When President Donald Trump, over the weekend, told four congresswomen of color to go back to the countries they originally came from, it was obviously a rally-the-base strategy designed to appeal to the so-called “patriotism” of his far-right supporters. But, according to presidential historian Jon Meacham, Trump’s bigoted comments were the polar opposite of patriotic. This week’s true American patriots, according to Meacham, are the four congresswomen Trump attacked on Twitter: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York City, Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan — and Trump is showing himself to be the most racist U.S. president since Democrat Andrew Johnson in the 1860s.
Appearing on MSNBC’s “Hardball” on Monday night, Meacham told host Chris Matthews, “Johnson’s state message said that African-Americans were incapable of self-government and relapsed into barbarism if they weren’t closely supervised.”
Meacham noted that the history of the U.S. is about a “journey toward a more perfect union,” not authoritarianism. The 50-year-old historian told Matthews, “What the president has done here is yet again — I think he did it after Charlottesville, and I think he did it, frankly, when he was pushing the birther lie about President Obama — he has joined Andrew Johnson as the most racist president in American history.”
Meacham was equally critical of Trump when he appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Tuesday morning and told host Joe Scarborough (a very anti-Trump conservative and former GOP congressman) that the Founding Fathers of the United States did not promote a “fascistic idea of blood and soil.” Rather, they equated protest and dissent with the quest for “a more perfect union.”
Disagreeing with Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, Pressley or Tlaib from a policy standpoint, Meacham asserted, is fine. But telling “duly elected constitutional officers they should leave the country” is profoundly un-American and unpatriotic.
“We don’t build monuments to people who close doors,” Meacham told Scarborough. “We build monuments to people who open them.”
Of course, telling Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, Pressley and Tlaib they should return to the countries they came from is not only racist — it is also ignorant in light of the fact that all of them are United States citizens. The Somali-born Omar is the only one of the four who was born outside the U.S., and she has been a naturalized U.S. citizen since 2000. The other three were born in the U.S. (AOC in the Bronx, Pressley in Cincinnati, Tlaib in Detroit) and have been U.S. citizens their entire lives. AOC’s parents are from Puerto Rico, but she is a native New Yorker — and although she speaks Spanish, English is her native language.
Scarborough agreed with Meacham’s comments but was even more biting in his criticism of Trump, saying, “This is not a dog whistle — it is a bullhorn to Donald Trump’s most bigoted, racist supporters…. This is David Duke racism.”
— Hardball (@hardball) July 15, 2019
George Conway reveals how Mary Trump’s book and the Supreme Court prove the ‘walls are closing in’ on the president
Republican lawyer and "Lincoln Project" co-founder, George Conway, wrote in a Washington Post column Thursday that there are a lot of commonalities in Mary Trump's forthcoming tell-all book and the Supreme Court decision passed down in President Donald Trump's case with New York prosecutor Cy Vance.
Mary Trump, who is a clinical psychologist, delivers "professional judgments about the president's indisputable narcissism and, perhaps, sociopathy dovetail with those that other experts have reached before," wrote Conway. "Yet it's not the possible diagnoses that give Mary Trump's book its punch. It's the factual detail — detail that only a family member could provide."
Tennessee Republican says he hasn’t ‘really studied’ whether the Civil War was about slavery
On Thursday, The Tennessean's Natalie Allison reported that Tennessee state Rep. Mike Sparks, who makes a habit of complaining that "young people" and "journalists" don't bother to study history, could not answer a basic question about what the Civil War was fought over.
"Was the Civil War about slavery?" asked a reporter.
"I haven't really studied it," said Sparks.
"You said you know history!" said another reporter.
"I just think we need to all study history," said Sparks, still not answering the question. "There's different contexts."
This comes during a debate over whether to remove a bust of Confederate general and suspected Klan leader Nathan Bedford Forrest. Another lawmaker, state Sen. Joey Hensley, defended Forrest, arguing that "3,000 Blacks attended his funeral" — a common but unproven claim of Confederate sympathizers.
Law professor schools Trump’s legal team on why their Supreme Court arguments failed
Fordham Law Professor Jed Sugerman noted on Twitter, that Thursday's Supreme Court ruling should be a "teachable moment" for the lawyers at the Mazars firm, which fought the disclosure of President Donald Trump's financial information.
During the oral arguments with the High Court about the New York case, Trump attorney Jay Sekulow argued that as president Trump was above the law.
"In both cases, petitioners contended that the subpoenas lacked a legitimate legislative purpose and violated the separation of powers," the Supreme Court said in the decision. "The President did not, however, argue that any of the requested records were protected by executive privilege."