Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Senate Dems can stop Trump - if they have the guts to do it

The Trump agenda is dictatorial and anti-democratic. Our United States Senators should be standing up and howling … and then tearing into the Trump administration’s actions tooth and nail. They ought to be throwing the legislative book at all of Trump’s actions. They ought to be calling out Conway and Spicer for the egregious falsehoods spun in the national media each day.

Which senators can do this? Apparently not Republican senators. As Bob Lord explains in Profiles in Cowardice at Blog for Arizona, they live in fear of their most rabid voters in spite of their minority. David Brooks amplifies on the Republican’s deal with Devil Donald in The Republican Fausts.

Many Republican members of Congress have made a Faustian bargain with Donald Trump. They don’t particularly admire him as a man, they don’t trust him as an administrator, they don’t agree with him on major issues, but they respect the grip he has on their voters, they hope he’ll sign their legislation and they certainly don’t want to be seen siding with the inflamed progressives or the hyperventilating media.

Their position was at least comprehensible: How many times in a lifetime does your party control all levers of power? When that happens you’re willing to tolerate a little Trumpian circus behavior in order to get things done.

But if the last 10 days have made anything clear, it’s this: The Republican Fausts are in an untenable position. The deal they’ve struck with the devil comes at too high a price. It really will cost them their soul.

In the first place, the Trump administration is not a Republican administration; it is an ethnic nationalist administration. Trump insulted both parties equally in his Inaugural Address. The Bannonites are utterly crushing the Republican regulars when it comes to actual policy making.

… even if Trump’s ideology were not noxious, his incompetence is a threat to all around him. To say that it is amateur hour at the White House is to slander amateurs. The recent executive orders were drafted and signed without any normal agency review or even semicoherent legal advice, filled with elemental errors that any nursery school student would have caught.

The danger signs are there in profusion. Sooner or later, the Republican Fausts will face a binary choice. As they did under Nixon, Republican leaders will have to either oppose Trump and risk his tweets, or sidle along with him and live with his stain.

Trump exceeded expectations with his cabinet picks, but his first 10 days in office have made clear this is not a normal administration. It is a problem that demands a response. It is a callous, bumbling group that demands either personal loyalty or the ax.

Already one sees John McCain and Lindsey Graham forming a bit of a Republican opposition. The other honorable senators will have to choose: Collins, Alexander, Portman, Corker, Cotton, Sasse and so on and so on.

The problem is that the senators who are not in the “other honorable senators” group will stick with Trump. So, we cannot depend on the Republican senators alone to make the heavy lift against the Trump Tweeterdom and Bannon’s “personal loyalty or the ax.”

Robert Reich calls out Dems for the inadequate response to Trump and Bannon in his video Democrats Must Fight.

Anna Galland and Ilya Sheyman, Executive Directors of, go further in urging Senate Dems to catch up with us in The Resistance Is On the March. It’s Time For Senate Democrats To Catch Up.

The peaceful, inspiring, broad-based resistance to Trump and his shocking and extreme agenda will continue to surge. The people are in the streets — standing up, fighting, and leading. We’re doing our job. Senate Democrats must do theirs — by using every procedural tool available to stop Trump.

To their credit, some Senate Democrats, including Elizabeth Warren, Jeff Merkley, Chuck Schumer, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Bob Casey (among others) attended airport and other protest rallies this weekend. That they went to where grassroots energy was surging is an important step and they should be commended for it.

But that is not nearly enough.

Not 48 hours after millions had taken to the streets on inauguration weekend, a third of the Democrats in the Senate voted to confirm Trump’s pick to lead the CIA, despite his refusing to rule out reinstating the use of torture. Days later, numerous Democrats voted with Republicans to advance the nomination of Ben Carson to be the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development — despite the fact that his own spokesman says he is unqualified for the job.

There are many fights ahead — including important ones starting this week when President Trump attempts to fill the Supreme Court seat that Republicans stole by filibustering for nearly a year, and the Senate votes on Trump’s picks for Secretary of State and Attorney General, Rex Tillerson and Jeff Sessions.

Now is not the time for business as usual or playing by the same rules of the past. The moment demands more. The surging, agonized, energized grassroots resistance demands more. History will remember how our leaders showed up in this precipitous moment.

Just voting against Trump’s policies and nominees is not enough; Senate Democrats must use every procedural tool available to them to shut down the Senate. As Adam Jentleson, former deputy Chief of Staff to Sen. Harry Reid, points out in a recent Washington Post piece, Senate Democrats can effectively grind business in the Senate to a halt — if they’re willing to.

The peaceful, inspiring, broad-based resistance to Trump and his shocking and extreme agenda will continue to stand up, fight, and lead. The people are in the streets. We’re doing our job. Senate Democrats must do theirs — by using every procedural tool available to stop Trump.

The former Chief of Staff for Harry Reid writes about how Senate Democrats have the power to stop Trump. All they have to do is use it. in the above referenced Washington Post piece.

So what can you do? Start by checking out the The guide has lots of pointers on how you can be effective. Don’t want to march? You can make calls to your MoCs (members of congress) about specific Trumpian actions you want them to oppose or legislation you want them to support. And the authors of the guide provide timely alerts like this one on the Muslim and refugee ban.

Locally, here in Green Valley, you can join the new alliance4action by attending its meetings like the one today (Wed., Feb. 1, 1:00, Continental Shopping Plaza #203). At least monitor the alliance’s web site at and subscribe to its occasional newsletters and alerts.


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