Revolted Colonies

U.S. Politics and Culture

Category: Government (Page 1 of 7)

The Times Still are A-Changin’

 

Our law school put on a show every year, spoofing the faculty. Ham that I am, I participated  in all three shows. I want to tell you about one of them. 

It was 1977, and I was in my second year. Two classmates and I wrote the script, and two others penned lyrics for our song parodies. Except for two that I had written. One was a parody of Ray Charles’ “What I’d Say.”  It was called “Res Ipsa Loquitur,” which means “the thing speaks for itself,” riffing on accident lawyers. The lyrics were funny enough, and we had a tort professor named Robert Waters, who many students called Muddy. The other song was an original entitled, “Be My Chicken.”  It was a pastiche of blues songs with risqué double-entendres. It had nothing to do with law.  

I rehearsed both songs for the cast and crew. They decided that the Chicken song was too dirty. It included the word “cock,” as in rooster. But I didn’t  mean rooster, Besides, rooster didn’t scan. The Chicken song was cut, but the ambulance chaser song remained, and it got lots of laughs.  Did I mention that Professor Waters was African-American, and I performed in black-face? In today’s America, the reactions would be the opposite.  I still do the Chicken song at parties, while the other received a suitable burial. I am embarrassed by my lack of judgment and empathy, but it was Florida in the Seventies. Red Ipsa Loquitur, y’all.

“My Fair Lady” is a 1956  musical about an uneducated Cockney girl who becomes  an elegant, middle-class woman under the tutelage of a self-proclaimed misogynist and elitist.  They fall in love – sort of—and she comes back to live under his aristocratic roof, the curtain falling as she retrieves his slippers.  She makes this choice despite the declared affections of an idle-rich young man, who haunts the woman’s neighborhood, winsomely singing,”Let the time go by, I don’t care if I can be here on the street where you live.” In other words, a Stalker.

In the 1978 film, “Animal House,” all types of debauchery and mayhem are exploited for laughs, including a college freshman’s attempt to intoxicate and have sex with an under-age girl. Statutory Rape.  Now that scene would end up on the cutting room floor.

Also in 1978, Rodney Dangerfield joked,” I have three children —one of each.” His joke about homosexuality was a harbinger for the politics of gender identity and its bathroom conundrum.

These are cultural touchstones marking the changes in sensitivity on issues of race and sexuality in American culture in the last sixty years.  We can look at the past as unenlightened, but except for myself perhaps, the talents behind these celebrated works were not cave dwellers. The current outpouring of accounts of sexual assault helps us as a culture move from the theoretical to the actual.  Millennials may know intuitively what we boomers had to learn. 

Victims of sexual assault have broken free of repressed and suppressed recollections, many involving cultural icons.  The accounts offer a look into sexual roles  going back thirty or more years to the present. Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein have been accused of rape. Bill O’Reilly has paid off cases of sexual assault.  Kevin Spacey and Roy Moore allegedly forced themselves upon minors.  Louis C.K. has admitted to exposing himself and jerking off in front of  several female comics,  a rumor that had circulated for years.  Those women have issued reports now.   At first, they did not speak up, in deference to his power in show business and that he’d been generous helping them build their careers. 

The case of Al Franken raises different  issues.  Franken, then a comic on a 2006 USO tour, admits  to aggressively kissing another entertainer in a scene calling for a “stage kiss.” This scenario was a recurring gag in 1982’s “Tootsie,” in which Dustin Hoffman’s cross-dressing character is repeatedly over-kissed by her soap opera co-star with a reputation for such hi-jinks. By the way, Dustin Hoffman himself stands accused of misconduct. The USO tours were enormously popular during earlier wars, when Bob Hope paraded a number of voluptuous women, immodestly dressed, in front of an audience of drooling GIs.   With Franken, the kiss, which was immediately repulsed by the victim, was embellished by a photo taken of Franken fondling or appearing to fondle the victim’s breasts while she was asleep on a transport plane.  The photo was included in a commemorative album distributed after the tour,  to the victim’s horror. 

Franken’s behavior creates a different kind of problem for the people who traditionally side with the victim.  Franken is now a U.S. Senator for the State of Minnesota, and he unfailingly takes the victim’s side in these situations. His allies and constituents are forced to reconcile Franken’s private lechery with his admirable public work.  Michelle Goldberg, a New York Times columnist, has called for his resignation or at least an ethics hearing. He is receiving a pass from many of his supporters.

The politics and the less invasive nature of the offense support Franken, but so do the outdated  mores of earlier times.  Franken grew up in the sixties and seventies.  Our “take” on sexual matters was different. A male was expected to be the initiator, and the female was the boundary setter. “No” was the word when uttered in combination with a physical withdrawal. The line was thus drawn. One might say that “No”  should have been sufficient.  But there was countervailing  part of the ritual that called for a certain amount of female protest, as if to say, “I don’t l, do this but, well, because it’s you…” Face was saved, parental encomiums heard but not always followed.

Franken and his fellow player were performers in a show. This isn’t meant to suggest that Franken was justified: it was “Tootsie” for real.  As a performer, he knew better. The photo was at the least in bad taste and at worst evidence of a battery, touching without consent while the woman slept.  Franken crossed the line.  Yet, I can’t equate it with the other scandals because it is by degrees closer to the aggressiveness that once was condoned.  However, if later we find out that Stuart Smalley really wasn’t good enough, his show will be canceled too. 

 

Louis Louis, Oh Baby, You Gotta Go

Louis CK

Louis CK, comedian, writer, produce and mentor to  young  male and female comedians, has also been a big jerk-off for a long time. This past week, accusers from past and near-present, told similar stories about Louis asking to masturbate in front of them. Louis rose to stardom as a stand-upcomecdian, from which he gained the power to help or hurt another performer’s career. Thus, several people, fearful of  reprisals, stood silently for this treatment until this week, when’s Loius’ situation erupted.

Louis’s M.O. was common knowledge in the entertainment industry. There were intimations published in the last few years. Tig Notaro, a Louis protegé,  beseeched him to come clean long before the story became news.  Louis ignored the advce but often made reference to his issues in his stand-up sets.  Writers are told to write what they know, and Louis heeded that.   The story has been  in his material for all to hear. Talking about masturbation to a full house is not the same as putting on show and tell for an audience of one. 

Media and advertising businesses buy Louis’ services. After the Weinstein and Spacey scandals of the past couple of weeks, the industries had an Action Plan in place. Louis’ new film has been shelved, and  his Netflix contract has been canceled.  Don’t for a moment believe that the industry response was caused by sudden knowledge or lucidity. Show biz, like baseball, is morally relativistic.  Louis CK was a moneymaker.  Alas, he’s been felled by a single stroke. 

CK also has a game plan compiled by avoiding the pratfalls of  his  predecessors.  

  • Bill Cosby, a pioneer in the field, and still the poster boy for miscreant behavior.  Just because he wasn’t convicted (yet), doesn’t mean he’s innocent.  Even worse, generations of kids saw him as a model parent.  
  • Harvey Weinsrein could not intimidate or buy his way out of trouble again. He’s accused of rape in addition to multiple incidents of assault. .He’ll never work in show business again, unless he gets to produce prison plays. Max Bialystock, move aside!
  • Kevin Spacey denied having come on to  a 14 year-old  — but if it even happened he was drunk. Spacey  by the way, acknowledged he was gay. Even my Dachshund knew that.  Too like, too late.  He got the Trotsky treatment, being  airbrushed out of the J. Paul Getty biopic.  House of Cards was shut down. Bryan Cranston says that Spacey’s career is over. Cranston’s on a PR feeding frenzy lately. Maybe Bryan wants to play President again and sees his chance to be the new Frank Underwood.. Power’s gone to his head.
  • Anthony Weiner and  Matthew Weiner,  both accused of misconduct, might consider a name change.  The optics, you know.

The big mistake these and other losers have made is that they claim innocence, then additional or new charges surface.  Judge Roy Moore, categorically denies assaulting a fourteen yeas-old when he was an assistant district attorney in Elowah County, Alabama.  Moore has been under invitation of ethical misconduct in the past. Moore was sanctioned for refusing to pull down a Ten Commandment monument he’d commissioned for his courthouse.  Besides he will  rely on the argument that the Mosaic Tablets says it’s a mortal sing to covet your neighbor’s  wife and his ass   It doesn’t comment on the neighbor’s daughter.  The Alabama hound won’t hunt. Right now, he’s running for U.S. Senate, and he probably figures that he has nothing more to lose.

CK may end up OK,  He went against the conventional wisdom by admitting his wrongdoing and the pain he’s inflicted .  Keeping with his confessional style, he also discussed the ill effect of power on his behavior.  He has taken a temporary vow of silence.  He’s a talented writer and producer. He ha a reputation for being supportive of young talent. His rising tide has lifted many of their boats.     CK is finished as a performer, but he may still find writing and producing work once he’s paid his dues.

 

General Kelly Fails History and Arithmatic

 

 

John Kelly, retired Marine General and current White House Chief of Staff, wandered into No Man’s Land the other day without his helmet. Holding court on the roots of the Civil War, he chalked up the conflagration to a failure of the parties to compromise. Please General, , put down your pencil and close your blue book.

Before 1861 the civilized world had rejected slavery as immoral. Racist views remained, as they do today, and colonialism continued to foster those views, but legal and social lines had been drawn. Our country could not come to grips slavery, putting economic interest ahead of principle. Even Russia freed all of its serfs in 1861, and nobody was mistaking Tsarist Russia for a democracy.

At the constitutional convention of 1787 the founders haggled over counting people, The size of a state’s congressional delegation is determined by the size of its population, which included non-voters, such as women and indentured servants, and non-property owners; excluded Indians not being taxed. The slave states originally endorsed equal counting for slaves until they realized that by doing so they would be recognizing equality. They were happy to compromise if it left the rationale for slavery intact

Hence, the odious three-fifths rule, the first of several ante-bellum compromises, treating each “other person” as counting for three-fifths. Still, counting a slave as a partial person is a cynical sort of compromise. After all, General, what marching orders would you assign to three-fifths of a soldier?

The three-fifths rule preserved the precarious balance for the original thirteen states. As a new state joined, it declared itself slave or free depending on its pre-statehood laws. In 1820, with 22 states evenly split, Missouri, a slave-owning territory, was presented for statehood. Seeking to preserve a balance between free and slave states, Congress admitted Maine, a free state, at the same time as Missouri, a slave state. The other part of this law, known as the Missouri Compromise, barred slavery in the portion of the Louisiana Purchase north of the 36’ 30” parallel. This line skitters along what became the north boundaries of North Carolina, Kentucky and Tennessee, all slave states. Another unholy compromise that only deferred correction of the structural defect baked into the Constitution.

Onward our sordid history did advance. The Compromise of 1850 strengthened the reach of the fugitive slave law while abolishing slavery in the nation’s capital. Still, the waters continued to roil. Each new state’s admission presented the country with the quandary of maintaining the status quo in Congress between slave and free states until 1861. The center did not hold, and war broke out.

When John Kelly said that the Civil War was caused by a failure of compromise, he can only have meant another deal that would perpetuate slavery in the United States. Each compromise that failed to recognize African-Americans as people, not property, was immoral. General, if you are going to be on the wrong side of history, stay on the other end of the microphone.

 

 

 

 

If You Like the Tax Code, You’ll Love the New Healthcare

There’s an old jibe about legislation: A camel is a horse designed by committee.   At least it’s true when sides are compromising to find agreement. Rarely does the process generate an outcome of equine beauty.  On a positive note, the result may be functional and sturdy, if a bit ungainly.

We long for simple answers: a flat tax with no deductions or customized loopholes. Sadly, it is a creature with the beauty of a thoroughbred but not much horse-sense. America’s a complicated country. We’d all like a one-size fits all plan that’s fair.  At the moment our tax law is complicated but nobody thinks it’s fair. We might be able to write a plan that a four year-old would understand but there will be critics – always- and simplicity does not necessarily result in fairness.

Universal healthcare the presents a simliar challenge. While a single payer plan with the same benefits for all resulting in high quality care is a worthy goal, in our heterogeneous country, One does not want to bear the burdens of the Other – no matter  if One has benefited historically from the Other’s free or cheap land or labors.  So be it.

Our benighted health care plan has absorbed an inordinate amount of attention for 7 years, even more so since the ascendancy of Ubu Trump.  This year’s  several variations had  the virtue of being simple but had nothing much to do with health care. They were about the RE-redistribution of wealth.  They didn’t tackle costs at all. If anything, insurers would have had freer rein to break the insurance market into segments. As for Medicaid, that “problem” would be eliminated first by burdening states with financial and administrative responsibility. The states then could make their budgets by curtailing the program in every different way imaginable.  The result would be Health Care 1.0, a return to the politics and economics of the  past. State by state coverage would kill the possibility of broad, diverse pools, the kind that make universal healthcare viable.

 Trumpcare would have disfavored the old and infirm who, with or without pre-existing condition coverage, would have to bear their own costs directly. The young and feckless could take their chances and ride bareback. Still, the young and feckless should appreciate that even if they eat right, exercise regularly and take good care  of themselves, one day they’ll get sick and die. Don’t bother to ask – the high deductible tolls for thee.  

And that, good people, is why there are horses and camels. While the GOP caucus has been fiddling, Senators Alexander and Murphy  have been trying to put out the fire. They’ve come up with a plan to stabilize the insurance markets, one which appears to have Ubu’s approval as a stop gap, one of those temporary measures that ripen into monuments. At least the future ex-president would not get to pull down the system by unilaterally defunding the subsidies and playing hide-away with the enrollment program, which is his current game plan. Democrats will vote for it. The ball is in the GOP’s court.

 The Alexander-Murray Plan, which is bipartisan (!), starts by accepting that Obamacare is the law and that the subsidies must be restored to maintain it. In turn, states would be permitted to offer a policy variant that affords less care and therefore costs less.  Healthcare lite perhaps, but health care nevertheless.  In a capitalist system, money always holds privilege. That’s an explanation, not an endorsement -and that’s why many of our horses have humps.

Prez to PR: I Know a Boat You Can Get On

UNICEF Puerto Rico Relief

How You Can Help

As far as Puerto Ricans are concerned, future ex-President Donald Trump has given literal meaning to the expression, “fair weather friend.”  The entire island was devastated by Hurricane Maria: no power, food or drinking water; destroyed buildings and submerged land.  Puerto Rico got pulverized, worse than Naples, Florida and Houston, Texas combined.  

You wouldn’t know from the White House reaction that anything but a Boricua Festival was going on down there.  The future ex-President, while barnstorming for 2020, has been consumed with  NFL and the NBA players who are protesting against police brutality, a subject he chooses not to acknowledge (see, e.g., Arpaio pardon). While he’s been profaning African-American athletes and lecturing them on ingratitude, the people of Puerto Rico, mostly Latino US Citizens all, have been largely ignored.  Some would say that he ignores them because they have no federal voting rights.Maybe he’s drawing plans to turn it into Trump Island.

Trump is sending a message to Puerto Rico. In so many words, “Vaya con Dìos.”  His purposeful neglect is part of the Bleaching of America, a White nationalist  regression to a White Protestant majority. Okay, and add White Catholics from Western European stock. Oh, and Jews – we’ll get back to you. But the brown people south of Key West need not apply.  Please don’t scratch the Wall. It was just painted.

Trump said that he will not rest until Puerto Ricans are safe, just before he took his afternoon nap.  In Puerto Rico, Governor Ricardo Rosselló begged for aid to avert a humanitarian catastrophe.  As reported by CNN:

“The governor joined others in emphasizing that Puerto Ricans are American citizens. ‘We need something tangible, a bill that actually answers to our need right now,’ he said.”  
 
Lest the carrot fail,  he added the stick. Rosselló continued:
 
‘Otherwise, there will be … a massive exodus to the (mainland) United States.’
 
Now, there’s a thought that would twist the Presidential nutsack. Massive immigration turning powerless islanders into weaponized voters once they establish state residency. As a matter of fact, Democrats are planning settlements in rural Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania for all comers. The runoff will land in Florida.  One would think that’s enough to scare Trump into action.  Of course, he’s overselling FEMA’s response, sending teams in to towns to take claims. 
 
Maybe he’s hoping the territories, thoroughly disgusted will decide to break away. Maybe he’s counting on that. In that case, you can expect new suitors offering Yuan, Rupees and Rubles.  Don’t say it can’t happen. China has run roughshod over Africa and no doubt would like to establish a beach head in San Juan, once the beaches are rebuilt of course.  Chinese Russian or Indian entrepreneurs,.  Anyone with the money to rebuild Puerto Rico will effectively own it.
 
Trump may chase Latinos out of the US but he is inviting other global powers into the Western Hemisphere.  President Monroe would be rolling over on his doctrine, John Kerry’s rejection of Monroe notwithstanding. The US would be very sorry to see Sanskrit, Cyrillic lettering or Chinese pictographs along the barren Condado boulevards.
 
The Donald’s dilemma: Rebuild the US territories and maintain hegemony or cast them aside, leaving them open to other influences. The tempests and US indifference have created the potential for Colonialism in the Caribbean. This may sound ridiculous.  Nevertheless, whoever saves the people of Puerto Rico will then hold the trump card.
 

A Pox on the Donor Class

When the True Media reported that the latest Repeal Obamacare Putsch is being spurred by the fury of Republican donors, I was, well, furious. This GOP-controlled Congress has spent most of its term trying to repeal our health care law with nothing to replace it. Improvements are out of the question. It’s a tax reduction wolf  in sheep’s clothing. 

These Senators are so beholden and beaten down that they cower before their corporate overlords. Money in politics has made the very idea of representation laughable. Our system is grotesque, a freak show unspooling daily, reality TV with consequences.  The wealthy GOP backers have been promised repeal for seven years, and they’ve paid a pile of money for it. With repeal failing, the donors are shutting the spigot. The pols are groveling to save themselves from financial ruin, from having that carpet of cash pulled out from ‘neath their feet. This is their last chance.

The exception proves the rule.  John McCain, diagnosed with brain cancer, no longer cares about the money, and he’s virtually alone in opposing the bill. He’s calling for bipartisanship, a pitch for unity in the waning days of his career.  Maybe he thinks that this will become his legacy, pushing Sarah Palin into the second paragraph. 

It would be naive to think that money in politics is new.  Its impact was never so blatant, its minions so obsequious.  They’re dispensing with hearings and an analysis by the impartial Congressional Budget Office. It’s yet another Bum’s Rush that affects one-sixth of the country’s economy.  Desperation’s in the air. Failure has few friends and fewer financiers. 

 

The Art of the Stall

One negotiation theory holds that your opponent will give in if you’re unpredictable, maybe really unhinged. Take North Korea, for example. Kim Jung-Un gets people thinking that he’s a rabid dog who’s broken into his master’s cocaine stash. He may say he’d drop a nuclear bomb on the US even though he knows that we’d turn the Hermit Kingdom into a radioactive sinkhole. That’s why he hasn’t done it and probably never will.  The Crazy Card works only when the other guy believes it, doesn’t know when it will happen and has a lot more to lose. Still, the lunatic might extort some lagniappe, like reduced sanctions because, well, you never know.

A career spent playing the Crazy Card against banks, bankruptcy trustees and trade creditors may convince a person – maybe a real estate developer-that outrageous behavior and the threat of self-destruction will always scare his enemies into submission.  When it comes to government work, though, that particular ploy isn’t transferable. It’s no longer a game of one-on-one. It’s one maniac invested with power threatening to unleash his demons against a roomful of powerful and, perhaps, less crazy people.

The other drawback with the Mad Dog act is that it is usually good for one roll of the dice. Once you show that you’re not really so bonkers, it’s tough to draw the same rubes in for a second round.  Say he’s screwed every major bank in the country, they’re not likely to jump into any more of his deals. It’s about that time that he would call Moscow or Cyprus banks for some of their cash, to put into American real estate, a nice way to clean up a hamper full of dirty money.

Playing crazy doesn’t work so well when your opposite number is  the rest of the developed world.  If he goes to the countries of the Paris climate accord and threatens to pull out, those other countries don’t feel any pressure to cave.  He’ll only hurt himself while the rest of the world watches.  It’s especially transparent when the ink on the resignation won’t be dry for a while.  No genuine threat, no imminent peril.  Those other countries will Ignore him.

The future ex-President promised to withdraw from the Paris climate accord because he thought it was one-sided. He went ahead and did it but no other signers gave him so much as a shudder.  Lately, getting no traction, the White House leaked that maybe it won’t withdraw or that it would reëngage if it could get better terms.  It took two 500-year storms to convince him that he was playing a losing hand. At some point, the Mad Dog will be thrown a bone, face-saving only, then he’ll get back in his kennel.

He’s trying a similar tactic with DACA, with a six-month sunset provision, to give Congress time to fix it before he blows up nearly a million Americans.  Within days he undercut his own declaration, because he realized from the backlash that he couldn’t carry out his plan. And to put a cherry on it, he bypassed his own party and made a deal with the Democrats.

The Wall is another exercise in the Art of the Stall. His first outrageous declaration – that he’d build a border wall and get Mexico to pay for it.  There ‘s still no wall. Mexico refuses to pay for it. He didn’t even get Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, his new BFFs, to kick in. About now, he’s deployed a group of five contractors to the southern border with some sheets of aluminum siding, a roll of chicken wire and some paint chips while  he looks for a bank to finance it.

No, Not Another Outbreak of Clinton Fatigue!

Pundits are speculating, “whither Hillary,” prompted by the release of “What Happened” (sans ?), her campaign memoir. Unfortunately, she is thrust back into the national spotlight. If it were solely a book tour, that’s one thing. However, people are gaggling about Clinton’s future role in the Democratic party. That road leads to ruin.

If I were her adviser and if she were receptive to advice, I’d tell her to step back. She, along with former Presidents Obama and Clinton, and former Veep Biden, doesn’t belong on the front lines anymore. She is now a party elder, a Super-Duper Delegate, a Democratic MasterCard. She is a power broker but no longer for herself. We’re not ready for an octogenarian in the White House unless it was Poppy Bush paying a social call. She is still formidable. She can play a part in realigning her party for the next chapter in our nation’s life.

Hillary should turn her considerable brain power and experience to building a new generation of public servants. She can mold a new class of men, women and fluids, whose values and political skills will draw powerful support.

I’d tell her to speak at colleges and high schools and even elementary schools all over the country, with little or no honorarium. She can be a role model as a former First Lady, Senator, Secretary of State and Presidential candidate. She can teach and write about political science and politics. In other words, part Work Horse, part Show Horse.

Indeed, we’ve got to get the Russians out of our politics and back into their own, but that’s work for the current office holders. The record on 2016 is closed. Hillary has now said her piece. It is part of the historical record. It’s time to finish that particular book.

We face new challenges, and we need the best talent to rise to these challenges. The best thing Hillary can do is to help return honor and glory to public service, which in her case means receding from it.

Trump Tacks to Test The Wind

I made a list of all the reasons the future ex-President swiftly adopted the Schumer-Pelosi pitch this week.

– I immediately struck Crisis of Conscience and Enlightened Self-Interest but did retain Unenlightened Self-Interest as a possibility.
– He needed funding in place for Harvey and Irma.
– Payback to Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan for paying him back.
– Recognition of the consequences of his DACA position after the protesters hit the streets, combined with knowing that this Congress won’t pass a savings bill without Democratic support.
– His reputation. He don’t know much about history, we know, but he knows about public sentiment. He wants better poll numbers, and a petting session with the opposition might drive his disapproval rating down. He doesn’t want a lasting reputation of incompetence or of being the most backward-facing chief executive in our history.
– It’s not about Russia.

Likely he put the squeeze on his Congressional leaders to bring the divided party together by weaponizing the Democrats with a big basket of year-end budget issues, DACA among them.

Who knew that running the free world could be so complicated?

This may be too much credit for him, or maybe this is the first bold move in a game of three-dimensional chess. If so, who’s his tutor?

The GOP rift has been the Bane of Boehner and looms as the Ruin of Ryan. The House can only pass draconian bills if the Speaker has room to bargain with a more moderate Senate. If not, Congress can realign by bringing a handful of moderates together with united Democrats. This is political heresy, but for Trump, politics is a means to an end.

Maybe we will finally reach common ground on DACA, tax reform and health care. Or maybe this is an aberration. He may retreat to his base. Follow your Twitter account for the latest change of course.

It’s no time to break out the hats and hooters naturally. It’s a very good time to press issues that will deliver broader acceptance to a besieged President.

Congress to Salvage DACA? Dream On

After Mitt Romney’s failed 2012 Presidential run, the Republican Party elders decided that they had to reach out to Hispanic voters to recapture the White House. Despite their stated goal to improve the effort, three years passed without significant outreach. Yesterday the GOP finally extended its hand to the Latino community. Unfortunately, the hand was holding a net and a grappling hook.

AG Jefferson Sessions announced that DACA, Deferred Action against Childhood Arrivals, would terminate, effective immediately. This action primarily affects Mexicans, who entered the US as kids. These kids, many now adults with at least a high education or a service history, a means of support, a record free of serious criminality and substantial. ties to their communities and families, will be refused the opportunity to remain here. They’ll be forced to return to their country of origin, in which they will be strangers and will have to make a new start.

The formal declaration was farmed out to the Department of Homeland Security, not the Immigration and Naturalization Service, suggesting this to be a security issue. It’s not. The rollback of the brown segment of the population is part and parcel of the administration’s goal of the Bleaching of America. The GOP tent is not big enough to allow brown Americans, even those who serve the country, pull their weight and obey the law. The administration’s intention was clear by its failure to make a serious Congressional effort to address the issue over the past sixteen years.

Every outbreak of nativism and violence brings reminders of the temporary legitimation of White Supremacy and intolerance in the 1920s, when the robed Klan marched down Pennsylvania Avenue. The movement went back underground. It’s never gone away.

The point was driven home with the election of Donald Trump. Trump’s attitude was clear from his support of the cockamamie Birther attack on President Obama. He put on the finishing touch in his candidacy declaration. Striding to the microphone in his gilt palace, he declared Mexicans, specifically, criminals and rapists, unleashing the white supremacist fervor to purify the American Birth Stock. We’ve already seen the emboldening of their xenophobic movement in Charlottesville and in the Justice Department.

Their tactic repulsed Latino citizens, not just the Dreamers which DACA was meant to assist. Outrage was immediate. Protesters took to the streets in many cities and states that are home to a significant Latino populace. Trump, expressing faux compassion for the Dreamers, granted a six-month window for Congress to come up with a plan before canceling deferments and renewals. This is ripe, given the GOP’s inability in this Congress to reach a consensus on any meaningful policy so far. More than a few GOP senators in states like Arizona, New Mexico and Texas have meaningful Latino voting blocs they are not willing to ignore.  On the other hand, their party as a whole reconsidered its effort to capture the Latin vote, then concluded that if they can’t join the Latinos, they’ll beat them.

 

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