Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Adam Kotsko — “Reasonable people disagree.”

About normalization. Donald Trump, who campaigned against Barack Obama's "government by executive order," now wants to use his own executive order to change the US Constitution as if that were "normal."
I’m old enough to remember when we suddenly had a “national conversation” about torture. As soon as the idea of the legitimacy of torture had the slightest toehold in the national discourse, every staged “debate” was oriented toward extorting torture opponents into admitting that there were some circumstances where it was warranted. Hence the infamous “ticking time bomb” scenarios. You see, absolute opposition to torture was an extreme position that couldn’t possibly be right — the truth had to be “somewhere in the middle.” And when the American people repudiated Bush and the Republicans to a degree unprecedented in the last forty years, Mr. Moderation himself decided that it was time to look forward and not backward and didn’t prosecute any of those well-intentioned patriots who let themselves get carried away and wound up doing a few regrettable things. And you have to admit, don’t you, that they kept us safe!

And I’m worried the same thing will happen here — that birthright citizenship will be permanently damaged by the very existence of this sham debate between the constitutional status quo ante of the last century and a half and this new idea that just popped into Trump’s head, both of which are equally legitimate “sides” in the brilliant “debate” that the media will be so proud of themselves for covering so even-handedly.
I am much more concerned about normalizing the view that the President can change the US Constitution unilaterally by executive order. That would, in effect, be the end of the legitimacy of the constitutional and constitutional process, making it what the president says it is. If that is not dictatorship, I don't know what is.

An und für sich
Adam Kotsko

See also
Now, I do think that the birthright citizenship thing may be a stunt that won’t go anywhere. And I agree with those who say it’s a trap: Trump is trying to get us to debate the idea in order to legitimize it. Even if he can’t actually do it, by introducing the notion, he makes it more viable in people’s minds, thereby increasing the chances that it will someday happen. By entering into an argument about it, we give Trump exactly what he wants….
Current Affairs
Be Careful About Relying On The Constitution
Nathan J. Robinson | Editor of Current Affairs

See also

Trump citizenship plan may not conflict with constitution: Pence

U.S. senator [Lindsey Graham] says will offer bill to back Trump birthright citizenship plan

See also

The Invalidity of the Proposed Executive Order on Statutory Grounds
Gerard N. Magliocca | Samuel R. Rosen Professor at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law


Trump Falsely Claims Power to End Birthright Citizenship
Jacob Sugarman

See also

The Invisible Caravans
Stephanie Leutert | Director of the Mexico Security Initiative at the University of Texas at Austin


Konrad said...

Trump wants to deny U.S. citizenship to children born of non-U.S. citizens. If the US Supreme Court checkmates him, then Trump will boast, “See? I’m up against the swamp!”

If the US Supreme Court does not checkmate Trump, then as Tom Hickey says, the USA will be a pure dictatorship.

Either way, Trump’s worshippers will cheer louder than ever, and his opponents will shriek louder than ever.

Meanwhile, as the peasants bicker, the gap between the rich and the rest will continue to grow bigger than ever.

Pence says that Trump’s threat is constitutional because the US Supreme Court has never ruled on the language of the 14th Amendment. Nonsense. In several cases (e.g. The United States v. Wong Kim Ark [1898]) the US Supreme Court has ruled that children born in the USA are automatically US citizens, whether or not their parents are US citizens. The only exception is children whose foreign parents are employed in a diplomatic or other official capacity by a foreign power.

Republican U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham said he would introduce bill to support Trump’s threat.

As you can see, all sides are devoted to maintaining public bickering, in order to distract the peasants from their ever-increasing poverty.

Konrad said...


“According to José and his traveling group, their economic desperation began in earnest after the 2009 coup in Honduras, and had been getting worse after the re-inauguration of current President Juan Orlando Hernández this past January amid significant electoral irregularities.” ~ Stephanie Leutert

“Electoral irregularities” means there was vote fraud, and everyone knew it.

The U.S. government (especially Hillary Clinton) sponsored the 2009 coup, and also supports the neoliberal dictatorship of Juan Orlando Hernández. As a result, the U.S. government has made conditions in Honduras unlivable. This is why migrants come north. They are desperate.

Average Americans don’t care about this. All they care about is, “Keep them out!”

Average Americans don’t care about their own increasing poverty. All they care about is, “Keep them out!”

“As Álex, a 20-year old Honduran migrant from the department of Santa Barbara, explained, ‘In the Western part of Honduras, coffee is the only source of income. There isn't anything else, no factories or companies. Now with the low prices and the coffee rust [a disease affecting coffee plants], it’s just not profitable and the sector is going under’.” ~ Stephanie Leutert

“Coffee rust” is a fungus that is spreading uncontrollably because of climate change. The fungus destroys coffee trees. This destruction, plus U.S.-sponsored neoliberalism, has wiped out the livelihoods of countless Hondurans.

Meanwhile the U.S. government continues to support the neoliberal Honduran government.

That is, the U.S. government keeps creating more refugees.

“Keep them out!”

Matt Franko said...