White Liberals Self-Soothing Part Trois: Nancy Pelosi Calls Auntie Maxine and Trump Unacceptable [Updated 6/26] | Blog#42
California Representative Maxine Waters, Auntie Maxine as many call her on social media, has been a true resistor to the Trump administration, often throwing shade to shine a light on the many wrongs that have been perpetrated by Trump himself, or members of his administration. She’s become a legend over the past year, to the point where people started sharing memes of Waters.
At an event in Los Angeles last weekend, Waters said this:
Maxine Waters calls for attacks on Trump administration: "If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere." pic.twitter.com/jMV7wk48wM
— Ryan Saavedra 🇺🇸 (@RealSaavedra) June 24, 2018
Leader Pelosi was quick to blunder her way into false equivalencies by throwing shade at Auntie Maxine while she was criticizing Trump:
Waters’ comments come as at least three Trump administration officials — Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, adviser Stephen Miller and spokeswoman Sarah Sanders — have been forced out or denied service in restaurants. Protesters have also targeted Nielsen at home in recent days over the Trump administration’s immigration policies.
Without naming Waters directly, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., tweeted a CNN story about the controversy and said that President Trump’s own incivility has “provoked responses that are predictable but unacceptable.”
As leader of the opposition for the lower house of Congress, Pelosi should have been doing precisely the same things as Rep. Waters. With voters as angry as they are and wondering where in the world the opposition is, Pelosi continues to put dampers where there should be none, leading many to wonder why.
But Pelosi is hardly the only Democratic leader to tell minority members to hush up.
Update: Chuck Schumer, apparently, also took a shot:
Minority Whip, Steny Hoyer, just a few short weeks ago, was recorded telling a progressive candidate in his district his race is rigged. The Intercept also reports that:
“Members of Congress are right to be outraged by the Trump administration’s separation of migrant families, but there’s an acceptable way to express that anger, according to the No. 2 Democrat in the House of Representatives — and it’s not by shouting at the president.
Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said it was inappropriate of members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to yell at President Donald Trump in protest of his administration’s systematic separation of migrant children, some of whom are being held in cages, from their families.
In a tense encounter at the Capitol on Tuesday, five members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus protested and shouted at Trump as he left a meeting. “Mr. President, don’t you have kids? Don’t you have kids, Mr. President?” Rep. Juan Vargas of California yelled as Trump walked away. Members also held up signs that read, “Families Belong Together.””
“When asked by The Intercept about the appropriate way to protest, Hoyer said that he believes that Congress, even when responding to inhumane policies, must maintain “a level of decorum.”
“As I said in my interview today, the President’s vile comments and reprehensible behavior and inhumane policies engender strong condemnation and rightfully result in deep frustration,” Hoyer said in an emailed statement provided by his office. “I do believe that the institution of Congress must uphold a level of decorum, even though the President does not. The CHC has been passionate defenders of immigrants and families, and I support their right to protest in this fight to stop child abuse, reunite families, and protect DREAMers.””
When faced with his members expressing anguish and anger at the way human beings and their children are being caged by the very government they are a part of, all Hoyer is concerned about is decorum? Why is Hoyer concerned about Donald Trump, a man who calls people animals and has his minions at ICE put them in cages? Why aren’t Hoyer and Pelosi more concerned and actively leading a public opposition? That’s what many citizens are asking in social media forums. Once Pelosi said her piece, Trump didn’t miss a beat and went on to insult Maxine Waters, who, for her part, didn’t take his insult in silence:
Congresswoman Maxine Waters, an extraordinarily low IQ person, has become, together with Nancy Pelosi, the Face of the Democrat Party. She has just called for harm to supporters, of which there are many, of the Make America Great Again movement. Be careful what you wish for Max!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 25, 2018
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) June 26, 2018
It would have been nice to see the leader of the opposition, for once, stand up for Black women.
From the media, notable Liberals continue on the same tack I pointed out last week. Trump is likened to the Nazis, when the Nazis modeled themselves after America’s slavers and Jim Crow.
Paul Krugman completely whitewashed history with paragraphs like this one:
“The Pax Americana was a sort of empire; certainly America was for a long time very much first among equals. But it was by historical standards a remarkably benign empire, held together by soft power and respect rather than force.”
In, The Devil and Tom Donohue, Paul Krugman writes:
“Now, many in the plutocrat wing of the GOP seem to be genuinely dismayed by where this is going. They aren’t themselves racists, or at least they aren’t crude racists. But so far they’ve been unwilling to go beyond hand-wringing. Remember, just two Republican senators could stop all of this by saying that they’ll refuse to support Trump judicial appointments and legislation until the cruelty stops; they could bring all the evil to a dead halt by threatening to caucus with Democrats. But not one has stepped forward – because taking such a step would endanger conservative economic policies, and those are evidently more important than human rights.”
That the plutocrat wing of the GOP isn’t as crudely racist as Trump is not a consolation to anyone. That the plutocrat wing of the Democratic party is exerting pressure on its own Democrats by insisting on a decorum Donald Trump neither maintains as our president, nor deserves in return, is rather galling. They’re supposed to be way better. They’re supposed to lead.
That both establishment Democrats in Congress and in the media are putting out a narrative that deflects attention from the true nature of the Trump administration is distressing. By continuing to call the Republicans anything but what they truly are, white supremacists, and by telling minority leaders to modify their behavior, Democratic leaders take on an appearance that is no less supremacist than the colleagues they were elected to oppose.
Here we are, again, with Democrats behaving in their mysterious ways, acting against the public good and shutting down any public expression of discontent. What effect will the repression of public anger have at the polls in November? Turnout was average on June 5, in California. A year and a half after Trump’s inaugural, that doesn’t bode well.
Not calling out racists as forcefully as one should, in order to protect opposition leaders whose own behavior is suspect, is malpractice. Not encouraging Democrats, from one of the biggest podiums in the nation, to use a more strident tone, one that considers the diverse membership of the party, is malpractice. Not calling out the Democratic leadership for muting its own is wrong.
As I wrote in my previous post:
As a public, we have been conditioned to compare everything, always. In the process of these comparisons, nuance goes right out the window. Why don’t we talk about each administration on its own merits, its own sets of guiding ethics principles? Why is Trump the evil yardstick by which everyone else is deemed saintly? The one-word answer? Deflection. This approach lets absolutely everyone other than the target completely off the hook.”
New York candidate for Attorney General, Zephyr Teachout, is calling for the abolition of ICE. Democratic Rep. Mark Pocan has introduced a bill to abolish ICE, saying the agency is “tearing apart families and ripping the moral fabric of our nation.” Senator Kamala Harris has called for the abolition and remaking, from scratch, of ICE. Where is the leadership on this? Nowhere.
Trump is not the only ruler by which we measure wrong. Not Trump does not equal good. Not Trump is not a policy alternative. What will it take for the Democratic leadership stand up and stand out?
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