"The central doctrine of Christianity, then, is not that God is a bastard. It is, in the words of the late Dominican theologian Herbert McCabe, that if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you."--Terry Eagleton

"It is impossible for me to say in my book one word about all that music has meant in my life. How then can I hope to be understood?--Ludwig Wittgenstein

“The opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice."--Bryan Stevenson

Sunday, November 13, 2016

"All of them, Katie"

Send in the deplorables

The question is:  how many nights a week must the President be in the White House?

Mr. Trump, a homebody who often flew several hours late at night during the campaign so he could wake up in his own bed in Trump Tower, is talking with his advisers about how many nights a week he will spend in the White House. He has told them he would like to do what he is used to, which is spending time in New York when he can.

First, there's the inconvenience factor for people in New York, especially in Trump Tower (security, I mean).  Second, there's the fact the White House is a fortress, complete with anti-aircraft guns on the roof (rumor has it).  Do the words "Tower" and "New York City" call anything to mind for anybody else?

Third:  yes, the President travels, bur rarely, and only then with a huge entourage.  A President who spends weekends "at home"?  Huh?  Does this guy have a CLUE what this job entails?

But wait, there's more:

Returning home to Trump Tower from the White House may not be Mr. Trump’s only embrace of the familiar. His aides say he has also expressed interest in continuing to hold the large rallies that were a staple of his candidacy. He likes the instant gratification and adulation that the cheering crowds provide, and his aides are discussing how they might accommodate his demand.

Does Trump want to get his message out?  Or get the message that he still has the best ideas and the best words?  Like these?

In his first interview since winning the presidential election, Trump told The Wall Street Journal he was still committed to moving quickly to deal with the Affordable Care Act ― a program, he said, that is offering coverage so expensive that “you can’t use it.”

But Trump also mentioned that he would look at parts of the law that seemed to be worthwhile, including protections for people with pre-existing conditions who previously had no access to insurance. One reason, he said, was that President Barack Obama urged Trump to think about those provisions when the two met on Thursday. “I told him I will look at his suggestions, and out of respect, I will do that,” Trump said.

Just like the GOP, Trump will repeal Obamacare and replace it with:  Obamacare!  It's a bit of a package deal, which is why the GOP hasn't repealed it yet; they have nothing to replace it with.  Take away universal coverage, and no insurance company will agree to forego denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions.  The only alternative to Obamacare is:  no coverage for millions, or Medicare for all.

And then there's the idea of all those immigrants:

“What we are going to do is get the people that are criminal and have criminal records, gang members, drug dealers, where a lot of these people, probably 2 million, it could be even 3 million, we are getting them out of our country or we are going to incarcerate,” Trump said in the interview. “But we’re getting them out of our country, they’re here illegally.”

Do we have the prison space for them?  The manpower to arrest and detain them, and process them through the penal system?  The courts to handle their cases (damn that 14th Amendment!)?  Who cares?!  Trump is gonna do this "immediately!"  If not sooner.

As a almost-parting gift, the interview on NPR this morning with a Trump supporter from North Carolina.  Listen to it:  the racism is even more naked in the recording, and the revulsion of the interviewer is plainer than the transcript reveals:

REID: Well, Rachel, the biggest issue, I think, that's facing our country is illegal immigration. If you don't have a protected country from hordes of invaders, you don't have a country eventually. And I think the illegals and all the diversity that we've been promoting in this country without any demands from them so far as their loyalty to our country or vetting to see who they were, I think that's brought us to the point of division today.

MARTIN: We should point out that President Obama deported more illegal immigrants than any other American president.

REID: Well, that's like saying it's - you know, of course he - maybe he did and maybe he didn't, but we know that Hillary and her crowd was projecting bringing in Syrians without knowing particularly who they are. No other country in the world allows that. And the ones who have are regretting it right now. Look at...

MARTIN: Do you...

REID: ...Look at Belgium and France and Germany. They all are having mammoth problems because they forgot who they were.

MARTIN: Do you think Donald Trump will build a wall?

REID: Absolutely. Absolutely, he'll build - if he doesn't build a wall, he has no credibility left. That's been his big issue.

MARTIN: You don't think that was just campaign rhetoric or symbolic.

REID: Better not be or he'll only be around four years.

MARTIN: I want to ask you about the fact that America is so deeply divided, as you point out.

REID: Yes.

MARTIN: And this election really did break, in large part, along racial lines.

REID: Yes.

MARTIN: And there was some pretty inflammatory rhetoric that was put out during the campaign, and a lot of minority groups, in the past few days, are feeling very unsettled. People who live here legally, people who are Americans are feeling like America might not be such a safe place under a Trump administration. Do you think those fears are unfounded?

REID: Well, the first thing he said was that he would be the president of all the people. That was, I think, some assurance. But I think the accusation that Trump is going to do something that will be - that he will divide the country rather than bring it together, I think that's been exaggerated. He did not say that all people were bad. That was the German - or that was the Democrat rhetoric that accused him of that.

In fact, the whole campaign by Hillary Clinton was nothing but - she never had a program of her own. I cannot name one thing that she would do except give more money to people - college students and that sort of thing. I can't name a thing that she promised the people of America except they tried to paint Trump as incompetent and unfit to be the president. That's why she lost. Trump is not that kind of person at all. He did say - and I hope he will get rid of all the illegal criminals in this country. The real, real problem is today, the rule of law is - that's my fear. I'm afraid that no one obeys the law anymore.

MARTIN: Can I ask you, Don, what might be an uncomfortable question, but...

REID: Yes.

MARTIN: ...It's in the spirit of trying to have honest conversations as we move forward.

REID: Yes.

MARTIN: Are you comfortable with the idea of America being a multicultural, multi-ethnic, pluralistic country?

REID: No, I'm not comfortable with that at all, and it won't work unless a couple of things are present. First of all, this kind of country that you describe has never been successful. I can't name one on earth that's been successful, so I'm scared to death of that. However, I'm perfectly OK with it if we restore the faith in our Constitution and get back to constitutional government and the people who are here believe that. You can't bring people in from another country that don't even adhere to your constitution and have this kind of diversity without destroying your country.

We have to put that parting gift in context.  "Whole sight, or all the rest is desolation."  Except it may be desolation anyway.  That idea that demographics will save us, that all the racist Trump voters are aging Baby Boomers with one foot in the grave?  Yeah, not so much:

KIRK SIEGLER, BYLINE: Alexandra Duran is in the 10th grade at a Health and Sciences high school in Beaverton, Ore., just outside Portland. She and her fellow students had had some pretty heated debates these past few months over the election. And on Wednesday, she says, she was trying to avoid one boy in particular who was an outspoken Trump supporter. They ended up running into each other in the lunchroom anyway.

ALEXANDRA DURAN: I got up because I was going to leave because I didn't want to just sit there. And then he said, oh, it's ok. You'll be gone anyway. And then I just kept walking, and he just kind of started to laugh. And that was it.

SIEGLER: To be clear to the listeners, you're an American citizen.


SIEGLER: Duran is Mexican-American. Her mom, Angelina, says her family has experienced subtle racism before, especially living in an overwhelmingly white city. But she's worried the election is making things worse.

ANGELINA DURAN: I have a real fear for my daughter because my oldest has - she's my darkest. And I'm scared because just by looking at her, I'm scared somebody's going to accost her in the street or while she's walking and I'm not with her. Like, I have a real fear that my daughter's no longer safe.

SIEGLER: This is not an isolated incident. It's true that some anti-immigrant and other bullying stories are spreading unchecked on social media. But there are a growing number of confirmed investigations into alleged harassment and hate crimes - racist graffiti, including pro-Aryan Nation statements in bathrooms at a high school in Minnesota. An Arabic college student wearing a hijab was allegedly robbed and attacked at San Diego State University.

When Obama took the "audacity of hope" away from the Rev. Wright, he really should have paid more attention to just how audacious hope is, and what one should be hoping for.  I'm sure Rev. Wright could still tell him a thing or two about that.

As for me, I'm with TC.  I'm unplugging from this, and going back to daily readings of the Psalms.


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