Look Out, America, ABJ Is the New RBG writes Molly Jong-Fast (Daily Beast Editor-At-Large). “The truth still matters.” With those words, a brave judge sent away a man who’s deserved it for years—and reminded us of what this country can be again.
"The truth still exists; the truth still matters,” Judge Amy Berman Jackson said Thursday at the sentencing of the president’s favorite dirty trickster, Roger Stone. It may have seemed like an obvious statement, but as Trumpworld continues its assault on the rule of law, things like the truth mattering seem slightly obscured by the current political climate of relentless lying. Judge ABJ continued, “Roger Stone’s insistence that it doesn’t, his belligerence, his pride in his own lies are a threat to our most fundamental institutions, to the foundations of our democracy.”
The foundation of our democracy has been feeling a little shaky after all the Republican senators (with the exception of Mitt Romney) were derelict in their duty of holding the president accountable, after John Bolton was more committed to book sales than the truth, and as the president runs his own separate media ecosystem that takes his lies as gospel. It’s hard to have any faith in anything that’s going on in Washington, D.C., these days. But then along comes Judge Amy Berman Jackson, emerging like a phoenix from the ashes of the Mueller investigation.
Despite personal attacks in the social media by Stone and Trump …
… the 65-year-old, Harvard-educated judge has not been deterred, and at the sentencing hearing she got down to the heart of the matter, which is simply that the cult of personality that surrounds Trump shouldn’t matter more than the truth. “The defendant lied about a matter of great national and international significance,” she said. “This is not campaign hijinks. This is not just Roger being Roger.”
The truth has had a very hard time of it lately. The president is not a fan. As of January, The Washington Post had him at 16,241 misleading statements. Bill Barr seems more and more like Rudy Giuliani, just another one of Trump’s “free lawyers.” Often, it feels like his administration is at war with the truth, the president’s army of propagandists seems relentless. And just when it looks darkest, we have the young RBG, ABJ, to remind us that “the truth still matters.”
It’s a beautiful and weirdly tragic moment, watching ABJ beat back against the current of Trumpism. ABJ reminds us that some day the truth will matter once again, that we as a people are better than the childish rhetoric and grotesque name-calling that is Trumpism.
Some day America will once again be a shining city on the hill, or at least a normal place, and not a partisan nightmare ruled by a moron. And when it returns to its once former normalcy, it will be because of judges like ABJ and not criminals like Roger Stone.