U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to sign executive orders starting on Wednesday that include a temporary ban on most refugees and a suspension of visas for citizens of Syria and six other Middle Eastern and African countries....And:
Trump ... is expected to ban for several months the entry of refugees into the United States, except for religious minorities escaping persecution, until more aggressive vetting is in place.
Another order will block visas being issued to anyone from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen....
The orders are among an array of national security directives Mr. Trump is considering issuing in the coming days, according to people who have seen the orders. They include reviewing whether to resume the once-secret “black site” detention program; keep open the prison at Guantánamo Bay; and designate the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization.Trump may be threatening martial law in Chicago (tweet from Trump last night: "If Chicago doesn't fix the horrible 'carnage' going on, 228 shootings in 2017 with 42 killings (up 24% from 2016), I will send in the Feds!"). He's promising an investigation into (nonexistent) voter fraud that seems likely to conclude that you're part of a massive threat to democracy if you moved from Cincinnati to Denver and they never took you off the Cincinnati voter rolls, even though you're registered in Denver and do your voting there.
I will be asking for a major investigation into VOTER FRAUD, including those registered to vote in two states, those who are illegal and....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 25, 2017
even, those registered to vote who are dead (and many for a long time). Depending on results, we will strengthen up voting procedures!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 25, 2017
And there's the approval of the Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines, the gagging of many federal agencies, the upcoming Supreme Court pick, or the likelihood that every Trump Cabinet pick will be approved relatively easily.
Adam Serwer is right (and I was wrong in a few recent posts):
Nothing about Trump's erratic behavior has stopped him from swiftly pursuing his agenda; the wheels are not coming off, they're turning fine— Mazel Tov Cocktail (@AdamSerwer) January 25, 2017
The conflicts I've noted within the administration don't seem to matter, at least in these first flush days: the populist-nationalist bomb-throwers are getting their wall and their de facto Muslim ban, while the Kochite establishmentarians are getting Kochism sold Trump-style.
Trump brazened his way into the White House, and he has continued to be an unhinged, unchecked id. Right now it seems to be working pretty well for him.
So you'd think that his opposition might have to be equally heedless and unrestrained. Ahhh, but, according to Frank Bruni in The New York Times today, you'd be wrong:
You know how Donald Trump wins? I don’t mean a second term or major legislative victories. I’m talking about the battle between incivility and dignity.Really? It sure looked to me as if he triumphed all the way through the primaries and the general election when people fought him following Marquess of Queensberry rules. But go on, Frank.
He triumphs when opponents trade righteous anger for crude tantrums. When they lose sight of the line between protest and catcalls.
When a writer for “Saturday Night Live” jokes publicly that Trump’s 10-year-old son has the mien and makings of a killer.Is it? I marched in New York over the weekend. I heard no mentions of that joke. I didn't see a single sign referring to Barron in any way. The joke mattered only within the media demimonde. Most of America didn't even know about it until we were told to be outraged. (For the record, I agree that non-adult president's kids should be off limits.)
“Barron will be this country’s first home-school shooter,” the writer, Katie Rich, tweeted. I cringe at repeating it. But there’s no other way to take proper note of its ugliness.
That tweet ignited a firestorm -- and rightly so -- but it didn’t really surprise me. It was just a matter of time. This is the trajectory that we’re traveling. This, increasingly, is what passes for impassioned advocacy.
Look elsewhere on Twitter. Or on Facebook.No, Frank, you look. You're the highly paid columnist. If they're a cesspool of anti-Trump speech that gives you the vapors, quote some or shut up.
Or at Madonna, whose many positive contributions don’t include her turn at the microphone at the Women’s March in Washington, where she said that she’d “thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House,” erupted into profanity and tweaked the lyrics to one of her songs so that they instructed Trump to perform a particular sex act....The obvious point is that equally crude, equally threatening talk by Donald Trump himself (or by alt-rightist goons) somehow has never played into our hands. The less obvious point is that even before Trump, when a Ted Nugent made crude and threatening remarks against a Democrat it might inspire a brief flurry of news, but no mainstream media hand-wringer ever said that it tainted the entire Republican Party and conservative movement. When right-wingers go bad, they're like white men who become mass murderers: Every one is just an isolated case. When someone on our side steps over the line, we're all guilty. And we have to maintain decorum even during the presidency of Donald Trump.
All of this plays right into Trump’s hands.
I actually don't think you should make a speech saying you want to blow up the White House. But Madonna was not the central figure on Saturday. No celebrity was. The marches belonged to ordinary women (and girls, and also men and boys) who were peaceful and earnest and hopeful, if a occasionally too cheeky for Bruni's delicate sensibilities.
But this is how a large portion of the "liberal media" reacts when we're in a political war. When the roles were reversed, the conservative press unfailingly took the Tea Party's side against President Obama. Right-wing media voices had one answer for charges that the teabaggers were violent or racist: Lies, all lies. There was no self-criticism -- on the right, there never is, except when conservatives lose, and then they're faulted for being insufficiently relentless. That's one big reason the right wins.