Another White House Ghoul

Yet another of Trump’s top advisors that I have largely ignored is Stephen Miller.  But in the past few days he is flying around on my radar and making me very uncomfortable, so it is time to take a closer look at Mr. Miller.

Miller’s career path has not been what I would call illustrious.  He served as communications director for former senator and current Attorney General Jeff Sessions, which certainly does nothing to raise him in my esteem.  He was also press secretary for former Representative Michele Bachmann (former Idiot of the Week and also America’s #1 Bimbo), which again, is not a feather in his cap.  And now, Mr. Miller is a “senior advisor” to Donald Trump.

millerThough raised by two liberal, Democratic parents, he became a conservative while in high school after reading a book, Guns, Crime, and Freedom, by National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre. While still in high school, he started appearing on conservative talk radio shows and writing letters to editors.  While attending Duke University, he criticized poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou, accusing her of “racial paranoia”, and also established a relationship with white supremacist, anti-Semitic Richard Spencer, about whom I have written before.   A former advisor at Duke later said of Miller that he, “seemed to assume that if you were in disagreement with him, there was something malevolent or stupid about your thinking — incredibly intolerant.”  Sound familiar?

Which brings us to present day.  As ‘Senior Advisor’, Miller was not subject to confirmation by the senate, and therefore officially began his new position on January 20th.  Until late last week, Miller kept a fairly low profile, or perhaps was simply overshadowed by Trump’s immigration ban and all the controversy it entailed, as well as the contentious confirmation hearings for DeVos and Sessions, among others.  But late last week, his name started appearing more often.

When the infamous ‘immigration ban’, banning people from entering the country from seven specific, Middle-Eastern, primarily Muslim countries was first signed into law, I was fairly certain its author was none other than Steve ‘Breitbart’ Bannon.  Turns out that Stephen Miller, Jeff Sessions and Bannon all corroborated on the order.  Three bloomin’ racists putting their big heads together … imagine the possibilities.

Once the travel ban was halted by U.S. District Judge James Robart, and the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals refused to reinstate the ban, Miller adamantly defended Trump’s crude and hateful criticism of the judge.  (It should be noted that, emboldened by Trump’s very unprofessional tweets condemning Judge Robart, the judge has been a target of many threats, including one referring to Robart as “dead man walking”.  This, people, is the president we elected.)  But back to Miller … he appeared yesterday morning on the Sunday morning talk show circuit, including an interview on ABC News’ This Week with George Stephanopoulos where he told so many lies that The Washington Post wrote an entire fact-checking article  disproving nearly everything he said on the program.  Other questions he simply averted, as is the standard operating procedure for the Trump team.  Alternative facts and non-answers.  Click here  for the transcript of the entire interview. He later did another interview on CBS’ Face the Nation where he spouted more of the same.

Miller defends Trump’s verbal (Twitter) attacks on Judge Robart and the appeals court, supports and falsely claims knowledge of Trump’s assertion of massive voter fraud, and of the travel ban says that “all options are on the table”.  Despite, or perhaps because of his lies and evasions, Trump was proud of his boy Stephen, tweeting, “Congratulations Stephen Miller- on representing me this morning on the various Sunday morning shows. Great job!” just minutes after the segment aired.

CNN considers that Miller may be the most powerful player in the White House, and I think that, in conjunction with Steve Bannon, that may well be true.  Certainly he is, with his racist views and links to white supremacists, one of the most frightening.  Glenn Thrush of the New York Times said, “The (Steve) Bannon cluster in the White House is moving full speed ahead in part because they don’t feel like they have a lot of time, and I think if you look at the backlash against the travel ban, they may not have that much time.”

The most immediately concerning thing to me is that Trump, Bannon, Miller and others seem to believe that the courts have overstepped their bounds in placing constitutionality over the power of the president.  The appeals court last week asked repeatedly for some evidence that there was a real threat of danger from the seven countries listed in the ban, but the Justice Department, which was defending the administration’s position, could not provide such evidence.  If the Trump administration ultimately has their way on this issue, it may set a powerful precedent for future cases where Trump and his minions make decisions that are unconstitutional and not in the best interest of the nation.  If the court’s power is reduced and the power of the executive office increased, we will have taken the first step toward an autocracy … a step that may be nearly impossible to reverse.  Along with Steve Bannon and Jeff Sessions, Stephen Miller may complete a triumvirate that is destined to change the values of this nation.

11 thoughts on “Another White House Ghoul

  1. Jill, I like to focus not just on the ban which does not accomplish much of anything and makes America look less like a paragon of freedom and more like a pariah and focus on two things. The ban was ill-conceived and rolled out terribly. Just because a President makes an order, it should be done with vetting from those who have to govern it, as well as legal counsel. Including the green card folks was asinine and they backtracked quickly. Conservative columnist said this was equal parts chaos and incompetence.

    The second thing is DT noted we are funding the fight against Islamic terrorists and diminished funding against fighting the 1,000 plus hate groups in the US. Terror in the US is conducted by a significant majority by home grown folks, many who are not Muslim converts, but White Supremacists groups and other hate groups. This ban is similar to the wall and is a bumper sticker governing solution – look what I did, aren’t I tough? Yet, it neither accomplish much of anything other making the situation worse.

    Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, and i am much more concerned with some of the groups here in the U.S. than Middle-Eastern terrorists, for whom the west really is NOT their primary target! Have you ever checked out the SPLC database? I am always stunned by how many groups there are in every state … hate is big business in this nation and we would do well to clean our own house!

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  2. I watched John Oliver this morning – amid the satire was some serious stuff as usual. Did you see it? What did you think about his call to action? Just what a couple of your followers have been saying, the media are desperately important now and really need all our support in upping their game to out-think the clique at the top. Everywhere – not just in the USA but in Britain and, with upcoming elections especially , France and The Netherlands… All of us who use social media of course have a responsibility to check facts. I must admit find it truly dispiriting when I reply with checked facts and the person responds – I don’t trust the fact checkers… Or by pretending it was ‘just a joke’.

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    • No, I didn’t see it, but I will check and see if I can find a clip on the ‘net. Yes, the upcoming elections in the Netherlands, Germany and France are all a concern. I was pleased that Austria rejected Hofer last year, and was hoping that was a result of what Europe was seeing on this side … Trump and his antics … but I’m not so sure now. I think that with the absolute mess this Trump administration is turning into … scandals and craziness in just 3 weeks … the people across the pond will look and say “NO WAY!” These are very strange times we are living in … I keep hoping to awaken from the nightmare! Sigh.

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  3. As days go on Jill, things are going from bad to worse. I swear there will be lynchings in the South again before long. How many white supremacists can one White House contain? Trump must ave declared his allegiance in that direction as there can be no way he’s unaware of their leanings by now. Maybe they should call it the White’s Only House now.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

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    • It is said that you are judged by the company you keep. That being the case, I think it is clear how we must judge Trump, as he surrounds himself with racists, bigots, and white supremacists. I thought it said a lot way back in the early days of the campaign, that he did not disavow the endorsement by the kkk. Yes, it gets worse and worse … but if there is a ray of hope on the horizon, it is actually the connections of Flynn and others to Russia that might well be his downfall. Sigh. Thanks for the hug … need lots these days! Many hugs back!

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  4. Though I am a firm believer in being vigilant in protecting our borders, and though Trump’s executive order was hastily written and poorly executed, I have a couple of questions and observations.

    First, Obama himself stated, when he was president, that the 7 countries that Trump is now referring to, were countries that were a concern to his administration so why the backlash against the order? If it was good enough for one president to be concerned about a specific of nations, why is not okay for the current president to not only have that same concern but to implement a temporary ban on people from those countries?

    Second, since there are an approximate 40 other Muslim countries, if this order was aimed at this race, why wouldn’t it also include these other nations?

    Finally, other congressmen and political figure have been in favor of border control as far back as president Clinton so now why are these same people suddenly up in arms over this most recent move?

    my guess is that it’s a political agenda, and not one based on law or concern for the people of this country, for if it truly were that, why would it matter who implements the order?

    Remember, I am not a fan of trump but in all fairness, shouldn’t an executive order be looked at in a way that transcends ideology, in other words, if it’s okay for a democratic president to be in favor of an immigration policy, even if that was a while ago, it should also be okay for the opposing party to be in favor of that same legislation, even though Donald trump is a republican in name only. He is not a true conservative.

    I bring up these points not to be contentious or to or to argue the point, but to engage in a dialog regarding the issues.

    Have a great day and I really do enjoy your blog and appreciate your perspective which is often different from mine but isn’t that one of the great things about this nation? We can have differing opinions, learn from each other while not feeling like one is right and one is wrong, unlike a lot of exchanges that I encounter on Facebook.

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    • If true that Prez. Obama expressed concern about these same 7 countries it may be no action was taken without proof. Trump has taken action regardless and yet has not taken action against the Countries the terrorists came from for 9/11 which, forgive my cynical mind, may be because he has business interests there but none in the 7 Countries he banned.
      Why not the other races that are mainly Muslim? That is likely to be because of oil interests within those Countries and also treaties held with them. If they are not becoming radicalised by ISIS then they’re not an immediate threat. It’s possible that the attempt to ban people from these 7 Countries without provocation or warning will work as a recruiting ground for ISIS from the discontented and the offended.
      This action taken without consultation with allies, and the appointments made by Trump including the obvious white supremacists, is a cause of great concern within Europe who are used to a better relationship with our ‘Cousins’.

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      • Excellent summation, David! Thanks! Sometimes I think you guys on the other side of the big pond have a clearer vision of our situation than we ourselves do. You’ve heard the expression “can’t see the forest for the trees”? We may be so embroiled in the day-to-day drama that we fail to step back and analyze. Thanks … hugs, my friend!

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    • Ahhh … you open so many topics for discussion here and I will not be able to address them all fully but will give it my best shot. First, no worries on the differing opinions … I love to debate these things and always try (though I sometimes fail) to listen to the other side, so long as the discussion remains civil, as you always have. To a large extent, David gave some good answers to your questions, but allow me to fill in the gaps.

      First, Obama may have had ‘concerns’, but there is a reason he did not act on them, and that is no credible, specific threat. Keeping a watchful eye vs banning the entire populations of 7 countries are two very different things. The reality is that since 9/11, there have been ZERO terrorist attacks in the U.S. perpetrated by terrorists from any of those 7 nations.

      Second, as to why the ban was only the 7 nations rather than all predominantly Muslim nations, I think the reasons are three-fold: 1) Oil, as David said; 2) It is known that Trump’s businesses have stakes in several of those other countries;, 3) The move to ban travelers from 40+ nations, including some who are our allies, would have set off such an uproar that it would have made the current protests look like a tea party in the gazebo!

      Third — yes, many politicians have argued in favour of border control. But there is a difference between controlling or managing immigration and flat out denying refugees a safe haven. The reality about “keeping our country safe” is that we have had very little terrorism in this country in the past 16 years, and the majority of that was perpetrated by U.S. citizens or other legal residents. Trump and others are blowing the potential for terrorism by Middle-Easterners so far out of proportion that their rhetoric has no basis in reality. And why? Control. Spread the fear and you can control the masses.

      And lastly … you ask why would it matter to just go ahead and implement the order? My opinion here is that we have a humanitarian responsibility. Many of the refugees from these 7 countries have been living in bomb shelters, raising their children in refugee camps without clean water, not enough food. Personally, I return to the quote by Ben Franklin: ‘They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.’ And another favourite is the words on the base of the Statue of Liberty: ‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!’

      Much of this is my opinion, and granted, I am what they call a ‘bleeding heart liberal’, but I like to think that somewhere along the line we all have a responsibility to our fellow man/woman. I am honoured that you enjoy my blog and enjoy this sort of discussion! Thank you for your thoughtful and respectful questions and comments!

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