Slouching Towards Authoritarianism: the Thunderclap Illusion
The Obama team is on the case which certainly makes me feel better.
“Obama lawyers form ‘worst-case scenario’ group to tackle Trump.”
“Fearful the new administration will abuse its power, the former president’s lawyers are uniting to fight back.”
“Top lawyers who helped the Obama White House craft and hold to rules of conduct believe President Donald Trump and his staff will break ethics norms meant to guard against politicization of the government — and they’ve formed a new group to prepare, and fight.”
“United to Protect Democracy, which draws its name from a line in President Barack Obama’s farewell address that urged his supporters to pick up where he was leaving off, has already raised a $1.5 million operating budget, hired five staffers and has plans to double that in the coming months. They’ve incorporated as both a 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4), allowing them to operate as a nonprofit but participate in some forms of political advocacy as well.”
“While other Trump opponents focus on taking the president to court over the travel ban and deportations, the new group plans to drill into issues that aren’t already hitting the headlines, like potential intervention in and intimidation of regulatory agencies by West Wing staff.”
“When people hear concerns about democracies declining into authoritarianism, they expect that moment to come in a singular thunderclap where everyone can see that this is the time,” said Ian Bassin, who’s leading the new group. “In reality, often times, democracies decline over a period of years that happen through a series of much smaller steps.”
The thunderclap illusion is what I was trying to warn against yesterday in my piece about Trump’s mass deportations. Don’t wait for the news of when they start: they already have.
It helps to have the Obama team out minding the store. Eric Holder himself is advising the state of California. There is literally no better person to advise you about how to fight back against Trump and Jeff Sessions abusing their power at DOJ.
Back to United to Protect Democracy:
“They started by submitting 50 Freedom of Information Act requests this week that they believe will confirm their suspicions. The plan is to bring what they find to reporters, build it into pressure for congressional oversight with the help of a campaign director they’ll hire, and, as necessary, to file lawsuits.”
“They’re also hoping to establish themselves as a base for government employees worried about ethics violations — up to and including becoming whistleblowers — and are hoping that their website, https://unitedtoprotectdemocracy.org/,can become a resource.”
“White House press secretary Sean Spicer, responding to the group’s formation, said, “This administration has raised the level of ethics training and oversight to a new level compared to the practices of the previous administration.”
Spicer if nothing else has a great sense of humor. Talk about not passing the laugh test.
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