Imagine a 17 year old adolescent in an over-fed 70 year old body with all sorts of insecurities who thinks of himself as being king of the world, and is surrounded by “yes men,” and you have an image of Donald J. Trump.
President Donald J. Trump is a Dorf. In certain areas he is very secretive, while in other areas he makes constant dramatic public announcements, always talking about his great achievements. Thinking back over former President Barack Obama’s eight year tenure as Chief Executive one remembers a formal signing of the Affordable Health Care Bill during his second year in office. Looking back after Donald Trump being in office for three weeks there have been innumerable signings of his many Executive Orders. He seems to take the position of a 16th Century European monarch, continually giving orders to the country. But we are in the 21st Century and many of his Executive orders end up being suggestions for Congress to pass bills, which they may or may not do. Most of his Executive Orders do not initiate anything. Others are like his tweets: single sentences that tend to be fairly to very general in the area in which he is dealing. The results of these can be obscure as his language use may not be clear. All of them are in a black folder ready to be put on a shelf in his library after he retires from office.
Among other things President Trump ordered the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) to not make any public reports about pollution or anything that would upset his plans to limit the industrial expansion by increasing pollution. He also ordered other units of government to not release or publish any similar type of information. In turn when the general public became aware and protested loudly Trump backed down. One wonders how much repression he is going to attempt.
In addition all ads urging sign-ups for Affordable Health Care (Obamacare) were cancelled. And this includes those that had been already paid for. His actions in this area threaten to undermine the nation’s medical insurance market by continually changing the parameters under which these policies are written, causing the insurance companies to lose their predictability factors as to what to charge for their services.
On Friday, January 24th, just four days after he had assumed the presidency, Donald Trump issued an Executive Order suspending the issuing of visas to Muslims for 90 days from seven specific countries: Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Sudan, and Somalia. He did not bother with our close ally, Saudi Arabia from which Osama bin Laden, the organizer and head of al-Qaeda, came.
The Secretary for Homeland Security is in charge of this move that is protecting the United States from foreign terrorist’s entry into the country. No refugee will be admitted into the country for the next 120 days. No one will be allowed in from Syria at all. Muslim students, who are in the process of going to a U.S university and have gone to visit their parents over the holidays, generally will not be allowed back into the country. Non-Muslims (Christians) from these countries will be allowed into the U.S. Trump has stated that this is not a Muslim ban.
The result of this has been mass confusion at the nation’s airports. The immediate effect has been to cause immediate confusion since a number of people from these seven countries were already in airplanes flying to the U.S. Also the Home Security Agents at the airports stopped all Muslims coming into the country even those who ordinarily live in the United States and are returning home to their families.
The Executive Order was passed with no warning. Military officers are contending that it will hurt their relations with members of these countries who are fighting ISIS. In fact an Iraqi legislator wanted to bring up a bill that would exclude all Americans from that country. Inside the State Department some officials are contending in a document that closing the nation’s doors to 200 million people in order to weed out a handful of would-be terrorists will not make the nation safer but might instead increase the threat of violence. The State Department affirmed the existence of this internal memo on Monday, January 29th.
Meanwhile it’s been madness at the airports across the nation with millions of Americans peacefully and loudly protesting Trump’s edict. The ACLU has been present at all these airports ready to represent the incoming Muslims. It should be noted that even some top Republicans criticized the directive.
The White House defended the Executive Order rollout as a success. On Friday it led to the detention of more than 100 people landing at airports across the nation with valid entry documents. Well over 200 individuals with valid visas were denied permission to board flights to the United States.
An emergency stay was issued by a Federal Judge in Brooklyn, New York on Saturday. In other areas of the country four other Federal Judges issued temporary stays. Trump tweeted about Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham objections that despite a rigorous existing security process, arrivals until now have not been properly vetted.
The interesting note or irony to all this is that under President Barack Obama vetting of immigrants could take up to two years. But under President Trump it is currently limited to 120 days. Apparently Trump has a need to direct everything as President. It as though in his mind nothing happened before he entered his new office. In any event he does have the ability to increase his negative image among the American people. He is probably the only president in the history of the country who can continually increase his unpopularity level among the people of the country. And this during his first week in office.
During the first week of February a Seattle Judge issued a national temporary restraining order on the ban after Washington State and Minnesota sued. The Justice Department appealed to the 9th Circuit Court. They argued that the president has the Constitutional power to restrict entry into the United States and that the courts cannot second-guess his determination that such a step was needed to prevent terrorism. The states argued that Trump’s ban harmed individuals, businesses, and universities. They cited Trump’s campaign promise to stop Muslims from entering the U.S., stating that the ban unconstitutionally blocked entry to people based upon religion. All three Judges on the Appeals Court sided with the states. The cancelation of the ban was continued.
Trump stated that he will appeal the case. If the second appeal goes before the Supreme Court with four conservative Judges and four liberal Judges and the result is a tie then the 9th Court Appeal’s decision stands. The probability, however, is that at least one or two of the conservative Judges will probably uphold the Appeals Court decision, then it will be 5 to 3 or 6 to 2 in favor of upholding the lower court’s verdict. Trump has a problem with rejection. What does he do then?
During his first twenty days in office President Trump has gone from crisis to crisis. In all probability each new crisis was supposed to wipe out all objections on the preceding one. In all it’s been a strong emotional ride for the American public.
First came his non-resolution for his conflict of interest. He refused to get rid of his business interests and set up a blind trust. Instead he turned all his business interests over to his older sons. Presumably he will have nothing to do with them while he is president. But as President-Elect he charged a multi-thousand dollar entry fee to anyone who wanted to spend New Year’s Eve at his party with him in his Florida club. He brought back the Keystone XL pipeline which Obama had canceled and in which he invested quite a bit of money. He also took on Nordstrom because they dropped his daughter’s business.
On his first full day in office there was the Women’s Protest March throughout the major and many minor cities of the United States and throughout Europe. This was a historical first in the United States.
Meanwhile he disrupted relations with our neighbor Mexico by insisting that Mexico will pay for the 12,000 mile Wall he is going to build between the two nations. The Mexican President cancelled a diplomatic visit with the “world’s greatest negotiator,” as Trump has defined himself.
He has insisted that Obamacare is a disaster and that it will be replaced by a better plan. The Republican Congress has begun the process of defunding Affordable Health Care but there doesn’t seem to be any replacements. In fact the only plan there is in existence now is a voucher system, which has been discussed but not acted upon. This will cost the recipients more every year since the probability is that medical costs will rise but the costs paid out in vouchers will not go up. The Republicans talk about making access to what will be Trumpcare available to all but not about helping fund it for those who cannot afford to buy it.
Trump generated the Muslim Travel Crisis to the U.S. without any warning to anyone. In essence he has shut the nation’s door to most refugees. Even though, at least, five Federal Judges have put temporary bans upon the order from Brooklyn to Los Angeles, Trump has declared his ban a success. He has threatened to make it permanent. An Appeals Court has found it unconstitutional. To Trump the point that it not constitutional would seem to be beside the point. He says that it is necessary to keep terrorism out of the country.
The former Acting Attorney General has refused to defend Trump’s Executive Order in Court. His response has been to fire her. An interesting note of interest here is the fact that when the Acting Attorney General, Sally Yates, was being questioned by the Senate, Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, the current, as of a few days ago, Attorney General asked her who was primary in her carrying out her function in the Department, the President or the rule of law? Her answer was the rule of law. Trump fired her for doing just that. He placed another person in her position who would use the Department to support the President rather than the rule of law. And now that Jeff Sessions is Attorney General where will he place the emphasis?
Trump has appointed a reactionary individual, Judge Neil M. Gorsuch, to replace the former conservative Justice, Antonin Scalia, who died about a year ago. A large percentage of Democrats believe the Trump has stolen a Supreme Court seat that should have come under the jurisdiction of President Barack Obama since Scalia died about a year ago and Trump has been President for a little over three weeks.
We are also dealing with the question of lifting sanctions placed upon Russia after she invaded and seized sections of some of her neighboring countries. And the issue of Sanctuary Cities where the local enforcement authorities cannot be used by the Federal Government to enforce Federal Immigration laws or edicts against Muslims. The California Legislature is currently dealing with a bill to make the entire state a Sanctuary one.
The interesting note of irony here is that the Republican Party is the minority political party in the United States. They have essentially gotten control of Congress by gerrymandering political districts and the presidency with a minority vote. Can Trump and the Republicans continue to enforce their will upon the American People? There is a midterm election in November of 2018 and a Presidential Election in 2020.