Previous posts in this discussion:
PostTrump's Treason (Tor Guimaraes, USA, 11/21/20 3:26 am)
As we debate the merits of aiding and abetting the sycophants of a president who has proven over several years to be a chronic liar, a psychopath, a very incompetent businessman and degenerate human being, others have moved on strongly.
A report by The New York Times establishes what Donald J. Trump is doing as treason to the American republic, and that it should be treated as such.
"President Trump's attempts to overturn the 2020 election are unprecedented in American history and an even more audacious use of brute political force to gain the White House than when Congress gave Rutherford B. Hayes the presidency during Reconstruction.
"Mr. Trump's chances of success are somewhere between remote and impossible, and a sign of his desperation after President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. won by nearly six million popular votes and counting, as well as a clear Electoral College margin. We're dealing with a traitor in the White House, nothing more, nothing less.
"Every single member of his Cabinet that supports him is guilty of treachery. Every single Republican lawmaker that supports him is equally guilty. Every single pundit on Fox News or any other right-wing outlet that supports this coup attempt is, in fact, supporting a traitor."
Historian Michael Beschloss explained that this moment is truly unprecedented in our history: "This is a manufactured crisis. It is a president abusing his huge powers in order to stay in office after the voters clearly rejected him for re-election. This is what many of the founders dreaded."
JE comments: WAIS kicks off this morning with the two categorical and immutable positions that define today's crisis in America. First, Tor Guimaraes with Trump as Traitor. Next, we'll hear from George Aucoin on the "Democrat [sic] Coup."
(Brian Blodgett, USA
11/21/20 7:54 AM)
In response to Tor Guimaraes (November 21st), once again we see the word "treason" used in context with individuals and their actions, and once again, is it really the correct legal word that we should be using?
Per my WAIS posting on August 26, I pointed out that "Treason is the only crime that our Founding Fathers specifically defined in the Constitution and applies only to American citizens who betrayed their allegiance that is presumed owed to the nation."
However, as I also stated, according to the US Constitution, "Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort" (U.S. Const., art III, § 3).
As John pointed out at that time, "the term treason is used way too cavalierly." If folks are going to accuse individuals, and in Tor's case, not just one, but hundreds or perhaps even thousands of individuals, then we need to at least use the correct word.
JE comments: In the strict Constitutional sense, can any treason take place if there is no (declared) war? What about undermining the Constitutional rule of law--in essence, waging war from within?
A word on Tor Guimaraes's post. There was an error of citation. David E Sanger of the NYT (November 19th) did not use the word "treason" per se:
The addition of the treason accusation was from a gloss of Sanger's essay that appeared in the Daily Kos.