Amazingly, you don’t need to have any particular knowledge of the law to be a lawmaker.
Yet, one would think that someone who began his career as a lawyer — albeit a Fort Walton Beach, Florida lawyer — would have at least a smidgen of familiarity with some of the most basic constitutional concepts of civil liberties and the Posse Comitatus Act which prohibits the use of federal military personnel to enforce any sort of domestic policies within the United States, especially since that law has been on the books since the administration of Rutherford B. Hayes in 1878.
Still, Congressman Matt “DUI” Gaetz (R-FL) has never let pesky laws get in his way before, so it was not the least bit surprising to read the tweet sent today by the GOP operative with his nose so far up Donald Trump’s butt that one would have believed that he was a proctologist rather than a lawyer before getting into politics.
Now that we clearly see Antifa as terrorists, can we hunt them down like we do those in the Middle East?
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) June 1, 2020
So far only Trump and his enabling cronies have made the erroneous designation of Antifa as a terrorist group, so Gaetz’s tweet is based on a false premise that was most likely posted to prove to the president what a loyal lapdog the Florida congressman truly remains.
Since Antifa is a loose movement without a formal structure, calling it a group is as ludicrous as the evidence-free accusations of terrorism that Trump, Attorney General William Barr, and Rep. Gaetz are bandying about.
Moreover, since the United States does not even have a set of laws defining what domestic terrorism actually is — since all of our terrorism statutes apply exclusively to foreign terrorism — it’s unlikely that any prosecutor would be likely to be able to convict anyone accused of domestic terrorism as opposed to any specific underlying crimes that may have been committed.
Outside of the fact that the armed forces are prohibited from “hunting down” the citizens of their own country — assuming that any commanding officer could find military personnel compliant enough to be willing to fire upon fellow Americans if they tried — Gaetz’s dehumanization of his alleged terrorists into hunting targets demands its own special level of condemnation.
This is a congressman who may be spending way too much time palling around with Donald Trump Jr., so militaristic are his hunting fantasies.
Besides, anyone who looks at America’s disastrous foray into the Middle East over the last two decades and thinks that military intervention reduced terrorism rather than inspiring a whole new generation of terrorists to view the United States as the ultimate enemy is as delusional as, well, Donald Trump.
Apparently, the newly-empowered content checkers at Twitter found issues with Representative Gaetz’s post as well, since they just slapped a warning notice on the post of the type that almost gave the president a coronary when his first tweet got tagged with it.
“This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible.”
It’s only in the public interest if the shame of having sent such a reprehensible tweet leads to Gaetz’s being voted out of office in November.
Gaetz likely regards the new warning notice on his post as a badge of honor, bonding him ever more closely to the president whose boots he loves to lick so much — metaphorically speaking, of course.
Unfortunately, Twitter’s designation of the post as a glorification of violence means that all of the comments on the post have been turned off, so we won’t be able to share the seriously snarky replies that the congressman received in response to his ill-advised tweet.
Suffice it to say that perhaps Gaetz is lucky that the comments on the post were eliminated. They may have been enough to drive him to drink, something he has considerable experience combining already.
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Vinnie Longobardo is the Managing Editor of Occupy Democrats. He's a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.