Thursday, January 26, 2017

Listen: we won't win every fight, but we'll win some... and they build on each other.

It's rough out there, sure.  The Republican party has control of most of the statehouses, the Presidency, and both houses of Congress.  And in the first blush of a new presidency in such a situation, a lot of things get done.  They're locking down communications, banning refugees from many majority-Muslim countries, planning a wall along the Mexican border, freezing hiring throughout the government, politicizing science by requiring all studies be approved by political flacks, and have floated a host of other policies.

But really, we should compare to other presidencies.  In his first couple of weeks, Obama got the stimulus package passed (the one that arguably saved us from a depression), froze the pay of all senior staff at current levels, enacted strict rules against lobbyists, suspended new Gitmo detentions, banned torture, signed a memo requiring higher fuel efficiency standards, ended the Mexico City policy, signed the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act... well, you get the picture.

Sure, a lot of Trump's proposals are insane, bigoted, or ludicrously wasteful.  But the new administration is blessedly incompetent and obsessed with appearances -- and America has risen in opposition.

It's funny, sometimes nothing unites a people like a common enemy.  See, all those phone calls and all that resistance?  It's working.

  • More than 1 out of every 100 Americans marched in the Women's March.  It was the largest protest in American history.  And it happened on Day 2 of the Trump administration, when they're supposed to be at their strongest.
  • In response to relentless criticism and calls, multiple nominees  -- Puzder (Labor), DeVos (Education) have been pushed back or reconsidered.  Some senators are wavering over the ethical problems that have come to light.
  • The White House and its Press Secretary have been exposed as lying in such a blatant way that they've become a national joke.
  • The USDA was banned from releasing any data or information to the people.  There was such outrage that the ban has been rescinded!  To be sure, there's still a ban on the EPA, HHS, Transportation, and NPS... but remember, victories build on each other!
  • The attempt to throw all climate science down the memory hole has also backfired... it drew so much attention and scorn that they backed off of that one, too.
There are many more examples.  Naturally, there's a lot of terrible stuff that went through -- don't get me wrong, we're not winning them all.  But this is supposed to be the height of the Trump administration's power, when they get to have a mandate and political capital and all that jazz.  Instead... well, his approval numbers are starting in the toilet.  Where is it going to go when they start really screwing up?

Keep fighting.  It's making a difference, and every victory will have its own children.


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