GOP Holds Kids Hostage & Schumer Blinks

Welcome this 2018 to an America even meaner than it was in the disgusting year of 2016. Trump and his extremist bigots won a knockout tactical victory by holding innocent children hostage and daring Schumer to stand up for morality. Even with conservative (but not extremist) GOP Senator Graham both criticizing Trump’s racist advisors and coordinating a bipartisan group seeking a compromise, Schumer lost his nerve and gave away the store. So sorry, kids, you lose: after all the embarrassment and confusion of the shutdown, Schumer simply walked away empty-handed, and now the GOP knows how to control the Democrats.

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Making a Dictatorship

Dictators want to dictate. “Policy” is not a way of building a greater society but a way of manipulating the rest of the ruling elite for the dictator’s personal benefit.

After sabotage-by-tweet, Trump has walked away from the shutdown/immigration issue, content to manipulate the fate of hundreds of thousands of innocent young legal temporary residents as long as he can make fools of the U.S. Congress – in particularly the GOP members. Why? Trump is making the point that he and only he matters. By demeaning Congress, he stands alone as the Great Leader.

The policy debacle costs Trump little, because he does not really care about policy. The GOP debacle and the broader inability of Congress to work as a professional governing body together constitute the greatest gift Trump could imagine: he stands alone, with the whole ruling elite essentially on bent knee requesting the favor of an audience. This is what dictators want: they want to dictate.

Any conscious U.S. citizen can state the obvious solution to the shutdown problem: treat the children the U.S. invited into the U.S. decently, offer them safety from ICE abuse, define rules for allowing them to earn the privilege of U.S. citizenship, and fund the government. It’s simple, but GOP Congressmen desperate to win for the sake of winning (rather than for the sake of helping people) just can’t see it, and their blindness opens the door for Trump’s conceited manipulation.

State of America: 1/17/2018

Senator Flake Attacks “Stalinist” Remarks by Trump: “…shameful, repulsive statements. And, of course, the president has it precisely backward — despotism is the enemy of the people.” [Prepared speech text, as reported by CNN.]

 

State of America: 1/16/2018

Senator McCain condemns Trump attacks on free media: “Only truth and transparency can guarantee freedom.”

Bannon refuses to answer questions about his time in the White House while testifying before House Intelligence Committee: GOP chair responds by issuing Bannon a subpoena. Despite appearance of White House “gag order,” Trump is not claiming executive privilege. Rep. Mike Conaway of Texas says: “We’re going to get answers from Mr. Bannon.”

18 Democratic Senators Hand Trump Domestic Spying Victory By Opposing Open Debate: Anti-democracy rule by the two-party conservative elite is alive and well. Progressives: Wake up!

Kirstjen Nielsen, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Tells the Senate Judiciary Committee that the Administration is investigating ways to arrest mayors of sanctuary cities.

State of America: 1/10/2018

Federal Judge Halts Expulsion of DACA Pending Completion of Judicial Process: apparently, the judge thought that the rule of law takes precedence over arbitrary abuse of power.

Landmark Federal Court Decision Rejects GOP Gerrymandering in North Carolina.

FBI charges white neo-Nazi with domestic terrorism:  no word on whether or not President will be held guilty of creating a political atmosphere conducive to such terrorism or on any judicial investigation into possible direct links to the GOP.

Racism & Xenophobia Against the Rule of Law

Federal judge has ruled that DACA recipients cannot peremptorily be expelled without the normal judicial process of determining the correct legal path being completed. In the new age of arbitrary bullying of groups for political expediency, the rule of law has been upheld, protecting innocent individuals from arbitrary abuse of power by authoritarian officials. Just possibly, the politicians will now be able to engage in a mature, professional dialogue to work out a policy.

Once again  the judiciary comes to the rescue of democracy: rule of law first, policy decisions second. The young aspiring Americans in DACA obeyed the law, and the GOP, striving to make America smaller again, tried to punish (and expel) them for it. Punishing groups is the food of dictators trying to exploit social divisions. In case the point is not obvious, when you divide, the piece (in this case, white men or to be more precise, rich white men) is smaller than the whole. DACA kids are just the current piece the GOP is trying to eat. Abuse DACA kids today, legal residents who fled the U.S.-abetted El Salvadorian dictatorship of the Reagan era tomorrow, women who get uppity the next day, and soon it will be your turn. All of us who want a greater America, one that can be a modern leader and a model for the world, should strive for the re-unification of our society, not its division.

Refugees, women abused by depraved politicians, poor people cheated by tax Deform laws to enrich billionaires are all pieces of society under attack. the last piece will be comfortable, middle class whites who think they live in a free country where their vote counts.

Perhaps this court decision will give the Democrats in Congress enough backbone to resist GOP blackmail and refuse to pay the GOP ransom (more divisiveness in the form of the wall and a long list of other racist, xenophobic policies) to save the DACA kids.

Value-Based Mideast Policy

In contrast to the thunderous, highly partisan debate over domestic issues, we hear little but the embarrassed silence of the hypocrite from our elected representatives concerning U.S. policy toward the Mideast, despite endless war, starvation, protest, refugee flows, and failure of U.S. decision-makers to define an honorable, effective strategy. Perhaps values should be considered.

The current issue with Iran is the nuclear agreement, which should be kept completely separate from any consideration of domestic Iranian civil liberties (which some suddenly find to be a fashionable new thing to talk about). But certainly human rights is a legitimate issue for us all to discuss, so what would be a sincere, serious approach to the problem of domestic extremism by the Iranian regime against its own people?

  1. Define a human rights vision for all humanity including ourselves if you have that much ambition and vision.

  2. If you want to aim a little lower, define a human rights vision for the Mideast. Words are cheap–go for it.

  3. Or, actually implement a sincere policy to promote your vision, which means treating everyone (let’s limit this to the Mideast for now) equally.

The most crucial human rights crises in the Mideast at the moment include Turkish repression of its Kurds, Saudi air war in Yemen, Israeli repression of Palestinians, and Iran’s repression of all its citizens. When Washington applies the same human rights standards to Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Iran, then we Americans will have a foreign policy position to be proud of. Is there a single major spokesperson representing the GOP, the Democrats, or progressives advocating such a value-based Mideast policy?

State of America: 1/6/2018

Trump reiterates 2017 intent to hold DACA children hostage to his anti-immigrant policy: GOP-only strategic planning at Camp David leads to fresh ideas and a desire for “bipartisan cooperation” [in the words of the astute McConnell]!