I find Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) to be disingenuous in his denial of President Trump's racist remarks on the DACA program. Don't cover up Trump's ignorance and disdain for non-white immigrants. Cotton lied to protect the president. That doesn't help compromise and distorts the issues.
Oak Bluffs, Mass.
On religious freedom
I enjoy reading Ernest Dumas columns, especially the Sept. 28 column ("Stifling dissent") containing a good discussion on the importance of religious freedom and freedom of speech. He applauded the court decision recognizing the religious freedom of Jehovah's Witnesses who refused to salute the flag. Dumas did not seem to show the same understanding in his Dec. 14 column ("Silly acts, good law") on the Masterpiece Cake Shop case, which he described as only a dispute over using religion and spiritual texts as a pretext for exercising individual prejudice. He seemed to believe he could understand the true motives of the cake shop owner when he said Jack Phillips abhorred the couple getting married. Is it not possible Phillips simply felt that his religious beliefs would not allow him to participate in a same-sex marriage by decorating the cake in the same way a Jehovah's Witness could not salute the flag because of his religious beliefs? Phillips states, "As a Christian, I have neither the liberty nor the inclination to discriminate. God calls me to love and serve all, and that's what I seek to do." He did not refuse to serve them as Dumas said. He was willing to sell them a cake. He just refused to decorate it for them, just as he has refused to decorate cakes for Halloween and other celebrations that are not acceptable to his religious beliefs. Does Dumas think he abhors those who celebrate Halloween? In 1996, President Clinton signed into law the Defense of Marriage Act. Joe Biden and many other Democrats voted for it. It defined marriage as only between a man and a woman and stated no state could be required to recognize a same gender marriage. During his 2008 campaign President Obama stated as a Christian he believed that marriage was between a man and a woman. He said it was a spiritual decision influenced by God. Does Dumas believe Clinton and Obama abhorred those same-sex couples who were obstructed from marrying for many years by these two presidents? Phillips only wanted to personally not take part in the wedding of one same-sex couple. Clinton and Obama made their statements in hope that it would enable them to win a presidential election and were rewarded. Phillips had no desire for personal gain, but was punished with financial ruin for his convictions. Unlike Clinton and Obama, who seem to be able to put on and take off their religious beliefs and convictions like a pair of old shoes they use when comfortable and discard when not, Phillips continued to believe as Obama previously stated, marriage was between a man and a woman and it was a spiritual belief ordained by God. After reading his column, I believe a better case could be made that Dumas abhors Jack Phillips and those like him who have not abandoned their belief that marriage is between a man and a woman.
Is anyone really surprised at Trump's latest racist comments? It's not like this is a new thing. He has a history of this kind of behavior, even predating his GOP primary run. What's disheartening is people continue to support Trump's presidency despite his reprehensible behavior while in office. It's almost as disheartening as knowing how many supported his candidacy in the first place. What does our own president's world view, as he himself expresses it, say about us as a country? What does this say about what we value as Americans? It says this is either who we really are, or a minority of citizens has a disproportionate amount of influence over our nation's political institutions. Whether the former or the latter is the case, neither represents the values of a true democracy.
From the web
In response to Autumn Tolbert's Jan. 11 column, "Oprah!":
All the objections seem to echo what was said about Trump. Two of the insignificant differences are that she is a woman and she is black. Of the more significant differences are that she is a woman and she is black, she is honest, she was not born with the proverbial silver spoon and hasn't filed for multiple bankruptcies. Too many other things to mention!
In response to Ernest Dumas' Jan. 11 column, "Sick health policy":
I'm so glad we live in a country that takes care of those who can't take care of themselves, are disabled, live way below the poverty level, and are disenfranchised. I'm so proud!!
Dear Saint Peter,
Please let me in. I can explain. I, uh, uh, uh ... From: Asa
In response to Gene Lyons' Jan. 11 column "Playing to a crowd":
If you haven't yet figured that out, perhaps you can't. Trump is triumphant in having created an unforgettable character. He often refers to himself, that character, in the third person. He plays his role superbly. It is unfortunate that he has no ability to play a presidential role. I have never watched reality TV, much less his previous shows, so I, too, did not see this coming. Hilary Clinton was by far the best candidate we have ever seen in this country followed by Al Gore. Both lost their respective elections under suspicious circumstances. I was married to a much smarter narcissistic sociopath and compulsive liar for 20-plus years and did not recognize his pathology clearly until I happened upon a book titled The Sociopath Next Door a few years after our divorce. Trump is textbook material. What I find so odd is how the media and most everyone else tries to make sense of Trump's behavior, personality, actions, speech, etc. Wait — I take that back. I did the same thing for decades with my ex-husband. Someone famous said something to the effect of "Once you know something, you can't unknow it." In this regard, I am woke. At this point, anyone who stands by Trump is as culpable and guilty as he is.
In response to the Jan. 14 Arkansas Blog post "Memory refreshed, Tom Cotton now disputes that Trump made 'shithole' comments":
Looks like Tommy will now have "a history of misrepresenting what happens in White House meetings." Pot calling kettle black? Aren't those guidelines being illegally placed on the state Capitol lawn pretty clear on these actions, Tommy? Looks like you are more into WWTD than WWJD. Oh, the irony of your convictions.
This makes Tom Cotton look like an even bigger liar! If what he's saying now is the truth, he would have denied Trump said "shithole" in the very beginning last Thursday. Are these meetings not recorded? Maybe Cotton had to be certain there were no recordings before his memory suddenly kicked in. Good grief? Is there no decency?
The only possible reason for all the denials is that there has been some fallout internationally from the comments. It won't be long until our only friend on the world scene will be Russia and that can only bite us in the butt in the long term. You're right to say that his base is absolutely thrilled by that kind of rhetoric. They love it and would like to hear it every day from the White House. They have one of their own now as POTUS, they think. It doesn't much matter whether or not Trump does anything for them or not. After all, they're used to their own shitholes and wouldn't know any better anyway.
Tommy is a chronic liar and a very hateful asshole.
Warren: that would be hateful shithole in the current vernacular.
Going for the record again
In terms of international fallout, I wonder about the timing of Trump's decision not to attend the opening of our new embassy in London. I wonder if word got back to the White House that he might be greeted by testy crowds, and rightfully so.
The Democrat Gazette's silence on Cottons willingness to lie for Trump is deafening.