It seems that every day we are confronted with a new outrage from our president. One day he’s accusing the former president of illegally wiretapping him while he was a candidate, the next day defending a serial misogynist, the day after that, congratulating foreign leader on anti-democratic actions or outright killings of drug suspects. Throw in the lies, faux pas, seeming ignorance of history and childish response via tweets to criticism and you get a view of the last 100 days in America. All this is going on while in the background we have an ongoing FBI investigation into his campaign’s connection with the Russian interference in our election and his continued conflicts with his businesses and refusing to disclose the extent of his business connections with foreign entities. Continue reading “Holding Enablers Accountable”
Yesterday Donald Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch to fill the Supreme Court seat vacated last year on the death of Antonin Scalia. McConnell and the Senate Republicans then disgracefully refused to consider President Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, for more than 10 months. As much as the instinct for revenge to strike back seems appropriate the Democrats should resist. They should all symbolically refuse to vote for Gorsuch but they should not filibuster his nomination. My reasons are as follows:
- Gorsuch appears to be a reasonable choice for a Republican president. He is not, however, a thumb in the eye choice like Jeff Sessions, Betsy DeVos, Tom Price, and Andrew Puzder.
- Gorsuch’s selection does not represent an ideological shift for the court since he is replacing someone of his own ilk.
- Despite his dismal poll ratings, Trump is currently at the apex of his power, particularly with his Republican base. He continues to feed that base with his largely symbolic executive actions. As such, Republican senators still fear him. As time goes on and his base began to see his incompetence and feel the effects of his policies his popularity will certainly erode.
- Should another appointment opportunity occurs and Trump puts forward a truly disgusting candidate, Democrats would be in a better position politically to go all out to oppose such a nomination. Additionally, Republican senators, facing a weaker president, would be less inclined to change the rules on cloture for SCOTUS nominations.
There is no guarantee that such a strategy would work for the Republicans are in the majority and have demonstrated that they have no ethics. But if one is going to fight to the death let it be for a reason for which one is willing to die.
We’re two days into the Trump administration. The sun still shines and life goes on as usual. Amid the dark dystopian message in his inaugural address, the continued propagation of “alternative facts” in his address to the CIA, and the devious campaign to discredit the main stream media, we see small green shoots of hope. First the Women’s March in Washington, DC, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and other US cities as well as foreign capitals around the world foretells, should it be sustained, an encouraging level of resistance to the Trump agenda. Additional in Davos, Switzerland, site of the summit on climate change, we see signs of other countries taking up that mantle of leadership of the Climate Change Initiative that Trump has threatened to abandon.
Admittedly, we have a long way to go (1459 days and counting) but, thankfully, it is more probable that most of the horrors that we imagine will not come to past. As President Obama aptly remarked in his last press conference, “…the only thing that is the end of the world is the end of the world.” It could very well be that Trump is the shock we need to kick start the change that Dr. King dreamed and President Obama hoped would come.
Our President-elect’s odd reaction to the relevation that the Russians orchestrated the hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) computer systems and the strategic release of information designed to hurt Secretary Clinton and to help him is disturbing. Given his history, the generally accepted explanation is that he is just being true to his ego-centric nature. Any information that suggests that Trump is not as great as he thinks or that attacks his credibility is automatically discredited. For the soon to be leader of the free world, that adolescent attitude would be concerning but, unsettling as it may be, an even more sinister explanation exists. Could Trump could be, even unwittingly, an agent for a foreign power? Continue reading “Our Manchurian President”
Are there any among you who are shamed by the blatant assault on democracy and social norms exercised by your representatives in Raleigh, NC last week? Having lost a closely contested race for governor last month, the Republican led legislature called a special session to pass legislation that severely limits the power of the incoming Democratic governor. At what point will you stand and say no to your party leaders who show no respect for any boundaries in their quest to gain and maintain power? Remaining silent in the face of these actions and robotically giving them your vote during elections are nothing less than endorsements of the same. Continue reading “A Letter To Republicans”
Viewing the current path of America, (and the world for that matter), I’m reminded of the 1975 movie, Roller Ball. In it, the world is ruled by multinational corporations that simultaneously entertain and brainwash the citizenry using a futuristic game called Roller Ball. Our free press, (which is actually not free but instead depends on ratings for funding), has been broadcasting the Trump Carnival Show (our Roller Ball) for the past 18 months. This distraction enabled him to narrowly win the presidency in spite of losing the popular vote and to now begin to seed key government positions with billionaire corporate types, a few politicians who unabashedly feed at the corporate trough and retired military generals who chafed at the principle of civilian rule.
As I begin this blog I am filled with sadness, anger, incredulity and despair; the full spectrum of emotions at the recent election of Donald Trump as president of the United States. The enormity of that result cannot be exaggerated. This is on the level of the world being found to be flat, aliens landing in central park or Big Foot being captured. All of what we generally accepted to be true about the world has been shaken to the core. We accept that there is a wide political divide among Americans and that such divisions may lead to heated arguments and sometimes distasteful actions but for the most part we carry on with our lives with the belief that those in positions of power are sane and have a modicum level of responsibility not to blow up the world. That assurance was based on the belief in the collective wisdom of the American people not to allow such a thing to happen. Continue reading “Mourning In America”