It doesn’t surprise me that so many “so-called” voters (that’s a joke) are so profoundly ignorant with regard to the basic principles that “make America great” (some guy used that phrase recently, although his name temporarily escapes me).
I mean I get that if you were to conduct a poll and allow no time for a quick Google search or an appeal to Siri, most Americans would not be able to tell you what “separation of powers” means.
Given that, I begrudgingly accept that to some non-negligible percentage of the electorate, Donald Trump’s verbal assault on the judicial branch made sense. “He’s just trying to protect us!” some folks would invariably say, before adding incredulous, “it is so wrong that some judge can get in the way.”
Now obviously it is not so wrong. The fact that the federal courts froze Trump’s travel ban proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the American system of government works. That’s exactly the opposite of Trump’s message, but again, small-ish things like separation of powers are just too nuanced for some people to bother with.
But what does surprise me is the steadfast refusal to acknowledge the fact that everything Trump does is diametrically opposed to his campaign message.
- how do you reconcile “draining the swamp” with an inner circle full of Goldman bankers?
- how you do reconcile a pledge to be the people’s President with your son-in-law buying entire baseball teams?
- how do you reconcile protecting Main Street with dismantling Dodd-Frank, the very set of rules that was put in place specifically to protect everyday people?
- how do you reconcile fighting terror with allowing CIA chief Mike Pompeo to present the heir to the Saudi throne with a medal honoring his “counter terrorism” efforts?
And on, and f*cking on. I mean seriously, how stupid or willfully ignorant is this President’s support base?
If that support base refuses to answer the bullet-point questions outlined above, you can be sure there’s zero chance they’ll endeavor to understand why attacking the judicial branch is absolutely unconscionable, but I guess there’s always hope so I thought I’d highlight the following idiot-proof guide to Trump’s anti-judiciary rhetoric. Enjoy.
From “Donald Trump Has Put America In Legal Hell” via Foreign Policy
The president has said the following about the courts and judiciary over the last week in the context of two unfavorable rulings on his immigration ban: He called Seattle-based District Judge James Robart a “so-called judge” and dubbed his opinion in the immigration case “ridiculous.” He then tweeted that the judge’s “terrible decision” would be to blame if “very bad and dangerous people” poured into the country. He commented that even a “bad high school student” would understand that he, Trump, has the authority to limit entry to the United States. And ahead of a ruling by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, he remarked: “If the U.S. does not win this case as it so obviously should, we can never have the security and safety to which we are entitled. Politics!” The president called the 9th Circuit’s judicial proceedings “disgraceful” and described the courts as “so political.” In the wake of his insults, threats from Trump supporters directed at the judges involved in the case have led federal authorities to provide them with round-the-clock security protection.
Insulting courts is not the same as dissing, say, Nordstrom, Chicago, Mexico, BuzzFeed, the New York Times, or CNN. No matter how ill-considered and damaging, those aspersions are unquestionably protected by the First Amendment and comparable international legal protections. But the law treats certain types of invective toward the judiciary differently, recognizing that speech can dangerously undermine a branch of government whose authority vests in proceedings, opinions, and orders rather than in force. The judiciary can overturn the actions of Congress or the president yet must rely on enforcement powers controlled by the other branches to put its judgments into effect. That intricate interdependence is at the core of the rule of law, and the system has laws in place to insulate against efforts to subvert it.