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Does Trump Understand the Concept of 'Free Speech?'

Yesterday, one of my readers sent me a comment about a column I wrote in which I used the Cambridge Dictionary definition of insurrection to argue that Trump should not be charged for violating the law (18 U.S.C. 2383) which makes it a crime to engage in a rebellion. The reader claimed that if I had used the ‘legal’ definition of insurrection, that I could not have argued that Trump wasn’t guilty of violating the federal law.

So, this morning I went to the federal code to get the ‘legal’ definition of rebellion.

Guess what? There is no ‘definition’ of rebellion or insurrection in the federal code. The words are used in 18 U.S.C. 2383 without any attempt to explain what they mean. In other words, to figure out whether Trump or anyone else engaged in a rebellion or an insurrection on January 6th, 2021, the Cambridge English Dictionary’s definition of those two words will work just fine.

Which brings me back to the latest attempt by Trump and his legal team to mount a response to the growing pile of indictments by claiming that all he was doing before and during January 6th was exercising his 1st-Amendment ‘right’ to engage in ‘free speech.’ And Trump not only insists that he can say anything he wants to say without being held accountable in any way, he has also announced that he will disregard any court order covering what he can say and can’t say.

Now, let’s be honest here, okay? Trump wouldn’t know the meaning of ‘free speech’ if his life depended on it. He’s not accusing Judge Chutkan of being in league with Hunter Biden because he believes this to be true or because such an accusation qualifies to be protected under any 1st-Amendment ‘right.’

He’s saying it because right now he’s getting more free publicity from the Fake News than he even got when he was President.

When was the last time you heard anything from either Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, or George Bush? Those guys are behaving the way former Presidents have always behaved – a speech here, maybe a brief comment there, and that’s that.

Of course, you can argue that, after all, Trump is in the midst of another political campaign. But this is where things get interesting, because even though the problems DeSantis is having with his campaign far overshadow what’s going on in the Trump campaign, for all his bluster and bullshit the polls don’t really show what Trump claims they mean.

Sure, Trump is 40 points ahead of DeSantis and the gap between him and the rest of the GOP is wider still. However, there are ten announced candidates in the GOP race, and most of them will drop out by the end of the year when they otherwise would have to start spending the big bucks.

Right now in Iowa, Trump has 44 percent of the likely votes. In the last six New Hampshire polls, Trump has one poll at 50%, the rest are between 34% and 43%. When the primaries get down to two or three bone fide candidates, we’ll see where the majority of the votes go.

And by the way, although Trump wasn’t on the ballot which was voted in Ohio yesterday, what was on the ballot in what has become a red state was the abortion issue which the anti-abortion gang really lost. Trump’s been waffling back and forth on this issue and ducks taking credit for appointing the Supreme Court justices who abolished Roe v. Wade. But without the Evangelical vote, Trump is dog shit next year.

To me, the most interesting thing about the GOP primary campaign is that Trump never talks about anything except himself. And at some point, this endless self-promotional narrative begins to wear thin.

But the problem for Trump is with all his concerns for the 1st-Amendment ‘right’ to free speech, he doesn’t have anything to talk about besides himself.

Which is why Joe will be re-elected in 2024.

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