Extreme Confusion

The title of this article is my two word description of the Trump administration in the process of creating itself. It seems that most of the anointed ones are going to be extremists and the process, right down to who is actually involved in it, is confusing. In the interest of brevity let’s explore using one person as an example – Chris Kobach.

Kobach is about as extreme right wing as an American can get. While his day job is being Kansas’ Secretary of State he spends most of his time writing anti-immigrant and voter suppression laws that legislators in red states file after they have (usually successfully) filled in the blanks. (There was one bill filed in Tennessee, if my memory serves me correctly, where the legislator failed to correctly fill in the name of his state.)

Kobach has spent about a week appearing on any television or radio show that would have him saying he was the lead person formulating immigration policy for the Trump administration, (more on this aspect later.)

Kobach hasn’t exactly had a sterling record of success with his laws being upheld in the courts. He can play on a “friendly diamond” and get Republican Legislatures to pass them and Republican executives to sign them but that is about the extent of his success. Kobach was the author of Hazelton, Pennsylvania’s anti-immigrant ordinance that was ultimately ruled unconstitutional.  The Kobach authored Arizona SB 1070 law better known as “Papers Please” met a similar fate. Alabama’s HB 56 had most parts of it declared unconstitutional by various courts. Of course the taxpayers, not Kobach or the Republicans who passed these laws, picked up the tab for the losing court cases.

Kobach is also the author of many voter suppression laws. That is not part of today’s topic; it is just another of Kobach’s “hobbies” along with campaign finance violations. He is not my idea of a character guy!

Kobach has been touting an immigration database of Muslims and building the wall. I don’t want to waste a lot of our time rechewing my cabbage on the wall issue. Here is the bottom line: It will be ineffective, Mexico will never pay for it and if it is built undocumented workers will do much of the labor. The “bright side” is that Trump and some of his donors (don’t be misled into thinking he self-financed) will be able to make some money off the project. That and placating Bubba are the reasons it just might get built.

The database runs into all sorts of constitutionality questions! For me and many on the left it is too similar to the Japanese-American internment camps during World War II. They came about as a result of Franklin Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066. In 1944 in one of its worse rulings of all time, the Supreme Court upheld its constitutionality in the Korematsu v United States decision. Korematsu is still on the books because it has never been really challenged despite the fact that several American Presidents have apologized for the internment camps which are generally look upon as one of America’s darkest chapters and one of FDR’s two great mistakes, (the other being a Court packing attempt).

So much for the extremism; now for the confusion: After a week or so of Kobach making media appearance claiming to be “the man” on immigration on the Trump transition team Trump’s spokesperson claimed not that Kobach had been fired, but that he was never part of the team to start with. On the bold assumption that they were telling the truth, it took them a week to make the statement? Doesn’t anyone in Trump Tower watch TV or listen to the radio? Kobach’s appearances included Fox News; that may as well be a subsidiary of the GOP and Team Trump.

If the run-up to the Trump administration is any indication of the “efficiency” it will operate with and its moral compass; fasten your seatbelt, it’s going to be a bumpy ride!

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