U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik’s latest outage is her full-throated support of Dear Leader Donald’s walk in the park on June 1, the area of Lafayette Square between Fort White House (which the Donald would probably like to rename after a Confederate general) and St. John’s Episcopal Church.
President Trump performed there a solemn ritual — staging a silly photo-op with a Bible in hand (“in hand” is the operative word since he never reads the Prince of Peace’s words and prefers the golf links rather than prayerfully linking up to his maker).
Stefanik described this as an “incredibly important moment,” with Trump as the latest in a revered line of presidents such as Abraham Lincoln visiting St. John’s in times of crisis.
But Stefanik’s allusion to Honest Abe is hardly apropos for Trump: (1) The moniker of “honest” doesn’t fit for a guy who has lied nearly 20,000 times in office and (2) even Abe, at the height of the Civil War, did not need a phalanx of armed police clearing his way. (3) Trump’s crisis is his own making — terrible, feckless leadership. What in heck is Stefanik talking about?
A more apt comparison is Tricky Dicky. Trump loves calling himself Mr. “Law and Order,” just like Richard Nixon. And like Nixon, he loves demonizing peacefully protesting Americans as anti-American; Trump sees antifa behind every bush. (Have any of you ever met an antifa member? It’s like asking, “Where’s Waldo?”)
Nixon also loved “dominating” protestors with the force of arms — I know. I was there during Nixon’s second inauguration in 1973 when he prepositioned 2,000 federal troops in case of trouble.
Here’s the difference: heads were not broken that day because the demonstration was peaceful. The police still cleared us out of the Capitol Mall with a cavalry charge, but no one was injured.
Draft-dodger Trump wanted to prove his cojones by using the regular Army but settled on a bevy of untrained law enforcement types — DEA, Bureau of Prisons, IRS (just kidding!) — to silence protestors using tear gas (despite what lying Attorney General William Barr says) and, unbelievably, rubber bullets, so our Emperor Wannabe could have his Kodak moment. A government of, for and by the people would never use deadly weapons against fellow Americans.
Stefanik is right — this is an incredibly important moment. Trump’s contempt for the First Amendment except for himself is flagrant, and Stefanik continues to aid and abet our despicable tyrant in chief.