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He Can’t be Serious

Banks’ tweet shows ambition is his only agenda

Published in the Journal Gazette May 10, 2023

By Chuck Zumbrun

Churubusco, IN

Congressman Jim Banks, in response to the Biden administration sending 1,500 US military personnel to the US-Mexico border to support the Border Patrol in administrative duties, posted on Facebook on May 2, 2023: “Authorize the use of military force against the cartels NOW!”

Like many people, Congressman Banks posts provocative statements on social media with emphatic capitalization but no explanation or details.  With this post it seems there are three possible interpretations: that we should use our military against drug smugglers on US soil, or that we should invade Mexico and attack Mexican civilians, or that this is an inflammatory post for political gain, not a serious proposal to deal with drug smuggling.

If Congressman Banks is proposing we should use military force against drug smugglers on US soil, he’s ignoring history, our long tradition, and legal precedents that we do not use the US military for law enforcement on our own soil.

Law enforcement and military personnel have very different training and purposes.  Law enforcement officers are a part of the community that they serve and protect. The lawbreakers they encounter are members of their own community.  If they use lethal force, it is in self-defense and as a last resort.  On the other hand, military personnel are trained to accomplish their mission, and to strike the enemy with lethal force to accomplish that mission.  Those the military attack are enemy combatants, not criminals.

Legal constraints of military operations on domestic soil go back to the aftermath of the Civil War and originated as the Posse Comitatus Act.  After the Civil War, white supremacists in the South used the law to prevent the military from acting as law enforcement to keep the South from imposing racist laws.

While that law has its beginnings in a disgraceful purpose, it has become enshrined as an essential safeguard that the military cannot be used to settle civilian affairs.  The origins of the Posse Comitatus Act go back even further, to the abuses the British military visited upon American colonists, who were then subjects of their government prior to the Revolutionary War. 

The irony that Congressman Banks would be proposing using military force on US soil just a few days before the anniversary of when National Guardsmen, acting as law enforcement officers, used automatic weapons on protestors and killed 4 civilians at Kent State cannot be overlooked.  Congressman Banks cannot possibly be suggesting using the US military for law enforcement on our soil.

That Congressman Banks would propose the US military should invade Mexico and use lethal force against Mexican citizens is even more preposterous. That was the plot of Tom Clancy’s “Clear and Present Danger”.  In 688 pages of turgid prose, Clancy lays out why invading a friendly nation by the military for law enforcement is an abuse of military power and a violation of our principles. 

Mexico is our ally, and while the members of the cartels are despicable criminals, they are not enemy combatants. To use our military to attack civilians would violate the Geneva Convention and basic human decency.  Congressman Banks cannot possibly be suggesting we should use military force to attack Mexican citizens on Mexican soil.

That leaves the conclusion that Congressman Banks posted “Authorize the use of military force against the cartels NOW!” solely as a provocation for a perceived political gain.  Since proposing either to use the US military on US soil for law enforcement or to invade Mexico is clearly absurd, it leaves political gain as Congressman Banks’ purpose in making this post.

As a Congressman, Jim Banks is entrusted with the sole power to declare war.  That he would take that power so lightly as to post something implying we should declare war just to enhance his political posture shows he cannot be trusted with that power.

Conservative columnist Michael Gerson, in 2022, said “this is now what it takes to win prominence in the modern GOP: a quiver full of culture-war attacks and a stout willingness to look foolish in public.”  Congressman Banks has no purpose except to advance his prominence in the GOP. 

Congressman Banks could propose real solutions, he could work with Democrats to create laws to deal with the genuine and difficult problems our country faces.  But instead, he chooses to post foolish and irresponsible nonsense solely to fuel his personal ambition.

Turtle Days Parade

Please join the Whitley County Democrats as we walk in the Turtle Day’s Parade Saturday June 17! Invite your friends and family to join us as well.

We need both walkers and riders for the Democratic float (chairs will be provided).

Staging for the parade will be in the parking lot of BRC and/or C&A Central. (Old Mahle Building). Staging will begin at 2pm (please be in line no later than 3:30pm).

Wear your Whitley County Democrats shirt or something red, white, or blue. (If you don’t have a shirt but would like one, they are available for $15/ea.)

End the parade at Churubusco Clerk-Treasurer, Madalyn Sade-Bartl’s house and stay for a party!

We look forward to seeing you there #GoBlue

Click Here for Facebook Event Page

Whitley County Democrats Meeting

Join us Thursday, November 17 at 6:30pm at the Peabody Public Library downstairs in Community Room B.

We need to take our anger and fear and turn it into something productive. If you’ve been sitting on the sideline, unsure of how to get involved, now is the time! Let’s join together and organize. Let’s make a commitment to do better next time.

Collectively we can use our skills to make a difference. Please join us!

WCDP Election Night Watch Party

Join the Whitley County Democrats for an Election Night Watch Party Tuesday, November 8 from 6:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. in Churubusco.
Madalyn Sade-Bartl, Clerk/Treasurer of Churubusco is hosting us at her home (328 N. Line St. Churubusco). Join us for food and fellowship as we celebrate a victory for our Democratic candidates.
Pizza will be provided, but please bring your own beverages. Please RSVP for more details and so we are sure to have enough food.

Event Details:

John Gregg & Christina Hale Bus Tour Stop in Whitley County

Heading into the homestretch, John Gregg for Governor & Christina Hale for Lt. Governor are taking the campaign on the road with a statewide bus tour for one final push to get voters informed, energized and out to vote November 8th. The “Moving Indiana Forward Bus Tour” will be making a stop in Whitley County, at Brewha Coffee House on Thursday, November 3 at 1pm.

Please come on out and join the Whitley County Democrats and give a great Whitley County welcome to our next Governor and Lt. Governor. See you there!

Where: Brewha Coffee House
When: Thursday, November 3, 1:00pm

Event Details:

Four County Democrats Dinner

Four County Democrats Dinner
Friday, September 9 at 6pm
Timmy’s Hall
1346 Randolph St.
Garrett, IN 46738

Glenda Ritz – Superintendent of Public Instruction
Christina Hale – Lt. Governor Candidate
Judge Lorenzo Arredondo – Attorney General Candidate