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It’s one for the history books, as they say.  On July 16, 2019, Donald Trump was formally rebuked by the House (in a 240 to 187 vote) for his ‘racist’ tweets on four Congresswomen.  The last time the House rebuked a president was William Howard Taft over a 100 years ago.

So what did Trump do?  He told the four members of Congress to ‘go-back’ to the ‘the crime infested places from which they came’ instead of ‘viciously telling’ us ‘how our government is to be run.

Three of the women were born in the U.S. and Ilhan Omar was a refugee from Somalia.  Not difficult to guess which country was largely responsible for a proxy war in Somalia that overthrew a regime agreed to by warring parties for a rare interlude of peace.  The resulting civil war now continues, and Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania are home to more than 2 million Somali refugees.  Others have ventured further, to the EU and the US.

Trump’s assessment of all this is uniquely Trumpian.  He thinks he has won because he has now got Speaker Nancy Pelosi exactly where he wants her for the 2020 election … in the arms of the squad of four, who he positions as radicals.

Exactly how radical are they?  They want a living minimum wage, healthcare for all — something other developed countries already have — a decent shot at education, and they are strongly against Trump’s policies on the southern order.  Finally, they want Palestinians to get a fair deal.

Steny Hoyer (aged 80) the Majority Leader and Nancy Pelosi (aged 79), the first woman Speaker of the House of Representatives, both with distinguished decades’ long careers, starting together coincidentally as staffers in the office of Senator Daniel Brewster (Democrat, Maryland), have weathered difficult battles on critical issues as well as the rough and tumble of politics for many a year.

To them the squad of four appear as upstarts with a brashness and energy that have captured the attention of mainstream news, and had a heretofore unseen impact on social media.  They seem unwilling to compromise, and speak as equals despite a half-century age difference and a vast power gap in the House itself.

Not for them the lure of key committee appointments or other such carrots for a successful Congressional career.  They are out and out idealists with a platform publicized positively thanks to left-wing websites and social media, and which can not be ignored by the mainstream outlets.  The world has changed; no, these four have turned it upside down.

Trump himself has other worries.  There is the case against Roger Stone his long-time ally, friend and attorney, who was back in court for disobeying the judge’s gag order.  As the case goes forward, we will be back to the 2016 election, the Russian connection, and other efforts to smear Hillary Clinton.  Will the calls for impeachment finally find a receptive ear in Nancy Pelosi?

Then there is Iran.  Trump’s idea of a better deal is always to walk away from the present one.  No matter if its a treaty or an international agreement.  Ayatollah Ali Khamanei is not having any of it.  People in this country are unaware that most such clerics, in addition to Islamic studies, are experts in jurisprudence and philosophy, are well-read, well-informed, and above all have to be highly intelligent to have been selected for this career path.  The Ayatollah wants relief from sanctions first.

Trump’s new envoy to Iran, Senator Rand Paul is a libertarian like his father, and both are anti-war with a particular aversion for America’s misadventures abroad.  So there is hope.

Dr Arshad M Khan (http://ofthisandthat.org/index.html) is a former Professor based in the U.S. whose comments over several decades have appeared in a wide-ranging array of print and internet media.  His work has been quoted in the U.S. Congress and published in the Congressional Record.


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