The Education of Donald J Trump

When Nancy Pelosi and her merry band of insurgent Democrats won the battle of the “Federal Shut down” it was over.

Donald J Trump’s terrible “Wall” would not be built, not now, not ever. A wise opponent would have accepted defeat and moved on.

But wait, that was a non-sequitur. This fool – ignorant, vain, narcistic and cruel – was never a wise man. Instead, even to the moment I write, it is reported he wants to continue to dig himself and his faithful followers into a deeper hole of defeat and pubic contempt. And at this point, all for the purpose of attempting to persuade some of his faithful followers he actually was the victor.

We are told that tomorrow Trump will sign the bill to keep the Government open but at the same time declare a National Emergency in an attempt to divert more billions from where, the Defense Department (oh that’s a PR winner) and elsewhere in order to Build his Wall.

Never mind the Constitution of the United States which gives the “power of the purse” to Congress, not the President. Never mind the advice of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who reportedly has warned him repeatedly that any attempt to do an end run around congress could well end in another disastrous defeat. Sure, McConnell, in order to keep the baby on board to sign the authorization bill, told him he, McConnell, would support a Declaration of National Emergency.

I assure you, McConnell’s support will be in tepid lip service only and behind the scenes worried Mitch will do what he can to save his fellow Republicans and himself (he’s up in 2020, also) from going down with this rotten, sinking ship.

The Courts, you say, the Supreme Court which will in good time hear the suit(s) that seek to forbid the end run around the Congress and the Constitution, the Supreme Court with its solid Conservative line up will side with Trump and he’ll get his money.

No it won’t – he only has four votes, not five. Chief Justice John Roberts saved the Affordable Care Act not once but twice. The other day he sided with the Liberals on the Court to stay the ability of the 5th Circuit to defy past SCOTUS rulings and allow the State of Louisiana to further limit the ability of women to obtain an abortion there.

Oh, Roberts is no liberal, he’s a solid Conservative, but he is not a fool, not an ignorant wrecker of American values and Americans sense of justice.

Roberts will vote against Trump’s attempt to get his way no matter who or what he tramples on to do it.

Trump learned his playbook from his father and more importantly, from Roy Cohn, Senator Joseph McCarthy’s loyal henchman in divining communists everywhere in our Government and destroying decent Americans lives in the process,

Cohn was Trump’s mentor who taught him that he must win always, no matter the tactics it took, no matter the injustice it wrought, no matter how many decent people were destroyed.

Just win!Now, Donald J Trump is faced with the biggest defeat in his life. Except for his poor, dumb faithful followers, there is no escape or way to spin it. With his Declaration of a National Emergency he may twist and writhe for a while but sunset comes and the corpse lies still. And with it for Trump, the death of his self proclaimed omnipotence.

They say we get “too soon old and too later smart.” In this case, in the Education of Donald J Trump, I fear he will never get smart. I believe this poor, tormented human being is incapable of learning. Certainly incapable of admitting the truth of the lesson being imposed upon him.

As for the rest of us, complacency is an enemy. We must work tirelessly to make certain that less that two years from now, we have a new, decent and above all sane adult president.

Embrace Cato the Elder’s admonition with which it is said he ended every speech in the Roman Senate no matter the subject with these words:

“delenda est Cartago.”

For us,

Delenda est Trumpism!

Governor Northam – RIP

Oh, if only we could erase the mistakes of our youth.  But no, as “ Omar Khayyam warned us –

“The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.”

So, now Virginia Governor Ralph Northam takes the fall for the horrible picture in his Yearbook and his racist “nickname,” seen later. And who can say that he doesn’t deserve it?

Not I.

The times have changed – unquestionable for the better – and those who would cling to a dark past deserve no sympathy.  

But who is Northam today? The man who liked the horrible picture and racist nickname? Or the Governor who by most accounts has been a good friend to civil rights for all and rights for women?

I don’t know but I do know of cases where when people age they change. For the better. Allow me to cite just four examples, two I witnessed personally, the other two which are said to be true.

Lyndon Baines Johnson spent twenty three years in the United States Congress, first in the House, then in the Senate. In all that time he voted against every civil rights bill that came before him. Every one including anti-lynching measures. Was he just bowing to political expediency In the Southern state of Texas. Or was that his heart then?

I don’t know.

We do know that once he became President, Johnson forced through  the great Civil Rights Act of 1964, which freed black people from lawful segregation and injustice in public accommodations and housing and much else. He pushed through the Voting Rights Act which expanded the ability of black people and others to participate meaningfully in elections. He elevated the first black person to a seat on the United States Supreme Court. He worked to see Medicare and Medicaid enacted and began a War on Poverty which, if his mistake of expanding the Vietnam war had not brought him low might have freed countless millions from a life of poverty.

Lyndon Johnson was the best civil rights president the United States has had since Abraham Lincoln.  His votes on the other side before his presidency?

If not forgotten long since forgiven.

Then there was George Corley Wallace, Jr, the one time arch-segregationist Governor of Alabama. In his first race for the Gubernatorial nomination he was a “moderate” by Southern standards of the day and was beaten by a truly evil segregationist. Wallace said, “I got out-seged and I’ll never get out-seged again.”

So he won next time around and became the man standing in the schoolhouse door against Federal Integration force, the man who defiantly proclaimed “Segregation today, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.”

Until black voting registration in Alabama swelled. At which point, Wallace ran for re-election as the friend of black people. They supported him enough for him to win against a segregationist opponent and he rewarded his black constituency with high offices in his Administration and policies for their benefit.

Was Wallace just a person who bends with the winds and stands for nothing certain or did he come to be a better person?

I don’t know but I do know that having had his State troopers rip the film from my cameraman’s shoulder in1968, because we had filmed him shaking hands with Robert Shelton who was then the Grand dragon of the main Southern  Ku Klux Klan, Wallace in his wheelchair in 1996, at a gathering we were both attending sought me out to apologize and ask me to forgive him. He seemed sincere and I forgave him.

I never met John Newton, he was long before my time. But I have been to the church in Olney, England, where as Curate, Newton, a priest in the Anglican Church, wrote Hymns, including one known by it’s first words “Amazing Grace,” one of the most famous Hymns of all  time.

Before he came to God fully, John Newton was the Captain of slave ships. He brought blacks from Africa to their bondage in the New World. He made a living for a time doing that before the injustice, the inhumanity of slavery gnawed at his soul.

But now, his days as a cruel Captain of slave ships no longer defines him

Now, we see John Newton through the words of his hymn “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound,

that saved a wretch like me,

 I once was lost but now am found,

 was blind but now I see.”

My fourth example was of someone I also never met. He lived so long ago and was for his early adult years the cruelest of all the examples I am citing.

His name was Saul, described thusly by a Bible student a few years ago:

“Saul became the worst enemy of Christians. He hunted them down and dragged them out of their homes, imprisoning them and even having them killed. In fact, Saul was a witness to the stoning of the first Christian martyr, St. Stephen. Because Saul was a leader, he stood by and watched as those stoning Stephen laid their cloaks at his feet. It’s very likely that Saul ordered Stephen to be stoned”

But one day as Saul walked the road to Damascus, a light shone upon him. He heard a voice from heaven that said: ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?’ And Saul said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And He said, ‘I am Jesus, Whom you are persecuting; but rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.’

After some time of penance Saul was fully redeemed and took the name Paul, and, it is said:

“Paul spent the rest of his life traveling and spreading the Gospel of Jesus, establishing churches and teaching others to lead in his absence. Paul’s epistles to the churches that he established make up over one-fourth of the New Testament. He truly is the greatest missionary in Church history.”

St. Paul’s conversion is a dramatic and inspiring story and except in reciting the man’s background, who condemns Paul for once being Saul?

I have told these stories not to excuse Governor Northam. He must pay the price for his early folly; the community fairly demands it.

However, these stories do make the point that the important thing about life is how it ends. The important thing about a person’s heart is where it winds up.

Who among us wants to be known by the ancient contents of the closet we keep so strongly locked and not by the works we stand for today?

Trump & Shakespeare

Acting White House Chief of Staff Mike Mulvaney says Trump will secure the Border “with or without Congress (to which the Constitution gives the power of the purse)” meaning, we assume, build his wall, one way or another. 

Really?

You mean even if Congress disagrees the mighty Trump will just do it anyway (somehow).

As usual, Shakespeare says it best: “Upon what meat doth this our Caesar feed That he is grown so great?”

I suggest the “meat” of egomaniacal ignorance, fueled by a desire to assume the purple robe of a dictator. Here is the man who said “If we don’t get what we want…I will shut down the Government.”

Which he did.

And now he threatens to do it again or to force his will and just build the Wall on his own authority.

How?

Perhaps he will order money taken from food assistance for the poor, from assistance to Puerto Rico still trying to right itself after that disastrous hurricane (it is a U S Commonwealth and its inhabitants are U S Citizens, or didn’t you know) even take it from the Department of Defense. These are just three of the places his aides are said to be busily searching for Government money that can be diverted to build the Wall.

Perhaps he will declare a National Emergency and attempt to use that Act’s power to just order the Corps of Engineers to start building.

The fact is, any attempt Trump makes to go around Congress (and the will of the majority of Americans) will be met by a flood of lawsuits. And does he think he can thumb his nose at the Courts which will surely stop him at least temporarily while the case(s) are adjudicated?

And surely an Impeachment proceeding (sparked by Trump’s defiant stand on his Wall together with whatever the Special Counsel reports) will begin in the House of Representatives to further slow the Government’s ability to work on other important problems both domestic and foreign.

But Trump doesn’t care. He must have his Wall or his hard-core base of believers may abandon him. Their eyes opened to see the Con Man at last.

Let us hope Donald J Trump does none of this and after the three week respite from Government shut down ends and still Congress won’t give him money for his Wall he stops blustering and accepts the will of Congress and of the Majority of the American People.

To do other wise is dangerous for the Country.

As for Trump…

Listen to  Shakespeare’s soothsayer –

“Beware…Caesar”

A Word for Mitch McConnell

During the longest Federal Government shutdown in history which has just ended, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was criticized in some quarters for “sitting on his hands” instead of actively using  the power of his position to bring about a quick end to the shutdown.

I am not a fan of Senator McConnell’s record of right-wing obstructionism – think his support for almost all things “progressive,” his eight year partisan attack on all-things Obama, his refusal to grant Judge Merritt Garland even a hearing let alone a vote on his nomination to the Supreme Court. The list goes on and on.

But in this case, I think McConnell played it just right, the only way he could. 

He and the president have never liked each other. McConnell wanted Rand Paul to be the nominee in 2016 right up to the time when it was clear the nominee would be Trump. And early on in his presidency, Trump criticized McConnell publicly for failing to get the Affordable Care Act repealed.

But when it comes to power over Republicans, in and out of Congress, Trump wins hands down. To challenge him in the Grand Old Party that like a disease he has invaded and destroyed is to lose.

McConnell did not advocate nor was he in favor of the shutdown. In advance, he cautioned Trump that shutdowns seldom work and the public doesn’t like them and blames the side that engineers one.

Now, a sensible. serious president, one schooled in the way of politics beyond just shouting slogans and boasts to a hot-eyed crowd, might have listened to McConnell , might have respected his record of tactical accomplishment.

But that’s not Trump. Until now, Trump has always  found a way to “win” by simply bullying it through.

So, what should, could McConnell have done once Trump’s shut down folly began?

Should he have taken to the Senate floor and joined Chuck Schumer in denouncing the shutdown? McConnell is the Republican leader of Republican Senators who with rare exceptions follow Trump slavishly.

McConnell could in the name of sanity have said to his fellow Republican Senators “Come on boys and girls and follow me in opposing this shutdown” but no leader can get very far out in front of his troops and in this case when he looked behind him McConnell would have discovered that no one was there.

McConnell would not only have been ineffective he would soon no longer be the leader. How about Tom Cotton or Mike Lee for leader instead of McConnell…would you like that better?

What McConnell did was stand aside and wait Trump out. Oh, yes. he gave the required “I support the president” speech from time to time but with no fire in it. He certainly did not work publicly or behind the scenes to shore up Trump’s crumbling position or approval rating.

At this week’s Senate Republican caucus when McConnell was attacked as bearing some fault for the situation he snapped “Do you think I liked this,” as close as he thought he could come publicly in denouncing the president’s willful and harmful action. And when the president finally capitulated and bowed to the obvious in a phone call to him, McConnell was careful to tell his Republican colleagues that it was Trump’s idea to re-open the Government for three weeks. Kudos to our president.

Should Trump’s position as president become untenable – impeachment or so un-popular that no Republican up for re-election (as McConnell is in 2020) need fear him – then they will all turn on him. But not yet.

McConnell played the shutdown just right – for his Republican colleagues in the Senate and for himself as leader and candidate for re-election.

Thank goodness Donald J Trump doesn’t have McConnell’s tactical smarts. He would be even more dangerous than he is!

 

Trump Hits The Wall

Donald J Trump was dragged kicking and screaming to the alter of truth today, forced to agree to end his shutdown of a portion of the Federal Government by a rising tide of fierce opposition from an increasing majority of the American people and by a clear wavering of his Republican Senate enablers on Capitol Hill.

He came grudgingly, defiantly, almost contemptuously in his refusal to recognize realty without a shred of grace – but he came.

Watching President Trump in his Rose Garden concession statement (no doubt inspired by Stephen Miller, Washington’s new “prince of darkness”) was painful. His invocation of a horde of criminals invading our Southern border, intent on crime, violating women (they tape their mouths shut as they move them toward the open border, he intoned), running drugs through the desert spaces with impunity and other arguments for building a WALL was cringe worthy.

Donald, we know why you want the WALL built – in a phone conversation with the President of Mexico you told him it had to be built and Mexico had to pay for it because he, Trump, had promised that during his campaign!

Yes, the WALL, is a terrible idea born of a campaign tactic used to energize his ”base,” those Americans who fear immigrants that don’t look or worship like them and who threaten by their numbers to eventually assume leadership control here.

The money cost alone to do something that would clearly have negletable effect on the ability of human traffickers and drug smugglers and ordinary people seeking asylum to enter our Country would be a waste. But, perhaps, more important the message to the World that this Country no longer welcomes “your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” would be devastating.

People want to come to America because of the freedom and tolerance and opportunity it affords for everyone. Change that and we change forever the America that has been the envy, and thus the leader, of the World.

So, he lost.

The tactic of a bully, demanding “If I don’t get my way, I’ll shut down the Government,” in the famous Oval Office confrontation with Schumer and Pelosi, that tactic no longer worked on the adults in the room. The Democrats stood fast and the “bully” backed down.

Or did he?

The last thing Trump said in his Rose Garden speech today was that if in the three weeks of negotiations he still doesn’t get money for his WALL he will use what he claimed were his legal and Constitutional powers to build it anyway.  There is already a report that his aides are looking around for monies in Federal Departments and Agencies that can be diverted to WALL building.

If President Trump thinks the American people will follow him on this one, he clearly is wrong and for his own good ought to kearn the “First Rule of Holes.”

The First Rule of Holes says: “If you find yourself in one, stop digging!” Yes, if Trump thinks if by just continuing to dig for that WALL he can “Win(!)” and satisfy his “base” he is completely bereft of objective judgement. Let him try to say he can do it as President no matter who objects and the flurry of law suits that will tie up the question for years will stop him cold (and Donald you have less than two years left).

A final warning in all this.

The forces that oppose the WALL must, as I believe they will, stand fast, must make no concession on money for a WALL. A few voices will surely speak up in the op-ed pages and even in the Congressional Democrat caucus and argue that “we won on the Government shut down, we beat him and now let’s give him a few million and by doing so show our genuine desire to work together on other important issues.”

No, feed the tiger at Munich and he’ll devour you.

No WALL, not a penny, not ever.

Stop “digging,” Donald. Show a little sense and a little class, just a little. For once, ignore the chattering Limbaugh, Coulter, Hannity monkeys who rattle your cage in their own self-interest – hey, they’re making money.

Stop digging your own political and historical grave and leave us in peace.

Eyes On The Prize – No Wall!

As the partial Federal Government shut down continues, The Washington Post has been pushing for days now for a Deal between Donald J Trump and his Democratic Congressional critics that would “Save the Dreamers.”

Would that be possible?

I’m for it, you may be for it.

But on what terms, at what cost?

There is a wonderful saying adopted and used successfully by the Civil Rights Movement of the past sixty/seventy years and it is this:

Keep the eyes on the prize!” Meaning, the most important thing is to remember the most important thing.

The most important thing today is to rid this Country and the World of Donald J Trump from any position of importance, power or influence…certainly from the Office of President of the United States!

That is the most important thing.

In any list of public needs in this Country after that comes high on the list a new immigration policy that ensures that the DACA children, the “Dreamers” are kept here save from harm and allowed a path to citizenship. But that is not the “Prize.”

The Post began by saying in so many words that it was worth giving Trump the 5.7 Billion he wants for his wall if he would guarantee the “Dreamers.” Since then the Post has modified its idea of a dream “Deal” to ensure that the money is actually spent in a realistic way and that the guarantee is not temporary or conditional.

Bravo!

Donald J Trump must not be appropriated one penny for construction of his wall. It is vital that he fail to achieve his primary campaign appeal to bigotry and racial hatred, to a renunciation of the hope this Country has always held toward the world that we are a haven, yes, forgive me, a “Shining City on a Hill.”

He must be defeated and be seen by those poor Americans who gave him their own hope as the truly evil con-man that he has always been. I say this not as a punishment toward those Americans but as a desire for them to see the truth and join the rest of us in returning our Country to the values that have always made us great.

Thankfully, the Courts have prevented the immediately assault on the “Dreamers.” If it came to the point – and I do not for a minute believe it will – that at midnight tomorrow Trump either gets his money for a Wall or the Dreamers are immediately deported, expelled from our Country, I reserve the right to change my mind.

The Washington Post or anyone else who thinks with the heart as well as the head are indeed blessed “for blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God (KJV).”

But for now, Donald J Trump must be forced into ignominious defeat: he must not be allowed to successfully use the “Dreamers” as a bargaining chip for a claim of victory that his so-called “base” could hang onto.

Remember the “Prize” and keep your eyes on it!

Ramming Speed

Donald J Trump, it’s over. Your child-like instance that “if I don’t get my way (on the Wall) I’ll shut down the Government” is over.

Your last ploy of suggesting you could declare a “National Emergency” in order to build a wall without express Congressional appropriations, without the support of the majority of Americans, is over. Your own advisors tell you it can’t be done.

And now, how to save face before your hot eyed “Base” who bought your truly evil, mean idea that we are facing an “invasion” on our Southern border, an invasion of brown-skinned rapists and murderers and drug dealers which requires a Wall.

Think of it.  This Country which, since it’s birth, has stood for a haven for people seeking a better life should put up a Wall.

Donald J Trump needs to lose “Bigly,” needs to be seen to lose “Bigly,” Will that strip away his dedicated fans, Americans who walk among us daily -good people in so many ways – but who have a “screw lose” in fundamental lessons of what makes this Country great?”

Perhaps, only a few. But every one who once believed in this con-man, this charlatan and is forced to realize they were duped is a good thing for them and good for the Country.

Ultimately, Trump is a symbol, an agent of the great struggle – a second civil war – underway here. Do we move forward in an inclusive world of peoples, religions, community attitudes that break down “tribalism and nationalism” or do we attempt to hold the line against such change and live in the past, in the “good old days”  before science and technology and study of the human condition made our lives so much better?

In a way, it may have been a good thing that this truly ignorant man tried to blackmail the majority of Americans by shutting down a portion of the Federal Government. Not a good thing for the people who have been hurt by such a tactic but in the sense that while he may never learn to over come his petulant, infantile insistence on “winning” no matter what and how, he must certainly understand that he lost this one. And if he doesn’t, at least a few of his former fans will and profit from the lesson.

Donald J Trump has lost.

And forgive me, I am delighted!

Let us end this partial shutdown of the Federal Government . Let us free some 800,000 workers from the hardship of no pay check. Let us return to “Regular Order” in which the Government is not held hostage to the fiery and selfish whims

Our National Emergency

On Friday, January 4, 2019, Donald J Trump told Congressional Leaders he may declare a “National Emergency” if necessary to build a Wall on the U S border with Mexico.

Here is the way the Washington Post began its report of the meeting:

“President Trump on Friday threatened a years-long shutdown of the federal government to get the money he wants for his U.S.-Mexico border wall, even as he asserted that he could declare a national emergency to build the wall if he chose to. “We can do it. I haven’t done it. I may do it. I may do it,” Trump said of the possibility of declaring a national emergency to build the wall. The president’s comments came during a lengthy Rose Garden news conference that followed a meeting with top Democratic and Republican congressional leaders as the partial government shutdown neared its two-week mark. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said the Situation Room meeting with Trump had been contentious. They said they pleaded with him to reopen most of the government, while setting aside the dispute over the wall — but that he refused. “He resisted,” Schumer said. “In fact, he said he’d keep the government closed for a very long period of time, months or even years.”

There is a National Emergecy, clearly.

The National Emergency is the existence as President of Donald J Trump.

Like a cornered beast, he lashes out in wild directions, his fury consuming what is left of his mind. He understands to retain any shred of credibility with many of those ignorant Americans who voted for him because of his promise to build a big Wall, he must be able to do it.

Never mind that when Republicans controlled both Houses of Congress and could put forward almost anything they coudd agree on – the big tax cut for the rich comes to mind – enough of them wouldn’t vote money for a Wall. And now with the Democrats in control of the House, there is no chance he will get his Wall through normal legislative appropriations.

He is frantic in defeat and rather than accept reality and go forward to work for and accept what is possible on other issues, he threatens to invoke a “National Emergency.”  Why not just order the U S Military and the U S Corps of Engineers to build a wall? Because , they would not obey orders that are clearly illegal and should not be obeyed.

So, let’s look at his power to invoke a National Emergency that would enable him to fulfill his foolish, yea criminal campaign promise to build a big Wall.

The National Emergency Act  (a law) provides the following:

“NEA Section 201 authorizes the president to declare a national emergency. The proclamation of a national emergency must be immediately transmitted to Congress and published in the Federal Register.1,2 Under NEA Section 301, statutory emergency authorities enabled by the national emergency declaration cannot be exercised until the president specifies the provisions of law under which the president or other officials will act.”

Therefore, a President my suspend provisions of laws in declaring  a National Emergency. After 9/11, President George W Bush invoked the authority to re-organize the Military to meet such threats. And in the latest presidental use of such authority, President Obama believed an epidemic of flu required it, as in his declaration:

“… temporary waiver of certain standard Federal requirements may be warranted in order to enable U.S. health care facilities to implement emergency operations plans, the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic in the United States constitutes a national emergency.”

But the law that authorizes such Presidential declarations does not and cannot authorize a President to suspend the Constitution of the United States. And that Constitution provides that only the Congress can authorize the spending of pubic funds.

Donald J Trump cannot build a Wall without the billions of dollars necessary to do it. And since Mexico has declined to pay for the Wall, only Congress can provide the money. Which it has not done and clearly will not now do.

Does this poor fool not know this? When, forgive the expression, he “shoots his mouth off” in total ignorance does he not know how ridiculous it makes him look?

I, not the smartest person around by any means, know this only because I “googled” the law and read it.

And as for keeping a portion of the U S Government closed for years (a portion that includes the Department of Homeland Security), why not even the most feckless of his Republican enablers in Congress will go along with that.

Trump must be totally defeated on this issue. Congress must not give him a penny in order for him to claim a victory for his ignorant, mean and foolish campaign promise to build a Wall. He must be defeated and must be shown to his faithful supporters to be defeated.

Those poor souls among us who see in Donald J Trump their Champion must come to understand that the majority of Americans will stop them and him from despoiling this Country further.

Walls cannot make us stronger. Our real strength is in our values, in our treatment of and care for others in this country and in the world. People want to come to our Country not only because we are weathy and powerfull but because we are just and good.

We must continue to be Ronald Reagan’s “Shining City Upon a Hill” or we will end up a collection of broken tribal villages, passed over and eventually destroyed. 

Delenda est Trump and his Wall!

 

Trump Must Not Get His Wall

At the moment I write, part of the U S Government is shut down over President Trump’s demand for money to build a wall on the U S/Mexico border. The President said in so many words that if he didn’t get what he wanted (about five billion dollars for wall construction) he would shut down the part of the Government whose appropriations had not been enacted. He has done that.

The Congressional Democrats insist he will not get a penny for wall construction. They must stand firm, they must not negotiate on that central point. More on this in a moment. But first a little history of walls.

Beginning as early as the 7th Century B C, Chinese states began constructing a northern wall to keep invaders out. They kept at it for centuries. It never worked.

In 122 A D, the Roman Emperor Hadrian and after him other Roman Emperors built a wall across Northern England designed to keep the “barbarians” out.  It didn’t.

In modern times, the Soviets built a Berlin wall designed to keep people in. With modern materials, a shorter distance, and many armed guards it worked better than the Chinese or Roman efforts. But not completely and in the end, forces stronger than bricks and mortar tore it down. 

Today, it seems clear that while there are some short sections of the border that have fencing the idea of building a wall the length of the border is ludicrous. The cost, the attendant construction and legal difficulties, the clear advantages of employing modern technical security devices over a physical barrier argue against it but perhaps most of all, the wall would glaringly represent a change in the moral standards of our Country that sets us apart and above so many others in this world and that would be disastrous.

In his zeal to build a wall, President Trump said Ronald Reagan tried for eight years to get money to build such a wall. That, like so very much this man says, is a lie.

Campaigning for the presidency in 1980, Reagan said” “Rather than talking about putting up a fence, why don’t we work out some recognition of our mutual problems, make it possible for them to come here legally with a work permit. And then while they’re working and earning here, they pay taxes here. And when they want to go back they can go back.”

And in his farewell address  ending  his presidency Reagan said in describing the United States as a Shining City Upon a Hill: “…in my mind, it was a tall proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, wind swept, God blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace – a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity, and if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors, and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here.”

Today, the Democrats must not negotiate on the wall, not split the difference, not hand over a penny. The Washington Post continues to editorialize that a good bargain would be to give Trump the money for a wall in return for  lifting the threat to expel the DACA children (The “Dreamers”) from the Country they were brought to as children. And ordinarily, if we were only talking money or even the reasons why the wall makes no sense that might be a good deal.

But those reasons for opposition are not the one, most important reason  the Democrats must not yield.

Donald J Trump who rode to his putrid victory on the promise to build a wall must not be given a victory, not even a partial one.

He must fail in his effort to secure funding for a wall and he must be seen to fail.

The highest objective is to remove Trump from the presidency and making certain that his so-called “base” understand that he cannot deliver his main (and meanest) promise to them is vitally important. He must be uncloaked as the con-man that he has always been. And while some of his “base” would clearly stick with him no matter what some will not if he can’t deliver.

Trump must be removed from the presidency, whether by impeachment, the 25th Amendment to the Constitution or the Election of 2020. And of these methods, particularly Impeachment or Election require a large majority of Americans to agree with the removal. And every supporter who leaves him makes it easier to remove him.

So, stand firm Democrats.

No wall.

Ever.

A Wish And A Warning

Donald J Trump promised if elected president:

-to deport eleven million people who had come into this country illegally. He hasn’t and he won’t.

-to repeal and replace “Obamacare.” He hasn’t and he won’t.

-to jail Hillary Clinton. He hasn’t and he won’t

-to build a great wall on the Southern Border which Mexico will pay for. He hasn’t and he won’t.

However, since becoming president, he has repeatedly threatened that if he didn’t get his way on the wall, he would shut down the federal government. He has.

Good going Donald, what a winner. I’m sure your voters are proud of you!

As for the rest of us, well, like some loathsome disease we want him gone. And somewhere deep down in the recesses of our minds where we keep hidden and suppressed our most terrible thoughts we recall the wish of Henry II – “will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?”

But we reject that thought, that wish with its awful consequences. We want the voters or the Congress to free us from this ignorant cruel man’s yoke, not four knights, not even one.

Still, a program of gigantic grievances imposed upon people brings out fierce thoughts even from the best of us. I’m sure I’ve quoted elsewhere from Patrick Henry’s maiden speech in the Virginia House of Burgesses which carried in it not a wish but a warning.

As recalled in the United States History website: “Speaking of George III, he stated that, “Caesar had his Brutus, Charles the First his Cromwell and George the Third — .” At that point he was interrupted by cries of “Treason!” from delegates who easily recognized the reference to assassinated leaders. Henry paused briefly, then calmly finished his sentence: “…may profit by their example. If this be treason, make the most of it.”

Be warned Donald J Trump by their example and profit from it.