in politics

What happens next

Yonatan Zunger has written a couple of pieces that are essential reading for anyone concerned about the events of the past week.

First, “What ‘Things Going Wrong’ Looks Like”:

Ultimately, that’s part of a broader pattern: when people are already stretched to their absolute limit emotionally, with financial stresses, family stresses, medical stresses, lack of a clear future stresses, then hearing anyone else ask for something — even if that something is as simple as “the right to walk down the street without being murdered” — feels like an added imposition. And that can lead to a backlash, not just from people who are inherently racist or the like, but also from people who aren’t and just don’t want yet another thing dropped on their plate. But when that’s a backlash against a basic request to be allowed to live (or go to the bathroom, or any other basic aspect of human life), that takes on a much nastier property.

TL;DR – everyone needs to be vigilant against for signs of oppression against minorities in the days to come. Because things have the potential to get very, very bad.

In “Trial Balloon for a Coup?”, Zunger lays out the evidence that the Trump administration’s ban on Muslim travelers was a test of our institutions:

Note also the most frightening escalation last night was that the DHS made it fairly clear that they did not feel bound to obey any court orders. CBP continued to deny all access to counsel, detain people, and deport them in direct contravention to the court’s order, citing “upper management,” and the DHS made a formal (but confusing) statement that they would continue to follow the President’s orders. (See my updates from yesterday, and the various links there, for details) Significant in today’s updates is any lack of suggestion that the courts’ authority played a role in the decision.

That is to say, the administration is testing the extent to which the DHS (and other executive agencies) can act and ignore orders from the other branches of government. This is as serious as it can possibly get: all of the arguments about whether order X or Y is unconstitutional mean nothing if elements of the government are executing them and the courts are being ignored.

Yesterday was the trial balloon for a coup d’état against the United States. It gave them useful information.