How to Fight Trump This Week on Afghanistan, His Latest Cabinet Pick and Everything in Between
On Monday, Americans took a brief break from North Korea-based fear-mongering and neo-Nazis to enjoy the eclipse—perhaps the one positive collective experience many have had in over a year. Try to hold onto that sense of hope and wonder; you'll need it after watching Trump's performance in Phoenix Tuesday night, where he defended his "fine people on both sides" response to the violence in Charlottesville, declared, “It’s time to expose the crooked media deceptions" and threatened a government shutdown if Congress doesn't authorize funding for a border wall with Mexico.
If this sounds atrocious to you, here's how you can take action this week.
Demand repeal of the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists
Before the dictator antics in Phoenix, Donald Trump took valuable minutes of America’s primetime television viewing Monday night to announce a troop increase in Afghanistan. He can do so because after 9/11, Congress passed Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists (AUMF)—which many consider a “blank check” for the U.S. military to strike without congressional approval.
If a president who can authorize military force on a whim has you reaching for a Xanax and designing a bomb shelter, put away the pills and ask your member of the House to co-sponsor Rep. Barbara Lee’s Repeal of the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists. Lee has been trying to repeal the authorization for nearly 16 years. Her latest attempt was thwarted by Paul Ryan when he took the amendment out of a defense spending bill.
Censure Donald Trump
Ask your representatives to co-sponsor H. Res 496, which calls for Donald Trump’s censure. Representatives Pramila Jayapal, Bonnie Watson Coleman and Jerrold Nadler called for the action last week, following Trump’s bizarre press conference after the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville.
Andrew Jackson is the only U.S. president to be censured, along with nine members of the Senate. Censuring is not impeachment, but a formal statement of disapproval, a way to impede the person in question from advancing their agenda. Congress tried to censure Bill Clinton following the Monica Lewinsky scandal, but didn’t quite have the votes. So far the resolution has just 112 co-sponsors and would need 218 to succeed, but it is supported by multiple activist groups, including Indivisible.
Oppose nomination of Sam Clovis for USDA Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics
This is among the wide variety of positions Trump has failed to fill since his inauguration. When he finally got around to nominating one, he chose Sam Clovis. It may sound obscure, but the person in this position is the USDA’s top scientist, responsible for managing a $3 billion research and education portfolio. Clovis has no advanced degree or experience in science, the bare minimum requirement for someone in this position. From 2011-2014 he was a right-wing talk show host and blogger, using his platform to push birther conspiracies about President Obama and racist comments about Attorney General Eric Holder. He also believes homosexuality is linked to pedophilia. Call your senators and urge them to reject Clovis' nomination.