Legislating Morality and other notes

It’s pretty clear that Mr. Trump has no core beliefs about anything, outside of grasping at any idea he feels might be  helpful to his overarching need to win at any cost and to see all opponents crushed.   His beliefs are purely transactional, as are all of his relationships.   Actually, Mr. Trump does appear to have a few core beliefs: vanity and vindictiveness are virtues, law, rules and norms are for suckers and that deliberate cruelty demonstrates strength.   His Republican colleagues in Congress appear to believe the same things, or at least, are afraid of the fervency of their leader’s belief in these things.

Some who have hitched their wagons to the Trump juggernaut may actually have deep core beliefs.  Stephen Miller, for one, probably truly believes in the Nazi-like shit he spouts, the Nazi-like policies he advocates. The same for the belief, in many a pious conservative, that abortion is murder, in every case, no matter what.  It is a truism, in a republic where church and state are explicitly separated in the nation’s founding document, that you cannot legislate morality, but we’ll see about that soon.

Lists were created for Trump of judicial candidates vetted for their fealty to bedrock conservative moral propositions like abortion is murder.   The federal courts are now packed with judges who are skeptical about a woman’s constitutional right to have the final say over whether to become a mother or not.   While each of these judges, when pressed, would probably give lip service to the proposition that the government may not make moralistic, religiously-motivated laws that violate the constitution, they will search diligently for a legally sound way to make anti-abortion laws  stick anyway.

A number of Republican states are in a rush to help in the overturn of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that protects an American’s right to a safe, legal abortion.  Many are the same states who rushed to implement voter suppression laws immediately after the Supreme Court ended enforcement of the Voting Rights Act.  

In Alabama, an impoverished state with a shamefully high infant mortality rate (and maternal mortality rate, for that matter), twenty-five right-wing men have decided to test Trump’s highly moral courts with a draconian law that imposes a ninety-nine year prison sentence on any obstetrician who provides an abortion in the good state of Alabama.  There are two such obstetricians currently in practice in Alabama under the stringent current laws.  

If you were to rape and shoot one of these doctors, and be convicted of premeditated murder and rape, you would serve far less than the ninety-nine year imprisonment mandated in this deliberately provocative test case anti-abortion law.  The same applies if you serially rape children in Alabama.  A nice touch that a female governor signed this anti-woman bill into law.

You can call this politics, the idea that a doctor performing her job, protecting the health and life choices of her patients, is subjected to a sentence many times longer than murderers, rapists and the most foul perjurers get.  This new Alabama law applies even in cases where a girl is impregnated by an adult rapist– no abortion NO MATTER WHAT.   You will have the goddamned baby, slut!

We need to get back in the streets, boys and girls.   Regularly.   These swamp creatures, true believers and cynics alike, must be soundly rebuked in 2020, but a lot of serious damage has been done and we need to be out in the streets, millions of us, showing the world, and the TV pundits, that Trump’s is not the America at least 61% of us want to live in.  

(By the way, Charles and David Koch’s net worth tripled under Obama).

While I’m droning on about the rule of law, and our morally heedless president, here’s one that caught my eye recently.  The president recently pardoned a lieutenant who took a prisoner outside, stripped him naked and shot him in the head.   The president apparently agreed that this American soldier had acted in self-defense against this dangerous, possibly al Qu’eada-affiliated Muslim and that it was intolerable that he had been locked up for five years just for doing his duty.  Mr. Trump has acted in a similar way in other cases, the optics, or legality, be damned. [1] 

One of Mr. Trump’s first, and most famously in-your-face, pardons was of the contemptible Joe Arpaio, the famously vicious sheriff who set up open air concentration camps in the desert that he bragged about repeatedly.  A federal judge eventually informed him that such cruel and unusual  incarceration was illegal (this was prior to Trump’s widespread use of punitive child detention camps– now cruel AND usual, yo.)  Arpaio reacted to the federal court’s ruling with what the court decided was contempt of court.  Trump, impressed by Arpaio’s in-your-face defiance, extended a full, in-your-fucking-face pardon for Arpaio’s contempt of a federal court order.    Mr. Trump being Mr. Trump.

There are so many reasons to get this foul, persistent shit stain out of the Oval Office, boys and girls, outside of the multiple, very weighty counts to be found in Volume II of the Mueller report, which people are still fighting over America’s right to see. 

We need to be in the street, millions of us.   We need to be there today, tomorrow and for as long as it takes.

Note:  Steve Mnuchin’s father paid $91,000,000 yesterday for a statue by artist Jeff Coons, after making the winning bid at an auction.   I am no longer wondering why Mnuchin has that smug fuck-you smile on his face every time he talks to reporters on camera and smiles about obstructing execution of a lawful request for the president’s financial documents.   An expression remarkably similar to the one on Secretary of Education Betsey DeVos’s charming, clueless face, or Ivanka’s.


[1]  from the Washington Post:

Or consider the cases of Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher and Army Special Forces Officer Matt Golsteyn. Gallagher is awaiting trial on charges that, without authorization or combat justification, he killed a prisoner in Iraq — and then held his reenlistment ceremony with the victim’s corpse. This March, Trump tweeted that Gallagher would be moved to “less restrictive confinement” in honor of his service to his country. And Golsteyn was investigated by the Army for the unsanctioned killing of an unarmed Taliban fighter in 2010, an investigation that was reopened when Golsteyn admitted to the killing on Fox News in 2016. In December, Trump tweeted that Golsteyn was a “U.S. Military hero” whose case he would be “reviewing.”


Meantime, Chelsea Manning is back in jail today for her ongoing refusal to comply with a subpoena related to the prosecution of Julian Assange of Wikileaks, an outfit Mr. Trump expressed “love” for numerous times.

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