In my last post I mentioned that President Trump has threatened to send federal troops against civilian protesters. He has now carried out that threat. From Daily Kos:
…Trump and his Homeland Security chief Chad Wolf have not only deployed unmarked forces, they’re also snatching people off the streets without cause and effectively interrogating them. Take Mark Pettibone, a 29-year-old, who was kidnapped by these secret Gestapo-like forces while he was walking home from a peaceful protest in the wee hours Wednesday morning. Though he had done nothing wrong, men in green military fatigues jumped out of an unmarked van, descended on him, apprehended him, drove him to a federal courthouse, then eventually read him his Miranda rights and asked if he would waive those rights to answer some questions. When he said he wouldn’t, they let him go. No explanation. No identification.
These unidentified federal police also shot a peaceful protester in the head.
I have to say I’m surprised. I didn’t think actual military force against civilian dissenters would occur until after Trump got reelected. Apparently I was too optimistic.
The next time someone says you should be for bipartisan cooperation, remind them of this:
President Donald Trump promoted a video on Twitter late Wednesday night that opens with Cowboys for Trump founder Couy Griffin declaring that “the only good Democrat is a dead Democrat.”
Here’s the screenshot of Trump’s tweet. It is not ambiguous.
For those who thought the whiff of fascism at anti-lockdown protests a couple of weeks ago was an isolated case:
The Auschwitz Memorial in Poland has condemned a viral photo of a sign from an anti-lockdown protest in Chicago on Friday that bore a phrase from the Nazi concentration camp.
The sign reading “Arbeit macht frei, JB” was held by an unidentified woman at a “Re-Open Illinois” protest in the city’s Loop district and addressed to Gov. J.B. Prtizker, who is Jewish.
From Boing Boing: A protester who wants to “reopen” was seen carrying a sign that says “Sacrifice the Weak.” No seriously; someone didn’t just think it privately, but made a sign and waved it proudly in public.
To think conservatives made the sanctity of life the centerpiece of their political lives, to the point where abortion may soon be made inaccessible to many women in America, only to discard whatever vestigial moral pretenses lurk in their belief system so they can get some ice cream.
No, that was not hyperbole. Trump is no longer pretending not to be a fascist dictator. He said, and repeated, and made clear in yesterday’s briefing:
I have the ultimate authority.
When somebody is the president of the United States, the authority is total. And that’s the way it’s gotta be. It’s total.
The federal government has absolute power. … I have an absolute right.
As Steve Vladeck, a professor at the University of Texas School of Law pointed out, that would be the literal definition of a totalitarian government.
Have we mentioned on this blog that the Republican Party is general, and Donald Trump in particular, are fascist? Why yes we have, since the very first week this blog was up. If you doubted it in 2017, there is no longer any room for your doubts now.
We now know that our worst case suspicions were all true.
Trump was told “at the time” of a January 29 memo by trade adviser Peter Navarro warning that half a million U.S. deaths were possible—Trump later denied this. Trump was also personally warned by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar on Jan 30: Trump called him “alarmist.”
In February, the Azar-led White House Task Force “gathered for a tabletop exercise” replaying past pandemic wargaming, says the Times. The exercise resulted in the conclusion that “aggressive” social distancing would have to be adopted “soon” to avoid catastrophic effects….
The federal response to a national crisis collapsed, because Donald Trump dismissed all warnings, became furious when those warnings went public without him, and tasked Mike Pence with sabotaging future warnings.
Via Boing Boing: “Matt Novak reports that the first teenager to die in the U.S. from Covid-19 coronavirus infection was uninsured and denied treatment at the urgent care clinic he tried to check into. They told him to go to another hospital; he went into cardiac arrest on the way.”
The Republican response to the coronavirus is not mere bungling. It’s not an accident.
Disbanding a pandemic response team and leaving the nation vulnerable just to spite a prior president is a choice. Refusing to use the full powers of the Defense Production Act to ramp up production of desperately needed medical supplies is a choice. Pivoting to racism against Asian Americans and anti-immigrant rhetoric in response to criticism is a choice. Prioritizing the short-term health of the stock market over human lives by scheming to prematurely end social distancing is a choice.
Remember, when the Trump administration is over, that Republicans supported this President. They are all collaborators.