Republican senators discuss arming the government

“What (leftists) mean by ‘rule of law’ is they are the rule of law,” said Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, pictured during a news conference at the Capitol on Jan. 24. (Photo by Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call Inc./Getty Images)

Three Republican senators spoke to Congress Tuesday during a panel at the National Conservatism Conference in the nation’s capital about the use of government as a weapon and the problems associated with it.

The panel, hosted by former Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., included Sens. Ron Johnson, R-Texas; Mike Lee, R-Utah; and Rick Scott, R-Fla.

DeMint began the discussion by saying that the government’s weaponization of political opponents has reached “unprecedented levels during the Biden administration.”

The former South Carolina senator said the problem has been going on for a long time as the federal bureaucracy “continues to grab more and more power,” but that President Joe Biden’s administration has taken the problem to a Third World country level.

According to Lee, the left tries to disguise the use of armed governments as upholding the “rule of law.”

“But what they mean by the ‘rule of law’ is that they are the rule of law,” Lee said. “And if you go against them, you’re going to find yourself on the other side of the rule of law.”

According to the Utah Republican Party, the crime of former President Donald Trump and his prosecuted advisers was turning against the Democrats.

“They were on the receiving end of this lawfare campaign,” Lee said of Trump and his advisers.

But when lawfare campaigns fail and are invalidated by the courts, he added, they simply criticise the opposition as “against the rule of law”.

Lee pointed to the left’s demand that the Supreme Court get more liberal justices.

What makes the lawfare problem particularly acute, Lee said, is that there are now so many federal laws that can be used against Americans. He cited the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrance Act, or FACE Act, as an example of how laws can be weaponized.

The FACE Act “allows the government to prosecute you if you protest, engage in violence, or otherwise disrupt the operation of an abortion clinic, pregnancy center, or place of worship,” Lee said.

But the Biden administration is only prosecuting those who participate in pro-life protests outside abortion clinics, not protesters at pro-life pregnancy centers or churches, he said.

“You get guys like Mark Houck, a father of young children, who was prosecuted under the FACE Act for praying in an abortion clinic and being taken away in the middle of the night by a SWAT team in front of his young children,” Lee said.

The Utah senator said the weaponization of the government won’t stop with Trump and his advisers, because the left will go after all opponents. The Senate must be a bulwark against these abuses, he said.

Johnson argued that the Senate should do a better job of serving as a bulwark against armed government.

“Conservatives need to recognize what’s happening to our country. We need to open our eyes (to see) that the radical left, the progressive Democrats, are literally destroying this country. So our first job is to fight them and defeat them,” Johnson said.

The problem for the Senate, Scott said, is that there are “two dictatorships.”

On one side is Majority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and on the other side is Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Fla., Scott said.

The Senate is structured in a way that gives leadership too much power, the Florida Republican said. Bills are simply presented to senators and they are asked to vote “yes” or “no” without input or the ability to propose amendments, he said.

“This has to change,” Scott said.