The Hill reports that Donald Trump has essentially lost his mind:
President Donald Trump on Wednesday went directly after the appellate court judges mulling whether to revive his controversial order banning immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.
In a remarkable scene, the new president used words like “biased” and “political” to describe any court that disagrees with the executive order he signed on Jan. 29. His sharpest comments were directed right at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit judges who expressed deep skepticism of the order on Tuesday night.
It's already clear that Trump despises the system of checks and balances an independent judiciary represents, but this is a rhetorical escalation that presents a grave threat to our way of life. Even worse, according to The Hill, Trump is trying to pave the way for law enforcement to ignore the courts:
From the outset, it appeared Trump was trying to pit the law enforcement officers in the room against the country’s court system.
He called it “incredible” that the court battle over the Muslim travel order has gone on “for so long” — even though the federal court ruling only came down Friday evening. And he surmised, to very tepid applause, that the federal court judges are “interpreting things differently than I’d say 100 percent of the people in this room.”
Anyone with even a shred of respect for the Constitution should be hearing warning bells going off. The only people who want to turn America's law enforcers against America's courts are people who have no use for the rule of law. Even subtle encouragement to disregard the courts is a startling attack on our society, especially coming from a person that's supposed to be the president.
On Tuesday, Trump's lawyer said that the President of the United States is above the law and on Wednesday, Trump fully endorsed the idea that he is King of America:
But Trump, in yet another remarkable moment on Wednesday, seemed to double down on Flentje’s initial assessment of the U.S. Code, saying it means, for a sitting president, “you can do whatever you want.”
We are at a very dangerous crossroad. The Republican Party either lacks the will or the courage to stand up to Trump so they will not be a check on his autocratic ambitions. The courts will do what the courts will do and that almost certainly means they will continue to strike down his gross violations of the Constitution. But at some point in the very near future, a frustrated Trump will declare that the courts have no power and order his Muslim ban to go into effect because he's the president and when you're the president, “you can do whatever you want.”
When that inevitably happens, how do we as a country respond to having our Constitution effectively nullified by a would-be tyrant? Do we fret and fume and do nothing? Because once we allow Trump do ignore the courts, it's a short walk to suspending elections and arresting political enemies because of a "state of emergency" and that's the end of the American Experiment.
There are 635 days left to the 2018 elections.
- This article kills fascists
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