My last post was a detailed breakdown of the White House’s official statement regarding President Trump’s executive order on immigration. He wasn’t done yet though. Over the last two days he has taken to twitter in defense of the move and although I don’t have time to breakdown all 18 of Trump’s tweets since the morning of the February 3rd, there are three that really stuck out to me.
At roughly 9:30am in Paris(3:30am EST) an Egyptian man with a machete attacked a guard outside the Louvre. No one was injured except the assailant who was shot and is in critical condition. Trump tweets within four hours to tell everyone about it and tacks on a reminder at the end that we should toughen our own borders to prevent such things. After reading this. I had two questions.
- Why point to this attack when the man came from a country not included on the travel ban? If this man had chosen to travel to the US instead of Paris, he would have been allowed in even as people from Iran and Iraq were being turned away.
- Why ignore the recent attack in Canada that actually had a death toll? This isn’t the first time Trump has responded to a global tragedy with extreme speed, this is a good trait for a leader to have although twitter might not be the best medium for it. This tweet is from 6:51am, so it’s reasonable to assume that Trump might have tweeted even closer to the event had he been awake. There are no mentions anywhere on twitter about the six deaths at a Canadian mosque from earlier this week though. There was a response from the White House, but it was delivered by Sean Spicer and shaded in such a way that it also justified Trump’s travel ban. All that despite the Canadian mosque being by a white Canadian citizen who also would have been allowed in even after the ban. I don’t want to speculate that the attacker’s praise of Trump played a roll in the White House’s muted response, but given the quickness of Trump to tweet about Paris, his silence on this other event is deafening.
Speaking of Spicer, the press conference held after the ban went into effect had one big take away, this definitely wasn’t a ban. He stopped several reporters during their questions to correct them on their use of the term ‘ban’. At the time it was pointed out that Trump had actually used the word ‘ban’ in a January 30th tweet, and that Spicer had used the word in an ABC interview. Despite the evidence our eyes and ears were providing, we were told it definitely wasn’t a ban. The above tweet was one of four today that used the term to refer to the executive order. I haven’t read any reports of Spicer trying to tweet at the President to correct him.
The other thing that grabbed my attention on this one was the comment saying the, “Middle-Eastern countries agree with the ban,” I went searching for these statements. The only evidence of any statements in support of the ban I can find is a single article stating Saudi Arabia and the UAE have made semi endorsements, but those statements aren’t actually shared in the piece. There was even an article from CNN Money with the headline “Middle East Execs Won’t Talk About Travel Ban”.
I’ll give the first article the benefit of the doubt and assume it’s correct. We shouldn’t be shocked Saudi Arabia and the UAE are supportive given that they aren’t on the list of banned countries and that that they have quite rocky relationships with countries that are on the banned list, like Saudi Arabia and Iran. I’d also like to reference back to something I mentioned in my last article that there is a group in the middle east who is extremely happy the ban went through, ISIS.
Late at night on February 3rd, Seattle Judge James Robart put a stay on the order. Trump responded the way we’ve come to expect at this point. Before we go further though, it should be noted Robart was a 2004 Bush appointee who was confirmed 99-0 by a Republican controlled Senate. Terms like ‘activist judge’ get thrown around a lot, but when you have someone appointed by one party, confirmed by the same party and then make a ruling against that party, it doesn’t have the same punch.
There are lots of other things to discuss with the ruling, but I want to stay focused on the implications of the wording of this tweet. “Essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country,” Trump ran as the Law and Order candidate. He promised to bring an end to American carnage. This tweet goes further and implies the judicial branch of government filling their roll goes against those goals. It makes it seem like the executive branch, and therefor Trump, is the only path to safety and security for this country. The constitution sets up three branches of government for a reason. Especially given the fact that neither the Congress nor the Senate were consulted before this order was executed, the judicial branch weighing in is how things are supposed to work.
Unfortunately I don’t know which is scarier. Either Trump doesn’t understand that this is precisely the function of the judicial branch (This would seriously call into question his decision making process for his SCOTUS pick. If he thinks the roll of the Supreme Court is to uphold what the President does, he’s sorely mistaken.) or he does understand that this is the way of things and he wants to change it.