|Philadelphia, Saturday, February 4, 2017|
I believe there were between 1,000 and 2,000 participants, mainly young, from just about everywhere around the globe. One speaker said he was Irish-American and his family came here a long time ago; his grandfather spent a week living in a tree in Normandy, fighting to protect our freedoms; and he suggested we should now fight to protect those same freedoms.
I need to say that this was a happy, funny rally. Lots of jokes and lots of laughter. I left feeling good about the future. It'll be a tough fight, for sure, but we have the happy warriors.
In less than two weeks, Donald has unified and energized his opposition. How did he do that? Let me suggest sheer incompetence.
For your debut act of persecution, you decide to turn certain immigrants away from our borders. Well, let's just look at this for a minute as a military operation. Geography is very important to soldiers. The first thing you need to do when planning an operation is define the battlefield.
So our battlefield is every port of entry - airport, seaport, border crossing - in the country. Actually it's a whole series of disconnected battlefields in a war zone that, on a map, would look like a bad case of chicken pox. How are you even going to keep track of all that, let alone exercise effective command?
The second thing you need to do is control the battlefield. Let's just look at John F. Kennedy International Airport in the New York City borough of Queens. How are Donald and Steve Bannon going to control that particular battlefield?
You might as well try to control the Mississippi River. You've got some immigration guys, that's true. But you don't have the local officials or the police, and you have a vast number of travelers who are about to become very annoyed by the obstructions that occur when protesters and immigration lawyers appear in large numbers - something you can't prevent.
You don't control the ground. And your enemy receives continuous reinforcements. To switch to Dulles and Philadelphia International for a minute, you may even have a U.S. Senator show up to oppose the ban.
Okay, you're essentially screwed. Basic doctrine calls for you to unify your own forces and divide the enemy. Instead, you do the opposite.
The theory of persecution also calls for you to select victims who can be demonized. Instead, according to the New York Times, you grab a young woman who is a doctor at the Cleveland Clinic. She has been home visiting family, and she is returning to her job, her fiance, her apartment, her car. Sounds like a pretty relatable person to me.
And you fail to objectify her. Instead, you hold her for six hours and then march her under guard to a plane headed back out of the country, all while her attorney is telling you that a judge is about to hand down an order. It appears the doctor may actually have been deported after the order was issued.
Another old military adage is Know your enemy. It appears that Bannon and Co. never bothered to look at who the people were that they were planning to persecute.
Yes, you're really screwed.
I suppose that, on one level, we're very lucky that Bannon and Co. are incompetent. But unfortunately their incompetence is unlikely to be limited to the persecution of minorities. They are, in fact, supposed to be running the country. They're in the driver's seat, but they don't know how to drive. And that means we're all going in the ditch. Brace for impact.
See also Lidice and the Power of Nothing, Fascism, Even Worse Than I Thought.