Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Reaping What They Sowed

He's now "a full-blown Trumper" in the words of Steve M., who directs us to an August 2016 article in the Huffington Post in which S.A. Goodman wrote

Jill Stein’s platform and value system correlate directly to the ideals Bernie Sanders championed in 2016. For Americans who refuse to abide by the political “extortion” of voting for Clinton because Trump is frightening (even though Bill Clinton likely urged Trump to run), Ajamu Baraka and Dr. Stein represent a viable option. Regardless of Bernie’s endorsement, a great many progressives around the country feel the Democratic Primary was rigged in favor of Hillary Clinton...

Ultimately, Trump’s major policies would never get passed Congress. Specifically, Trump’s border wall, widespread deportations, and immigrant ban won’t achieve the 60 votes needed to defeat a filibuster by Democrats...

Will Donald Trump’s major policies get 60 votes in the Senate? Will a border wall, mass deportations, or a ban on Muslim immigrants get any votes from Democratic Senators, or even the votes needed from every Republican Senator?

Of course not.

There’s a greater likelihood of Debbie Wasserman Shultz leaving her current job working for Hillary Clinton and joining Jill Stein on the campaign trail.

None of Donald Trump’s major policy objectives­, at least the ones that frighten progressives the most, will get passed the Senate, even if they possibly get through (and even this is a stretch) the House of Representatives....

Therefore, the scare tactic regarding Trump ruling the nation with an iron fist, deporting families at will and banning immigrants, is nothing more than cheap propaganda. Trump will not be able to impose his will upon the American people, and most of his major policy ideas can be blocked by either Congress or the Supreme Court.

Voting for Jill Stein won’t allow Trump to destroy the nation, because on war and Wall Street (the two biggest topics few people in the media have seriously addressed this election), Clinton and Trump have similar policies.

It's a safe bet that a President Hillary Clinton would not have put in charge of Elizabeth Warren's brainchild, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Mick Mulvaney or anyone else who had promised to abolish the CFPB. Nor would she have signed the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, which (Vox explains) "raises the threshold at which banks are subject to certain federal oversight" and is but one means by which the GOP Congress is humping President Trump's effort to emasculate Dodd-Frank.

And oh, the Supreme Court, which Goodman assured voters horrified at the prospect of a Clinton presidency would block President Trump's "major policy ideas" that Congress would not.

Congress itself has proven itself to be a rubber stamp, of which Trump may have been thinking when he boasted that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue in NYC and not lose any votes.

The President's travel ban was upheld on Tuesday by the Court because it wasn't directed against Muslims, though Trump once boasted he was "calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States," fashioned a ban against only Muslim-majority nations, then added two non-Muslim nations in what he said was an extension of the earlier ban. The New York
Times reports

The restrictions on Venezuelans apply only to a narrow category of government officials deemed responsible for failing to cooperate with the Department of Homeland Security in identifying visa seekers who are security risks.

While the restrictions on North Koreans apply to all, there are hardly any who are allowed by their government to come to the United States.

The travel ban was upheld by a 5-4 decision, with Justice Gorsuch obviously in the majority. So, too, did Gorsuch join the majority in its expected 5-4 (Janus v. AFSCME) vote overturning agency fees public-sector unions have been able to charge their members in return for representing them. It was a victory for free riders, who now will choose not to join their union, thereby encouraging others to do the same, and undermining the bargaining power of workers.

Stagnating wages have been a huge problem in the USA ever since, oh, 1981, when President Reagan broke the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Union.  Workers join immigrants as casualties of the Trump Court.

But that wasn't all.  By yet another 5-4 opinion including Justice Gorsuch, the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional the California Reproductive Freedom, Accountability,Comprehensive Care, and Transparency Act (FACT Act), which required medical facilities (such as Crisis Pregnancy Centers) to post information advising pregnant women where they "might obtain help, including financial help, with comprehensive family planning services, prenatal care, and abortion."

This may have far-reaching, devastating effects beyond reproductive freedom. Information mandated by the Act, according to the majority,  is "content based" and thus requires strict scrutiny to comport with the First Amendment. However, as Justice Breyer explained for the minority

This constitutional approach threatens to create serious problems. Because much, perhaps most, human behavior takes place through speech and because much, perhaps most, law regulates that speech in terms of its content, the majority’s approach at the least threatens considerable litigation over the constitutional validity of much, perhaps most, government regulation. Virtually every disclosure law could be considered “content based,” for virtually every disclosure law requires individuals “to speak a particular message"....

Thus, the majority’s view, if taken literally, could radically change prior law, perhaps placing much securities law or consumer protection law at constitutional risk, depending on how broadly its exceptions are interpreted. 

Radical escalation of signature strikes in the Middle East, undermining the Trans-Atlantic alliance, Wall Street deregulation, ripping children from their parents at the border, and other policies are all doing their damage. And on one day there were three decisions handed down by the US Supreme Court made possible only by a Justice nominated by President Trump.

"Come home, America" was once the rallying cry of the late George McGovern. Individuals who voted for Jill Stein or sat out the presidential race can come home in November, install a Democratic Congress (or at least, House), and start to undo some of the damage they chose not to prevent.

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