Bob Menendez, Taste of Hawaii
Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ). Photo credit: Senate Democrats / Wikimedia (CC BY 2.0)

The indictment of Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) dispels the notion that there is a two-tiered justice system that somehow disadvantages Republicans.

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The federal indictment accusing Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and his wife of bribery is detailed and damning. It describes how an influential member of Congress brazenly (and often stupidly) used his office to enrich himself. But it does, and will do, so much more than that.

First and foremost, it is important that Americans realize that nobody is above the law. Senators shouldn’t use their position to help their benefactors get rich in return for some gold bars, and (former) presidents shouldn’t stage coups, steal classified documents, obstruct justice, and commit a smattering of other crimes.

For that matter, Supreme Court justices shouldn’t accept gifts from billionaires without disclosing them, but you can’t have it all.

Then, once these powerful people have been credibly accused of wrongdoing, they should get their day in court (better sooner than later), and, if they are convicted, they should be punished.

But the Menendez indictment is about more than the equal application of the law. It also dispels the ridiculous notion that there is a two-tiered justice system that somehow disadvantages Republicans.

Unless, of course, you want to believe that President Joe Biden is some kind of brilliant and devious mastermind who has managed to “weaponize” the federal government, in particular the Department of Justice (DOJ), only to then turn that weapon on not only his son but also one of the more powerful senators of his own party.

Another good thing about it is that the American people will see how this kind of thing should be handled by a party that is not run by clowns.

Sure, Menendez gets to loudly proclaim that he is innocent and that this is some kind of plot to get rid of him because he is Hispanic. That’s fair.

He does so, by the way, in a manner that is completely sane. If you read the entire statement, you see that he doesn’t come across as unhinged, no words are spelled in all caps, and not once does he call on members of his party to shut down the government to save him.

Not that they would.

And that’s another way in which the Menendez situation is different.

On the day of the indictment, multiple Democrats called for him to resign.

“These are serious charges that implicate national security and the integrity of our criminal justice system. Under our legal system, Senator Menendez and the other defendants have not been found guilty and will have the ability to present evidence disputing these charges, and we must respect the process,” said New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D). “However, the alleged facts are so serious that they compromise the ability of Senator Menendez to effectively represent the people of our state. Therefore, I am calling for his immediate resignation.”

But it wasn’t just his governor. While Republicans are falling all over themselves to protect Donald Trump no matter how serious and detailed the charges are that he faces, a handful of congressional Democrats have called on Menendez to step down. And, mark our words, there will be many more soon.

It is interesting that there seem to be more Democrats than Republicans who are calling on Menendez to resign. Because how would GOP lawmakers justify that? After all, they are still all bowing down to Trump even though he faces many more serious charges.

That contrast between the two parties might be the most important aspect of this indictment.

It highlights that Trump has turned the GOP into a lawless cult that puts the needs of one person above the needs of everybody else.

So, thanks Senator Menendez for being a crook! You’ve done the country a real service.

Now resign!


  • Klaus Marre

    Klaus Marre is a writer, editor, former congressional reporter, and director of the WhoWhatWhy Mentor Apprentice Program. Follow him on Twitter @KlausMarre.

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