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If you can keep it

by Tom Sullivan


Ubiquitous Town exhibition. A re-interpreted version of Alfred Jarry's Ubu Roi. Iida Lanki via Pinterest.

As more pedantic conservatives enjoy reminding people, the United States is not a democracy. It is a republic, they'll say, eliding Benjamin Franklin's admonition, "if you can keep it."

While the sitting president's fitness for office may be getting a lot of press, "if you can keep it" should have us all concerned. What Will Bunch dubs "Hitler Lite" behaviors — attempts at book banning and investigating old political adversaries (Hillary Clinton) and such — are worrisome enough. Add a reality-show president turning the White House into an actual reality show and Washington is coming to resemble a fresh staging of Ubu Roi.

Bunch worries more about actual policy changes the administration is able to crank out while POTUS keeps everyone distracted by his latest acting-outburts.

Lifting the ban on offshore drilling, for one, as we have discussed. But also Attorney General Jeff Sessions' desire for returning to the days of Reefer Madness.

Bunch writes:

... Jeff Sessions, after a lifetime devoted to “states rights” when it comes to stuff like black people voting, now supports sweeping federal authority to upend marijuana legalization in states like Colorado, Washington and now California that, coincidentally, voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Aside from the fact that nearly three-quarters of Americans favor legalization of pot, Sessions' move could divert life-saving resources from the opioid crisis and "resume the mass-incarceration regime that has been so destructive in so many communities."

The administration on Friday delayed a rule, Bunch notes, that would have strengthened enforcement of the Fair Housing Act to combat segregation.

But such rules promulgated by Obama give encouragement to the slaves, one supposes. So, under a Trump administration, as a Hollywood pharaoh once ordered, the name of Obama must be "stricken from every book and tablet, stricken from all pylons and obelisks" in the land, and erased from the memory of men.

What else gets erased in the process poses a bigger problem. While the madness of the king is a concern, neither the press nor the public should let their attentions be diverted by Fake News Awards, volatile tweets, and other such Trumpian nonsense. There's more circus going on outside the center ring.

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