ChrisWeigant.com

A Proper Use Of Sedition Law

[ Posted Thursday, January 13th, 2022 – 17:06 UTC ]

For the first time, the Justice Department has brought charges of sedition against those who allegedly plotted to stop the constitutional process of Congress counting the Electoral College votes to officially determine who will be the next president. Eleven members of the Oath Keepers were charged with seditious conspiracy today, which seems entirely fitting for what took place at the United States Capitol on January 6th last year. In fact, many have been wondering what took the Department of Justice so long to bring such charges.

This was rather obviously sedition, and hopefully it will be pretty easy to prove that in a courtroom. Especially when you consider the actual text of how federal law defines seditious conspiracy:


If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.

That's a pretty broad definition, since it includes the rather sweeping "delay the execution of any law of the United States." So it shouldn't be too hard to prove beyond a reasonable doubt for both those charged today and any other group that preplanned what they were going to do that day (instead of just being swept up in the violence on the spur of the moment).

But the very sweeping nature of the law's text should also give us pause. Because the history of sedition laws in this country is a rather ugly one, filled with blatantly unconstitutional harassment by the government against its perceived ideological enemies. From the very beginning of our constitutional government, in fact.

The Washington Post provided a nice rundown of the history of sedition charges today, including the modern history of their use as well as a few historic examples:

It has been more than a decade since the federal government brought sedition charges. The last time was in 2010, against members of a Christian militia in Michigan called Hutaree, who were accused of plotting to rise up against the government. The judge dismissed the charges in 2012, finding that the government failed to prove that the group had firm plans to actually launch attacks.

The last successful federal sedition prosecution came 26 years ago, when Omar Abdel Rahman (also known as the "Blind Sheikh") and nine others were convicted of plotting to blow up the United Nations, the FBI building, and bridges and tunnels between New Jersey and New York, as part of an effort to change U.S. policy toward the Middle East.

Before that, more than a dozen Puerto Rican nationalists were convicted in the early 1980s of sedition for their role in the Armed Forces of National Liberation (FALN), a group that claimed credit for bombings across the United States. Fourteen of them were granted clemency in 1999 by President Bill Clinton when they agreed to renounce violence. One who declined that offer, Oscar Lopez Rivera, had his sentence commuted in 2017 by outgoing President Barack Obama.

In 1987, more than a dozen self-proclaimed white supremacists were indicted on sedition charges for an alleged campaign of violence perpetrated by the Aryan Nations, the Ku Klux Klan and a group called The Order -- a trial that became known as the Fort Smith sedition trial. They were acquitted in 1988.

Before this, sedition law underwent several notable changes, starting with the Alien and Sedition Acts in the late 1700s. Under them, John Adams and the Federalists effectively made it a crime to criticize Adams and other executive branch officials. Thomas Jefferson campaigned against the questionable law in 1800, allowed it to expire and pardoned everyone who had been convicted under it.

The 1918 Sedition Act made it a crime to interfere with the war effort during World War I and was used to target socialists, pacifists and other antiwar activists. Former Socialist Party presidential candidate Eugene V. Debs was later arrested and convicted for an antiwar speech he had delivered, but he had his sentence commuted in 1921, when the law was repealed by Congress.

Congress in 1940 passed the Alien Registration Act, also known as the "Smith Act," which made it a crime to advocate the overthrow of the U.S. government. This was later used against socialists, communists and Nazi supporters. The Supreme Court in 1957 overturned the convictions of Communist Party leaders, ruling that those convicted must advocate actual action rather than abstract doctrine. The law has been mostly dormant since then.

As I said, a pretty good overview. But since I've written before on the subject, I thought I'd add a few relevant facts to this history, starting with the Alien and Sedition Acts. The above description: "...effectively made it a crime to criticize [President John] Adams and other executive branch officials" is entirely correct. The entire point of passing these odious laws was for the Federalists (the "faction" or party of George Washington and John Adams) to persecute the Anti-Federalists (Thomas Jefferson and many others). The "Alien" part of it was designed to go after the most powerful Anti-Federalist in the House of Representatives (since he hadn't been born in America). The "Sedition" part was used exactly as it was designed -- to jail newspaper editors who published critical things (we'd call them "op-eds" today) in their papers.

The most prominent Anti-Federalist newspaper editor around was Benjamin Franklin Bache, grandson to his famous namesake. He put out the Aurora in Philadelphia -- a paper that regularly published scathing editorials against the Federalists. On President George Washington's last day in office, Bache penned a particularly vicious piece, and here's what happened next:

Bache paid a very physical price for his outspokenness. Soon after Bache's editorial was published, a group of men who had been in the army with Washington attacked the offices of the Aurora in retaliation, "threw its type into the street, and almost demolished the inside of that newspaper establishment." Another person with a grudge against Bache, the son of John Fenno (editor of the Federalist Gazette of the United States), once attacked Bache in the street. A later attack by a mob on the Aurora office was repelled, when Bache and his friends armed and defended themselves. A man officially convicted of assaulting Bache was named by President Adams to a diplomatic post -- before he had even served out his sentence.

Bache responded to this last insult by stating that the administration was "giving direct encouragement to assassination, and setting a price upon my head" (which, given the circumstances, wasn't all that far from the truth). Within the next year, the Federalist Congress began work on the Alien and Sedition Acts, which were aimed directly at Bache and his newspaper. Jefferson wrote to Madison about the sedition bill: "The object of that is the suppression of the whig presses. Bache's particularly has been named." Abigail Adams charged Bache with "the malice and falsehood of Satan," and urged he be arrested.

Adams' actions seem almost Trumpian, one might say. They certainly were politically vindictive. And it wasn't just Bache who paid a price either:

After the Acts were signed into law, Federalists wasted no time in using them to harass and persecute the opposition press. Benjamin Franklin Bache was one of the first to be arrested -- even before the federal Alien and Sedition Acts actually passed into law -- for "libelling the President & the Executive Government, in a manner tending to excite sedition, and opposition to the laws, by sundry publications." But Bache died of yellow fever before he could be prosecuted. Other editors and printers were arrested and charged steep bail, which was enough of an economic hit to drive many out of business or into bankruptcy. Eventually, at least fourteen editors spent time in jail as a result of the Alien and Sedition Acts, while others paid high fines. One of these editors (charged with anti-Adams sedition) asked in his trial whether, since roughly half the voters in the country had voted for Jefferson, they might also be found guilty of sedition? The presiding (and very Federalist) judge was not amused, and instructed the jury to declare that the printing in question was "intended to mislead the ignorant, and inflame their minds against the President, and to influence their votes on the next election," and to return a finding of "guilty" -- which they then dutifully did. It almost goes without saying that if such a standard were to be used today on the Internet, easily nine out of ten political articles would be guilty of such a "crime" -- to say nothing of the mass arrests which would doubtlessly be necessary at cable television stations across the land. Thomas Jefferson was horrified at the aftermath of the Alien and Sedition Acts, and compared the situation to the excesses of the French Revolution when he called it America's own "reign of terror."

Amazingly enough, the public's appetite for criticism of their government continued to grow, and new Antifederalist papers were constantly popping up to replace those editors driven out of business or rotting in prison. While the Federalist anti-sedition laws were passed in an effort to destroy the Antifederalist press, the result instead was an actual increase in their numbers and their customer base -- an unintended consequence the Federalists hadn’t foreseen.

Many American citizens of the time were aghast at the blatant unconstitutionality of the Alien and Sedition Acts. They showed their strength both in supporting Antifederalist newspapers and -- more importantly, two years later -- supporting Antifederalist politicians at the ballot box. The electoral blowback from this political overreach became known as "the Revolution of 1800," when the Federalists were swept completely from power from the White House and both houses of Congress, in the first-ever partisan "landslide" election. This set in motion the pendulum of duality in American politics for the first time.

The blowback from the overreach of the Alien and Sedition Acts was the election of Thomas Jefferson, in the first peaceful transition of power between parties in American history. But this wasn't the only time the concept of sedition was abused in patently unconstitutional ways. Far from it, in fact. The Alien and Sedition Acts were allowed to expire by Jefferson, who then pardoned everyone who had been convicted under them. A new Sedition Act was passed in the run-up to America's participation in World War I, which was specifically designed to censor anti-war activists. Particularly those protesting the military draft. When this new sedition law was enacted, it was used (again, as designed) against anyone politically advocating against the draft or the war itself. One of the Supreme Court cases that came out of this period is where (as I wrote earlier in this piece) two phrases most Americans recognize actually came from: "falsely shouting fire in a theater" and "a clear and present danger." I wrote the following back in 2007, as part of an article on a modern-day anti-war protest:

[Note: the links to the original flyer have been updated, since the original links provided were now dead. On these Wikipedia pages, just click on whichever PDF size is big enough to allow you to read the text.]

The Alien and Sedition Acts were used by Federalists against Republicans -- the whole thing was about politics. Newspaper editors were jailed for what they wrote. Matthew Lyon -- a sitting Republican member of the House of Representatives -- was thrown in jail for four months. Nixon's enemies list doesn't seem so macho now, does it?

These periods of insanity happen more often in American history than most would be comfortable admitting. McCarthyism, various National Security Acts (from about the 1940's onwards), the USA PATRIOT Act, warrantless wiretapping, secret FISA courts with secret evidence -- throughout our history, examples abound.

A common thread through many of these is opposition to a military draft. As anyone who has seen The Gangs Of New York knows, there were draft riots even back in the Civil War. But no one court case stands out more than that of Schenck v. United States, which happened in 1919.

In 1917, Congress had passed the Espionage Act, and followed it a year later with the Sedition Act. Both were laughably unconstitutional. Unfortunately for Charles Schenck, the Supreme Court (led by that liberal bastion, Chief Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes) got it utterly wrong.

Back to the quiz. Although often misquoted as "free speech doesn't give you the right to shout 'fire!' in a crowded theater," the actual quote is: "The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theater, and causing a panic" (I guess the theaters were less crowded back then).

Bonus quiz question: what was the "fire" which Holmes was referring to in this quote? It astonishes me that this core concept of American law is taught to virtually every schoolchild in the country, and the phrase is easily recognized by almost every man or woman on the street, and yet almost nobody knows where it comes from and what the phrase is talking about. The words have been retained, but the lesson has sadly been lost.

That's because the lesson makes elementary and junior high school teachers (and, more importantly, textbook manufacturers) very nervous. Because while it is indeed a generality that everyone can agree with (if you cause a panic in a theater and people are injured or killed, that's a bad thing and even "free speech" doesn't protect you), the specific case it came out of is not an easy lesson for children to learn.

Schenck, a Socialist, was convicted of distributing a flyer against the current (World War I) military draft. [See the original text of both sides of the flyer here and here] This flyer reads like someone posting on a blog today. It's actually very intelligent and erudite, and it makes several arguments against the draft which are solidly based in the author's reading of the Constitution. The Constitution itself is quoted at length. No profanity is used. And much of the language could apply today. For instance:

The people of this country did not vote in favor of war. At the last election they voted against war.

To draw this country into the horrors of the present war in Europe, to force the youth of our land into the shambles and bloody trenches of war-crazy nations, would be a crime the magnitude of which defies description. Words could not express the condemnation such cold-blooded ruthlessness deserves.

Or how about this:

Are you one who is opposed to war, and were you misled by the venal capitalist newspapers, or intimidated or deceived by gang politicians and registrars into believing that you would not be allowed to register your objection to conscription?

You gotta love that -- "venal capitalist newspapers."

Kidding aside, though, Schenck lost his case at the Supreme Court. He went to prison for six months for distributing this flyer. He was actually lucky, since others convicted of the same thing got much longer sentences. A more famous jailbird, Eugene Debs, was convicted of a similar offense and got a sentence of 10 years (he was released by President Harding after serving 32 months).

This was the "fire" in the crowded theater quote. This was also the "clear and present danger" which was going on "so long as men fight." From Holmes' ruling on the case:

We admit that, in many places and in ordinary times, the defendants, in saying all that was said in the circular, would have been within their constitutional rights. But the character of every act depends upon the circumstances in which it is done. The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theatre and causing a panic. It does not even protect a man from an injunction against uttering words that may have all the effect of force. The question in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent. It is a question of proximity and degree. When a nation is at war, many things that might be said in time of peace are such a hindrance to its effort that their utterance will not be endured so long as men fight, and that no Court could regard them as protected by any constitutional right. It seems to be admitted that, if an actual obstruction of the recruiting service were proved, liability for words that produced that effect might be enforced. The statute of 1917, punishes conspiracies to obstruct, as well as actual obstruction. If the act (speaking, or circulating a paper), its tendency, and the intent with which it is done are the same, we perceive no ground for saying that success alone warrants making the act a crime.

After having read Holmes' stirring words, go back and read that pamphlet again. Is there anything in there that would constitute a crime, in your opinion? Or should it be seen as political speech, protected by the same Constitution of the United States which it liberally quotes? Have you seen worse on a blog site? Do you think the blogger should be jailed?

We keep stumbling towards reaching the ideals of the Constitution, sometimes slipping back and sometimes not making any progress. Even though a draft does not exist today to be protested against, it is a comforting thought that nobody arrested this weekend was arrested for what they were saying. And I do not fear in the slightest that I will be hauled into court for blogging on this subject. So we have made some small progress, Guantanamo and warrantless wiretapping notwithstanding.

So while the history of sedition laws and their application in the United States is not exactly a noble one, it's hard to argue that an actual conspiracy to violently prevent Congress from doing its constitutional duty shouldn't be a crime. Waging war against or conspiring to overthrow the government are pretty clear-cut as well.

It's just rather refreshing to see sedition laws being used against actual sedition rather than to suppress things the government doesn't want American citizens to read or hear. This court case (and any others that get filed in the near future) will undoubtedly take a while to wend their way through the judicial system, but the outcome will be an important one. So you can bet I'll be paying attention.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

47 Comments on “A Proper Use Of Sedition Law”

  1. [1] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    ...the result instead was an actual increase in their numbers and their customer base -- an unintended consequence the Federalists hadn’t foreseen.

    Not unlike how NYT and WaPo subscriptions...along with massive Liberal Jan. 21st-LAX-type protests exploded when Trump took office. Or how the mere election of a Democrat President fires up gun sales.

  2. [2] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Yo, I'm not even done with this post, CW, but these various Alien and Sedition Acts make going after Repugs who voted against the 2020 election and the will of 80 million Americans on Jan. 6th, [a recent column as memory serves] kinda pale in comparison, eh?

  3. [3] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    It's just rather refreshing to see sedition laws being used against actual sedition rather than to suppress things the government doesn't want American citizens to read or hear. This court case (and any others that get filed in the near future) will undoubtedly take a while to wend their way through the judicial system, but the outcome will be an important one. So you can bet I'll be paying attention.

    N'ya huh!

    AND WHO told you to be effing patient for the thouroughness of accountability to reveal itself in due time? Turns out that, "Silence [from DoJ thus far] does NOT mean assent, you thilly wabbit."

    Either complete and just accountability (and BBB along with For the People) happen or they don't. Watch what Joe does not what he says.

  4. [4] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    And I knew that the 2nd Iraq Invasion was going to be a shit show, but other than that I'm as regularly wrong as everyone else. Ain't no thang.

  5. [5] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    My working theory for the decades since Reaganism has been that the Dems just pretend to be the politically inept "Mommy Party" because Nader was and is right, that the two parties are not much more than two heads of the same beast.

    [Chill the fuck out, Don. You never grokked that most of us agree on the problem but that you haven't convinced a soul that OD is the solution, and that they are two separate issues.]

  6. [6] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    My working theory over the decades since Reaganism infected American politics has been that the Dems just pretend to be the politically inept "Mommy Party" because Nader was and is right in that the two parties are not really much more than two heads of the same beast.

    [Chill the fuck out, Don. You never grokked that most of us agree on the problem but that you haven't convinced a soul that OD is the solution, and that they are two separate issues.]

  7. [7] 
    Kick wrote:

    CW

    Thank you for the very nice writeup regarding the seditious conspiracy charges. Since you so thoroughly covered that topic contained in the indictment, I need only add my thoughts on what I found most interesting in the Indictment, which is the newly added conspiracy charge at Count 4: Conspiracy to Prevent an Officer from Discharging Any Duties in violation of 18 U.S.C. Section 372:

    Page 35 of the Indictment:
    https://www.justice.gov/opa/press-release/file/1462481/download

    18 U.S.C. Section 372:

    If two or more persons in any State, Territory, Possession, or District conspire to prevent, by force, intimidation, or threat, any person from accepting or holding any office, trust, or place of confidence under the United States, or from discharging any duties thereof, or to induce by like means any officer of the United States to leave the place, where his duties as an officer are required to be performed, or to injure him in his person or property on account of his lawful discharge of the duties of his office, or while engaged in the lawful discharge thereof, or to injure his property so as to molest, interrupt, hinder, or impede him in the discharge of his official duties, each of such persons shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six years, or both.

    Each and every defendant named in the Indictment is charged with the conspiracy in Count 4.

    Why do I find Count 4 most intriguing and interesting? Because this is exactly what Donald Trump was directly involved in doing to Mike Pence.

  8. [8] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    K, I'm not even done with this post, CW, but these various Alien and Sedition Acts make going after Repugs who voted against the 2020 election and the will of 80 million Americans on Jan. 6th [a recent column as memory serves] kinda pale in comparison, eh?

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ahhh... I see..

    So, all this while ya'all were screaming and yelling about "INSURRECTION!!! INSURRECTION!!"

    Now ya'all admit that ya'all were wrong. That it WASN'T insurrection.. :eyeroll:

    Wish you people would make up yer minds.. Jeeesh...

  10. [10] 
    Michale wrote:

    The problem with these charges is that anyone with more than 2 brain cells to rub together can see they are politically motivated..

    Basement Biden's own FBI has stated categorically and for the record that there was no conspiracy...

    Ergo, no charges are warranted or justified..

    This is just another symptom of Trump Derangement Syndrome manifesting itself as another lame attempt by Democrats to make up crimes..

    It's the Democrat Party trademark.. :^/

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    This is just another symptom of Trump Derangement Syndrome manifesting itself as another lame attempt by Democrats to make up crimes..

    How do we know this is factually accurate??

    Because DOJ lawyers were specifically TOLD that their ONLY job is to find sedition charges..

    "Their only marching orders from me are to build seditious and conspiracy charges related to the most heinous acts that occurred in the Capitol, and these are significant charges."
    Acting U.S. Attorney Michael Sherwin

    Get that??

    Their job is NOT to find the truth.. NOT to find the facts...

    Their SOLE job is to build a case for sedition even if the facts don't support the charge..

    And, as the FBI has made clear, the facts DO NOT support the charge..

    So, the FACTS clearly prove beyond any doubt.

    This is simply another Democrat Party witch hunt.. Just like their Russia Collusion Delusion.. Just like everything Democrats have persecuted President Trump and the American people with for the last 5+ years..

  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's funny...

    22 years (collectively) of Democrat BLM and AntiFa riots and attacks on hundreds of government buildings all over the country more closely resembles SEDITION than anything that occurred on that single day in that single building at that single location...

    Once again, proof positive that Democrats are blatant hypocritical.... :^/

  13. [13] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ooooo I feel another 100 comment day coming on!!!!! :D

    Ya'all are in luck today!!! :D

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    Even the Democrat/Pedo Propaganda Outlet CNN explains why SEDITION charges are unwarranted and unlikely to succeed..

    (CNN)In the weeks after the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol, the Justice Department looked at the possibility of pursuing charges under the rarely used seditious conspiracy law.

    Since then, and particularly since the start of the Biden administration, skepticism among top officials has made that possibility increasingly unlikely. Instead, prosecutors have turned to traditional obstruction, conspiracy and weapons charges that could yield prison sentences similar to a novel sedition charge.
    https://www.cnn.com/2021/06/24/politics/capitol-sedition-charges-garland/index.html

    Face reality, people.. This is simply a political witch hunt having NOTHING to do with the facts or reality..

    How do we know this??

    Because Basement Biden's OWN FBI has stated as such..

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    Sedition has a long history of being used against political enemies and to silence political opposition...

    Democrats and Trump/America haters must be real REAL proud to continue that nefarious and un-American tradition... :eyeroll:

  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:

    Let's look at Sedition Charges in another part of the world..

    https://freespeechcollective.in/2021/06/17/sedition-cases-2021/

    Feb 15, 2021: Disha Ravi, student and climate change activist, arrested by Delhi police

    Case Details: A climate change activist and and founder of Fridays for Future, India, was picked up from her home in Bengaluru by Delhi police in a stealthy operation and remanded to five days judicial custody. She was charged with alleged involvement in a online toolkit on the farmer’s protest in India that the Swedish climate change youth activist Greta Thunberg had tweeted, which got international attention. Police said that the toolkit, a communication document for activists, would foment unrest and was seditious. Police claimed she worked with pro-Khalistan activists.

    So, a global warming moron was charged with Sedition...

    Yea... Seems appropriate... :eyeroll:

    The Lakshadweep police registered a sedition case against actor, filmmaker and film activist Aisha Sultana for commenting that the Centre has used the Union Territory’s administrator Praful K Patel as a “bio-weapon” on the people of Lakshadweep Islands.

    Case details: BJP’s Lakshadweep unit president C Abdul Khader Haji has filed a case against Sultana under Section 124 A of IPC (sedition) and 153 B (hate speech) at the Kavaratti police station According to the complaint, Sultana had participated in a panel discussion on the issues before the people of Lakshadweep in a Malayalam news channel, In the course of the discussion, Sultana blamed Patel’s decisions for the rise of coronavirus cases on the island and stated that the Centre had used it as a “bio-weapon”. She said, “Lakshadweep had zero cases of COVID-19 . Now, it is reporting a daily spike of 100 cases. What the Centre has deployed is a bioweapon. I can say this clearly that the central government has deployed bioweapon”.

    So, a Bollywood actor spouts off some anti-government crap and he is slapped with a Sedition charge..

    OK... What's the problem with that?? :eyeroll:

    Ooooo Here's a good one...

    May 15, 2021: Rajina Parbin Sultana along with Rafikul Hussain, Mehjabin Hasin, Jahidul Islam, Hasan Mustafijur Rahman and Rasedul Hoque arrested on charges of sedition in Assam for allegedly dishonouring the Indian flag.

    Case details: On May 14, 2021, Rajina Parbin Sultana along with Rafikul Hussain, Mehjabin Hasin, Jahidul Islam, Hasan Mustafijur Rahman and Rasedul Hoque had a lunch party on the occasion of Eid at Tengnamari village of Abhayapuri town in Assam.
    Next day, a picture showing them dining went viral because the table cloth resembled the Indian national flag. After a Bongaigaon-based unit of the Bajrang Dal informed the police, an FIR was filed on May 15, 2021. The police tweeted that the persons who had ‘dishonoured’ the Indian National flag by using it as a table cloth during a meal in the house of Rajina Parbin Sultana had been apprehended and a case had been registered.

    The case was filed under Section 2 of the Prevention of Insult to National Honour Act, 1971 and Section 124 A IPC was also added.

    WOW... So, "sedition" is also dishonoring the country's flag...

    And the best for last...

    April 7, 2021 : Assamese writer Sikha Sarma was arrested on sedition charges over a facebook post.

    Case details: Writer Sikha Sarma was arrested on sedition charges, reportedly for a Facebook post about the security personnel killed in an encounter with Maoists in Chhattisgarh. The Guwahati Police Commissioner Munna Prasad Gupta said that Sarma had, in a Facebook post on April 5, said: “Salaried professionals who die in the line of duty cannot be termed martyrs. Going by that logic, electricity department workers who die of electrocution should also be labelled martyrs. Do not make people sentiment, media.” Two Gauhati High Court lawyers, filed a first information report against her at the Dispur police station and an FIR was lodged against her.

    A FACEBOOK POST!!!!

    THAT is what qualifies as "Sedition"!!

    Well, obviously, the Democrat Party and the Government Of India share equal fervor in attacking political enemies using bogus laws..

    And YOU PEOPLE are on board with all this ^^^^ crap???

    Why am I not surprised...

  17. [17] 
    Michale wrote:

    Let's take a close look at the Alien And Sedition Act...

    The Alien and Sedition Acts were a series of four laws passed by the U.S. Congress in 1798 amid widespread fear that war with France was imminent. The four laws–which remain controversial to this day–restricted the activities of foreign residents in the country and limited freedom of speech and of the press.

    So, the Sedition act was SOLELY created to be able to SILENCE by arrest, political enemies...

    And THAT is what Democrats are using today against political enemies...

    Thereby proving ONCE AGAIN that the Democrat Party is the Un-American Party....

    The facts are conclusive...

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    And let's put this ridiculous Sedition claim into it's proper context..

    Basement Biden is coming off ANOTHER dismal week... Him and his policies have been shut down and decimated all week...

    So, Basement Biden needed SOME kind of distraction... ANY kind of distraction to try and end this week on a "win"...

    The fact that Biden would choose such a charge with it's history of being used for political ends proves how desperate Basement Biden and his fellow Democrats are...

    Basement Biden's approval numbers are lower than President Trump's...

    Now THAT's just gotta hurt... :D

  19. [19] 
    Michale wrote:

    Biden all but concedes defeat on voting, election bills

    WASHINGTON (AP) — All but conceding defeat, President Joe Biden said Thursday he’s now unsure the Democrats’ major elections and voting rights legislation can pass Congress this year. He spoke at the Capitol after a key fellow Democrat, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, dramatically announced her refusal to go along with changing Senate rules to muscle the bill past a Republican filibuster.

    Biden had come to the Capitol to prod Democratic senators in a closed-door meeting, but he was not optimistic when he emerged. He vowed to keep fighting for the sweeping legislation that advocates say is vital to protecting elections.

    “The honest to God answer is I don’t know whether we can get this done,” Biden said. He told reporters, his voice rising, “As long as I’m in the White House, as long as I’m engaged at all, I’m going to be fighting.”
    https://apnews.com/article/voting-rights-joe-biden-voting-elections-wv-state-wire-28fce7f5190404f5091158c912bf8d5d

    Yea... Basement Biden is going to be "fighting"... Just like he was "fighting" against COVID..

    And COVID kicked his ass...

    "I guess Simon Phoenix has matched his meat.. You really licked his ass..."
    "That's 'met his match' and kicked... KICKED his ass!!"

    -DEMOLITION MAN

    :D

    This is why we are seeing these "Sedition" :eyeroll: charges now..

    Basement Biden needed a distraction.. And what better distraction for Democrats is President Trump...

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:

    Biden’s Georgia Speech Is a Break Point
    He thought he was merely appealing to his base. He might have united the rest of the country against him.

    It is startling when two speeches within 24 hours, neither much heralded in advance—the second wouldn’t even have been given without the first—leave you knowing you have witnessed a seminal moment in the history of an administration, but it happened this week. The president’s Tuesday speech in Atlanta, on voting rights, was a disaster for him. By the end of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s answering speech on Wednesday you knew some new break point had occurred, that President Biden might have thought he was just crooning to part of his base but the repercussions were greater than that; he was breaking in some new way with others—and didn’t know it. It is poor political practice when you fail to guess the effects of your actions. He meant to mollify an important constituency but instead he filled his opponents with honest indignation and, I suspect, encouraged in that fractured group some new unity.

    The speech itself was aggressive, intemperate, not only offensive but meant to offend. It seemed prepared by people who think there is only the Democratic Party in America, that’s it, everyone else is an outsider who can be disparaged. It was a mistake on so many levels. Presidents more than others in politics have to maintain an even strain, as astronauts used to say. If a president is rhetorically manipulative and divisive on a voting-rights bill it undercuts what he’s trying to establish the next day on Covid and the economy. The over-the-top language of the speech made him seem more emotional, less competent. The portentousness—“In our lives and . . . the life of our nation, there are moments so stark that they divide all that came before them from everything that followed. They stop time”—made him appear incapable of understanding how the majority of Americans understand our own nation’s history and the vast array of its challenges.
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/biden-reaches-break-point-georgia-speech-voting-rights-senate-mcconnell-division-election-law-11642110521

    And now the "sedition" charges :eyeroll: are put in their proper context..

    But, like all of Basement Biden's plans, it won't work.

    The American people know how bad Basement Biden is flailing..

    It'll be a miracle if BB is able to finish out his term...

  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:

    And now for some unfinished business..

    http://mfccfl.us/wagerEM.jpg

    I made the donation to JL's charity in your name, Liz...

    JL, that was a HELLUVA good idea and a HELLUVA good charity to donate to.. I want to thank you for helping me to resolve the MC wager satisfactorily...

    Yer a mensch.. :D

    So, between JM bailing and MC taken care of.. We can put 2020 behind us and make a whole bunch of NEW wagers for 2022! :D

    Onwards and Upwards!! :D

  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:

    Let's talk about Basement Biden's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week... :D

    Biden White House reeling after week of defeats, setbacks, and policy flops
    The president's week was mired by a court defeat, cratering poll numbers, inflation woes, and other setbacks

    President Biden is on track for what could be one of the worst weeks of his presidency as his poll numbers continue to crater at the same time his legislative agenda stalls and court battles fail.
    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/biden-white-house-policy-flops-defeats

    And considering how bad his first year in office was, showing that Basement Biden just had his worst week ever really says a LOT..

    No wonder Biden's DOJ had to scramble to have SOME sort of semblance of saving face....

    This "Sedition" BS is simply part of Basement Biden's mad scramble....

  23. [23] 
    Michale wrote:

    The president learned on Thursday that his speech, which was widely panned by Republicans and even drew criticism from his longtime friends Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin and Rev. Al Sharpton, along with his appearance on Capitol Hill were not enough to sway Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, whose support he needed.

    "I will not vote to eliminate or weaken the filibuster," Manchin announced Thursday to go along with Sinema’s speech on the Senate floor opposing the move which delivers a fatal blow to the bill.

    And once again, Joe Manchin renders the coop de graassie to a Biden/Democrat pet project..

    And, once again, Manchin saves Biden/Democrats from themselves...

  24. [24] 
    Michale wrote:

    According to the Quinnipiac poll, the president is deeply underwater on his handling of three top issues – the economy (34%), foreign policy (35%), and the coronavirus pandemic (39%).

    Oh SNAP......

    Biden is making President Trump look good!!! :D

  25. [25] 
    Michale wrote:

    And now it's time to hear from the ONLY OFFICIAL objective news source that's acceptable here in Weigantia(™michale)...

    What Biden's Approval Rating Means for the Midterms

    This is important. Although the presidential election isn’t for another 2½ years, the midterm elections are fast approaching. In our increasingly polarized and nationalized politics, the single most determinative factor in midterm outcomes is the president’s job approval. With both the House and the Senate very narrowly split between the two parties, entering the 2022 elections with a president whose job approval at this level carries catastrophic implications for the Democrats. It isn’t accidental that, in the generic ballot (which asks which party individuals would prefer to control Congress), the Democrats’ current vote share is 42.8%, nearly mimicking Biden’s.

    For a more precise sense of what this means, it may be useful to revisit the Senate model that I developed in 2014 and updated about a year ago for the coming midterms. It attempts to predict Senate race outcomes according to three factors: The president’s estimated job approval in a state, whether an incumbent is on the ballot, and whether the parties nominate “problematic” candidates (think Christine O’Donnell). This model has performed remarkably well over the past decade, predicting the actual outcome within a single seat in the four elections that have transpired since it was created, and always landing within its “error margin.”

    What does it tell us about 2022? Assuming the parties don’t nominate particularly weak candidates and there are no further retirements, a Republican-controlled Senate starts to come into the picture when Biden’s job approval falls to around 51% and becomes the most likely outcome at around 48%.

    At 42%, the model envisions virtually no chance for Democrats to hold the Senate and predicts a loss of four seats as the most likely outcome. At 42%, the Colorado Senate seat could potentially come into play, assuming that Republicans produced a credible candidate (remember that a relatively unheralded candidate held Sen. Michael Bennet to a six-point margin in 2016).
    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2022/01/14/what_bidens_approval_rating_means_for_the_midterms_147029.html

    It's no wonder that the Basement Biden administration threw this Hail Mary Sedition bomb..

    They got nothing to run on...

    So, according to Democrats, their BEST option is to use a centuries old law that was DESIGNED to go after political enemies.. :eyeroll:

    Yea... Good call.... :^/

  26. [26] 
    Michale wrote:

    My working theory over the decades since Reaganism infected American politics has been that the Dems just pretend to be the politically inept "Mommy Party" because Nader was and is right in that the two parties are not really much more than two heads of the same beast.

    [Chill the fuck out, Don. You never grokked that most of us agree on the problem but that you haven't convinced a soul that OD is the solution, and that they are two separate issues.]

    Jeezus, MC.. You drunk posting again??

  27. [27] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    get your substances straight, michale.

    "Really, Captain Herbal Life? You just macrame'd your ass into the couch and you're giving me shit?"

    Robin Williams - a night at the Met

  28. [28] 
    Michale wrote:

    Heh!! :D

  29. [29] 
    Michale wrote:

    Latinos Are Saying ¡Adios! to Joe Biden In Large Droves According to New Poll

    New polling from Quinnipiac released on Wednesday showed how President Joe Biden's approval numbers continue to fall faster than when he ran up the steps to Air Force One.

    Overall, only 33 percent of Americans approve of the job Biden has done while being in office for under a year. 53 percent of Americans disapprove. But broken down into racial demographics, Latinos are among the group who dislike Biden the most.

    Only 28 percent of Hispanics approve of the job Biden is doing as president. 61 percent of Hispanics disapprove of Biden’s handling of the economy with 59 percent of Hispanics saying they disapprove of Biden’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Overall, 55 percent of Americans disapprove of Biden's approach to COVID-19 as it is clear he failed to follow through on his promise to "shut down the virus" during the 2020 election.
    https://townhall.com/tipsheet/juliorosas/2022/01/13/latinos-are-saying-adios-to-biden-in-drove-according-to-new-poll-n2601774

    Oh.... SNAP...

    Basement Biden is the WORST thing that has happened to the Democrat Party..

    And, considering how Odumbo had left the Democrat Party in tatters, THAT really says something..

  30. [30] 
    Michale wrote:
  31. [31] 
    Michale wrote:
  32. [32] 
    Michale wrote:

    "Do you want to be on the side of Bull Connor??? Or George Wallace??? Or Jefferson Davis???"
    -Basement Joe Biden

    Of course not!!!

    If I was on THEIR side, that would make me a DEMOCRAT!!!

    Heh... Never underestimate the capability of Democrats to shoot themselves in the foot.. :D

  33. [33] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ya know it's bad when one's OWN Propaganda outfit starts reporting gloom and doom..

    Is Biden's presidency doomed?

    President Joe Biden is struggling politically. Recent polls have shown that his approval ratings continue to fall. According to CNN's Poll of Polls, the President stands at 42%, while Quinnipiac's January poll placed him at 33%. Those are the kinds of numbers that would leave any White House unsettled.

    The fate of the Build Back Better legislation remains precarious, while the President's emboldened words about the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act were tougher than ever. On Tuesday, he asked elected officials, "Do you want to be on the side of Dr. King or George Wallace?" in what appeared to be a question implicitly targeting Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, who still refuse to accept the filibuster carve-out that would allow the voting rights legislation to overcome Republican opposition. Even worse, Omicron has driven up hospitalizations and left huge swaths of the population despondent about when the pandemic will come to an end. "It's déjà vu all over again," as the baseball legend Yogi Berra liked to say.
    https://www.cnn.com/2022/01/13/opinions/bidens-approval-rating-history-zelizer/index.html

    The only real question is... Where is Basement Biden's bottom??

  34. [34] 
    Michale wrote:

    POLITICO Playbook: Bill and Hillary peek their heads out

    SENATE SKIPS TOWN — Just before 10 p.m. Thursday night, Senate Majority Leader CHUCK SCHUMER ditched plans to keep the Senate in town through the weekend in order to meet an MLK Day deadline to pass voting rights legislation. He cited an expected snowstorm in D.C. on Sunday/Monday. The Senate will return Tuesday to take up voting rights and a potential rules change.

    IT WOULD HAVE BEEN A MISERABLE WEEKEND — At least for Democrats. President JOE BIDEN’s Thursday visit to the Senate yielded no movement from the two senators who matter, JOE MANCHIN (D-W.Va.) and KYRSTEN SINEMA (D-Ariz.). If anything, the two looked more dug in afterward. (They also met with Biden at the White House in the evening.) Burgess Everett, Marianne LeVine and Laura Barrón-López have a great inside-the-room account of Biden’s meeting with Senate Dems, and his exchange with Manchin in particular.

    What a bad week for Democrats.. :D Makes one almost believe in KARMA... :D

    As for Hillary Clinton, two people from Clinton world described pollster DOUG SCHOEN’s op-ed in the WSJ this week floating a 2024 run as a “gift” to her. Even though the people said there’s no chance she runs for president again, the attention allows her to gauge public reaction as she sets her sights on reemerging in lower-profile ways, like campaigning during the midterms or taking on policy fights.

    “She’s bored,” the longtime Clinton bundler said of the former secretary of State, senator and first lady, who’s now hosting a MasterClass on “the power of resilience.”

    The Clintons, the bundler added, “don’t want to be pariahs anymore. It’s less about being kingmakers and more about being relevant and people seeing them as a net positive, not a net negative.”

    How desperate do Democrats have to be to dust off the old relic that is Hillary Clinton?? :D

  35. [35] 
    Michale wrote:

    BUCK SEXTON: Unless there is some major pivot, they're heading into annihilation in the midterms, I think. That's clear to everybody, including a lot of Democrats that I talk to. And the polling reflects that. ... But the overall promise of the Joe Biden election has been shown to be a lie, which was that he was going to bring back normalcy. He would shut down the virus and not the economy, that he would unite the American people. Nobody feels like this is a uniting president.

    That speech he gave a few days ago was disgraceful. It would be disgraceful for any president speaking about his opposition in politics on issues of voter I.D. and things like that. That's what we're really talking about. So it was an outrage, and I think the people know now they were lied to. They were sold the bill of goods, and those who are open to having their minds changed understand that Joe Biden was never the guy, should never have been the guy. And going forward, there's going to have to be some other political approach from the Democrats unless they really just want to see how much Republicans can run up the scoreboard in November.
    -Buck Sexton

    Democrats are conceding that there is a MAJOR Uber-Nuclear shellacking in the works...

  36. [36] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Please stop posting comments that are off-topic and not directly related to the headlining piece.

  37. [37] 
    Michale wrote:

    Most of them have been tied to the ridiculous Sedition charges..

    But since no one (obviously) wants to discuss that, I branch out...

    I believe in giving people a choice... :D If one topic doesn't interest them, I offer multiple topics to discuss...

    Just being courteous and respectful of other people's diversity.. :D

  38. [38] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Try being respectful to Chris, his blog and his columns.

  39. [39] 
    Michale wrote:

    "I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that."
    -H.A.L.

    Respect is earned. This new Weigantian administration has a long way to go for that day to come about..

    I am looking forward to that day... Sincerely...

  40. [40] 
    Michale wrote:

    I mean, honestly, Liz..

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FJFltrIWUAAqx6R?format=png&name=small

    Why should ANYONE take Democrats seriously on this Sedition carp or anything else??

    Democrats need to EARN that?? And they are failing miserably...

  41. [41] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    "I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that."
    -H.A.L.

    Then, I suggest that you leave until such time as you can.

  42. [42] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Good luck with that, Elizabeth.

    You're just going to have to get in the habit of scrolling through, just like the rest of us. Ignoring trolls is the only way you get rid of them, and meanwhile you skip all the crap.

  43. [43] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Don't you ever get tired, Caddy? Leave it alone.

  44. [44] 
    Kick wrote:

    MtnCaddy
    42

    You're just going to have to get in the habit of scrolling through, just like the rest of us.

    You "walk" into the forum and cannot fail to notice there is a megaton of board diarrhea. Ever the optimist, you wonder: What, with all that shit, there must be a pony in there somewhere, right?

    Spoiler alert: It's a horse's ass.

    Ignoring trolls is the only way you get rid of them, and meanwhile you skip all the crap.

    Or read a couple, you've read them all. Same shit, different day.

  45. [45] 
    Kick wrote:

    Elizabeth Miller
    43

    Don't you ever get tired, Caddy?

    Good question, warden... so you first: Don't you ever get tired?

    Why are you questioning him? He wasn't the poster who kept prattling repeatedly about missing the horse's ass; that was you.

    Leave it alone.

    If you don't like the posts failing to notice the trollshit mountain, that's too damn bad. You reap what you sow.

  46. [46] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    Then, I suggest that you leave until such time as you can.

    As I said, respect is a two-way street and must be earned.. The new Weigantia(™michale) administration knows how to reach out to me if they so choose..

    Until such time.. Well.. here we are.. :D

    But com'on...

    I have gone from 200 comments to 45... At least I am making the effort...

    You must acknowledge that..

    Don't you ever get tired, Caddy? Leave it alone.

    A perfect case in point...

    No, he doesn't get tired.. But I'll let you in on a little secret.. As long as Cad continues to acknowledge my comments and complain that they are plentiful, I will keep on fulfilling his desire to read my comments.. :D

    Like many Democrat, he's his own worst enemy.. If he truly wanted to ignore my comments, he would IGNORE my comments.. But practically every comment of his is an acknowledgement of my presence and my hold over Weigantia...

  47. [47] 
    Kick wrote:

    Michale
    46

    A perfect case in point...

    You think MtnCaddy is "perfect"? He might actually be flattered but for the well-known existence of two facts:

    (1) It's a poon's idea of "perfect"
    (2) He demonstrably and obviously hasn't been actually reading your comments.

    No, he doesn't get tired.. But I'll let you in on a little secret.. As long as Cad continues to acknowledge my comments and complain that they are plentiful, I will keep on fulfilling his desire to read my comments.. :D

    Oh, it's positively hysterical that the board poon is under the ridiculous impression that MtnCaddy (or anyone else on the forum, really) actually reads all the verbal diarrhea that is his trollshit mountain. If the Michale Troll had any brains at all, he'd be able to check all the time stamps and know for a fact that MtnCaddy (or anyone else on the forum, really) scrolls quickly through the vast majority of the poon's bullshit/trollshit.

    Like many Democrat, he's his own worst enemy.. If he truly wanted to ignore my comments, he would IGNORE my comments..

    He's definitely ignoring you, poon, and if you actually possessed a brain cell or even a scintilla of a sliver of an effing clue, you'd have obviously already recognized that his failing to not notice the trollshit mountain and actually reading its contents are two wholly and entirely different things.

    But practically every comment of his is an acknowledgement of my presence and my hold over Weigantia...

    So let's take a quick review of the known facts:

    (1) you are admittedly reading his "every comment"

    (2) MtnCaddy (and near everyone else, really) are frequently, purposely, obviously, demonstrably, and absolutely scrolling right straight past your redundant trollshit

    (3) Yet you're under the utterly asinine delusion that it's you that has any kind of "hold over Weigantia"?

    *ROTFLMAO*

    The "precious" poon. MtnCaddy owns it. :)

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