The Daily Dog: Career Suicide

If there is anyone in the Trump government more offensive than Trump himself, it has to be Sarah Huckabee Sanders. After the dictator attacked MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski in an early morning tweet, and even fellow republicans said he had gone too far, a loyal and blindly unconscionable Sanders defended Trump at Thursday afternoon’s presser. The slab-faced Sanders peddled her daily swamp sludge like a dutiful puppet and complained about the media’s criticism of her master.

Every press briefing is increasingly like amateur hour at the White House Apollo Theater. Is there no one in the current administration who did not think that Donald J. Trump was going to be ridiculed for who he is and is not — a blathering idiot and president?

The free press’s public ridicule of American politicians is a time worn practice dating back to the signing of the United States Constitution. The founding fathers may not have had press and paparazzi hounding them like modern politicians do, but they knew enough to protect that eventuality with the First Amendment.

Fanklin 1754 06302017Ben Franklin published political cartoons in his own paper, The Pennsylvania Gazette. A crudely drawn depiction of disunity among the British colonies appeared in May of 1754 and accompanied Franklin’s own editorial. The cartoon, sometimes recognized as America’s first of its kind, could very well be interpreted to apply to the nation’s present political chaos.

From Puck in the 1800s to “Doonesbury” comics in the 1970s, political satire and media criticism of every living (and some deceased) president has run the gamut of mildly funny to grotesquely spiteful. And every president until now has borne the cross of the First Amendment because it is what presidents and experienced political leaders do. They have never struck back at anyone, especially a vulnerable woman.

Criticizing the government and leaders is a fundamental right in America. It is perhaps the sole consideration that sets our country’s democracy apart from any other form of government. Sanders’ willingness to appear in front of the press and not apologize, or worse, turn on the media, shows a treacherous disregard for the most basic premise upon which the nation was founded.

At what point will some person, who so desperate for a job sold their soul to Trump, realize that there is not going to be a reward? Honestly, at the dark close of the Trump era — whether that is ten months or four years — no media outlet will be rushing to recruit Sanders…or Sean Spicer. The White House press office has alienated every reputable media outlet in the country, and has demonstrated an anti-America attitude to the First Amendment.

Working in the Trump press office is the career suicide equivalent of swallowing a cyanide pill before jumping off a building and shooting yourself in the head on the way down. By defending Trump’s cruel sexist tweets to Brzezinski, Sanders added an extra measure…a rope around her neck.

Trump is a crybaby whose delicate ego cannot handle criticism of any kind, let alone the harsh spotlights of reality that accompany the Oval Office. Politics is mean and dirty and Trump has traded pies with the best of the mudslingers. It is time for him to grow a backbone, or cede the office to a real leader — if there is one among the bottom dwellers who make Washington, D.C. their home.

It is also time for Sanders, and anyone else who steps in front of a camera to represent the White House, to respect the constitution and America’s indispensable right to ask questions of our leadership. We are not looking for a newspeak history lesson or a complaint. We have over two centuries of precedent that says definitively, “When we ask, you answer,” — no matter how badly your feelings are hurt.

During her nauseating drivel on Thursday, Sanders suggested that Trump has a right to “hit back” at his detractors. To this we say, Ms. Sanders, your boss — whose record overflows with misogyny and sexism — is NEVER justified for hitting back at a bleeding woman…at any woman. Whether a hit comes from a tiny fist, a bigly word, or a hateful tweet, it is unacceptable.

Donald Trump is not fit to be president, and for anyone who argues differently, do this. Close your eyes, imagine your mother, bleeding after a visit to the dentist, and then think of Trump punching her in the mouth…still wearing your red hat?

A Bully in the Ninth Circuit

There should be little surprise that President Trump has floated an idea to break up the Ninth Circuit. The suggestion corresponds to similar manipulations such as redistricting voting precincts or realigning Congressional districts to gain advantages in elections. It is the highest form of cheating in attempted political domination.

Practically everyone can recall a time in elementary school when the playground bully was team captain or the very best at something. To keep possession of the ball, court, or field, the bully had to keep winning. There were rare occasions when the bully did face a potentially embarrassing loss.

It was always on the brink of a momentous loss that the bully announced, “Rule Change!” Bullies are notoriously sore losers.

Planning to break up the Ninth Circuit is a rule change and a slap in the face to the residents of western states who tend to lean progressive. The west comprises a more sympathetic and accommodating aspect of the nation’s many faces — a nation that is built on diversity and a fundamental right to disagree. An attack on a judicial district that reflects those values is an attack on the very people themselves.

A sitting president is tasked with not only representing the many peoples of the nation, but also respecting them. While the president has a right to express conflicting opinion, he should not try to mold one of the largest population segments of the nation to suit a win-craving ego.

One of the central precepts of American democracy is that it is supposed to be representative. From time to time, it does fail. (As when a candidate who does not attain the popular vote goes on to win the Electoral College and thus gain the presidency as a majority loser).

The idea that controversy exists among the courts should be comforting to everyone, except perhaps the playground bully. Disagreement reaffirms that somewhere, someone in the government of this diverse nation shares an opinion with a common person. If every court catered to the executive branch as the president demands, America might indeed become slightly more Russian with one opinion and one opinion only Vassily.

There is a reason the judicial system is multi-tiered and procedurally complex. It allows that a disenchanted litigant has recourse to a multi-faceted appeal. As an American boasting of greatness, the president should set an example and utilize the judicial system like any other litigant. He should recognize and respect the judiciary and the slow, but effective process through the system’s bowels.

The path to finality in the U.S. court system is not a journey of instant gratification for ex-reality show hosts. Even an ultimate ruling by the Supreme Court of the United States is not etched in stone. The paradigm of justice fluctuates with the nine Justices of the high court. The courts are like the weather, and the old saying about waiting five minutes…except the five minutes might be five decades. This is the system established by men wiser than one president is. It is not perfect, but it is a necessary feature of a democracy that America heralds around the globe.

Playground bullies hate to lose. When threatened, they will invariably try to change the rules to leverage an advantage. However, the playground is for everyone and not only the bully. As the president speaks more and more about changing the rules in order to win, maybe it’s time for the nation to pay more attention to the First Lady’s soft-spoken words on bullying. There is a reason she chose that platform…