mykeystrokes.com

"Do or Do not. There is no try."

“Trump Backer Says He’s Running ‘As A Racial Healer'”: Is Trump Prepared To Acknowledge His Role In The Problem?

Donald Trump has been called all sorts of things over the course of his controversial presidential campaign, but yesterday was probably the first time anyone, anywhere, said he’s positioned to play the role of “racial healer.”

CNN’s Jake Tapper interviewed Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R), a vice presidential contender, and the host noted that he’s heard from “a number of Latino-Americans, Muslim-Americans, Native-Americans, Jewish-Americans, African-Americans, all expressing concerns about some of the things Donald Trump has said.” The Republican governor insisted most Americans have the same security concerns, regardless of who wins the election.

It led to this amazing exchange.

TAPPER: Respectfully, governor, you didn’t answer my question. Do you think Donald Trump has campaigned as a racial healer?

FALLIN: I think he is trying to campaign as a racial healer. I think that has been part of his message….

In case you’re curious, the governor said this with a straight face.

This comes on the heels of the Trump campaign issuing a statement on Friday morning, responding to the mass-shooting in Dallas, which read in part, “Our nation has become too divided. Too many Americans feel like they’ve lost hope. Crime is harming too many citizens. Racial tensions have gotten worse, not better.”

Questions about racial tensions are inherently difficult and multi-faceted, and Trump has done little to help answer them. But if the presumptive Republican nominee is correct, and tensions have intensified, is Trump prepared to acknowledge his role in the problem?

Slate’s Catherine Piner put together a lengthy collection of incidents involving Trump’s racially divisive campaign tactics, adding, “His observation about racial tensions is especially curious given the many racially and ethnically divisive statements he has made.”

I’m also reminded of this column in June from the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank.

The things Trump is doing now – disparaging the “Mexican” judge, disqualifying Muslim judges, calling somebody claiming Native American blood “Pocahontas” and singling out “my African American” – is very much in line with what he has been doing for the past year, and before.

More than six months ago, I began a column by proposing, “Let’s not mince words: Donald Trump is a bigot and a racist.” His bigotry went back decades, to the Central Park jogger case, and came to include: his leadership of the “birther” movement suggesting President Obama was a foreign-born Muslim, his vulgar expressions for women, his talk of Mexico sending rapists into America, his call for mass deportation, his spats with Latino news outlets, his mocking Asian accent, his tacit acceptance of the claim that Muslims are a “problem” in America, his agreement that American Muslims should be forced to register themselves, his call to ban Muslim immigration, his false claim about American Muslims celebrating 9/11, his tweeting of statistics from white supremacists, his condoning of violence against black demonstrators and his mocking of a journalist with a physical disability.

This assessment – a sampling, really, of Trump’s record on matters of diversity and respect – was published a month ago, and things have gotten even worse since.

All of which brings us back to the truly breathtaking assertion that Trump is “trying to campaign as a racial healer.” The next question for the GOP candidate’s allies is, if the last year is what it looks like when Trump is trying to bring people together, what would it look like if he were trying to tear us apart?

 

By: Steve Benen, The Maddow Blog, July 11, 2016

July 11, 2016 Posted by | Donald Trump, Mary Fallin, Racism | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

“State Passes Anti-Abortion Bill Described As ‘Insane'”: Don’t Policymakers In Oklahoma Have Real Work To Do?

Republican policymakers in Oklahoma are aware of the fact that they cannot simply ban all abortions. The Supreme Court has already considered flat prohibitions and deemed them unconstitutional.

Oklahoma’s GOP-led legislature has nevertheless concluded that it can ban doctors from performing abortions. Tulsa World reported today:

The Oklahoma Senate on Thursday sent Gov. Mary Fallin a bill that would make it a felony to perform abortions in Oklahoma, despite a federal court case legalizing it.

Senate Bill 1552, by Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow, would also allow the revocation of medical licenses for physicians who perform abortions. The measure passed by a vote of 33-12 with no debate.

The article added that there’s one physician in the state Senate, Republican Ervin Yen, who characterized the legislation as an “insane” measure that would invariably face a court challenge.

Of course, it will first have to be signed into law by Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R), who recently received some good advice from the editorial board of the New York Times: “For years, anti-abortion forces have relied on onerous regulations on providers to limit abortion services and lied about their true purpose because they know that a vast majority of Americans support a woman’s right to choose and that the Supreme Court has affirmed that right for more than four decades. Governor Fallin would save everyone the time and expense of litigation by vetoing the bill.”

Keep in mind, by approving a policy that’s obviously unconstitutional, and which is certain to fail in the courts, state lawmakers are asking Oklahoma taxpayers to foot the bill for a political exercise that will serve no practical or policy purpose.

But just below the surface, there’s another nagging question: don’t policymakers in Oklahoma have real work to do? Why invest time and resources in a culture-war bill that will inevitably be struck down?

During a debate in the state House over the anti-abortion proposal, state Rep. David Brumbaugh (R) told his colleagues, “Everybody talks about [Oklahoma’s] $1.3 billion deficit. If we take care of the morality, God will take care of the economy.”

This, evidently, was the prevailing attitude, which is why Oklahoma will soon have an unconstitutional ban on doctors performing a legal medical procedure, but won’t have a balanced budget.

 

By: Steve Benen, The Maddow Blog, May 19, 2016

May 21, 2016 Posted by | Abortion, Mary Fallin, Oklahoma, Reproductive Choice | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“GOP Governor Flubs Civics 101 Test”: Mary Fallin Falls Short In Her Most Basic Governmental Responsibilities

Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled last week that a state-sponsored Ten Commandments monument on the Capitol grounds violates the state Constitution. It wasn’t a close call – the justices ruled 7-2 that the six-foot-high, stone Christian display is at odds with the law that requires state government to be neutral on matters of religion.

The more controversial twist came this week, when Gov. Mary Fallin (R) and the GOP-led legislature announced they’re prepared to ignore the state Supreme Court, at least for now, while they consider new solutions.

The Republican governor talked to reporters, saying roughly what you’d expect her to say: she’s “disappointed” with the court’s decision; she thinks they made the wrong call; etc. But as KFOR, the NBC affiliate in Oklahoma City, reported, Fallin added one related thought that wasn’t expected at all:

Gov. Fallin said she believes the final decision on the monument’s fate should rest with the people.

“You know, there are three branches of our government. You have the Supreme Court, the legislative branch and the people, the people and their ability to vote. So I’m hoping that we can address this issue in the legislative session and let the people of Oklahoma decide,” she said.

The KFOR report added, “Despite what the governor said, the three branches of government include the legislative, executive and judicial branches.”

It was obviously an unfortunate slip-up, but the point isn’t to just laugh at a politician’s gaffe. There’s actually a substantive angle to all of this.

We can certainly hope that Fallin, a former multi-term member of Congress, knows what the three branches of government are. Indeed, in Oklahoma, she’s the head of one of them – the one she left out this week.

But what matters in this controversy is the governor’s appreciation for the branches’ specific duties. For example, it’s up to Oklahoma’s judicial branch to rule on constitutional questions, such as whether the state can legally endorse one religion’s sacred text.

It’s up to Oklahoma’s executive branch to enforce the law. For now, the governor has decided she doesn’t want to, at least in this case.

Fallin suggested that she’d like “the people” to “decide” what’s constitutional. The problem with such a remedy, aside from the confusion over civics, is that civil liberties shouldn’t necessarily be open to popularity contests. That’s largely the point of having rights and the Constitution in the first place – the goal is to enshrine certain protections for the public that cannot easily be taken away without due process.

It’s unfortunate that Fallin flubbed the details when trying to describe the three branches of government, but it’s arguably worse that she’s falling short in her most basic of governmental responsibilities.

 

By: Steve Benen, The Maddow Blog, July 10, 2015

July 12, 2015 Posted by | Mary Fallin, Oklahoma, Ten Commandments | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Oklahoma Is Like Turning It Up To 11”: If Oklahoma Gets Any Redder It’s Going To Start Blistering And Peeling

Rachel recently told viewers, “What we are actually seeing now in terms of the options for governance is not just blue states and red states, but rather blue states and then red states – and then Oklahoma. Oklahoma is like turning it up to 11…. If Oklahoma gets any redder it’s going to start blistering and peeling.”

That was 11 days ago, before this week’s gut-wrenching, botched execution.

And the public official whose leadership has made Oklahoma’s shift to the hard right possible is Gov. Mary Fallin (R). Her administration’s approach to lethal injections has suddenly generated international attention, but as Irin Carmon noted, the Republican governor has cultivated a striking reputation on a variety of fronts.

An execution this week that went terribly wrong has catapulted Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin, a Republican, to the national stage. But there’s more to Fallin than her zeal for capital punishment. The first female governor of Oklahoma has also quashed broader criminal justice reform, refused Medicaid expansion that would cover 150,000 Oklahoma residents, signed 10 new restrictions on abortion and contraception, blocked local minimum wage increases, and slashed education funding.

Chris Hayes joked the other day, “I used to say [Pennsylvania’s] Tom Corbett was my dark horse candidate for worst governor in the country, but Mary Fallin has now taken the lead.”

Carmon’s piece reads like an indictment of sorts: Fallin has pushed a regressive economic agenda, waging a “war against income taxes” while blocking minimum- wage increases; she’s cut investments in education; she’s blocked health care coverage for 150,000 low-income Oklahomans; and she’s waged a far-right culture war, imposing new restrictions on reproductive rights and making it tougher for National Guard in Oklahoma to receive equal benefits if they’re in same-sex marriages.

But it’s Fallin’s approach to the death penalty that appears to have made her famous. Remember, it was her administration that said it was prepared to defy a state Supreme Court ruling in order to execute two Oklahomans, using a combination of chemicals state officials did not want to disclose, from a drug manufacturer the state did not want to identify.

The governor has called for a review of this week’s fiasco, but David Firestone reported yesterday that Fallin’s order is itself dubious.

Did anyone really believe that Gov. Mary Fallin of Oklahoma would allow a truly independent review of the “execution” –  death by torture is more like it – that shocked the conscience of the nation and the world on Tuesday night? […]

Any serious investigation of the fiasco would have to closely examine the governor’s conduct leading up to it. But she doesn’t have to worry. To lead the “independent” review, she appointed her own employee, the state commissioner of public safety, Michael Thompson. And he won’t be considering her actions. The review, she said, would be limited to three items: the cause of Mr. Lockett’s death, whether the Corrections Department followed the correct protocol and how that department can improve its procedures in the future.

In other words, she asked one of her commissioners to investigate another one, which doesn’t exactly instill confidence that the review will be “deliberate and thorough,” as she described it.

With a record like this, can scuttlebutt about Fallin’s prospects as a national candidate be far behind?

 

By: Steve Benen, The Maddow Blog, May 2, 2014

May 4, 2014 Posted by | Death Penalty, Mary Fallin | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

%d bloggers like this: