As we go to press on Wednesday evening, Human Rights Campaign is sending out alerts asking for money to help them fight the so-called “License to Discriminate” religious-freedom executive order that President Pence — excuse me, President Trump — is supposed to issue this week. This answers several questions that many have been asking about this White House.
First and foremost, it’s Pence who’s making White House decisions. Religious-freedom legislation screams Pence. Even Steve Bannon wouldn’t go there. But there’s one more thing that’s obvious: President Pence — excuse me, Trump — is playing to his base with play money. See, any executive action he signs can and will be challenged through the courts. Since he can’t really do anything without legislation, he’s putting on a show.
Many can’t understand why Trump supporters continue to stay with him since he’s breaking every promise he made. It’s not the promises, it’s the language. That 35-40 percent of Americans who embrace Trump are rebelling against the last eight years of what many termed “politically correctness.” Now, there are a great deal of issues wrapped up in that PC term, but those don’t matter since many of those who support Trump feel they have been lectured by those who celebrate inclusion and diversity. So when Trump yells “get ’em outta here” about a protester, they applaud. As long as he does or says anything that looks like it is disturbing the establishment or progressives, he’s on safe ground with that 35-40 percent. He doesn’t have to deliver anything. But Congressional Republicans he needs are beginning to worry about their jobs.
On Obamacare, his replacement plan would have tossed many of his supporters in the toilet, but hey, the media made the point on how bad it was and Trump said, “It will be the best.” It didn’t even come up for a vote.
Same with taxes; his tax proposal is stalled while lawmakers negotiate. And that wall? It didn’t get funded. These are bright spots since it’s the establishment in Congress that is holding up Trump’s plans — and that means Republicans stopped him from getting his funds. Maybe after 100 days of Republican presidential insanity, just maybe the sane Republicans are beginning to want to get out of the asylum.
The point is that religious-freedom executive orders will be taken to court before any action can be taken, but Trump can still say to his base, “I’m trying to save you from ‘those people.’” All in code of course … wink wink.
Mark Segal, PGN publisher, is the nation’s most-award-winning commentator in LGBT media. His recently published memoir, "And Then I Danced," is available on Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble or at your favorite bookseller. You can follow him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MarkSegalPGN or Twitter at https://twitter.com/PhilaGayNews.
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