Doc Yale

Democracy Trumped - The First 10 Days
King of Tiny Hands (graphic by the SOB)

Doc Yale read a lot of articles about the shenanigans of the Donald and the choir of trumpeters this morning.  And it seems that it may be time to compare our fears about the administration versus the reality we have seen. 

Three articles stood out in my mind.  One a piece by Garrison Keillor that reflected his Midwestern—cynical but upbeat—analysis:  the Donald is just as bad as we feared, he is not a nice guy or even in control of his brain—but we will live through it.  The second was an article from Time suggesting that the republicans are starting to turn on the Donald and it will just be a matter of time till they hobble him or turn him out to pasture.  The third, and most draconian, was a post by Yonaton Zunger, a writer I haven’t encountered before, titled Trial Balloon for a Coup.  The latter post seemed to be the most insightful and thus, looking at the title the most ominous. 

Roughly a month ago DY posted his analysis  and fears for the Trump administration (Democracy Trumped – December 23, 2016).  He stated:

“the most shocking/startling/unnerving realization of this election—that the institutions that have been an article of faith for many people for decades may not be permanent.  They include:

  • Free speech and a free press
  • A legal system based on law and equality under the law
  • Government of the people, by the people, and for the people (including future generations)”

And all the bluster and actions of the last month, and particularly of the last 10 days have confirmed that these fears are both well founded and central to the threats from the Donald and his trumpeters.  Let’s consider each of these.

Free speech and a free press.  The sad remnants of a free press in the country are being mercilously attacked as anyone even vaguely aware of the news can see. Steve Bannon, Donald’s ‘Trumpeter in Chief’ has openly said that they should just shut up and listen.  QED

A legal system based on law and equality under the law.   From my perspective this is the most troubling symptom of the Trump regime we are seeing.  Mr. Zunger, writing about the recent executive order restricting immigration wrote:

“the most frightening escalation last night was that the DHS (Department of Homeland Security) made it fairly clear that they did not feel bound to obey any court orders. CBP (Customs and Border Protection) continued to deny all access to counsel, detain people, and deport them in direct contravention to the court’s order, citing “upper management,” and the DHS made a formal (but confusing) statement that they would continue to follow the President’s orders. Significant in today’s updates is any lack of suggestion that the courts’ authority played a role in the decision.

That is to say, the administration is testing the extent to which the DHS (and other executive agencies) can act and ignore orders from the other branches of government. This is as serious as it can possibly get: all of the arguments about whether order X or Y is unconstitutional mean nothing if elements of the government are executing them and the courts are being ignored.

Yesterday was the trial balloon for a coup d’état against the United States. It gave them useful information.”

This is the most terrifying event.  If the agencies do not feel compelled to obey a court order and instead follow the dictates of the president and his minions then anything is possible.  Over the years Doc Yale has listened to many a radical even avowed revolutionary advocate exclaim “what they’re doing is unconstitutional” – thus betraying a core belief in a system of law.  But if the courts cannot function as a check on the executive (or congress) then our constitution means nothing.

The third issue,  Government of the people, by the people, and for the people (including future generations) has been clearly trumped by our new president.  But we will save discussion of that for later. 

 The solution:  RESIST!