Another week, another shot at the GOP shell game. While we were mourning the dead in Syria (rightfully so) and ogling the “rocket’s red glare” of those 59 Tomahawks (come on people, didn’t we get enough of nighttime missile launch shots in 2003?), the GOP was busy.
What did they do while no one was looking? Here’s a few highlights:
- The GOP blew up the U.S. Senate making it even more partisan and confirmed Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court;
- The Great and Powerful Orange One proved that he loves women so much and is so moved by the plight of “beautiful babies” that he announced the defunding of the U.N. Population Fund;
- The House of Representatives introduced H. Res. 254 to bring back H.R. 1628 – American Health Care Act of 2017; and
- Someone decided that Jared Kushner was going to solve the world’s problems based on his 0 years-experience practicing international diplomacy.
The Main Concern: Using Horrible Events to Cover Up Horrible Actions
Syria has been embroiled in a bloody civil war for the past six years and the U.S. has spent that time deeply divided over what our role should be in the conflict. Last week Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad launched a chemical attack on the Idlib Provence of Syria (See The New York Times, 4/4/2017: Worst Chemical Attack in Years in Syria; U.S. Blames Assad) and the U.S. answered quickly by launching 59 tomahawk missiles Shayrat Airfield on Friday, April 7th (See Al Jazeera, 4/7/2017: US Launches Cruise Missiles on Syrian Airbase). President Trump didn’t seek congressional authorization for the action, which would have caused a GOP riot 3 years ago, but now is being lauded by those same law makers as a show of strength.
FYI – the very next day Shayrat Airfield was back up and running (See The Washington Post, 4/8/2017: Despite US missile barrage, Syria continues airstrikes against rebels).
Russia supports the Assad regime, so the Putin oligarchy was less than pleased with the United States and publically indicated that the relationship between the U.S. and Russia had been damaged (See The New York Times, 4/7/2017: Russia Suspends Cooperation with U.S. in Syria After Missile Strikes).
Now, I don’t want to sound like a member of the tinfoil hat brigade, but isn’t it interesting that the Great and Powerful Orange One’s choice to punish Assad, made in record time and without Congressional authorization, just happened to have the added benefit of giving him the appearance of standing up to Putin? Not to mention that now that all eyes are on Syria, the U.S. public is more likely to miss actions like the Trump Administration announcing plans to defund the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA). It is a perfect example of what happens when a horrible event is used to cover up a horrible action (See Vox, 4/4/2017: Women and children last: Trump strips global family planning organization of US funds).