Trump has no bottom
There is no low too low for President Donald Trump.
He proved it again last week with a tweet putting pressure on a foreign ally to hurt his own political enemies.
"It would show great weakness if Israel allowed Rep. Omar and Rep. Tlaib to visit. They hate Israel & all Jewish people, & there is nothing that can be said or done to change their minds. Minnesota and Michigan will have a hard time putting them back in office. They are a disgrace!"
Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan are two of the four Democratic freshman members Trump has previously said should "go back" to the countries of their families' origins. Now he wants Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to ban them from entering Israel for an official visit.
Netanyahu obliged, then said Tlaib could enter on humanitarian grounds to see her 90-year-old grandmother, after she promised to "not promote boycotts" during her stay. Tlaib's grandmother lives in the occupied West Bank.
Tlaib said no thanks. "Silencing me & treating me like a criminal is not what she wants for me," she said of her grandmother in a Twitter post.
What is the point of our president inflaming politics in two democratic countries? It's just another wedge issue for him. Just another disrespect to fairness and decorum. Just another dog whistle for his base. Just another look over here past the stock market scare, past ongoing investigations, past my Cabinet chaos. It's just another low.
You've read recently of Trump's new Bureau of Land Management head, William Perry Pendley — a man who doesn't believe in public lands but now is in charge of America's public lands.
Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that our president has talked of acquiring more — Greenland, the world's largest island and an autonomous Danish territory.
It sounds right up Trump's alley. It's rich in natural resources, including iron ore, lead, zinc, diamonds, gold, rare-earth elements, uranium and oil. More goodies are being exposed daily as that hoax climate change melts Arctic ice.
Greenland's Ministry of Foreign Affairs tweeted Friday: "#Greenland is rich in valuable resources such as minerals, the purest water and ice, fish stocks, seafood, renewable energy and is a new frontier for adventure tourism. We're open for business, not for sale."
Foreign affairs spokesman for the populist Danish People's Party, Soren Espersen, called the idea "final proof that he has gone mad." Danish Minister for Industry Rasmus Jarlov, tweeted: " ... Forget it."
No money, no entry
Another of the president's new "acting" officials, the acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Ken Cuccinelli, rewrote on National Public Radio the elegant words inscribed on the Statue of Liberty's pedestal.
As poet Emma Lazarus penned them, they represent Lady Liberty's symbol of immigration's contribution to American greatness:
"Give me your tired, your poor
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
Cuccinelli's rewrite would slam the door: "Give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge," he said, trying to justify a new Trump rule that threatens to cancel any consideration of legal residency to immigrants if they have low incomes, little education or have accessed Medicaid, food stamps or housing vouchers.
Our nation's history is filled with examples of newly arrived immigrants who turned their poverty into stories of success. Famed publisher, Joseph Pulitzer, for example, arrived in St. Louis nearly penniless.
President Trump's grandfather was another, arriving here so sickly he was feared unfit for manual labor. But under these new rules, Frederick Trump probably would not qualify for the legal permanent residency and citizenship that paved the way for his grandson's financial and political success.
Trump's only-the-successful-need-apply rule is a sad statement about his respect even of his own heritage, much less that of our nation and the melting pot culture that built it.