Sheriff tells Trump that state senator is doing something he doesn't like
Trump: "Do you want to give his name? We'll destroy his career." pic.twitter.com/75y3t9zc54
— Steve Kopack (@SteveKopack) February 7, 2017
Jesus. Also, the thing the sheriff didn't like? The state senator is trying to end civil asset forfeiture.https://t.co/NQ3tsogvlU
— Radley Balko (@radleybalko) February 7, 2017
… At a listening session with county sheriffs from around the country, Trump invited the sheriffs seated in the White House’s Roosevelt Room to make a statement while reporters were present. Rockwall County, Texas, Sheriff Harold Eavenson spoke up first to discuss asset forfeiture, a practice by which law enforcement can seize the cash and property of individuals suspected of committing a crime without a guilty verdict.
Proponents of the practice argue that allows law enforcement to effectively combat terrorism and the drug trade, while opponents, including some conservatives, argue that it allows police to seize assets without due process. Trump’s predecessor, former President Barack Obama, sought to rein in an asset sharing program by which local law enforcement were given a share of whatever assets they seized…
The president’s remark elicited laughter from those gathered in the Roosevelt Room, although the president did not join in. Eavenson did not offer the Texas state senator’s name, and the public information officer for the Rockwall County sheriff’s office declined to name the lawmaker in question…
Question: You know who else relied on “You don’t look like the sort of person should be allowed to have nice things” as a way to simultaneously reward his followers and intimidate his perceived enemies?
Answer: Every two-bit thug who’s ever been able to wrap his kleptomania in the rags of ‘government’… but for the last hundred years or so, we’ve called them ‘fascists‘.
— Daniella Diaz (@DaniellaMicaela) February 7, 2017
Trump is now systematically attacking all the institutions that could limit his power later:https://t.co/38y2hT4mvZ
— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) February 7, 2017
…[I]t’s important to step back and appreciate the bigger picture here. Trump — faced with an outpouring of popular opposition to his ban, and a level of institutional pushback to it, that surely caught him and his advisers off guard — is actively experimenting with how far he can go in delegitimizing the institutions that are already signaling they may place serious, meaningful limits on his power…
The travel ban has unleashed a surprisingly robust response from the public and our institutions, making this into a first test case as to whether popular mobilization and those institutions can effectively rein in Trump’s authoritarian and nakedly discriminatory impulses. The question is not just whether this ban can be stopped. It’s also whether Trump can be blocked from extending and expanding this policy and instituting others like it.
But even as that response has arisen, Trump is also testing how far he can go in delegitimizing our institutions — and in telling lies designed to minimize impressions of popular opposition to the scope and nature of his exercise of power — apparently in order to undermine the degree to which those forces will continue to function as a check on that power later. So it’s important to appreciate that this test case flows in two directions.
The thing to watch is how much ideological media goes w him. Fox so far has been all in https://t.co/jFW5sjYSHc
— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) February 7, 2017