluctance, but that hardly need be said.
The Ghislaine Maxwell trial is underway, and there is breaking news that is sure to play a role in how the trial plays out.
The latest shocking piece of information is the identity of one of the prosecutors.
Maurene Comey, the daughter of former FBI director James Comey, has been named one of the lead prosecutors in the case against Maxwell.
Many are already crying foul over this news, especially after hearing that the judge in the trial, US District Judge Alison J. Nathan, was recently nominated by Joe Biden to a higher office in the US 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals.
(More extensive coverage of these matters can be found here.)
Some commentators have already cited this as an example of the Deep State at work, and that is so. But within the Deep State there are higher and lower circles of privilege. The circle that unites the players named above is high indeed. Whether or not Maurene Comey and Alison Nathan have already pledged to protect Miss Maxwell (along with the reputations of any of her associates who might be named during the trial), we cannot know. Nevertheless, their common “club membership” is alarming enough without considering the possibility of corruption. Is objective justice something we can reasonably expect under such circumstances?
It’s been said that we should not assume malice as an explanation when stupidity would suffice. These days, I have my doubts about that guideline. But a similar sort of preference-in-ordering might apply to controversies where common “club membership” can be plainly seen.