It would appear that some of the folks who were hoping that Donald Trump was actually an isolationist “jobs” president, rather than the authoritarian white nationalist with imperial ambitions that he clearly showed himself to be on the stump, are now being forced to face reality. Everything he has done since his inauguration proves he is dead serious about unleashing the military and the police to enact his agenda, and he wants the other branches of government to understand that if they obstruct him he’s going to make sure his rabid followers know whom to blame.
According to Ryan Lizza of The New Yorker, legal scholars of all stripes, even the torture advocate John Yoo, whom I wrote about on Tuesday, are disturbed by Trump’s executive actions and what he’s saying about them. Pretty much across the board, they anticipate that Trump will blame the courts, the media and the political opposition in the event of an attack. They believe he is anxious to use an attack as an excuse to “take the gloves off” in whatever way he deems necessary.
That could mean everything from registering and deporting Muslims to enhanced surveillance or an attack on a foreign country and the reinstatement of torture and “black site” prisons. (A draft executive order on the black sites has made the rounds already.) All we know at this point is that Trump is looking for an excuse, and odds are there will be one at some point.