Triumph of the Evil Genius?

We don’t have a national emergency.  We soon will, because that’s exactly what Trump has planned. It’s all part of a grand scheme that just might work. Consider the developments to date. 

First, Trump has been conducting rallies all over the United States for the past two years, emphasizing the dangers of immigration and the need for the wall, to the point that now 87% of all Republicans believe it’s necessary.  The facts that show it’s unnecessary, wasteful, and counterproductive don’t matter to the success of the Evil Genius’s plan. All that matters is that the overwhelming majority of Republicans believe that immigrants are an immediate threat to the U.S. and that the wall must be built.  That means that very few Republicans in Congress can afford to oppose Trump.

The Democrats have discovered that Trump isn’t interesting in bargaining or compromise.  But their problem is that their base is composed of minorities, educated white women, and some liberal white males, all of whom are vitally interested in civil and gender rights and environmental protection.  The Trump administration has stepped up deportations to an all-time high and has been attempting to cut back the rights of immigrants, legal and illegal, to remove civil rights protections, to make voter registration and voting more difficult for the poor and disadvantaged, and to nullify environmental protections which benefit largely the poorer segments of society.  Given the Trump administration’s record in these issues, they rightly fear that any compromise will just enhance Trump’s power. Also, if they give in on the wall funding, then Trump will spend the next two years tweeting that “even the Democrats knew I was right.  They funded the wall.”  

Second, Trump has no intention of allowing Congress to reach a compromise on the wall issue.  When the Congressional leadership reached an agreement on $1.6 billion on border security, a number Trump said he’d approve, once the bill was passed, Trump rejected it.  Vice President Pence then said Trump would go for $2.5 billion, and the leadership started to put together that bill, when Trump then declared that wasn’t acceptable.  Now, Trump is demanded $5.7 billion for the wall.  But he’s also saying that it’s “up to the parties.”   He’s positioning himself so that neither side can politically afford to compromise, and when everything breaks down, he can claim that the system has failed and he needs emergency powers.

While not all of the federal government is shut down, Homeland Security cannot pay its employees, and they’re a large element of border and transportation security.  The now unpaid TSA agents are already calling in “sick” in high numbers, and since they’re certainly among the 80% of Americans who live paycheck to paycheck, this problem will worsen, as will the stress and strain among the other near-million or so federal employees not being paid.

As a result, sooner or later there will be some sort of border of immigration incident.  Trump will use that incident to point out the failure of Congress to address this “vital national security issue,” ignoring the fact that he’s the one who created the issue, and will push for a national state of emergency.  If that doesn’t do it, the next incident will.

Sooner or later, as the Trump administration tightens controls and increases deportations, including the child-age legal citizens of illegal immigrants [which reportedly has already begun to happen], there will be demonstrations against the administration.  The administration will claim that the demonstrations are fomented by foreign agents [as they have already claimed at times] and will restrict civil rights more.  The actual process will take longer and have more steps, but the result will be the same.

In short, if Congress refuses to act with veto-proof legislation, Trump will continue to fan the flames until he gains full emergency powers over government.

Don’t tell me It Can’t Happen Here.  It is happening.  The only question is whether we do something about it and demand our legislators cut Trump out of government funding, which they can do.

20 thoughts on “Triumph of the Evil Genius?”

  1. JerryChops says:

    Well that’s not a pretty picture. Sadly I expect Trump to have little opposition from the younger folks. Talking politics with my generation (I’m 23) is pretty binary: Those with little or no higher education are hard Trump supporters; those with substantial higher education (or STEM students in general) oppose Trump.

    1. Tim Twineham says:

      We have a similar perceived binary division in the UK over BreXit: one side claims that all people who voted to leave are under-educated, under-informed or old.

      Actually that is not correct but the press like it.

  2. Tom says:

    “… veto-proof legislation,…” on what?

    If “we” take to the streets and invade the offices of the legislators – what should our rallying banner be?

    “Trump Out” would be as ineffectual as “Impeach Trump”.

    What would get across to the Congress that to “Make America Great Again” they should ensure that all their decisions do indeed put “America First” and not “Me First”!

    So what can we all agree on if not our national integrity?

  3. R. Hamilton says:

    Immigrants aren’t a threat.

    _Illegal_ immigrants _are_ a threat, since we don’t know who they are, what their backgrounds are, what unfamiliar diseases they carry, etc. They’re also a threat to the rule of law, which simply ignoring their invasion undermines. And they’d be a threat if the law was abolished and the borders thrown wide open, because we’d have every poor or persecuted person on the planet that could make it here, coming here, as well as whatever fugitives, criminals, or terrorists wanted to join the mob (yes, we do have all three among illegals already, even if in small percentage; but a small percentage of a huge number is still a large number).

    We need the best (which is about skills and cultural compatibility, NOT ethnicity!); we do NOT need the rest.

    And no, Trump isn’t trying to crush civil rights. He’s not particularly interested in those who take any instance of not getting their way as a threat to civil rights, but read my lips: he said he didn’t care which restroom in Trump Tower Caitlyn Jenner used. That’s a rather tolerant PRIVATE view, but a private view does not necessarily translate into every possible analogous public policy view. Not everybody who feels discriminated against should be made into a protected class, and in general, aside from the categories involving the most egregious historical abuses (such as blacks in former slave states), _private_ discrimination IMO is the legitimate right to be stupid and ignorant, even if one happens to run a business.

    1. Tom says:

      I agree a nation should cherry pick incoming citizens if possible; and, most of them do so.

      As the world societies interact and become dependent on each other this type of cherry picking becomes more and more difficult.

      In the US, and other developed nations, the cherry picking is drawing citizens by our environment, education potential, and, not the least, by where where the jobs are. That is why creating peace in other parts of the world and infusing jobs there makes the US and other developed nations less a target for the developing nations citizens. This, plus our ageing population, also makes us more in need of quality legal immigrants to do the work our own citizens are unwilling to do as well as perhaps unable to do.

      There should be a better immigration system than a wall to deal with the flux of immigrants caused by abuse and financial necessity in other parts of the world; which then affects our borders.

      I also agree that minorities should not determine the lives of majorities. Yet all citizens of a nation should be treated equally by our government, our social manners, and our legal system. Fortunately we are not and never can be “equal” – we would die of boredom! This also means that one purpose of society is to care for those who truly cannot care for themselves. Yes, charity starts at home (just as one is instructed to put on ones own oxygen mask first before aiding others).

      1. R. Hamilton says:

        We certainly need a system that will more quickly admit valuable, qualified, and assimilable prospective immigrants (that follow the lawful process), while also keeping out the rest.

        That necessarily includes stopping unlawful migration; and while a wall or barrier isn’t the ONLY component of that, it’s necessary. Sensors and patrols will catch more after they’ve arrived, but given ideological sympathy and procedural barriers in the courts, it takes too long to deport them. It takes a physical barrier of some sort to hinder their arrival (yes, even bank vaults don’t _stop_ the determined, but they buy time to respond).

        Improving the effectiveness of ANYTHING requires BOTH more thoroughly allowing what should be allowed, AND more thoroughly forbidding what should be forbidden. Take voting: one side wants it so easy that zero effort is required, and the other side wants proof of eligibility. There’s room for improvement on both sides, perhaps! Quite probably, in the process, one would discover that there is some real corruption, and that most of it is caused by local election officials connected to partisan operatives (if with some willing participation by some casting of invalid votes).

        Better managed immigration may indeed also need improvements abroad, so that people would be more willing to solve their problems where they already are; but there are limits to what we can do there, even limits to what we should do, given the likelihood of backlash to meddling (whether actual or merely portrayed as such due to adversary propaganda) on our part.

  4. Wayne Kernochan says:

    I feel I must add a comment here. The shutdown is now affecting communication of two statistics vital for assessing climate change: CO2 levels as measured at Mauna Loa in Hawaii, a dataset maintained uninterrupted since 1959 and the best metric we have about the real rate of progress in global warming, and Arctic sea-ice area and extent, key to predicting how Arctic warming will inevitably add to global warming and ocean rise elsewhere. Luckily, the shutdown is not yet affecting the production of those statistics, but even so, the effect is like telling us that if we just cover our ears, all our climate change problems will go away. And this is a conscious choice by the Trump administration as to which programs to fund during the shutdown. And I know from the comments on Neven’s Arctic Sea Ice website that this is affecting the rest of the world as well as us.

  5. Ian Rowan says:

    Your assesment of trump and the left is so far off, i feel like i just read the posting from an elitist 20 year old white girl from huffington post. I challenge you to look through all the videos on youtube in the last couple years and find where the left is anything but intolerant, violent, and totalitarian. So, you support antifa attacking anyone that goes to a free speech rally or a speaking engagement? or do you consider ben shapiro some rabid far right guy? or feminist christina hoff somers? because they have shut their speaking engagements at colleges via threats, pulling fire alarms, attacking people going to the events, and you think the left are the tolerant ones? they are attacking free speech, the first and second amendments, with nonsense like “hate speech” trigger warnings, safe spaces, the “patriarchy”, “toxic masculinity, and further racist, misandrist vitriol. If you truly are they clueless, leland, i suggest you take a few moments away from your corporate news and perhaps check out the rubin report, shapiro, larry elder, jordan peterson, and people with a modicum of common sense that will help you see the insanities that are occurring. Also, see how leftist rallies treat people who come to interview them and get their point of view, for that i suggest fleccas talks, nunance bro, slightly offensive, and good luck with that. You say soon there will be some sort of incident? gee, you failed to notice all of the people being raped and murdered by illegals in this country, or that gangs like ms13 are in almost every state now. But yeah, drink the leftist koolaid, and trump is evil blah blah. I expected better from you, at least the ability to reason and some common sense. What the blank!

    1. No… I’m not a twenty year old white elitist. I’m a 75 year old white male former Navy search and rescue pilot who spent nearly twenty years in national politics as a Republican working for moderate conservatives. You obviously haven’t read what I’ve had to say about the far left. I detest extremists of both the left and right, and you’re clearly one of those on the right.

      1. R. Hamilton says:

        I’m not fond of extremists on either side either, but I think MOST reports of right-wing extremists are left-wing propaganda, not fact.

        And the only thing Trump seems to be extreme about is communication style, and maybe contempt for the more aggressive flavor of environmentalism. But there’s more than one way to get there, and since few actually practice the austerity they encourage for others (look how many advocates have fossil fuel SUVs, fly charter rather than regular airlines, etc), the likeliest way is with a robust economy and rapidly advancing technology not suppressed by excessive mandates or regulation. Tesla is on its way to outselling all other luxury sedans put together; if they survive, they and others will move into lower priced mass market vehicles soon enough, and probably within a decade, most new vehicles will be electric. Certainly there was some encouragement (tax incentives, etc), but the key is the prerequisites being in place, for a technology or idea. Darwin and Wallace had similar ideas at roughly the same time; why? because the prerequisites were there. Oh, and all the major fossil fuel companies have investments in renewable energy; for PR, but also for future-proofing. Electric vehicles don’t look practical for general-purpose use until there are enough charging stations in place (which is starting to be the case now). Ongoing advances in solar, storage, etc will in time provide prerequisites for power generation. Look for energy companies and utilities cooperating in renewables joint ventures as a sign that it’s going to happen even without massive regulatory intervention. But coal will persist in a small way for a long time, because coal-free steelmaking is still in its infancy. And some other fossil fuels will persist for a time, because e.g. most biofuels aren’t really carbon neutral, and hydrocarbons of some sort are the only thing foreseeable with sufficient energy density for most aircraft. The navy is experimenting with producing jet fuel from water (for the hydrogen) and CO2 (for the carbon), using nuclear power (on an aircraft carrier). Maybe; in that special case, the logistical advantage is huge. But for wider use, a lot of folks remain squeamish about nuclear power, and alternative designs (pebble bed, thorium, etc) that reduce waste problems are not mature. Barring MASSIVE efficiency increases in solar, there are limits; the amount of land required for collection at current efficiency levels is huge, so hydroelectric (unpopular among those who think rivers and valleys should not be altered) and nuclear have a role to play too, and some higher ideal may have to wait for controlled fusion…eventually, so it comes down to picking one’s trade-offs.

        Climate changes, all the time, short-term, medium-term, long-term, both cyclicly and chaotically. Anthopogenic influences have SOME effect, but their significance is NOT as accurately quantified as advocates (of any/either bias) want people to believe. The last thing we need is to be enabling the true totalitarians (the statists), when solutions depend not nearly so much on organization or process as on the prerequisites.

        (Case in point, I know someone that’s skeptical of the severity of warming, but bought a Tesla simply because it’s now practical for them. Skepticism doesn’t preclude change, if the change has other incentives than alarmism.)

        1. Hannabel says:

          “….but I think MOST reports of right-wing extremists are left-wing propaganda, not fact.”

          Left wing propaganda, is it? Not fact, huh?
          Kid yourself. But then again alt-righters always do.

      2. Ian Rowan says:

        I know exactly who you are. You have been my favorite sci fi and fantasy author for 30 years, which why I was so shocked at what I saw. As a libertarian, granted a conservative leaning libertarian, I am hardly a radical right character. I have the most in common with people on the other short side of libertariansim; namely, classic liberals. There has been very little done by the right in the last two years, and constant acts of violence by racist and leftist groups such as black lives matter and antifa, even attacking elderly in portland, for driving down a street that they had claimed as theirs, or pouring a drink on a disabled veteran in a wheelchair, or the brownshirt actions of antifa in smashing store windows and attacking people. In an interview, store owners in downtown portland admit that they have stickers on their windows supporting antifa because they fear their store being destroyed if they dont, and your mainstream news considers this group saviors of the left, but their tactics are right out of 1930s germany, and yet trump is called a nazi or evil? also i refute the statement that evidence suggests borders do nothing to help with a country’s security. That not only is counterintuitive, i think it is crazy. Mexico is sure doing it on their southern border. LIke i said, check out the individuals i suggested, they are hardly extremist, and much more eloquent than I, for a different viewpoint than that of say, cnn, msnbc, or huff.

        1. Then your intuition is a bit off. Illegal immigration from the southern border is at something like a 45 year low. Most illegal immigrants come from other places, most of them unfortunately through legal points of entry in legal fashion. As for your assumption that, because I think border walls are useless and that Trump’s use of administrative tactics to punish both legal and illegal immigrants in ways both cruel and not in accord with legal practices are tyrannical, I’m some sort of leftist, that’s also wrong. I have checked out much of what you cite, and a lot of it is because people are angry at their rights being trampled. As I’ve said before, Trump is creating an unnecessary crisis, and, unfortunately, the left isn’t helping it any by failing to come up with a reasonable immigration plan. But, for all you cite, what I see on the left are isolated and unfortunate and excessive demonstrations of violence by the poor and deprived and well-orchestrated and orderly demonstrations that are largely useless by the more affluent liberal left, while Trump is using the government as an instrument against immigrants and minorities. And the use of government playing to the worst instincts of the far right is not only deplorable but far, far closer to 1930s Germany than anything the left is doing.

    2. Lourain Pennington says:

      Mr. Rowan, could you answer some questions for me? I am truly not trying to be snarky!
      1) Are you always this angry, or does it flair up when someone disagrees with you?
      2) Do you have all these speaking points memorized, or do you have a written list?
      3) Do you consider YouTube a reliable source of information?
      4) Do you also dis elitist 20 year old white boys from Huffington Post?
      Thank you for your time.

      1. Ian Rowan says:

        what white boys from huffpost? you missed their “diversity” photo last year? no males, and very few females that are non white. As least be knowledgeable for goodness sakes. I dont have to memorize anything; if you actually pay attention and arent brainwashed by corporate news, there are myriad stories inundating the internet with the insanity of the left.

        1. Lourain Pennington says:

          And do you consider YouTube a reliable source of information?
          (I have trouble with the idea that a knowledge of HuffPo would make me ‘knowledgeable’.)

          1. Hannabel says:

            Ian is a really, really angry alt-righter.

            Same with R.H, minus the open display of deep seated rage against any kind of immigration; covers it up with ‘Logical reasoning’ posturing.

  6. Autumn says:

    The only thing I quibble about is the idea that Trump is the genius behind this plan. He’s just not that smart. He doesn’t even possess the low cunning of GWB. There might be a plan, and perhaps the National Emergency that isn’t was the end game of Bannon or even Miller.

    But the ignorant, schoolyard bully that is Trump? He doesn’t formulate plans. He’s too impatient, he doesn’t read, and he can’t concentrate, and he’s easily bored by anything that doesn’t glorify him. I doubt he could get through this post…though he might try if you titled it, “Trump Is the Greatest Politician Ever!”

  7. Ian Rowan says:

    As Democrats in Congress refuse to secure the US southern border, the cost of illegal immigration continues to mount. The United States spends over $268 billion dollars a year supporting illegal aliens. That money covers expenses such as healthcare, education, childcare, the justice system, and welfare—forcing US taxpayers to shell out $734 million dollars every single day. President Trump is requesting $5.7 billion dollars to build a border wall. Meanwhile, since January first, we’ve already spent far more than that paying for aliens who are here illegally. These numbers are based off estimates from the Center for Immigration Studies, Federation for Immigration Reform, Institute for Defense Analyses, and the Department for Homeland Security. These are the most exact estimates from official Border Patrol reports, as well as crime stats and census reports.

    1. You’re missing the point. The wall doesn’t address the vast majority of those costs. Those people are already here, and most of them arrived legally in some fashion or another, and then overstayed. People are already tunneling under the existing walls, or cutting through them. The Democrats have offered more money for pretty much everything but the wall. $5.7 billion is a lot to pay for a useless symbol.

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