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    Take Action on the Muslim Ban: Stop Sessions

    The Administration has handcuffed legal American residents and detained them without charges as part of the President's pointless, lawless Muslim ban. It's a great moment to protest, an even better moment to donate to the ACLU and CAIR. But also be sure to call both your senators on Monday and demand that they make Jeff Sessions explain his position on this. If the President will not follow the Constitution or the law then we need an Attorney General who will.

    Call both of your senators' offices. Speak briefly and politely. Ask that the Senator not vote to confirm Sessions as Attorney General until Sessions tells Congress whether or not the ban is legal. If you have time, add that you are concerned that Sessions's long-time aide, Stephen Miller, helped write this ban. The committee vote on Sessions is Tuesday; make sure to call before then,

    Attorney General is THE key position for any administration that wants to dismantle our democracy, or to keep it from being dismantled. After World War II, when many future Iron Curtain countries in Europe had coalition governments combining Communists and non-Communists, the Communists always made sure that they got the position comparable to Attorney General: the Interior Minister, who controlled the internal police and security functions. Then the pro-Soviet Communists used their control of the police and the counterintelligence services to take control of the country, so there were no more coalition governments. In Czechoslovakia, the Communists took the Interior Ministry and the leader of the democratic mainstream party took the more prestigious role of Foreign Minister. Then the Communists threw the Foreign Minister out a high window and the security police ruled it suicide. The Secretary of State can't start a coup, or stop one. The Attorney General could do both.

    The Attorney General controls the FBI, oversees voting rights, prosecutes all federal crimes, supervises our efforts to catch foreign spies. The Attorney General could lay off prosecuting spies from particular foreign governments. The Attorney General can simply choose not to prosecute crimes committed on the Administration's behalf. It's an extremely dangerous position in the wrong hands.

    On the positive side, a principled Attorney General helped bring Richard Nixon down. A good Attorney General can save our country.

    Stopping Jeff Sessions is one of the most important things we can do. If he gets confirmed anyway, but has to publicly repudiate one of Trump's policies to do it, that could also be very valuable, because Trump will be angry and we want their working relationship to be as damaged as it can be. An Attorney General who won't do Trump's dirty work for him is what we need.

    Call both of your senators, please. Trump has made it clear that he intends to govern lawlessly and unconstitutionally. But he has made a mistake by moving too obviously, too soon, before he had his Attorney General and Supreme Court pick in place. Let's make him pay for that mistake, now, before he can solidify unlawful power.



    Will do.

    Thanks for the reminder.  I will call John Warner and Tim Kaine.  

    Thank you for this Dr. Cleveland.

    Democrats have to vote against all of Trump's nominees. The elevation of Bannon to a national security role confirms that military and intelligence advice will not be taken into consideration. Trump is a loose cannon. Democrats should steer clear of him.

    Edit to add:

    Trump is openly defying court orders.

    Constitutional crisis # 1 is here

    My first reaction like those before me was " of course,thanks." But in the interim I've come to wonder. Without doubt your proposal is appropriate. But is it tactically correct?

    Every protest however justified uses up a certain amount of the public's patience. And proportionately decreases our ability to protest in the future. We lose our audience.

    Should we play some of those chips on this outrage? Or save them to push  on table in  the coming fight against the  doubt terriblesupreme court nomination ?




    Government officials are openly defying a court order. Trump has put a racist in a national security position and removed the Joint Chiefs. Exactly when do you think we should protest? 

    Exactly.  Also, not protesting these outrages normalizes them.  Protest groups are growing.  In my little town of Charlottesville there is an INDIVISIBLE chapter, and quite a bit of our work is phoning politicians' offices and small group protesting at their offices.  The more we meet, the more people we recruit.  

    This is more serious than anything else in my lifetime.  The only concern I have is that since this bastard president seems to like negative attention as much as he likes positive attention, he may just keep raising the ante until we end up in a shooting war with China, or he sends nukes somewhere.  But that is not a reason to let him off without a whimper.

    i am happy to say that I get lots of compliments on my RESIST. Tee-Shirt!

    At this point, I view Pence, Priebus, Bannon, Conway, the Cabinet nominees, and the Republican Congress as traitors. We have to speak out now. He is assaulting Muslims now. Latinos are next. Then blacks. Then women. Trump is an Authoritarian. We have to pressure Democrats to refuse to participate in Trump's madness. Protest in the streets is also necessary. Most people are outraged by Trump's behavior. His hard core 33% would still back him if he starts mass imprisonment.

    This is an outrage but there are many more to come. If we protest them all ,the last one in line may be the protest that costs us the chance to take control of the senate. 

    But that's indirect. What we do  matters some. What the senators do matters a  whole lot more. If they defeat Trumps coming Court nomination they buy us a year with the Supreme Court at worst split  50/50 until  he changes the Senate rules on  filibusters next January. When they consider  that decision there'll take into account how seriously they think they have antagonized their state's electorate already. 

    I don't want to lose a single vote on that issue because Senator X thinks he's already on thin ice because of his vote against Sessions so he'd better keep his head down on the Court nomination.



    Flavius, Democrats are not going to have major clout in the Congress. They need to show their supporters that they have a backbone so that Democratic voters are encouraged to come out in droves in the midterms.

    You seem to hate conflict. You wanted to appease Trump so that he was gentle when it came to the environment. You thought Ivanka would speak up. One of the first things Trump did was to remove the section on Climate Change from the White House website. He then made an executive order to restart construction on pipelines. Passivity will not work.

    Did the GOP worry about losing votes when they openly defied everything that president Obama tried to get through, even if they would ordinarily be in favor of it?  Did they worry that they would lose the Senate or the House because of their outrageous stalling on the Supreme Court?  Did they worry when they shut down the government over health care, even though it was a wildly unpopular act?

    I'm not talking about tit for tat, but really, each of these issues is serious.  Every single one, and we really need to make the Democrats in Congress know that there will be consequences if they don't start standing up for themselves, for us, and for our ideals.   On the contrary, I think if we keep this up, and keep the pressure going, there will be more Democrats who will get up off their sofas to vote on an off-year. well, and perhaps even sane and honest Republicans (I'm sure there are a few.)


    Thanks, Flavius. I'd say three things:

    First, we do have to pick our battles, but for the reasons outlined above I would say fighting his Attorney General nomination is a crucial battle. He is going to put some terrible people, including some fools, in Cabinet positions. He already has. We can't stop them all. But if I had to choose between blocking ONLY his Attorney General, and letting all the other fools and knaves into his Cabinet, or blocking every Cabinet nominee BUT the Attorney General, I would block the Attorney General.

    Second, the Supreme Court nominee is also crucial. But this particular line of attack on Sessions tees up a similar attack on the SCOTUS pick. If Sessions gets denied over this issue, then the SCOTUS pick will be forced to answer questions about it. If Sessions gets a free pass, then the SCOTUS pick will, too.

    Third, we are not the only ones who might run out of energy. It's important to deal Trump major losses early in the game. Saving our powder until he has serious momentum would be a bad mistake. It's important to hobble him as much as we can right now, so that his support peels away. It's easier to get Republicans to vote against a President's policies when that President looks weak and unpopular than when he seems to be on a winning streak.

    This dry powder attitude is exactly what got us into this mess.

    Instead, pledge that from now until the day Trump is out, you will dedicate half an hour to activism.  This can be very simple.  Make calls, write letters, call out lies on message boards.  Or march, run for office, etc.  But the bottom line is, we have to stop pretending like we will be able to sit back if we want a functioning democracy.

    Protest fatigue is only a thing if your cause is wrong; if you highlight a worthy cause, the movement will grow and get stronger.  

    I have a feeling with this cabal, this is going to resolve relatively quickly.

    Somehow the message has come across that movements the Civil Rights movement were  considered honorable and the participants were praise. King was despised as were the demonstrators. They were disruptive.

    Referring to a post elsewhere on Orwell and the current crisis, Trump is jus a reprobate - liberals are the enemy.

    Ben Carson is more clueless than callous.

    Comey, despite my everlasting hatred, may be better than any possible Bannon-inspired replacement.

    Even Sessions is half-way old school, but in his case I'd can him if possible.

    But the most important question is "why?" For what reason, what strategy, what outcome.

    Our goals at this point are 1) regain some element of representational power by 2018 (google Swing Left), 2) make it acceptable and appropriate for less manic Republicans to join the complaints about Trump, and 3) limit the extent of damage until 4) Trump can be replaced (3 months, 6 months, 4 years, 8 years).

    I don't need or want any "symbolic" victories - I want actual embarrassments to his own side. I want them to be ashamed of Trump, find him unacceptable. I want them to see Democrats as preferable to old Mad Donald. 

    The less reason to think about Democrats the better. Let them own it. If they think or us, they gain breathing room, room to think, room to dissimulate, to find justification.

    Talked to my mom a couple days ago - she made some wry comment about how it's going over there if the "media can be trusted". Note the framing. Someone publishe a piece on a "project" to figure out why women voted for Trump - 7 examples of really vague and unconvincing patter - people who wereupset about liberal posturing but couldn't do the slightest bit of homework to figure out what might be true, might be really really dangerous.

    Days before the election I talked with a half Hispanic girl, college student from Texas - not voting because she couldn't trust the Hillary "lies". They'd eroded her confidence - they didn't need her to vote - not voting is half a vote.

    Think smarter. Fucking around with wishful posing isn't a luxury we have anymore. We are seriously at a disadvantage. We can recover, but not as naïve dilettantes.

    I don't know if resisting them all is a good strategy vs selectively resisting. But I do know that not considering the fine points is a huge mistake.

    The Undivisible Guide talks about "just say no" to emulate the Tea Party's success - but they have reasons. Explicitly elaborate the "why". Anticipate the outcome and the 2nd, 3rd and 4th outcomes. All are possible. All will generate their own set of butt-hurt. In case I didn't mention it, don't be naïve - no time for that no more.

    Trump is attacking McCain and Lindsey Graham right now. Perfect. Help keept it up. Yeah, m not their biggest fans either, but they're 500% better than Bannon's bunch.

    ... don't be naive - no time for that no more.

    Have you ever really wanted to believe something was a conspiracy theory but the crazy part of your brain had to accept the possibility it might be true?  Try this on for size.

    A significant number of people realize that Trump is nuts. We need ongoing protests to make sure that Trump is not made normal. He is defying court orders. He has white supremacists in positions of power. If we are not going to reject him now, when would we raise or voices. A significant chunk of the public will always back Trump. Protests cannot be halted for fear of alienating a group of people who would back everything that Trump does. The way to lose is to remain silent. Silence will lead to voters giving up hope. The biggest complaint I hear is why aren't Democrats making a bigger fuss about Trump's crap. The percentage complains about blocked airport traffic is small.

    On the above:

    1. The airport demonstrations were great.It would have been unpatriotic, a failure in  our duty to the country not to have forcefully demonstrated against this anti-american/discriminatory  order.

    They should stop now.  Any one who misses a flight Wednesday will become a  Trump supporter if she isn't already.

    2. Resistance to any of his cabinet selections is OK and in the case of Sessions is absolutely required. As many of you say,  it encourages our side. With no downside, it's expected. But across the board " no"  votes are less effective than sensible discrimination. See Sheldon Whitehouse in TPM

    3.Tomorrow we'll learn Trump's Supreme Court Nominee . Who should be filibustered unless Schumer  trades an agreed termination as part of  preserving  the filibuster  for the coming   Obamacare-replacement debate. Getting that right  means real human lives will be saved , defeating tomorrow's Nominee just delays the inevitable.

    The real solution is three more Democrats  21 months from now. Which increases in probability pari passu with the extent to which we  confine our resistance in the interim to the interior of the Capitol rather than pavements there or elsewhere. 


    There are still people being held illegally. Protests put pressure on Trump. At some point the courts will become the primary venue. I remind you that Trump is actively attacking the environment, something you hoped would not happen. Confrontation is the only way to deal with a bully. Protests are supposed to make people uncomfortable. You argument parrots that of the wingnuts at Breitbart

    Edit to add:

    Sean Spicer tells us that detainees should not complain. 

    It is more likely that detainees will be released by continuing pressure than by appeasement.

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