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In a July 9, 2008 photo, the 560-foot nuclear submarine USS Nebraska surfaces near Seattle after 100 days on patrol beneath the waves. Nuclear-armed U.S. submarines that went more than a decade without calling on foreign ports in part because of post-Sept. 11 security concerns are once again visiting other countries, a shift intended to underscore their global presence and lift sailor morale. (Mike Konz/The Daily Hub via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

The politicization of what used to be our justice system, and its use as a political weapon by partisan government officials, is the most dangerous trend of our time. The rot has gone beyond the FBI and DOJ, beyond the State Attorneys General, beyond local District Attorneys. Now even the Judicial Branch is becoming blatantly partisan. We’re not going to have a country if this keeps up, because no one will be able to trust the government. No one will even dare speak, for fear they will be sued or charged with a crime by some government official who doesn’t like their politics.

The proximate cause of this column is the decision by the Attorney General of the State of New York to use her office to try to put the NRA out of business. We all know this to be something that Democratic partisans have dreamed of for decades. But where does it go? What’s next? Does the Attorney General of Texas now move to bankrupt Planned Parenthood? Does Keith Ellison in Minnesota go after My Pillow? Everywhere we turn now, at every level of government, we see politically partisan government officials using the powers of their office to twist our law enforcement and judicial machinery into a tool of partisan politics.

I’m not worried about the NRA. They have good lawyers, lots of money, and powerful friends. They’ll be just fine. The NRA isn’t the issue. “Lawfare” is the issue — the use of courts and the justice system to wage war on one’s political enemies.

Let’s be clear that this is happening because at least some of our citizens want this to happen and eagerly vote for it. The above-mentioned Attorney General of New York ran for the office on a platform of using the position to “get” Donald Trump. Enough people voted for that promise that she won the election. If they now have to settle for her “getting” the NRA, they’ll probably forgive her… the same people who hate Trump hate the NRA. And they think it’s their right to use law enforcement and the courts to visit their hatred on those they hate.

It’s said that all it takes for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing. So far, a whole lot of good people have been doing a whole lot of nothing about this. We all know it’s happening. We all see it every day. What happened to General Flynn, and is still happening to General Flynn, is a disgrace. That the FBI would be involved in using the resources of the NSA to snoop on GOP candidates makes Nixon’s goons look like amateurs. All around the country, DAs are filing preposterous criminal charges for the sole purpose of creating political advantage. More and more we hear that “the process is the punishment” as citizens are forced to mortgage their homes and bankrupt their families to defend themselves against partisan political attacks from their own government.

This is not what most of us want. It’s not something anyone sane would want. We’re getting it anyway because we have among us some very short-term thinkers who either don’t know or don’t care that they are destroying the country with this act. They want this, they vote for it, and they are enjoying watching it happen.

We know how to deal with this. We learned it during the Cold War. It’s called Mutually Assured Destruction. If someone threatens you with overwhelming force, you get your own overwhelming force and you make it clear that if they blow you up, you will blow them up, and everybody will die. So far this doctrine, as distasteful as it is, has kept the world safe from nuclear annihilation for almost 100 years. It works. It’s simple. It can be done.

In particular, it can be done here, on this subject. So yes, “what’s next” really should be the Attorney General of Texas, or Florida, or wherever, filing a big, ugly, and expensive-to-defend lawsuit against one of the left’s Sacred Cow lobbying groups… Planned Parenthood, MoveOn, any one will do. Only these officials are in a position to counter what the left’s “lawfare” practitioners are doing. Partisan government officials spending taxpayer money to rain Hell on The Other Guys will keep doing it forever unless it starts to cost their own side some serious money and pain.

The public really cannot do much about this with petitions or hollering on the Internet or staging boycotts of entire states. We’re dealing here with rogue government officials acting in their official capacity, armed with the power of The State to levy fines and imprison people. Only similarly-situated government officials can provide the necessary incentives to put an end to the abuse.