Get Ready for Rule by the Mob

Last week three yahoos stormed into an elementary school in Tucson and confronted the principal. One was livestreaming the event, and one carried “law enforcement grade” zip ties. The third was the father of a boy who had been taken out of class and told he was required to mask and quarantine. The child had been in close contact with someone who tested positive for covid, and the school was following county health requirements.

The three men decided that the school didn’t have legal authority to do such a thing. The fellow in charge of the live stream said he was prepared to “raise hell,” and insisted the school couldn’t take the law “into their own hands” by instructing a student to quarantine. He also wrote on Facebook that a citizen’s arrest was an option. Instead, the principal called the police. One of the three has been charged with tresspassing; whether the other two are also in trouble, I do not know. See also An Anti-Masker Just Tried to Zip-Tie a School Principal Over COVID Rules.

I bring this up because this is the pattern we’re falling into. Instead of the rule of law, we’re facing the rule of self-appointed vigilantes. The hideous Texas abortion law is another example. For that matter, the Texas voting repression law appears to allow partisan poll watchers to harass people who are voting. Wingnuts are assuming the power to make and enforce laws as they see fit. This will not end well.

Of course, this is not really new. Extremists have been bombing abortion clinics and murdering doctors in the U.S. since the early 1990s.

In the “stuff to read” department — I heartily endorse a column by Will Bunch at the Philadelphia Inquirer — We knew America would never be the same after 9/11. We didn’t know how bad. Just read the whole thing.

Worth a clip ‘n’ save — Ed Kilgore’s Trump’s Long Campaign to Steal the Presidency: A Timeline.

Better late than never, but not much — The CEO of the Anti-Defamation League admits that the ADL was wrong to oppose the building of Cordoba House, a.k.a the “Ground Zero Mosque.” “Today one can see how the Cordoba House could have helped to heal our country as we nursed the wounds from the horror of 9/11,” the CEO writes. Some of us saw it at the time, ten years ago.