Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: Disassembling America

[ Originally published on this site as post ]

It’s becoming more and more evident that Democrats didn’t lose an election. Instead, America lost a war. Maybe we lost it to Russia, maybe we just lost it to moneyed interests who could no longer tolerate the idea of democracy, but we lost. And the results of that loss are terrible.

Jeffery Smith on how Trump is destroying national security agencies.

The world is wobbling on its axis under stresses caused by wars, ethnic tensions, instability, climate change and economic pressure in virtually every region. The liberal international order, largely established and led by the United States since the end of World War II, is fraying. Mr Trump’s America First policy pays scant heed to international cooperation and appears to believe that if we have enough military might we can make anything right. We can’t.  …

The New York Times on the growing number of diplomats forced from the State Department.

Even before Mr. Tillerson was confirmed, his staff fired six of the State Department’s top career diplomats… 

None were given any reason for their dismissals, although Mr. Kennedy and Ms. Kenney had been reprimanded by Trump transition officials for answering basic logistical questions from Nikki R. Haley, President Trump’s pick as United Nations ambassador. 

The Washington Post on the Justice Department.

Sessions is methodically reshaping the Justice Department to reflect his nationalist ideology and hard-line views …

Sessions has implemented a new charging and sentencing policy that calls for prosecutors to pursue the most serious charges possible, even if that might mean minority defendants face stiff, mandatory minimum penalties. He has defended the president’s travel ban and tried to strip funding from cities with policies he considers too friendly toward undocumented immigrants.

Sessions has even adjusted the department’s legal stances in cases involving voting rights and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues in a way that advocates warn might disenfranchise poor minorities and give certain religious people a license to discriminate.

That’s in addition to what’s happening at the EPA, the DOE, the FCC … and every other agency. Many articles are fond of saying that Trump is busily taking apart the “administrative state.” It’s a term that seems to imply that he’s clearing away the bureaucratic brush and regulatory brambles, and leaving behind … what? The administrative state is the state that operates by rule of law. The reason there are so many empty offices from Foggy Bottom to Langley to the White House isn’t because this group is concerned about saving money. It’s because when the administrative state is gone, there will only be something else.

Come on in. Let’s read pundits.