Washington v. Trump

The Ninth Circuit unanimously smacked down the trump administration today in denying their request for a stay of the TRO stopping their immoral and unConstitutional Muslim ban. The administration could appeal it to the Supreme Court, but it’s not even clear they could get five votes for cert, much less five votes to overturn. The 9CA didn’t accept every single one of Washington’s arguments, but it didn’t buy a single one of the administration’s, and was particularly scathing about the requirements for judicial review and due process. 

The usual voices have cried out that American lives have been put at risk, even though no one from the banned countries has committed an act of terror on US soil. Those same voices are silent in the face of the 30000 US lives lost every year due to guns, the equivalent of 10 9/11 attacks. They protest at any hint of a limitation on sales or possession of guns, and never accuse the NRA of putting American lives at risk, even as the NRA insists that the answer to the deaths by guns in America is more guns. An American is more likely to die at the hands of a toddler with a gun than at the hands of an Islamic terrorist. 

People aren’t bigoted because they want to ban Muslims. They just want to be safe. They only want to be safe from certain kinds of dangers, it seems.

The Munich Post

The NYTimes brings us a story of the chaotic process of the fist few weeks of the trump administration. There are many little tidbits in it, most utterly predictable. trump is obsessed with his image, his ratings, as it were. He had the (mistaken) impression that everything was going just fine, that he was a resounding success, until someone changed the channel away from Fox, I guess. He watches TV all the time. He’s inordinately proud of the changes he’s made to the Oval, especially after he found out that taxpayers pay for them. He’s worn out about 6:30, so he goes to the residence to greet and watch TV and call friends to boost his mood.

Meanwhile, the small group of people running the country are working, assuming they can turn the lights on. Either way, they’re keeping everybody else in the dark, eschewing the normal sort of interagency review for speed. trump will sign what they put in front of them. Shadow President Bannon managed to get himself appointed to the NSC without trump even understanding what he was signing. When Bannon’s rumpled mug appeared on Time this week, it reminded trump that he’s angry about Bannon, so maybe Bannon reached too far.

In he meantime, Bannon sure seemed to be running things, and he likes the chaos. While everybody wonders what’s pgking on, he executes his plan.

Another leader who loved to creat chaos and take advantage of was Hitler. Trump hasn’t called for a Final Solution yet, and so far, there is still resistance to normalizing trump. But how long will it hold? As Ron Rosenbaum argues in the LA review of Books, our norms and isstituions won’t save us, only our people standing up can save us. 

And I remembered the Munich Post, defending Weimar Germany. I reflected on how fragile democratic institutions could be in the face of organized hatred. Hitler had been tricky about his plans until he got the position and the power to enact them. Trump had been tricky, neither accepting nor rejecting the endorsement of KKK leader David Duke. David Duke! The KKK! In this century! He claimed he didn’t know who he was. He couldn’t be disqualified because of someone he didn’t know. That’s where we all went wrong, thinking he was stupid and outrageous, not canny and savvy and able to play the media like Paganini. The election demonstrated the weakness of a weak democracy, where basic liberties could be abolished by demagoguery and voter suppression.

Our institutions aren’t designed to keep out trump, welcomed in through  the front door. It’s our duty , if we’re to save our way of live, to make Trumpism does not become normal.

Rule of law

In the firehouse of news and nonsense that erupts daily from the trump White House, it’s easy to lose track of yesterday’s stories. The Muslim ban has been subject to multiple court orders, but is CBP adhering to those orders?

There are numerous indications that the CPB and the administration are not. The ACLU is trying to get more info about what the CBP is doing, but obviously, this is a Big Deal. We’re not even two weeks into the new administration, and they’re already ignoring the judiciary? And yet there are still people like Sheryl Sandberg who think it’s too early to make judgments about trump yet. Lean in to trump if you want, Sheryl, but I know where I stand.

Nominees 

I agree with Jonathan Chait here; Dems should not cooperate in any way with trump’s illegitimate nominee to a stolen SCOTUS seat. If that means losing the filibuster, then so be it. 

For that matter, I think the Dems should delay, obstruct, throw wrenchs in the gears of the Senate and the House, and vote no on everything trump and Republicans try to do until and unless the immoral and illegal Muslim ban is overturned. I have called my Reps to tell them so; have you?

And Shadow President Bannon makes it clear that he would love nothing more than all out war with Islam, and a white Christian nation. It’s unclear whether trump’s white evangelical base understands what Bannon’s Chrisitianity looks like, nor his neo-Nazi shock troops.