William Prynne looked around as he entered the famed chamber in the Palace of Westminster. Stars adorned the ceiling’s pattern. He was there—he was actually there. Far from a timid man, Prynne’s heart still must have been heavy with the knowledge that whatever the knowing that whatever the Star Chamber dealt out would not be easy.
As the proceedings in the secretive Star Chamber continued, Prynne learned his awful future. While the so-called court of this Chamber could not impose the death penalty, it was relatively free to do whatever else it wanted…and it did. For the crimes of being a vocal Puritan (and thus deemed a threat to the crown), Prynne was sentenced to life in prison—but not before his ears were cut off and his cheeks were branded with the worlds “seditious libeler.”
Founded by Henry VII, the Star Chamber didn’t start out to be a corrupt, secretive, extra-parliamentary enforcer of the monarch’s will. But by the time Prynne found himself in its grip, that’s what it had become.
What had begun under the Tudors as a publicly accountable way to “enforce the law in when other courts were plagued by corruption,” eventually transformed into a secretive and dreaded shadow court that was “not subject to the same checks and balances of common law,” which “made abuses not only possible but likely, especially when its proceedings were not open to the public.”
Unchecked power is one of the easiest paths to the abuse of it.
In today’s America, are we far off?
As one political party today attempts to use their power as members of Congress to try and subvert the laws in order to overthrow a duly elected president of the United States all while behind closed doors (both literally and figuratively)—are we far off?
I’m really not trying to be facetious.
I thought of this infamous room as I watched a crowd of Republican lawmakers push back against House Intelligence Committee chair Adam Schiff by storming the secretive chamber that Democrat lawmakers desperately trying to unseat the president were using for a hearing.
““We’re going to try and go in there, and we’re going to try to figure out what’s going on, on behalf of the millions of Americans that we represent that want to see this Congress working for them and not obsess with attacking a president who we believe has not done anything to deserve impeachment,” said Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida.
Before you say I’m being dramatic, or too liberal with the use of the Star Chamber analogy, let me put it to you this way: if you were trying to unseat a president unjustly, what would you do differently than what the Democrats are doing now?
Wouldn’t you meet secret?
Wouldn’t you use a SCIF (Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility), when the “information being given in the depositions is not classified”?
Wouldn’t you issue “subpoenas to force depositions?”
Wouldn’t you skip a vote to “give official authority to the committees charged with conducting the impeachment proceedings”?
Don’t get me wrong: there are things that we in the general public are not and should not be privy to.
But let me urge you to consider something on its face here: Democrats are having secret meetings about a phone call that took place between President Trump and the Ukrainian president, of which a transcript has already been released.
Why the secrecy?
To what end? And if you say it’s to protect the whistleblower, I call Barbra Streisand. After all, aren’t these same Democrats selectively leaking information to the press?
Speaking of that transcript, he (Schiff) literally made up a “version” of the call which he claimed was the “sum and character what the president was trying to communicate with the president of Ukraine.”
It was, as one commentator put it, “so damning that Adam Schiff had to completely rewrite it and make up quotes that weren’t in it.”
This is, by the way, the same Adam Schiff who practically swore on his grandmother’s grave that he had “direct evidence” that President Trump had unequivocally colluded with Russia illegally in order to win the election. (Spoiler alert: He didn’t.) And now we’re supposed to trust him and his colleagues as they flout Congressional proceedings when it comes to something as serious as impeachment?
But I’ve digressed.
Let’s assume for a moment that Donald Trump really is the lawbreaking monster that the Democrats want us to believe he is. That Adam Schiff’s parody “transcript” version of the call is the actual call.
So what’s with all the secrecy? If you’ve got the goods, you’ve got the goods—and the American people deserve to know what kind of man they have sitting in the Oval Office.
If Schiff had direct evidence of Russian collusion, why didn’t he come forward with it, unless he was hedging on the Mueller report coming up with SOMETHING to back up his claims? If Schiff has direct evidence of improper quid pro quo, why the secrecy? Unless, of course, he’s digging and hoping beyond hope that he’ll hit water soon.
So is it really about justice in the name of protecting the American people and our government? Or is it a political party who has, since that fateful evening in 2016, done nothing but try and unseat a duly elected president?
Think about it. Among many, many other things:
There have “never been more Black and Hispanic Americans in the workforce, Friday’s Labor Department job report showed.” I’d be afraid to run against that too.
Female unemployment is at a 50-year low. I’d be afraid to run against that too.
Our national unemployment rate is the lowest in 50 years. I’d be afraid to run against that too.
Over 6 million Americans no longer need food stamps under this presidency. I’d be afraid to run against that too.
For a racist, homophobic, bigoted lawbreaking pig, he and his administration’s policies sure have helped a lot of people of a lot of colors and backgrounds.
But what do I know? I’m just a woman married to a Mexican immigrant with two biracial children sitting in the home I could afford because of the jobs we have and the lower taxes we’re paying.
Nope, don’t mind me.
Meanwhile, we’re all getting tired. We’re getting tired of the antics, tired of the secrecy, and tired of the theatrics.
If there’s an actual problem, let’s deal with it. But since every single fishing expedition into Donald Trump’s life and politics has thus come back empty (after millions of dollars and years of unceasing effort), I think I speak for quite a few Americans when I say: let it go and get to work. Or frankly, don’t. It’d probably be better for us and our freedom in the long run.
Here, perhaps there’s a better way of putting it: Rep. Schiff, put up or shut up.
We’ve paid for your temper tantrums for long enough.
Mary Ramirez is a full-time writer, creator of www.afuturefree.com, and contributor to The Chris Salcedo Show on KSEV 700 Radio in Houston, and on Newsmax TV. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org; or on Twitter: @AFutureFree