On Saturday, Melania Trump attended First Lady Barbara Bush’s funeral. She was alone because the Bush family didn’t want the president to attend. While Melania Trump paid her respects to Barbara Bush her husband was playing golf and rage tweeting. This time he was rage tweeting because law enforcement is investigating several of Trump’s “best people” – including his “fixer”, Michael Cohen.
Trump’s meltdown actually began the day he found out that the Southern District of New York is investigating Cohen’s hush many payments to women Mr. Trump had intimate relationships with while third wife was pregnant and/or caring for their new born son.
I wish I was making that up.
The same day, the first lady was in Texas and Mr. Trump was golfing in Florida, Nazis gathered in Newnan, Georgia to hold a swastika burning ritual.
Again, I wish I was making that up.
Mic reported, the police were present – to protect the Nazis, aka what Trump once called “very fine people”. They even removed anyone the neo-Nazis decided took a “disrespectful tone” with them.
As Jack Smith IV wrote, the police were “less kind” to opponents of Nazism.
As hundreds of anti-racist and anti-fascist demonstrators arrived, police with rifles shouted for everyone to remove any masks. Those that didn’t comply in time were pulled out of the crowd and arrested. When one crowd objected, police raised their weapons at the crowd and shouted for them to get back.
The Nazi ritual in Georgia is a graphic example of what Trump had done to America. It is however, but one example.
The president of the United States used an anti-Semitic slur that originated in Nazi Germany to describe a member of the media.
When will Sleepy Eyes Chuck Todd and @NBCNews start talking about the Obama SURVEILLANCE SCANDAL and stop with the Fake Trump/Russia story?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 1, 2017
This is merely the latest in a full on assault of the media and people in it by a man who believes the media has a duty to recite his talking points without question.
On Monday, that president’s Press Secretary tried to suggest that patriotism means lawmakers must confirm Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State. Well, Ms. Sanders can rest easy since it appears at this writing, the majority holding Republicans will come through for her boss.
That said, voting down an unsuitable or unqualified candidate is at the very heart of loving one’s country. It’s only in that twisted dystopia where Sanders imagination resides that love means supporting destruction of your country’s institutions, values and reputation.
No Madam Press Secretary, loving your country means defending it from attacks by hostile foreign powers who try to poison our democracy with fake news, at times retweeted by your boss.
Loving your country means finding out if and to what extent the sitting president conspired with a hostile foreign power to win an elections.
Loving your country means standing up and speaking out when a presidential nominee is unqualified or has demonstrated behavior that renders them unsuited for the job they are seeking.
Speaking of which, law makers may confirm Gina Haspel, whose history with torture is so disconcerting that 109 retired military leaders wrote a letter to express their concerns.
The letter reads, in part:
Moreover, Ms. Haspel appears to have been involved in inappropriate actions that went beyond what was authorized by Congress or senior officials in the executive branch. Public reports suggest that cases of detainee abuse she supervised or otherwise had an operational role in involved conduct even more abusive than what the discredited legal memos supported. In addition to her role in overseeing and implementing torture, Ms. Haspel also appears to have strongly advocated for and played a key role in carrying out an order to destroy 92 videotapes of individuals in U.S. custody being subjected to torture. She did so despite federal court orders requiring preservation of all records pertaining to detainee abuse, and over the objections of congressional leaders, the Director of National Intelligence, Director of Central Intelligence, two successive White House counsels, Department of Justice officials, and the vice president’s top lawyer. This disregard for lawful checks on the CIA’s power is troubling.
Of course, Mr. Trump defines love of country as protecting him from accountability, transparency and law enforcement’s investigation of his unusual relationship with a hostile foreign power. Part of Trump’s version of love means defending the indefensible and the unconstitutional. Failure to do that results in twitter slander and eventual dismissal.
He fired Sally Yates because she refused to defend Trump’s blatantly unconstitutional Muslim ban, also known as the “travel ban.” It turns out, Yates was right about Trump’s Muslim ban which was ruled unconstitutional by the courts. Presently, the Supreme Court is considering the constitutionality of Trump’s third attempt at a law that seeks to ban people, mostly from mostly Muslim countries from traveling to America. One can only speculate what Trump will do if Neal Gorsuch rules against him, as he did in Sessions v. DiMaya – a case assessing the constitutionality of Trump’s policy on “sanctuary cities”.
For months, Trump expressed contempt for Jeff Sessions because he recused himself from the Russia probe – per DOJ standards and legal ethics. Sessions was the first Senator to openly support Mr. Trump’s campaign of hatred. He lied to congress in the name of protecting Mr. Trump. But that wasn’t enough loyalty for the man who believes loyalty is and must be one sided in his favor.
Trump fired James Comey – because Comey wouldn’t break the law to “protect” Mr. Trump. Trump fired Andy McGabe because McGabe’s wife ran for public office as a Democrat. He tweeted about it in the days leading to McGabe’s firing – hours before he was eligible for his pension.
Then there’s Alan Dershowitz’s defense of firing DOJ officials, including special counsel Mueller – based on the unitary executive doctrine. In essence, that doctrine argues the president is above the law – a curious position for Dershowitz to take given his long history as an advocate for civil rights. The two concepts are mutually exclusive, since the premise of civil rights is the right of any person to hold the government and officials within it accountable for wrongs done to that person. If the government is above the law, it cannot do wrong.
Also this weekend, Kelly-Anne Conway who deemed Melania Trump, “superior” to Michelle Obama during an interview on TMZ. Yes, Conway used the word “superior” for a white woman who championed the racist conspiracy theory of birtherism against a then sitting president who was also Michelle Obama’s husband.
Aside from the blatant racism, Conway’s statement feeds the false narrative that Melania Trump has done anything to make her a positive role model for other women and girls. She defended her husband’s lies (see birtherism and the Access Hollywood video) and she failed to stand up to her husband’s cyber-bullying after pledging to advocate against cyber bullying. Still, Conway’s statement fits the right wing narrative about Melania Trump.
According to Ronald Kessler, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/04/01/melanie-trump-runs-white-house-behind-scenes-new-book-claims/ she is “very powerful” behind the scenes and has a “tremendous impact on policy and strategy”
Since Trump was (s)elected by the Electoral College, America was down-graded. Yes, downgraded to a “flawed democracy”
When Trump took office he appointed the slimiest and least capable people he could find. Scott Pruitt’s corruption alone ranges from “renting” an apartment from a lobbyist to his security expenditures
There are reams of articles about various ethics infractions by Trump family members and cabinet members. Indeed, the challenge is to find someone Trump has appointed who hasn’t treated the public treasury like a personal ATM.
Trump’s swamp people are also inherently unqualified and unsuited for their jobs in the administration. He’s trying to spread the incompetence to the last institution that is functioning as it should: the judiciary.
One need only look at Wendy Vitter’s response when asked if she thought the landmark Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. School Board was decided correctly to see she is unqualified to be a judge – at least in the America that was a “full democracy” where the rule of law was far superior to the rule of a deeply flawed Donald Trump.
Trump nominated his personal physician to head the Veterans Administration – even though the excellent doctor doesn’t have any administrative experience. Trump sent Ivanka and Jared to role play as diplomats – even though they can’t get security clearances.
David Cay Johnston rightly refers to the destruction of our institutions from within as “political termites”.
Civil rights are being obliterated – behind the scenes by people like Betsy Devos, Kirsten Nielson and Ben Carson. Immigrants are being forced to complete pregnancies they don’t want, facing abuse – including rape in the sanitary sound “immigrant detention centers”
I’ve barely scratched the surface of damage Trump and his “best” swamp creatures have done to truth, to our political discourse, to our institutions and our belief in them. I haven’t even touched the fact that hate crimes , especially targeting Muslims have surged since the day Mr. Trump equated hate in all its forms with greatness.
Events that would merit days if not weeks of intensive news coverage have become secondary because we’re focused on how far Trump will go to stop Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Trump’s relationship with Russia.
The truth has become a casualty in this drama, as Trump and his band of sycophants lie about the fact that the Southern District of New York is investigating Michael Cohen after Robert Mueller correctly referred the case. While this sort of case doesn’t happen every day, the concept of prosecutors referring cases to the appropriate office is normal. In fact, that’s probably the only normal thing that has happened since Trump took office.
Indeed, the attention is warranted because this would take us deeper into the abyss of a constitutional crises than we are already in. I say already because the Republican congress is behaving more like a branch of the Executive instead of the co-equal branch of government our constitution empowers it to be.
It’s very easy to see why the United States was downgraded to a flawed democracy.
Note to Press Secretary Sanders: Loving one’s country does not and never will be about lying in defense of the indefensible.
Ms. Woodbury has a graduate degree in political science, with a minor in law. She is a qualified expert on political theory with a specific interest in the nexus between political theories and models and human rights.
Based on her interest in human rights and the threats that authoritarian regimes are to them, Ms. Woodbury’s masters thesis examined the influence of politics on the enforcement of international criminal law was cited in several academic studies.
Published work includes case summaries for the War Crimes Research Office.
She has an extensive background doing legal research in international and domestic law.
Ms. Woodbury’s work for politicusUSA includes articles on voting rights, the right to asylum and other civil/human rights.