Click to go to the Subscriber Log In Page
Go to menu with buttons for all pages on BC
Click here to go to the Home Page
Est. April 5, 2002
March 23, 2017 - Issue 691

Will Democrats
Aggressively Fight
Trump’s "Deep State" Policies?

"Few are paying close attention to the
implementation of the Trump administration’s
primary objective, the implementation of his
'Deep State' initiative, designed to reduce the
reach and protections of the federal government.  
It is pursuing the creation of a feudal, white
nationalist state in which personal freedoms will
be restricted, and immigration will be downsized."

President Donald J. Trump has had a rocky two months in office. His “tweet feces storm” has embarrassed the nation and threatened our national security, but it has solidified his right-wing base. His repeal of Obamacare is also in trouble as is his budget which is on life support. Trump’s far right education secretary, Betsy DeVos, is wreaking havoc on public education with his blessings while unions and Democrats are on their heels. Dr. Julianne Malveaux, a member of the Black Commentator editorial board, wrote eloquently last week on DeVos’s noxious education options and was quickly followed in an essay in the Nation by Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond, emeritus professor at Stanford University, underscoring those views.

However, few are paying close attention to the implementation of the Trump administration’s primary objective, the implementation of his “Deep State” initiative, designed to reduce the reach and protections of the federal government. It is pursuing the creation of a feudal, white nationalist state in which personal freedoms will be restricted, and immigration will be downsized.

Conceived by his key adviser, Steve Bannon of the alt right, who largely remains above the fray, this “Deep State” proposal is a multifaceted, political hydra which includes: substantial cuts in government departments and divisions (Energy, Education, State, Health and Human Services, the Environmental Protection Agency, Amtrak, etc.). The objective is to wean citizens from the perceived long arm of government. In addition, the aim is to literally starve programs for low-income and minority citizens: reducing funding for meals on wheels; women, infants and children; and other community services. But a not so subtle goal is to retard the growth of minorities and to move the country toward a white Christian, evangelical, anti-abortion, anti-Semitic, and anti-Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) nation.

In order to achieve this conservative nirvana, Trump has a plan to install conservative judges at every level of the federal judiciary. First out of the gate is his U.S. Supreme Court nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit (a seat stolen from former President Obama who had nominated Merrick Garland, chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit). If confirmed, Gorsuch will be the linchpin for Trump’s “Deep State” policies. As several cases in the aforementioned categories are moving toward the Supreme Court, the first likely to reach it will be one to eliminate union agency fees which, along with the rapid spread of right-to-work (RTW) legislation at the state level, will most assuredly stymie union growth.

The major question to be answered is whether the Democrats, who are bankrolled and voted for by unions and their members, will take a stand against Gorsuch by engaging in a filibuster, forcing Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Senate’s majority leader, to pursue the nuclear option (changing Senate rules to a simple 51 vote majority, instead of 60 to overcome a filibuster, to get Gorsuch confirmed). As pointed out in a previous column, McConnell does not want to pursue the nuclear option, especially as President Trump is losing his grip on his base with his proposed budget cuts and the repeal of Obamacare. Millions of his most ardent supporters have been provided affordable health insurance via this law for the first time ever.

Judge Gorsuch is a smooth-talking, conciliatory clone of the late right-wing Associate Justice, Antonin Scalia, who set back progress in civil rights and social justice for a generation. Hand-picked by the conservative Federalist Society and whose name was given to Trump as the best adherent to the Scalia philosophy of judicial originalism, a way to interpret the Constitution's meaning as stable from the time of enactment, and which can only be changed by the steps set out in Article Five of the Constitution (by) proposing an amendment or amendments and subsequent ratification.” Scalia and Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, the most extreme originalists, anchored the most conservative wing of the Court’s five vote majority. They were funded by the Federalist Society (which is primarily underwritten by the Koch Bros.) to attend the 2008 Koch Bros. Palm Springs retreat where they discussed the Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission case before they voted with the majority in favor of Citizens United in January 2010, substantially benefitting the Koch Bros. political machinations to undermine democracy.

As the Farrell Report goes to press, Judge Gorsuch, like a snake-oil salesman, is busily schmoozing Republican and Democratic Senators and the general public to get on the Court. Democrats have a choice to make, whether to oppose Gorsuch unconditionally and stand with their biggest benefactors, or roll over as Sen. McConnell expects at least eight of them to do. When added to the fifty-two he already has in tow, they will be enough to break a filibuster. Then McConnell will be able to declare bipartisan support for Gorsuch’s candidacy.

Currently, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) is already on board, leaving McConnell seven short. McConnell has targeted Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), from states Trump won in a landslide, which will leave him only three short. Now McConnell is aiming to secure the remaining three votes from the following five: Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sen. Michael Bennett (D-CO), Sen. Debbie Stabenow (MI), Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI), and Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL)—the latter three whose states Trump won narrowly.

McConnell has control of millions of dollars of Koch Bros. and Cartel money to pressure enough Democratic Senators to vote his way. He is engaged in a full-court press. Given Democratic fears, McConnell has a good chance to prevail as Republicans are rock solid in their support of Gorsuch. Democratic voters must go to the wall on blocking Gorsuch from ascending to the Supreme Court because of the damage he will do to immigrants, LGBTs, women’s right to choose, America’s minority groups, and voting rights. Gorsuch is playing the same hand as Atty. General Sessions and Education Secretary DeVos, who placed women and minorities directly behind themselves at their hearings to send a signal of support for diversity and social justice which is in direct contradiction to their conservative records of oppression of women, minorities, LGBTs, and ordinary Americans.

Many political, business, and civic leaders are urging Democrats to hold their fire on Gorsuch since he is supposedly more reasonable than the next nominees Trump will recommend for the Court who will be even farther to the right. However, Democrats must recognize that the 49 year-old arch-conservative Gorsuch’s elevation to the Court will result in four of the five Republican Justices being under the age of 70, and they will have a majority that is expected to overrule Roe v. Wade, further decimate voting rights, defund Planned Parenthood for the foreseeable future, enact Paul Ryan’s draconian personhood legislation (“…that human life shall be deemed to begin with fertilization”), and place the private-sector in the driver’s seat of our democracy, national security, and economy.

Democrats need to challenge Mitch McConnell now, as he will shepherd all of Trump’s appointments through the process. With the increasingly higher possibility that President Trump will be forced to leave office due to an indictment or impeachment over his alleged Russian involvement, there is limited risk to filibustering Gorsuch at this time. In addition, Gorsuch would have been selected by a criminal for a lifetime appointment.

It is time for Democratic leadership to Gut Check! They took rank-and-file Democrats for granted in 2016, causing the loss of a winnable presidential election and the U.S. Senate. Since that vote, millions of Democrats have taken to the streets to oppose the Trump platform for America. If their elected officials will not stand with them, it may be time to get a new set. There is no negotiating room for President Trump’s “Deep State” strategies in our increasingly multi-cultural, multi-racial nation. Who will blink first?

links to all 20 parts of the opening series Columnist, Dr. Walter C. Farrell, Jr., PhD, MSPH, is a Fellow of the National Education Policy Center (NEPC) at the University of Colorado-Boulder and has written widely on vouchers, charter schools, and public school privatization. He has served as Professor of Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and as Professor of Educational Policy and Community Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Contact Dr. Farrell. 




is published every Thursday
Executive Editor:
David A. Love, JD
Managing Editor:
Nancy Littlefield, MBA
Peter Gamble

Perry NoName: A Journal From A Federal Prison-book 1
Ferguson is America: Roots of Rebellion by Jamala Rogers