At CPAC, Steve Bannon declared that key members of Trump’s Cabinet were “selected for a reason.” In the first 100 days of Trump’s presidency, that reason has become clear.
Donald Trump may be a racist, misogynist, sexual predator, liar and bully, but he is still president of the United States, and we underestimate him at the nation’s peril. Viewed in isolation, his policies seem idiosyncratic and incoherent. Viewed in context, they reveal a strategy to plunder the government of what is profitable to Trump’s family and minions and leave what remains smoldering in the ruins. This series — “100 Days of Deconsruction” — seeks to provide that context.
If Trump succeeds, little of what makes America great survives. But knowledge is power, so read these essays and keep fighting in this decisive battle for our country’s heart and soul.
I’m really getting tired of people deflecting, distracting, and using false equivalence about subjects they’re incapable of understanding. It’s especially infuriating when those people hold elected office in the United States Senate. Hello? Read a briefing. It’ll be one of those stacks of papers with words on it. Probably in a binder of some sort.
Susan Rice served as President Obama’s national security adviser. Republicans really hated her and used her as a negative talking point despite the fact she’s never been under an FBI investigation for treason and sought immunity.
Republicans are accusing her of making requests for the identification of Americans caught inadvertently in surveillance of foreigners, specifically those who work for Donald Trump. Rice has neither confirmed nor denied making such requests, but the thing is, it’s not illegal. In fact, it’s part of her job.
First off, after the national security adviser makes a request it has to be approved by the National Security Agency. Rice said she had sometimes asked for the names of Americans whose identities were redacted in her daily intelligence briefings in order to understand the context of what she was being told. The purpose, she said, was “to do our jobs,” but “absolutely not for any political purpose, to spy, expose, anything.” She didn’t say if she had sought names of anyone from the Trump campaign.
You know, we wouldn’t have this issue if so many of Trump’s people weren’t having so many conversations with Russian spies.
Requesting for an identification is referred as “unmasking.” When someone gives a name to the press, that’s called “leaking.” Unmasking is not leaking. Republicans are going to town accusing Rice of leaking Michael Flynn to the press. Who else knew Flynn had talked to the Russians and had lied about it? Oh, only the Justice Department, the FBI, the Trump administration, and god knows who else. The Trump administration kept him on the job for over two weeks AFTER discovering he had lied about talking to the Russians.
There’s not any evidence or smoke that Rice leaked his name (all that smoke you’re seeing is from Trump Tower). Despite this, every single unethical race-baiting conservative website went crazy with the accusations. Trump himself retweeted a link from the Drudge Report with the headline “RICE ORDERED SPY DOCS ON TRUMP?”. Like the all caps and question mark they used? Nice! The rule for conservatives is: If one conservative says it happened, then it definitely happened. Who needs evidence or anything to back up the accusation?
Tom Cotton, a United States senator, said “Susan Rice is the Typhoid Mary of the Obama administration foreign policy. Every time something went wrong, she seemed to turn up in the middle of it.” He was making another Republican reference to Benghazi.
Rand Paul, another senator, said the reports were a “smoking gun.” Rand Paul sure is sucking up to Trump despite the prez once saying Paul debated “without a properly functioning brain” and insulted his looks. Now they’re playing golf together. Maybe Trump had a point about Paul’s brain as, again, unmasking is NOT leaking. Right wing media does not provide smoking guns. And it is too bad about Paul’s face.
Senator Lindsey Graham (who once had his phone number leaked publicly by Trump) said he wanted Rice to testify. Testify based upon a theory? I’m really looking forward to the House and Senate investigations wasting time on Trump’s conspiracy theories. You know, when someone throws you a stick to chase you need to make sure there’s actually a stick.
Another big bonus for these guys is that Rice is a black female. It’s a good day for them when they can combine their covert sexism with their covert racism. Way to go! Score!
To sum up: Unmasking is not leaking. If your entire campaign wasn’t talking to Russians on a daily basis, we wouldn’t be having this issue. Comprehension and not committing treason sure are difficult areas for Republicans.
Local Democratic parties are confronting a problem in the Trump era that is as confounding as it is unexpected: space. “I’m as busy this year as I was at any time last year in the heat of a huge election,” said Mark Fraley, chairman of the Monroe County Democratic Party in Indiana.
The resistance to President Donald Trump has taken a variety of forms, all of them well chronicled by the media. The Women’s March, which saw some 5 million people take to the streets in a single day, helped fuel the growth of Indivisible chapters around the country, and has itself continued organizing meetings and protests since. The groups Swing Left, Flippable and The Sister District Project are routing people to swing districts where they can be most effective.
Democrats have already won two special elections in Virginia since November, and the state House and governor’s mansion will be up for grabs this fall. If Democrats can ride a new wave into power, the gerrymandering of 2010 can be rolled back. Local officials say they’re focused on creating a positive vision and a constant stream of activities to keep these new activists engaged.
Amid it all, observers and participants alike have wondered what the name is for this nascent movement. The Resistance? The Opposition?
But if the swelling ranks of county-level meetings are an indication of things to come, the grassroots movement underway already has a name. It’s called the Democratic Party.
Shocked by the outcome of the election and fearful for the future of the country, people of all ages, some of them Democrats, some independents, some Greens, found the time and location of a local party meeting and showed up.
Grass-roots movements can be the life and death of political leaders. It’s a well-worn story now about how John A. Boehner, then House minority leader, joined a rising star in his caucus, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, in April 2009 for one of the first major tea party protests in the California Republican’s home town of Bakersfield.
It’s a well-worn story now about how John A. Boehner, then House minority leader, joined a rising star in his caucus, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, in April 2009 for one of the first major tea party protests in the California Republican’s home town of Bakersfield.
A little more than six years later, after they surfed that wave into power, the movement consumed both of them. Boehner was driven out of the House speaker’s office and McCarthy’s expected succession fell apart, leaving him stuck at the rank of majority leader.
The women’s marches that brought millions onto streets across the country the day after Trump’s inauguration — spurred organically through social media — opened Democratic leaders’ eyes to the possibilities.
Democrats are well aware of that history as they try to tap the energy of the roiling liberal activists who have staged rallies and marches in the first three weeks of Donald Trump’s presidency.
What if they can fuse these protesters, many of whom have never been politically active, into the liberal firmament? What if a new tea party is arising, with the energy and enthusiasm to bring out new voters and make a real difference at the polls, starting with the 2018 midterm elections?
If you’re gearing up to become an activist for the next four years, I commend you and look forward to standing beside you.
But before we head out to the barricades together, there’s something you need to know.
This is not going to be an easy four years. We’re going to be subjected to constant gaslighting by the President and his administration. We’ll be dealing with a ferocious, multi-front attack on the entire progressive agenda, without exception, and a lot of it is going to succeed. We’re going to helplessly watch institutions we care about and depend upon destroyed. The Trump years are going to be emotionally exhausting and deeply traumatic for all of us, but particularly to those dedicated to protecting the vulnerable and preserving democracy.
Professional organizers and veteran activists have strategies for staying sane during a long fight. If you’re serious about sticking it out in the picket lines for the duration of the Trump presidency, you’re going to have to learn these strategies or else burn out in the first six months.
1. Don’t Get Used to Trump — Get Away From Him
2. Focus Your Energy on One or Two Issues
3. Make Activism Fun
4. Take Care of the Basics