Trump at the Rubicon

Julius Caesar’s army in Gaul was not authorized to enter Italy. Crossing the Rubicon River made him an outlaw. But he then proceeded to Rome to make himself dictator. (Literally — his title, “Perpetual Dictator.”)

When the Supreme Court told President Nixon to turn over White House tapes, he complied. The Court has barred adding a citizenship question to the Census. Trump now says he’s “seriously considering” an executive order to do it anyway.

Is this finally his Rubicon crossing, making him indisputably an outlaw? Why this issue?

The administration had claimed the citizenship question was needed to enforce the Voting Rights Act. Laughable because they spit on the Voting Rights Act. Indeed, their true aim is directly contrary to that act — to undercount ethnic minorities and thus dilute their voting rights and political representation. They refuse to admit this* but documents revealed after the court decision unarguably expose their motive.

But even without that, the Supreme Court ruled the administration’s pretext for its plan was simply a lie. An extraordinary, unprecedented judicial rebuke. Not even this Republican-majority court could stomach the brazen dishonesty. (Well, at least John Roberts could not.)

And why do Trump and Republicans make such a big issue of adding a citizenship question? For partisan advantage; believing it would really skew the Census in their favor.** That’s why it mustn’t be allowed.

If Trump does issue his Court-defying order, what should happen? Those charged with carrying it out should refuse. If they have a civic bone in their bodies. Don’t count on that.

I have opposed impeachment because politically it would play into Trump’s hands. Disobeying the Supreme Court would change my view. If a president does that, and isn’t impeached, our Constitution isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.

But even if sanity prevails, and Trump backs off from this particular threat, the fact that he could even utter it cannot be squared with the kind of nation we are — or used to be.

* Trump’s babblings on this disregard the Constitution requiring the Census to simply count people — not citizens — with Congressional apportionment based likewise. Trump’s aim is to deter non-citizen participation. The Census Bureau itself says a citizenship question would do that. (Thus fewer Congressional seats for cities where immigrants congregate.)

** Meantime, under the radar, they’re also aiming for an inaccurate Census by just grossly underfunding it.

One Response to “Trump at the Rubicon”

  1. Bumba Says:

    Refusing to answer subpoenas, defying Congress, not to mention obstruction of justice, receiving emoluments, and oh yes, conspiracy. A lot of water already in the Rubicon.

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