Fair and Unbalanced

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Mike Littwin

"The pump don't work 'cause the vandals took the handles."

Littwin: Trump loses this round with brothers, sisters of the robe

Littwin: Trump loses this round with brothers, sisters of the robe

If not for the brothers and sisters of the robe — as Neil Gorsuch described his fellow judges — there would have been no more than the typical chaos at the Trump White House.

If not for the panel of Ninth Circuit judges who forcefully reminded Donald Trump that there are three branches of government — something even a bad high school student should know — it would have been, in fact, a day much like any other confounding day.

If not for the fact that the three-judge panel unanimously blasted Trump’s defense of his executive orders on immigration and refugees as running “contrary to the fundamental structure of our constitutional democracy,” we could have safely ignored Trump’s all-caps tweeted reply to the ruling: “SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!”

But we can’t ignore it because the judges, in upholding a lower-court stay of Trump’s executive orders, basically determined that Trump had not shown that the security of the nation would be enhanced by the orders, which leaves us, and probably the judges, to wonder why he was actually issuing the orders at all. Of course, there’s so much to wonder about in Trump World.

On our calendar Thursday, the day of the ruling, there were these puzzlers: Kellyanne Conway being “counseled” for her Invanka Trump products sales pitch. Sean Spicer going full Melissa McCarthy on the press. Trump embarrassingly having to embrace the One China policy in a didn’t-sound-like-winning phone call with China President Xi Jinping. National security adviser Mike Flynn caught lying (by the Washington Post and its nine sources) about talking to the Russians about sanctions before Trump took office. Mike Pence having to explain why he had said Flynn never talked to the Russians about sanctions (did Flynn lie to Pence or did Pence lie to us?). Trump’s twitter feuding (again) with John McCain. Trump’s leaked phone call with Vladimir Putin being paused while Trump had to ask advisers what the New START treaty was.

And, of course, there was the ultimate Trump — the once-healthy college-age athlete who escaped the draft by claiming to have had bone spurs, although, years later, he wasn’t sure in which heel — blasting Sen. Richard Blumenthal for lying about his Vietnam-era record (Blumenthal had said he served in Vietnam when, in fact, he had served during Vietnam).

Why call Blumenthal a liar? Because the senator had relayed, apparently with the judge’s permission, that Gorsuch was “disheartened” and “demoralized” by Trump’s so-called critique of so-called judges. Trump said Blumenthal mischaracterized Gorsuch’s words even though Gorsuch’s Senate handlers, who were in the room, said Blumenthal’s words were accurate. In other words, Trump called Blumenthal a liar even though he knew Blumenthal wasn’t lying. The White House later tried to say that Gorsuch’s statements weren’t about Trump at all, but apparently about some other very important person calling judges a “disgrace.” We’ll see if the White House launches a search to find the real judge-basher.

If Gorsuch had been trying to put some distance between himself and the man who appointed him in order to impress Democratic senators with his independence — one theory on why he let Blumenthal take his words public — it failed. Now, as ever, the Gorsuch nomination will be all about Trump. Of course, it’s always about Trump.

Just as the executive orders were all about Trump’s ever-adjusted campaign promise to ban all Muslims (the order settled for temporarily banning Muslims from seven majority-Muslim countries).

Just as the judges’ 3-0 ruling was about Trump’s insistence that judiciary, which usually gives deference to the executive in such cases, had no right to even review the national-security orders.

Here’s from the ruling: “The government does not merely argue that courts owe substantial deference to the immigration and national security policy determinations of the political branches — an uncontroversial principle that is well-grounded in our jurisprudence.

“Instead, the government has taken the position that the president’s decisions about immigration policy, particularly when motivated by national security concerns, are unreviewable, even if those actions potentially contravene constitutional rights and protections.”

That concept, the judges wrote, “runs contrary to the fundamental structure of our constitutional democracy.”

The experts tell us that Trump’s appeal, which will almost certainly get to the Supreme Court, although the timing may be at question, was shot down at nearly every turn. On standing (the states had the right to sue). On trust (the court didn’t trust that the Trump administration would actually exclude green-card holders from the order). On the possibility of religious discrimination (it was Rudy Giuliani who couldn’t resist bragging that Trump had asked him how to “legally” implement his Muslim ban). On irreparable injury (the government didn’t even attempt to show that the present system wasn’t adequate to protecting the country).

In her New Yorker article, Amy Davidson made the point that the irreparable harm, in Trump’s view, was to his ability to boast about winning. Trump lost, for now. But it’s early. And as for winners, well, we’re just at the temporary-restraining-order stage now. There are, in all likelihood, many rulings on these orders yet to come. Trump is already promising more “extreme vetting,” whatever that means. Let’s hope it doesn’t involve waterboarding.

And at this point, if you’re feeling some real irreparable harm, I can promise it won’t be the last time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About the Author

Mike Littwin

He has covered Dr. J, four presidential inaugurations, six national conventions and countless brain-numbing speeches in the New Hampshire and Iowa snow.
mlittwin@coloradoindependent.com | Twitter @mike_littwin

3 Comments

  1. Don Lopez on said:

    Clown car offering free one-way transportation to California.

    “Hiding news that doesn’t fit an ideological or a partisan agenda is perhaps the worst form of media bias. And it’s one more reason the public holds the press is such low esteem.” – Investor’s Business Daily

    “Look, everyone knows there will never be a President Trump.” – Mike Littwin, July 2015

    In 2014 newly-elected Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren visited Colorado with Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton and, of course, “The Closer” former President Clinton to, as Mr. Littwin said at the time, “energize the voters” and, presumably, to help reelected Senator Mark Udall.

    How’d that work out?

    The last time Senator Warren’s name graced Mr. Littwin’s column was last May when Mr. Littwin anointed her the Democrat’s “Goofy” twitter-challenger charged with responding to Mr. Trump’s tweets. “But none of that may compare to the heavyweight (Twitter) match-up everyone has been awaiting — Trump v. Warren, Bully v. Goofy, Twitter champ v. Twitter challenger.”. Mr. Littwin also said he felt Senator Warren could do a better job against Mr. Trump then the media.

    How’d that work out?

    Now Mr. Littwin wants readers to believe that “(Senate majority leader) Mitch McConnell, the wiliest of wily old politicians, made the un-wiliest move imaginable on the Senate floor” by invoking Senate rule 19 against Senator Warren. Mr. Littwin also hinted that Senator McConnell’s actions may make Senator Warren a more appealing 2020 presidential candidate when, by the way, she’ll be 71:

    “Now, there are some who think that McConnell was playing multi-dimensional chess and that this move was designed to help Warren become the face of the Democratic Party. If so, he maybe went one dimension too far.”

    Really? Well, here’s how Mr. Littwin evaluated Senator Warren’s presidential prospects in March, 2015:

    “While Democrats like to mock the overflowing Republican clown car presidential field, Democrats don’t have enough legitimate presidential candidates to fill a Mini.

    Joe Biden is not just too old. He’s Joe Biden. Elizabeth Warren is not running, and, as appealing as she might be to liberals, she wouldn’t win if she did run.”

    You can’t make this stuff up!

    The number of times Mr. Littwin has contradicted himself is equaled only by the number of times he has ignored those contradictions. ( e. g. He was pro-FBI Director James Comey before he was anti-FBI Director James Comey).

    And while Mr. Littwin desperately scrounges for moral victories (which for the next eight years is the most he can hope for) not all media members view Senator Warren’s stunt as a win. This from the Daily Beast:

    “Warren’s moment is being celebrated like it’s a victory. A meme-friendly moment of rebellion isn’t a victory if it’s just defeat plus feel-good artifice.”

    And this from the Washington Post:

    “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was right to invoke Rule 19 against Sen Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) for her personal harangue against her “friend and colleague” Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.). Dignity is flowing out of Washington and Warren is doing more than her part as she desperately tries to prove she isn’t just another tiresome Hillary Clinton. What a pretentious, grandstanding phony.”

    Mr. Littwin’s nose is firmly pressed against the outside of the glass looking in and in one of his more bizarre pot calling the kettle black moments snipes at President Trump’s lack of military service.

    Of course, that’s rather pedestrian compared to this “What does matter, and what I’m arguing, is that Trump’s presidency is a danger to the country and to the world and that to pretend otherwise is to be a part of that danger.”

    That’s a level of hyperbole that was difficult to attain and over the next eight years will be difficult to sustain but so much fun to watch.

    So very much fun to watch!

    //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

    “(Democrat Senator Chris) Murphy suggest that the sheer number and pace of Trump initiatives makes it impossible to maintain a state of perpetual outrage. “To Democrats, it’s no accident,” notes David Catanese, the U.S. News and World Report journalist who wrote the story. “Yet given that Trump’s approval rating is hovering between a respectable 45 percent and 49 percent depending on the poll, the fury emanating out of Washington and other major American cities is likely disproportional to the country at large. To some Democrats, this is a flashing alarm that incessant full-throated opposition is counterproductive.

    But claims that the public wants a filibuster of Gorsuch are preposterous. In a CNN poll released today, respondents backed Gorsuch’s confirmation by a margin of 49 percent to 36 percent.

    But (President Trump’s) biggest asset may be that his over-the-top adversaries are even better at painting themselves in negative terms.” – National Review

    “In their efforts and haste to make a statement about President Trump by going after his daughter, leftists, and particularly feminists, are depleting their own cause for tolerance by attacking a champion for women with a proven track record of female empowerment. They’re also eroding their ideological path into the White House.” – Katie Pavlich

    November 08, 2016

    “’Cause I don’t have no use
    For what you loosely call the truth” – Tina Turner

    Greenlight a Vet
    Folds of Honor
    Special Operations Warriors Foundation
    Garysinisefoundation.org
    Veterans Day – November 10, 2017

  2. Melonia T on said:

    Don Lopez needs to really make an effort to “get a Life.” Once again we have evidence that djt, Don’s God and president has committed treason and should be impeached along with his minions and jailed for a long time. I am listening to his clown Spicey right now who is trying like hell to somehow come up with some kind of excuse for the treason committed by djt and mikey p. No such luck.

  3. Don Lopez on said:

    Mrs. T.,

    I would get a life but this is just way too entertaining! And it’s free!!

    I wish I could adequately express how much I enjoyed your comment and I hope you’ll continue to make more contributions. Hopefully, a lot more.

    People don’t believe how absolutely unhinged left-leaning Americans become when discussing President Trump and his administration. But it does reveal the true nature of liberalism. And for that I’m grateful.

    If I read your comment correctly you believe President Trump:

    – committed treason
    – should be impeached
    – should be jailed for a long time

    I hope I didn’t misread or misinterpret anything and maybe you’ll expand just a little on the “evidence” you have to support those beliefs but in the meantime please, please, please continue to comment.

    You have a long way to go to reach Mr. Littwin’s level of TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome) but don’t be discouraged because he didn’t get there overnight.

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