Bannon; Priebus; Christie; Protocol; Putin; Obamacare; Why Pence Might Be Scarier Than Trump.
Stephen K. Bannon Appointed Chief Strategist
Stephen K. Bannon, nationalist media mogul and Executive Director of right-wing, conservative website Breitbart News, has been named “senior counselor and chief strategist” to Trump, while Trump simultaneously named Reince Priebus Chief of Staff (more on him below). Before we talk about Bannon, it is worth noting that, as the New York Times rightly reports, the dual appointment immediately inspires rivalry between the two men- as if the prospect of our nation being led by either one of them alone wasn’t frightening enough.
Here’s a sampling of some of the horrific things Bannon and Breitbart have said and done in the years leading up to the former’s appointment to the White House:
- accused President Obama of “importing more hating Muslims”;
- compared Planned Parenthood’s work to the Holocaust;
- called the conservative commentator Bill Kristol a “renegade Jew”;
- advised female victims of online harassment to “just log off” and stop “screwing up the internet for men,” illustrating that point with a picture of a crying child. (Source for first four bullet points.)
- falsely claimed that the World Health Organization released a report revealing that “trannies” have an HIV rate 49 times that of cis, gender-conforming people;
- declared that there is no hiring bias in the tech industry, but rather, women don’t get tech jobs because they “suck at interviews”;
- declared that birth control “makes women unattractive and crazy”;
- claimed that Clinton campaign staffer Huma Mahmood Abedin is “most likely a Saudi spy” with “deep, inarguable connections” to a “global terrorist entity”;
- criticized “lesbian bridezillas” for demanding just treatment at a bridal shop; and
- characterized young Muslims in the West as “a ticking time bomb.” (Source for Bullets #5-present.)
Reince Priebus Appointed Chief of Staff
And now, a sampling of the crimes of the GOP and Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus:
- For starters, have a look at the Republican Party Platform. Then, remind yourself that he is the Chair of this party. Short on time? Take a peak at the “Great American Families…” etc. page.
- In October 2014, Priebus announced the GOP’s “Principles of American Renewal,” which includes a call for increased military spending; an affirmation that family life has “long been synonymous with religious life” and the government should not “coerce” Republicans to “violate their religious beliefs” (translation: the government ought not to compel bigoted business owners to treat LGBTQ+ people like people); and a ringing endorsement of the Keystone Pipeline, which promises to wreak havoc on the environment by increasing greenhouse gases and the potential for oil spills.
HE FIRED CHRISTIE!!!
Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey has been a loyal servant to Trump from the very beginning, and has been referred to by the press as, among other things, Trump’s “unpaid McDonald’s delivery intern,” “errand boy” and “manservant.” At first, we thought maybe he wanted to be VP, but his fierce loyalty persevered after the selection of Mike Pence for running mate. When he was put in charge of Trump’s transition team, we thought maybe now, finally, his loyalty would be rewarded.
But on Friday, November 11th, Trump once again chose Pence over Christie, unceremoniously firing the latter and hiring the former as head of the transition team. This may or may not have to do with the fact that, as governor, Christie put Charles Kushner– the father of Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and close advisor– behind bars.
It may also have to do with Christie’s handling of Bridgegate. The obvious answer looks like this: “Christie has his own mess to clean up right now, and probably won’t be able to focus 100% on this task, so it makes sense to pick someone else to do it.” The answer the New York Post and others are reporting looks more like this: “Trump is disgusted that Christie threw Bridget Kelly under the bus (or off of the bridge, if you will), and is sending a soccer mom to jail over his own evil scheme.”
The second answer, of course, suggests that Trump is following some sort of moral compass, which immediately renders it less credible than the other explanations that abound.
Abandoning Protocol Left, Right and Sideways
While Trump has managed to make two appointments and several firings (Christie wasn’t the only one; others who support Christie were ousted, too) from his ivory tower at Fifth Avenue and 56th Street in Manhattan, he and his people have not yet gotten around to filing some crucial paperwork for the White House, including a formal announcement of who will be able to represent his transition team that is required in order for said team to receive confidential briefings and pair up with its Obama administration counterparts.
Some world leaders have had trouble getting ahold of him, while he has spoken to a few others and even set up a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe without any oversight or advice, including the typical logistical support provided by the State Department. In some cases, he simply didn’t bother to reach out, such as to the State Department; in others, such as Obama administration officials, people who would ordinarily advise him are currently legally barred from doing so, owing to the missing paperwork referenced above.
True to form, Trump has already begun to deny all of this via his girlfriend, Twitter.
Already Broing it Up with Putin
Here‘s an article about a little chat they had earlier this week.
Trump Walks Back Tough Talk on Obamacare
One of the key pillars of Trump’s presidential campaign was the repeated promise to repeal Obamacare. A few days ago (11/11), much to the surprise of many, Trump agreed to keep two essential elements of Obamacare on which scores of Americans are currently reliant: the ban on insurers denying coverage for pre-existing conditions, and the ability of young adults to stay on their parent’s or parents’ health care plan until age 26.
This past Sunday, November 13th, Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said the President-elect is considering calling a “special session” of Congress on the day he’s sworn in to repeal President Barack Obama’s health care law. Whether or not his commitment to the two aspects of the plan cited above will last from now until then is anyone’s guess. But it should come as no surprise that this would be the first major policy move on Trump’s part, given that there has been massive support from the GOP regarding the end of Obamacare that Trump does not have for some of his other pet issues and projects. The GOP is likely anxious to push through any and all legislation on which it and Trump agree as quickly as possible, in case Trump should be impeached, assassinated or otherwise unable to complete his four-year term.
Which is not something any of us in “resistance mode” should really want, because…
The substitute for Trump would be Mike Pence, who, as I’ve said, is a robot demon from the bowels of Hell. Why?
Here are some things you may or may not know about Mr. Pence, which it would be wise to keep in mind as demands for Trump’s impeachment reach a fevered pitch:
- For detailed lists with citations on all of his policy positions, visit his On The Issues page.
- He wants to prohibit federal funding for abortion.
- In 2011, he sponsored a bill banning federal funding for Planned Parenthood, which even Trump has stood up for (though he characteristically flip-flopped on the issue in September), as it does much more than just provide abortions.
- In 2009, he declared that fetuses deserved legal personhood and protection under the 14th Amendment.
- He has and continues to oppose equal pay for women and people of color.
- He has claimed that the future of conservatism relies on “traditional” (heterosexual) marriages, and that civil rights must be “balanced” with religious freedom.
- In 2007, he voted NO on prohibiting job discrimination based on sexual orientation.
- In 2004, he voted YES to ban same-sex marriage.
- He has spoken against talking about “implicit bias” as recently as last month, claiming that such talk demeans police officers.
- He supports the Death Penalty. (“But I thought he was a Christian?” Nope; men like Pence have nothing to do with Christianity. They only engage in it to the extent that they can exploit it. Don’t be fooled.)
- In 2009, he voted NO on enforcing against anti-LGBTQ+ hate crimes.
- In January of this year, he sued the Obama Administration over its Clean Energy Plan.
- Unlike Trump, whose face is filled with hate, Pence looks very much the Boy Next Door. His calm, composed manner during the VP debate stood in stark contrast to Trump’s stalking, red-faced posturing and relentless interjections during all three presidential debates. He is reminiscent of That Racist Uncle in nearly every white family, who everyone else in the family ignores.
We cannot afford to ignore Pence. He’s not some embarrassing relative; he is our nation’s vice president-elect. We must be vigilant in not allowing Pence’s polished demeanor to disarm us; he is every bit as dangerous as Trump, if not more so.
All content ©Saryta Rodriguez, 2016.