Flips all over the place–Flynn, Trump, Taxes, and DACA
When you heard the news that General Michael Flynn had flipped, I just wanted to
assure you that those of us of Filipino heritage aren’t upset by the use of that
phraseology at all.
We’re ecstatic. At least, I am.
Flynn, the former National Security Advisor to Trump, is no flip, but he most
assuredly has flipped.
He’s the first member of the Trump inner circle to admit to lying to the FBI–a
felony that could get him five years in prison.
Flynn’s flip begins paving a path to the truth, that one commodity that has been
in short supply in the Trump administration, where lying seems to be a way of
As a witness for Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, Flynn could
be the key to putting the screws on others on the Trump team, including the
orange man himself.
Trump’s response? After an inordinate period of quiet, the tweets go on.
The twit was back to twitter like it was his confessional, providing his very
“I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI,”
Trump tweeted. “He has pled sic guilty to those lies. It is a shame because
his actions during the transition were lawful. There was nothing to hide!”
Of course in February, when asked why he fired Flynn, Trump was pretty blunt. “I
fired him because of what he said to Mike Pence, it’s very simple,” Trump
explained to reporters.
He must not think there’s any video tape in the cameras or that we are as daft
as he is. Trump has repeatedly pointed to Flynn lying to Vice President Mike
Pence. He never mentioned the FBI lie.
Did he know about it and didn’t say?
Were Trump’s repeated attempts to get leniency or immunity for Flynn an
obstruction of justice?
That was clear to California Congressman Ted Lieu, an outspoken Asian American
leader, who took to Twitter himself.
It’s important to note, you don’t see many people of color speaking out on the
matter. But it’s been Lieu’s style since his days in the California state
legislature to be outspoken and take on the tough issues.
The weekend Twitter storm on Trump’s flip only got worse after Trump’s lawyer
John Dowd said he actually wrote the tweet, not Trump. And then Dowd told the
Washington Post that Trump had known about the Flynn lie for months.
And just to cap it all with the appropriate amount of arrogance, Dowd explained
to the publication Axios that the “president cannot obstruct justice because he
is the chief law enforcement officer under the Constitution’s Article II and
has every right to express his view of any case.”
The president is above the law? We’ve heard that one before. No one is above the
law. Not in a democracy.
If the truth is important, it’s time for Trump’s base to flip on Trump.
The man does not deserve a base.
Of course, he tweeted out to his base again Monday, about how he supported the
Senate candidate accused of sexual harassment, Judge Roy Moore.
Trump and Moore have some things in common.
THAT TAX SCAM VOTE IN THE SENATE
Tweeting about Moore wasn’t just Trump’s attempt to flip the page from the Flynn
But the two are somewhat related.
Last Friday proved how important every vote in the Senate can be and why Friday
was not a good day for the Republicans.
Congressional leaders probably thought that going past midnight into Saturday
would give them a new calendar day and help them forget the stench of Flynn’s
guilty plea, make us forget it ever happened.
Nope, it’s still smells bad.
The Trump/GOP’s only legislative win for the year still should make all
Americans feel unclean after the Republicans passed its tax proposal, what I
like to call the One Percent Enrichment Plan.
That’s who benefits in this reform of the tax code. The wealthy, the corporate.
They’ll get the biggest permanent breaks.
And normal people? The middle class? In the long run, they get shafted.
The biggest thing is how the bill does away with the Affordable Care Act,
essentially by doing away with the all important “individual mandate.”
In order to have affordability in insurance, you need large numbers. Everyone in
the pool, right? To get everyone buying in, it needs to be mandatory. Everyone
gets covered, and costs go down. Get rid of that, and affordability is a joke.
As we go into the reconciliation period, 13 million people stand to lose their
health care. Thank you, Republicans.
One Republican who was with the Democrats to oppose the tax plan was the
retiring Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, who has been a Trump target in the last ten
months. Trump’s lashing of Flake has been so severe, it made me wonder why Flake
would give the plan its 50th vote, assuring (with a Mike Pence tie-break vote)
Trump’s first legislative victory.
But apparently, Flake had something in mind. Enough to ignore his Trump spats,
or the $1 trillion the tax plan would add to the national debt, or the millions
of people losing health care.
Flake must want to run for Arizona governor one day. He wanted assurances on the
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, DACA.
A clean Dream Act? Just not a dead one. Flake said he wanted a “growth-oriented
legislative solution to enact fair and permanent protections for DACA
Whatever that means.
Maybe it means something both Democrats and Republicans can vote for—unlike a
tax plan that was all partisan at 51-49.
FIGHTING FOR A CLEAN DREAM ACT
And now that we see once again how the sausage is made, do we really want to eat
any of it, let alone participate in its making?
If you have an issue worth fighting for, of course you do.
But it means heading to the swamp, and that’s where AAPI Deferred Action for
Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients are joining up with others, including
Haitian immigrants fighting for extension of Temporary Protected Status–an
unprecedented show of unity for immigrant rights this week.
They realize they’re all in the same boat. And now it’s time to speak out.
“A lot of us learned no matter what the political climate or environment is, we
have to keep raising our collective voice to people making laws,” Luke Hwang
told me. “Or else nothing will happen.”
Hwang, 27, a graduate student from New Jersey, will go from one congressional
office to another with his new dream.
“We are trying to push for a Dream Act that’s clean, without the enforcement
pieces,” Hwang said.
That would be a Dream Act not conditioned by a wall or linked to ICE funding or
“balanced” by the deportations of those who didn’t meet DACA requirements like
Wonder what Sen. Flake will tell them.
Trump, who has flipped all over the place on DACA, probably sees the retiring
Flake as irrelevant. Especially if Trump gets Roy Moore, whom he sees as a
bought-and-paid-for Republican vote, into the Senate next Tuesday, Dec. 12.
And then DACA, Flynn, his flip, the Trump flips, obstruction, none of it
If Trump has the votes in Congress, the tweeting president may be able to stay
above it all.
Let’s hope his base flips. Or democracy loses.
Emil Guillermo is an independent journalist/commentator. Updates at www.amok.com. Follow Emil on Twitter, and like his Facebook page. The views expressed in his blog do not necessarily represent AALDEF’s views or policies.