The point at which supposedly responsible conservative American leaders must begin to disavow and push back against President Donald Trump (or, at least, stop pretending that they are anything other than accomplices to his outrageous assaults on basic American values) is coming soon.
A new editorial in the Charlotte Observer does an excellent job in making this important point — especially with respect North Carolina’s U.S. Senators, Richard Burr and Thom Tillis. Here’s the Observer:
“On Friday, President Donald Trump signed an executive order temporarily halting U.S. admission of all refugees and pausing the entry of visitors from seven predominantly Muslim countries. Trump also promised that Christians would get priority in admissions.
That is, for all practical purposes, a ban based on religion. It’s a dangerous and perhaps illegal policy, and it most certainly is not what this country stands for.
How did Tillis respond? With a sterile statement that tiptoed around the danger at hand. Tillis applauded the ‘tightening’ of refugee screening, but noted ‘confusion’ surrounding the order. ‘Implementation,’ he said, should be ‘refined to provide more clarity.’
That was better, at least, than our state’s other Republican U.S. senator, Richard Burr, who was either too cautious or too cowed to tell his constituents what he thought of Trump’s order.”
After noting that Burr and Tillis will soon get additional opportunities to oppose Trump when Democrats propose legislation to overturn Trump’s ban, the editorial concludes this way:
“But North Carolina’s senators should realize something larger is happening under their watch. The refugee ban was not merely poorly conceived, but crafted with little if any consultation with Congress or the diplomatic and intelligence communities. Incredibly, the secretary of Homeland Security, Gen. John F. Kelly, was getting his first full briefing on the order Friday when he saw the president signing it on TV, the New York Times reported.
Perhaps even more troubling: Members of Trump’s Border Patrol defied judges’ orders over the weekend and didn’t allow attorneys to contact refugees being held in airports.
It’s time for all of our state’s congressional delegation – but especially its more powerful senators – to stand up not only to the refugee ban, but to the disregard for checks and balances we’re seeing in the president’s first 10 days. We’re fast approaching a time with this administration when there will be no fence to straddle, and our leaders will have to pick what kind of country they prefer to lead. They may be facing that decision already, whether they’re ready to say something about it or not.”