Not that I’m the sort to be repetitive, but let me ask everyone who voted for Trump, “What will it take to make you wish you hadn’t? Anything you could imagine in the future? Nuking California?” (Okay, bad example. We know the answer.)
Mere months ago most of those now defending Trump were complaining about Barack Obama’s “authoritarianism,” his executive orders, his vacations. OMG, he played golf! Insisting Obama hated America, they claimed he’d gone on an “apology tour,” was trashing the Constitution. Now, as those apocryphal Obama abuses have become real Trumpic ones? Silence. It’s one thing to approve the man’s policies, even though, so far, they’re bringing harm to everyone but polluters and the very wealthy. It’s quite another to overlook or excuse his wild claims, outright lies, and undisguised, premeditated attacks on the foundations of the republic. Like his latest: our independent judiciary.
After a Federal judge, right here in Washington, issued a temporary restraining order on his immigration ban, Trump did what Trump does: Besmirch. Threaten. Blame. Sean Spicer claimed the judge had “gone rogue.” Counterfactually, Trump tweeted “people [are] pouring in. Bad” and that future attacks at home must be blamed on this “so-called” judge. Manifestly, neither Donald Trump nor his most avid supporters have much use for our Constitution, especially when it requires following laws or respecting processes they don’t like. But this is as fundamental as it gets, the very heart of Constitutional law. Judicial review. Coequal branches of government. When a couple of Obama’s executive orders were limited by the courts, their glee was unchecked and unbalanced. What changed?
Observe Judge Robart, and decide for yourself if he seems to have gone rogue. Then, if you have the stomach, read comments accompanying the referenced video to see whether Trumpists understand how our American legal system works.
Without judicial checks on unlawful orders and unconstitutional legislation, the path to tyranny is downhill and unimpeded. Our founders knew that. Throughout our history, Americans have known and understood. But history stops with Donald Trump, his Svengali, Steve Bannon, and, it seems, Trump’s most vocal supporters. The danger is obvious.
Not being a legal scholar, I won’t opine on the constitutionality of Trump’s hasty and scattershot executive order. I do, however, understand the indispensible role of an independent and co-equal judiciary in our system of government. It shouldn’t be as hard as it seems to be for Trumpophiles likewise to understand. Nor should it require an act of courage or the ability to withstand hateful attacks for a judge to issue a restraining order.
But, okay: let’s give Trump unchecked power. Then what of his passing off Putin’s murderous acts, claiming the US is no better? Interviewed by Bill O’Reilly, he did just that. While Russia praises his silence, he’s said nothing about Russia’s renewed killings in Ukraine. Given the unknown depth of his Russian indebtedness, and the lack of interest of Congress’ former Benghazi-chasers to apply similar (or any) scrutiny, you’d think anyone who loves our country would be worried. I do, and I am.
And here's another Trump attack on America: his declaration that “negative polls are fake news.” News he doesn’t like: fake. The voices of the people to whom he promised to return our government: fake, if they speak against him. On vacation, playing golf after two grueling weeks of signing orders he barely read, he alleged the media aren’t reporting terrorist attacks, because “they have their reasons.” The White House later produced a predictably dishonest (and misspelled) list. In the O’Reilly interview he re-hallucinated millions of illegal votes for Hillary Clinton. Asked for confirmatory data, his response was, “Forget about all that.” And he’s still lying about crime and murder rates.
Pretty much covers all things America, doesn’t it? Trump distains the judiciary, the press, the opinions of citizens, the integrity of voting, and reality. He’d have us believe (because HE does) he’s the sole knower and dispenser of truth, and plenty of his followers are obliging, taking us downhill, picking up speed. This isn’t America-hating: if taken root, it’s America-destroying. We know his most devout apologists don’t care. Are none on that side starting to worry? If so, what will it take for them to speak up?[Image source]