Last week, Donald Trump was found guilty of sexual assault by a civil court in Manhattan. Trump and his supporters have dismissed this judgment as being part of a wide anti-Trump conspiracy aimed at scuppering his chances of a new run for the White House.
The Republican narrative is that this was a civil (not criminal case) decided by a jury of peers picked in Republican-unfriendly territory and a Republican-unfriendly judge.
In other words, the Republicans would rather discredit the justice system than for one second admit that their horse was not fit for purpose. US politics is rife with ‘tribalism’ or what we would call partisan politics.
The current situation is such that one-half of the nation would prefer undermining one of the pillars of their democracy rather than accepting the conclusions that that same pillar has reached.
The list of indictments against the former President is never-ending but risks turning out to be a useless exercise since any verdict will probably be dismissed as Democratic chicanery.
Impeachment trials, court verdicts. The sense of justice has been diluted into partisan nonsense and risks dragging down the whole infrastructure.
What the Republicans are effectively saying is that most of the judiciary is ‘rigged’ in a sort of judicial gerrymandering that has overlapped into the political sphere. That is why Trump still enjoys a comfortable lead over his primary rivals. Institutional condemnations only seem to strengthen the resolve of his support.
Robert Abela is not quite the Donald Trump. He is cut more from the Viktor Orban kind of cloth.
Yet the Labour Movement he inherited from the disgraced former PM is operating in a similar manner as the US Republicans.
We have chronicled the institutional meltdown that has characterised Malta’s rule-of-law backsliding. Impotent authorities combined with puppet appointees have meant that Abela and his team can turn a blind eye to what are potentially damaging revelations from the recent past.
The latest such revelation is the National Audit Office report that continues to damn the Hospitals Deal engineered by the trio from governance hell Muscat-Schembri-Mizzi. We are now told in no uncertain terms that Mizzi misled the cabinet when negotiating the deal.
The offensive former Labour enfant prodige took to social media to protest his innocence and urge the public to ignore the latest report.
Mizzi and Schembri had already undermined the workings of the Public Accounts Committee – not without a little help from the latest generation of the Moviment Taghna Lkoll.
That latest generation that still includes remnants of and connections to the cabinet of corrupt deals is desperately trying to create a schism between the new and the old. Thus, Minister Attard appealed to the public to judge the Abela government solely on its operations since 2020.
It says much about the track record of Muscat’s Merry Band of Marauders that a minister of Labour’s current iteration would appeal to be judged on the shambolic performance of Abela’s clan and hope that the deeds of the first seven years of the Movement’s government be forgotten.
Which brings me to the Last-Ditch Jury.
Things are not looking good for Abela either. The damning reports are piling up. It is becoming increasingly impossible for him to extricate himself from the Muscat Travelling Show.
To liken the Muscat heritage to the plague would be too kind. Abela trudges along obstinately with the stiff jaw approach hoping that his earlier appeals for continuity have been condemned to oblivion.
He is now all for “the new era”. As his government engages in various activities of dishonest obfuscation, he will appeal to what in his eyes is the only important jury: the people.
Trump survived scandal after scandal by discrediting authorities and appealing instead to popular sentiment.
Abela is following in the same line. He knows that a time will come when he can no longer count on puppets in various strategic positions stalling and dragging their feet.
When that day comes, he can only follow Trump’s line and try his hardest to discredit any judgment that has befallen him.
He will only appeal to the last-ditch jury – the people who can choose to believe his propaganda and confirm him for another term.
Might I suggest that you leave Trump out of any comparisons. This is not his story and its not fair to use his issues to make a point. The USA faired way better under Trump than it has under Biden
Well said and explained!
That’s all any of them will have left as a final card to play to avoid being put behind bars, which is where they all belong.