Liberals, Your 'Hero Worship' of Judges, Others May Backfire

At Politico, Michael Schaffer argues progressives are hurting their own cause in regard to Trump
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 14, 2023 5:20 PM CDT
Enough With the 'Hero Worship' of Trump Prosecutors, Judges
This undated photo shows US District Judge Tanya Chutkan.   (Administrative Office of the US Courts via AP, File)

Welcome to the state of politics in 2023: You can now buy T-shirts and coffee mugs celebrating the judge in Donald Trump's federal election-interference case. And as Michael Schaffer points out in an opinion piece at Politico Magazine, Judge Tanya Chutkan is far from the only Trump-related public figure who gets such "hero worship" treatment. He ticks off special counsel Jack Smith, Georgia District Attorney Fani Willis, New York prosecutor Alvin Bragg, and, before them, Robert Mueller and Anthony Fauci as others. "I get the impulse," writes Schaffer. "Unfortunately, it undercuts everything the iconography is meant to celebrate."

Trump likes to complain that the legal system going after him is politicized, and his progressive critics play right into that narrative by trumpeting those who, in the course of doing their jobs, attempt to hold him accountable. Putting Chutkan and Smith on T-shirts "is to implicitly accept Trump's idea of a system that's rigged," writes Shaffer. It might even put pressure on judges such as Chutkan to make rulings in his favor to overcome perceptions of bias. Shaffer's larger point goes beyond Trump: "In a democracy of embattled institutions, this sort of veneration is an absolutely terrible look ," he writes. It just so happens that when it comes to Trump, "it's also awfully counterproductive." Read the full essay. (Or read about the impending indictment Willis is about to bring in Georgia.)

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