Robert Reich: Don’t Let Trump’s Gutter Tweets Distract You From What’s Really Going On

By Robert Reich
Robert Reich Facebook (7/2/17)

Trump is using his “gutter” tweets this morning to try to distract you from these major stories of the week:

1) The latest version of Trumpcare stalled in the Senate. The details of the bill were even too much for Republicans to stomach. When Mitch McConnell finally released his version of the bill from behind closed doors, many Republicans balked at the deep cuts to Medicaid. Estimates released on Monday by the Congressional Budget Office that 22 million Americans would lose coverage under the proposal only furthered doubts. Rallies on Capitol Hill and at congressional offices across the country put pressure on key senators. Remember, this is only a temporary victory. McConnell is currently revising the bill and will be back with something dangerous. We need to keep up the pressure when Senators head back home for recess this week. (

2) Trump’s commission to investigate his trumped-up claims of voter fraud in the 2016 election requested states turn over personal information about everyone who has voted since 2006 — names, addresses, birthdates, political party, criminal history, and the last four digits of their Social Security numbers. The request came from commission co-chair Kris Kobach, the secretary of state in Kansas and a fervent believer that voter fraud is widespread despite decades of evidence to the contrary. Democratic and Republican election officials in nearly 30 states have already pushed back, questioning the legality of the request. Trump’s real purpose is to legitimize more voter suppression in 2018 and 2020 — ID and other laws that will minimize turnout of likely Democrats. Let your Governor and Secretary of State know that you don’t want your information shared with Trump’s bogus commission. (

3) We seem to be getting closer to a smoking gun linking the Trump campaign to Russian operatives. Last fall, Republican financier Peter W. Smith assembled a team of computer experts to contact hackers connected with the Russian government, in order to get emails Smith believed had been hacked from Hillary Clinton’s private server, according to the Wall Street Journal. Smith told multiple people he was working with Trump campaign advisor Michael Flynn. He even offered to introduce potential backers to Flynn and Flynn’s son. (

4) The Supreme Court has allowed Trump’s travel ban from 6 mostly Muslim countries to go into effect — until the Court considers in the fall the larger Constitutional questions of national security and religious discrimination. But the Court won’t allow the ban to be enforced against those who have family in the United States or who are admitted to a U.S. university or have similar connections. It’s a bad omen for the final decision that the Court is allowing the ban to go into effect now. It suggests 5 justices aren’t likely to be moved by what led the lower courts to reject the ban: (1) Trump’s statements revealing his bigoted intent to ban Muslims, and (2) the Trump administration’s failure to show a sufficient national security interest in banning travel from these 6 countries. Trump’s travel ban is religious discrimination, plain and simple. There’s no national security issue at all, since nobody in the United States has ever been killed by a terrorist from any of these 6 countries. The only thing these 6 countries have in common is they’re Muslim, and they don’t contain a Trump hotel. (

5) In a two-part tweet early Thursday morning, Trump wrote that he “heard poorly rated @Morning_Joe speaks badly of me (don’t watch anymore).” He was referring to the MSNBC morning program, co-hosted by Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski. Trump’s second tweet: “how come low I.Q. Crazy Mika, along with Psycho Joe, came … to Mar-a-Lago 3 nights in a row around New Year’s Eve, and insisted on joining me. She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!” The co-hosts have been critical of Trump. Democrats — and even many Republicans — rightfully condemned the tweets as inappropriate and beneath the office of the presidency. It’s bad enough that Trump dumps on media that criticize him, and even on specific journalists. But he’s also adding to the coarsening of America — the harsh personal attacks now poisoning how we talk to and about one another. Trump is President of the United States, a position we used to hope and expect would set the norm for civility. Instead, he’s dragging the nation into the gutter of his own crude, vindictive, acrid mind.

What do you think?

(Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2017. Open source and free to use with link to )Link to Story