Ben Weingarten delivers a sobering message to Federalist readers.

Democrats are seeking to land a one-two punch to cement their control of America today and for generations to come: Criminalize the political opposition and cripple the last authority to which the opposition might appeal in defense of its rights.

This is one way to understand two running lines of attack that may appear independent but are inextricably intertwined.

The first consists of the unprecedented, Soviet show trial-style “show me the man and I’ll show you the crime” “cases” conjured up against Donald Trump and two dozen others in his orbit, chiefly including his lawyers. The zealous prosecutors have many motives for torturing laws to hang them around the neck of the former president and GOP front-runner in the middle of a campaign — a frivolous and vengeful prosecutorial effort pursued arguably in violation of laws, norms, and core principles of justice.

While turning the First and Sixth Amendments into dead letters, these cases also effectively criminalize the seeking of office of anyone who might hold unauthorized views, the Republican contesting of elections or questioning of election integrity, and such Republicans’ legal defense.

“You can go to jail if you disagree with us, and particularly if you threaten our power and privilege,” our betters are saying through their chilling lawfare jihad. The point is that if Americans cannot be trusted to choose leaders within a narrow set of regime-approved bounds, the regime will have to force them upon us by hook or by crook. Locking up the opposition has always been a potential endgame for the ruling class in its war on wrongthink. …

… The only thing that may stand in the way of Trump, or any other political dissenters threatened with contrived charges going forward, is the Supreme Court. This brings us to part two of the one-two punch: the Democrats’ sustained attack on the highest court in the land.