The first month of Donald Trump’s presidency has been fraught with chaos and, apparently at least, it won’t end soon.
But, remember this: Trump is doing just what he said he’d do during a campaign that united his base – presumably white working class Americans – while, at the same time, infuriating others.
At a time, it would seem to me and to many Americans, the new administration should move toward uniting a deeply divided nation, Trump and his “cronies” are doing just the opposite.
The first three weeks of the Trump administration have been marked by protests in major cities from coast to coast. That trend shows no indication it’ll subside any time soon. Trump’s ill-advised ban of refugees from seven countries, none of which has been involved in any of the terrorist attacks against the U.S., has created a firestorm. Two courts have ruled against the travel ban, which, no matter what Trump officials call it, was designed as a Muslim ban, a direct violation of our constitution.
At town hall meetings in Utah and Florida, both of which fell into the Trump column in last November’s election, Republican legislators have been soundly “boo-ed” over their promises to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the so-called Obamacare. Republicans seem hell-bent-for-leather on their promise to repeal the ACA, despite having no plan to replace it. That could leave millions of Americans in health care limbo. For me, and for others of my age, the fear is that jumping to any quick health care decisions will jeopardize Medicare. We rely on Medicare for both treatment of health problems and for medications to treat our ailments.
Message to Iowa Legislators: DON’T MESS WITH MEDICARE, UNLESS YOU IMPROVE IT!
But, while we all have our own feelings and/or prejudices about the Trump administration, there’s something else that happened within the past week that went largely un-noticed by many Americans and it happened in far-away Alabama.
Some of you, many I hope, will remember that Alabama “family values” Governor Robert Bentley had faced charges surrounding an extra-marital affair, the evidence of which included taped telephone conversations. Even in the perennially “red” state of Alabama, the governor’s affairs drew the ire of many constituents. Bentley later apologized, but to whom he apologized was not clear. An independent panel was empowered to explore the governor’s actions and to recommend punishment, if any, that could include impeachment, while an Ethics Committee also announced it would look into the matter.
Aha, not so fast!
Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange stepped in just a few days before last November’s general election and asked the independent panel to step aside while his office took over the investigation of Gov. Bentley. That was the last we heard of the investigation, but last week something “strange” (yes, pun intended) happened that, once again, has folks in Alabama up in arms.
Trump, of course, won the election. His nominee for the cabinet position of Attorney General was Alabama Sen. Jefferson Sessions, a man whose political career has been marked regularly by racist remarks and racist actions. Nonetheless, despite some very heated opposition from the Democratic Senate minority, Sessions was approved.
With Sessions named to a cabinet post in the Trump administration, a vacancy was created in the U.S. Senate and that vacancy was left to the embattled Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley to fill. Guess who was nominated by Gov. Bentley to fill the vacant seat on the Senate. It’s too easy. If you can’t guess, you live on another planet. Alabama’s new Senator is none other than Luther Strange, the man who had stopped the ethics investigation into Gov. Bentley.
And, yes, even in deep red Alabama, that appointment is drawing wide criticism over the ethics of the entire affair. Something could yet come of that whole debacle in a state that would much rather be talking about the Alabama football team.
In just three weeks, the Trump administration has been raising ethical eyebrows across the political spectrum.
Don’t expect that to end any time soon.