As I mentioned in yesterday’s article I was away for a week or so. A lot happened during that time period and I’d like to comment on some of it today. Let’s explore.
What I feel the most impactful, long term event will prove to be is Angela Merkel’s retirement announcement. Now you might be asking why an American progressive is concerned about losing a German conservative. Let me briefly tell you.
The German Chancellor is a conservative in the true and respectable sense of the word. Conservative and crazy are not synonyms. With the inauguration of isolationist Donald Trump as the American President French President Emmanuel Macron has become the de facto leader of the free world and Merkel has become the de facto leader of Europe. Right wing extremists have recently taken control of many European countries and typical of a new office holder, some of the bloom has come off Macron’s rose. The radical right wing is gaining in Germany. When Merkel leaves in 2021 who will take her place? Twice in just over the last 100 years instability in Europe has caused a world war.
I’d like to briefly address the caravan controversy. The bottom line is that Trump is resurrecting Dick Cheney’s 2004 scare the least common denominator among the voters into showing up and voting Republican strategy. Election Day is November 6th. As of November 1st the caravan was 800 miles from the US border and about 2,000 miles from their likely crossing point. Trump would like you to believe that it is 7,000 strong, growing, comprised of mainly men many of them gang members and terrorists. In reality it appears to number more like 4,000 most of whom are women and children fleeing violence – in other words refugees.
Right wing mythology is that the caravan is well organized and bankrolled by rich Jews, in particular George Soros. Many ISIS types are using it as cover to sneak into the US. Of course the non-terrorists will all take Bubba’s jobs away and vote exclusively for Democrats. When the males among them are not committing terrorist acts, voting for Democrats, selling drugs or stealing Bubba’s job they will be raping his women for recreation.
Let me just ask one question: If this caravan is so well organized and funded why are they walking thousands of miles?
Trump’s solution is to mobilize as many as 15,000 troops (his words) to the Mexican border. I won’t even waste your time with a discussion of the legality, logistics and practicality of this move mainly because I don’t see it happening. It is simply a pre-election, get out the vote ploy. Interestingly the estimate of the cost of such a gambit is $200 million of taxpayer money in 2018 alone. (The caravan isn’t expected to reach the border until at least mid-December and will likely number about 800 by then.) I wonder how many professionals capable of processing refugees in a humane order and in accordance with international law could be advance placed for $200 million? What ever happened to the fiscally conservative Republican Party?
Domestic terrorism was on full display during the past fortnight. First we had a Trump fanatic targeting progressives with pipe bombs. Then an anti-Semite Trump supporter burst into a Pittsburgh (unlike the White House Communications staff I can correctly spell the name of the steel city) synagogue and killed 11 elderly worshipers. Interestingly he was armed with several weapons he had legally purchased including an AR-15. (We have a gun problem in America and not being able to easily obtain firearms is not part of it.) The right wing blamed it on the synagogue for not having armed security. Preaching violence and hatred begets violence and hatred no matter how people like Trump, Sarah Huckabee-Sanders and Kellyanne Conway spin it.
Trump started off last week with a red meat tweet for his base by proclaiming he was exploring revoking the 14th Amendment and with it birthright citizenship via executive order. This is absurd (assuming a legitimate Supreme Court) but played well with Bubba. In order to revoke a constitutional amendment you have to pass and ratify a countermanding amendment. This was done once in our history; (the 21st amendment, enacted in 1933, was repealed by the 18th which was enacted in 1920.)
I have not trusted the Supreme Court for some time now. The addition of Brett Kavanaugh only deepens my mistrust. If somehow they were to ignore the Constitution and let a Trump executive order override an amendment this would create a slippery slope. For decades the Republicans have wanted to repeal the New Deal and Great Society. Their current interaction also wants to repeal Abraham Lincoln’s achievements.
There was more but this is all I have the stomach and you have the time for.
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