CSotD: They’re here for the socialists

Couldn’t decide whether to start or end with Scott Stantis‘ take, but I don’t suppose it much matters.

Martin Niemöller is often quoted, though generally in a kind of philosophical, theoretical manner.

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Well, it’s not so theoretical anymore.

Unmarked men in unmarked vans are grabbing people and dragging them away, and we’re learning that, among others, they include Border Patrol.

In Portland, Oregon, more than 250 miles from the Canadian border, or, to put it another way, two and half times past the legal limit for them to be stopping and questioning anyone, much less dragging them away in the dark.

The ACLU has a handy chart telling you how to assert your rights if you are stopped and questioned by the Border Patrol, though it doesn’t specify whether you should assert those rights before or after they beat the living shit out of you.

“Instead of” does not appear to be one of the options.


The secret police are not all Border Patrol, though, as Bill Bramhall notes, we don’t know who the hell they are and they feel no compulsion to tell us.

For those keeping score at home, the term the forces deployed by Dear Leader’s hero and BFF were given by the international community was “zelyonye chelovechki,” for the “little green men” who invaded Ukraine but certainly, surely weren’t Russian troops because there were no insignia on their uniforms.


His student learns well, and here we are.

But, hey, just think of them as the “Security Service.”

Or, y’know, the initials.


Others of our national leaders are equally well-trained, as Adam Zyglis points out, which reminds me of the time someone pointed out to Babe Ruth that he was paid more than President Hoover, to which the Babe replied, “I had a better year than he did.”

The Redskins finished at the bottom of their division last year, 3-13.

Then again, their coach didn’t have Mitch McConnell’s power and chutzpah to simply refuse to come out of the locker room and play the games.


As Ann Telnaes suggests, we may get a chance in November to test the Republicans’ refusal to engage, based on Trump’s reply to Chris Wallace’s question of whether he’d accept a loss in the elections.

Her caricature of a spoiled, self-centered would-be dictator is well done, but the border she has added is essential, because we’ve crossed into dangerous territory.

People have previously asked if Trump would refuse to leave in January in the event of his losing to Biden, and that’s a reasonably simple question to answer, because the military remains loyal to the Constitution, however much individuals may renounce their oaths of service in the heat of the moment.

But before that question is put to the test, there is the matter of his losing the election, and this Bulwark article outlines the barriers to that outcome, whatever the vote count may appear to be.

Let’s assume it is, as polls suggest, a Blue landslide.

Who do you think will certify that election? Bill Barr’s Justice Department? A Senate on the verge of losing McConnell’s Republican majority?

The people who have sent unmarked men in unmarked vans to drag away protesters and who have promised to do it again in more cities around the country whose citizens fail to demonstrate proper loyalty?

As for the voices in the street, those who normally cry loudest about “states rights” and rail against the “nanny state,” are suddenly eager to explain why the central government ought to override state and local governments in this venture and to assume the role of enforcer.

And to accuse protesters of being anarchists and socialists, making this, indeed, the point at which, as Niemöller warned, they’re coming for the socialists.

Here’s another piece of Internet wisdom that has been floating around for a couple of years now:

If you’ve ever wondered what you’d have done in 1930s Germany, you’re doing it now.

And you are.


Eisenhower famously ordered German civilians to be taken to the camps and shown the evidence, so that nobody could ever claim it hadn’t really happened.

Even that did not stop the wave of denial, and it’s not just the people who claim the Holocaust was a fraud, or that, at best, the numbers have been inflated.

It’s far more than that: When Klaus Barbie was put on trial in the early 80s, it dealt a blow to the myth that everyone in France was an active member of the Resistance, and tore the masks from the faces of the many people who went along, who did nothing and who may well have then celebrated in the streets a victory and liberation they had done nothing to bring about.

Then, in 1996, Daniel Goldhagen published “Hitler’s Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust,” and put to rest the notion that they hadn’t known.

Given the speed and the reach of the Internet, does anyone really believe we can get away unexposed and unaccused for as long as they did?

In lieu of music today, here’s a selection from Catch-22, one of many books they don’t teach in those schools where, Dear Leader assures us, our children are taught to hate America.

Or, at least, to be disloyal.

4 thoughts on “CSotD: They’re here for the socialists

  1. Came here to say what David Reaves said. 100 miles from ANY border applies. Not just land border like Canada/USA.

    Well established case law on this too, I am afraid.

  2. Odd, but the people they’re dragging away aren’t people who’ve done those things. They’re just pulling them off the street “proactively”–before any of them commit crimes. Just like in totalitarian states. Banana republics.

    Holy 1984.

  3. For those who wonder what Kip is responding to, it was a threatening, insulting and anonymous post that made astounding accusations with no sources. And which has been deleted.

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