Trump Under the Radar: Onerous Executive Action Beyond Travel Ban

It’s still not clear if he is a master of misdirection or just so whacked that everything happens at once but President Trump has managed to take executive action on outrageous positions to which the American people aren’t paying attention as they protest against the Muslim travel ban. Perhaps we need to review.

• Environment. We can start by looking at the Senate Environment and Public Works committee approval of Trump’s nominee for EPA administrator. Scott Pruitt is a climate change denier (although he hasn’t declared it a “hoax by the Chinese.” Trump’s own interior secretary disagrees.). He has sued the EPA as the attorney general of Oklahoma. He is a friend to polluters, particularly the oil and coal industries.

Even with an anti-environment EPA nominee on the way to approval, the Trump administration and the Republican Congress think it needed a head start in dismantling important environmental regulations. Sen. Mitch McConnell and company rolled back a law that is designed to limit the dumping of mining waste into waterways. Have we learned nothing from the poisoning of Detroit’s drinking water? Apparently not. It’s more important to cozy up to the coal industry.

• “Voter fraud.” So, where is that executive order launching a “major investigation” of voter fraud in the 2016 presidential election? The delusional president simply (still) can’t accept that he won the election but didn’t win the popular vote. He famously declared—without out a shred of evidence—that 3 to 5 million votes were cast fraudulently and that they were all cast for Hillary Clinton. So where’s the investigation?

Trump’s penchant for seizing on an issue in front of him only to let it fall by the wayside is simply demonstrative of his inability to accept anything that is not reverent of himself.

House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) admits there is no evidence and other Republicans are loath to let such a charade go forward.

• The “replacement” of the Affordable Care Act. Republicans who have spent seven years ripping Obamacare with their mantra of “repeal and replace.” The “repeal” part is well underway. The “replace?” Not so much. It has dawned on them that 20 million people will lose their health insurance if there is nothing to take the ACA’s place.

The astounding thing is the number of people in the country who hate Obamacare but love the Affordable Care Act.

If seven years wasn’t enough time for opponents to come up with an alternative plan, will we ever have one?

• The “so-called judge.” This was a phrase many chalked up to Trump being Trump—a man unable to accept a setback let alone a defeat. When federal Judge Robert Robart, a George W. Bush appointee, stayed the implementation of Trump’s Muslim travel ban, the president immediately questioned, in essence, the legitimacy of the country’s judiciary. This is stunning and frightening. Just as he did with the Indiana judge who ruled against him in the Trump University case, Trump is calling into question our entire underpinnings of our country’s judicial system.

If Judge Neil Gorluch is approved to the Supreme Court and rules against a Trump policy, does he become a “so-called judge?”

• The Bowling Green Massacre. Ok, these two did get attention but I’m including it anyway because it signifies so much. Trump top advisor Kellyanne Conway went on the Chris Matthews show “Hardball” intent on scolding the press for not covering certain events that bore out Trump policies.

It wasn’t so much that she was so entirely clueless about what the Obama administration did and didn’t do or where a massacre occurred or didn’t occur, it was the vitriol with which she asserted her alternative facts, claiming, “People probably don’t know about because it wasn’t covered.”

No, the Obama administration did not ban Muslims from the countries included in Trump’s order. And no, there was no massacre in Bowling Green. They weren’t covered because they didn’t happen. Members of the Trump administration are so intent at demonizing the media, they can’t grasp simple facts.

• Frederick Douglass. It’s anyone’s guess as to whether trump knew who the abolitionist was when he commented about him but it certainly seemed he did not.

To make matters worse, it wasn’t clear press secretary Sean Spicer knew who Douglass was.

It is no doubt sad that we need to look very closely at what the Trump administration is doing so as not to miss its outrageous actions.