Wednesday, February 1, 2017
It's working out very nicely
You have to marvel how Trump managed to set the world on fire in just two weeks in office. He did such a bang up job that he decided to relax at Mar-a-Lago for a few days and let the tempest he stirred up blow over before issuing anymore executive orders.
He's been a veritable signing machine, plastering his gaudy imprimatur to no less than 7 executive orders and 11 memos since assuming office. He's well on pace to shatter Obama's number within his first year in office. But, who's counting? Obviously, not the Republicans who feel it is "a waste of their fucking time" to have to respond to such questions. This is rather odd for Congressional leaders who decried Obama signing so many executive orders his last two years in office.
Even odder is that Trump didn't feel it necessary to consult with Congressional leaders before signing off on highly contentious orders like his travel ban. Even his own Homeland Security Department didn't know it was coming down until two hours beforehand, creating a panic at airports across the country as Homeland Security imposed this ban on returning guest residents and refugees alike, since the commander-in-chief didn't see fit to offer any exceptions to those who had green cards and valid visas. Well over 100 such individuals were detained at American airports and hundreds more were trapped in limbo at European and Asian airports.
It is hard to say who forged this hastily contrived executive order. Rudy Giuliani is gleefully taking credit, but the language points to Sessions' staffers, without consulting any ranking GOP leaders. This kind of underhanded move left many Republican Congressmen scratching their heads in public, wondering why they were left out of the loop. Problem is that it wasn't very well thought out and big chunks of it have been shot down by federal courts leaving Trump, Giuliani and Sessions with egg in their faces. Non-plussed, Trump declared that things were "working out very nicely."
Then came the Monday Night Massacre with Trump forced to fire his acting attorney general when she refused to defend his travel ban in court. What makes this all the more ironic is that his attorney-general-in-waiting, Jeff Sessions, specifically asked Sally Yates "if the attorney general has the responsibility to say no to the president if he asks for something that is improper?" Obviously, she thought the travel ban was improper, and is in a better position to ascertain this than is Trump's nascent judicial team, which is probably better versed in tax law. Not surprising, Trump went down to Palm Springs the next day.
One can only imagine what will come next. The travel ban essentially killed the big rally on Wall Street, as stocks tumbled this week from their record-breaking 20,000 plateau. This so-called "Trump Effect" had many thinking the new president was good for business if nothing else. However, the travel ban left many business leaders similarly scratching their heads, as they employ a great number of persons from Iraq, Iran, Syria and other countries listed in the ban, making it very difficult for these persons to travel. Mostly, they are appalled by the blanket nature of the ban, as are many protesters around the world.
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz saw a great opportunity to cash in on the crisis by declaring he would hire 10000 refugees over the coming years. I suppose the up side is that bucking Trump can also be good for business.
There are also shockwaves abroad. Iran retaliated with a travel ban against Americans. Britons signed onto a petition to bar Trump from entering the country, amassing well over 1.5 million signatures. The travel ban threatens the partnership the US has with Iraq in fighting IS, adding much unneeded tension in the war-torn country. But, the worst incident was the slaughter of 6 Muslims attending worship service in Quebec by 20-something French Nationalist. This came shortly after President Trudeau announced his country would accept all refugees turned away by the United States.
All this leads one to wonder what exactly is working out very nicely? With the stroke of a pen, Trump plunged not just the United States but much of the world into chaos. Does he see the World as a reality show to be pricked for his own amusement? He seems to relish the headlines he creates, not pausing for one moment to consider the long term consequences of these rash actions. I suppose he thinks he has his legal team to work things out while he catches up on his golf game.
Needless to say, his base is loving it, sharing memes all over the social media in reaction to the "fake news" being reported by CNN and other news channels. For them, the Muslim ban doesn't go far enough. All Muslims should be excluded from American soil whether they serve the country or not. Attempts to appeal to these Nativists' better nature fall by the wayside.
Our dear president has stirred up a foul tempest of frustration, anger and hate like he would on The Apprentice. He has chided Chuck Schumer for crying over the travel ban, but thinks what really caused the confusion at the airports was a glitch in the Delta reservations system. Not even Richard Nixon would have been this cynical.
We can only wonder how much more of this Congressional Republicans will put up with. He is making it very hard for GOP leaders to explain these rash actions to their constituencies. Not all of them represent red states. Until then, we have only the courts to rely on before he stacks them with his own appointments in the coming months.