1100 | PT
The opening volley in
the coming battles
between a narcissist-president and the
Hickory chuckles in his grave
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
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
On Saturday night a federal judge in
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
Wanna' weigh in? Contact me: denis
[at sign] logophere [dot] com