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Antinomian Opinion Page

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The opening volley in the coming battles
between a narcissist-president and the
federal judiciary

Ole' Hickory chuckles in his grave


Glenn Greenwald is able to use the large picture as a lens to focus on a specific event or problem better than any other writer I am aware of. But he, like all writers, has his limitations, and they really pop out in his Jan28 The Intercept piece about DTDuck imposing a "Muslim ban" with the Jan27 Executive Order. Nevertheless, Glenn Greenwald is Glenn Greenwald, which means the piece is superbly organized and his thoughts and concerns are stated with crystal clarity.  Anything this guy writes is a good read, even if you don't agree with all of his assertions.   

Muslim Ban: WTF? 

In his article Greenwald adroitly ties half a dozen threads together in slamming DTDuck's "Muslim ban."  There are something like 30 links in this piece and Greenwald throws shadow on everyone from Obama to FDR in a semi-historical approach to a semi- understanding Trump's EO.

But I'm sure the article would have been a total winner if Greenwald had actually read  the EO.  Or, perhaps, he is not reading the version I'm reading. Or shall I say "the versions I am reading" for there are at least two versions: an undated draft and a version dated Jan27|17, presumably the final version. They are not the same, for major "adjustments" took place between the two drafts, presumably as a result of feedback from Vladimir Putin, whose advice DTDuck apparently trusts more than his own career diplomats in DoS.  

The reason it appears to me that Greenwald has not read either one of the EO versions is that this EO is certainly not a "Muslim ban," as Greenwald characterizes it. The words "Muslim," "Islam," "Christian," and "Jew" don't appear anywhere in the EO. It is not a ban on any religion, much as Greenwald wants to pitch it that way. Yes, Muslims will be disproportionately affected, but Buddhists were disproportionately affected when the US rounded up thousands of Japanese in the 1940's, when the US nuked Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and when the US bombed the bee-jezus out of Vietnam for a decade, and yet no one in their right mind considers the motivation behind those murderous debacles as anti-Buddhism.

Besides, if this EO was a "Muslim ban," it would include Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, and Dearborn, Michigan. If Greenwald had accused DTDuck of setting up a "Shia ban," his allegation might carry more water since the seven countries listed [which is Obama's list, BTW] have more Shia than do the Muslim countries not blacklisted in the EO, but even then it would be a far stretch.

Syria Safe-zones: Not yet, provision removed from EO

One of the points Greenwald missed by not reading the EO drafts is that the first draft includes "Section 6 Establishment of Safe Zones to Protect Vulnerable Syrian Populations."  But it looks like that idea has been taken off of the table for that section was removed from the final EO, probably because of Vladimir Putin's immediate push-back on the idea. After getting a friendly reminder from Putin's people that the US in not in charge of Syria, Putin is, DTDuck backed off of that safe-zone proposal. At least for the moment. That's my take on the timeline of this thing.

The federal courts will be where DTDuck gets slammed to the mat from 2017 to 2018, and then it will be the election box

On Saturday night a federal judge in Brooklyn, Judge Ann Donnelly entered an emergency stay that prohibits USG authorities from executing the part of DTDuck's EO that bans certain nationals already holding valid visas from entering the US -- that would be Section3(c).

These judicial events just a week after DTDuck's inauguration presage battles coming in the next four years in which the federal judiciary will once again be repeatedly called on to protect the Constitution, which is to say protect the ideals and procedures that uniquely define America. It is an untold story from the Civil Rights Era how brave, largely anonymous federal judges in the south faced down violent racists trying to undo federal legislation and executive orders that guaranteed blacks their Constitutional rights. Here we go again. 

But this time it will be different in one very important respect: Instead of a federal judiciary supporting an executive branch fighting for people's rights, it will be federal judges squaring off against an executive branch that is trying to twist the Constitution into a document of repression. But once again the responsibility for protecting the Constitution will fall upon the shoulders of the federal judiciary. While I can see merit to much of what DTDuck is trying to do with this EO, the idea that he thinks he, acting alone, has the Constitutional power to nullify, with the wave of a pen, valid visas of thousands and thousands of people  .  .  . well, Judge Donnelly has just docked his clock on that point.  And good on her; may the rest of the federal judiciary be so strong.

But, of course, all of this raises the specter of DTDuck channeling the populist president Andrew Jackson who famously butted heads with Chief Justice John Marshall over the USG's treatment of the Cherokee, resulting in the forced relocation of tens of thousands of Native Americans.  Deja vu, here we come.

Anyone who lived through the "national nightmare" of the Nixon administration knows that presidential narcissism abetted by felonious sycophants is one of the greatest threats to American ideals embodied in the Constitution. Whether such narcissism succumbs to the judicial powers also embodied in the Constitution is a question that arises over and over throughout history, and ever will. 

Wanna' weigh in?  Contact me: denis [at sign] logophere [dot] com 



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