Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The endorsement Gov. Kate Brown probably wasn't looking for

White nationalist organization American Freedom Party endorsed Donald Trump's presidential candidacy shortly before the 2016 Iowa caucuses, which was a little surprising, not that they recognized Trump as one of their own, but that they took the unprecedented step of formally endorsing him, rather than merely supporting him. (And they already have their own candidate, but apparently he's good with the whole Trump endorsement thing too.)

Also somewhat unusual is that they've produced a "For Your Consideration" list of Cabinet and staff recommendations for the Trump Administration. (The screen-captured list is here.)

Some of them are little more than right-wing fan fiction: Sarah Palin for Chief of Staff (What? No Rush Limbaugh for Director of Communications?), Sen. Jeff Sessions for Secretary of State, and Newt Gingrich for Secretary of Defense. Or my personal favorite: Ann Coulter as Director of Homeland Security, about whom they say, "Ms. Coulter will do what needs doing and she will give proper direction and coordination with the Secretary of Agriculture to achieve administration goals."

What does the Department of Agriculture have to do with DHS? And who is the AFP's recommendation for Secretary of Agriculture? I'm glad you asked.
Secretary of Agriculture: William Daniel Johnson. Mr. Johnson is Chairman of the American Freedom Party. He is a farmer and a white nationalist. This cabinet post is extremely important because it handles food stamps and WIC (women, infant and children) food subsidies. These programs will be powerful tools to achieve repatriation of the 30+ million illegal aliens in America.
See? There you go: Johnson gets to cut off food subsidies to the 30+ million illegals in the US to drive them out (actually, it's only about 11 million, despite what AFP and Donald Trump might say), and he gets to take proper direction and coordination, which is probably a euphemism for something I don't want to imagine, from Coulter. Win-win!

And yet . . . and yet . . . check out that name right below Coulter's on the recommendation list. Yeah. That one. 
Secretary of Labor: Oregon Governor Kate Brown. In keeping with Donald Trump's populist underpinnings, Oregon Governor Kate Brown would be a good choice. She is a proven champion of a living wage.
That last line refers, of course, to the plan, spearheaded by Brown, to raise in Oregon's minimum wage from its current $9.25/hr to $15.52/hr by 2022. Perhaps the AFP assumes that only European descendants will be around by then to qualify.

But as for that "populist underpinnings" part, my money's on Brown, not Trump.

A quick Google search uncovers the AFP's position on LGBT issues: They appear equally committed to banning same-sex marriage and banning the rainbow flag. (Once again, you have to wonder if much diligence went into this endorsement list, since Brown is well known as the first openly bisexual state governor in US history. The mind boggles at the thought of how Senate Republicans would react to that come nomination time.)

And, of course there's Brown's support for Oregon's motor-voter law, which (when combined with our vote-by-mail elections) makes it much harder to suppress the votes of the Wrong People.

And don't forget her unblinking support for resettlement in Oregon of Syrian refugees.

So it's pretty clear why Governor Brown would have no interest in serving in a Trump administration, with or without the dubious seal of white nationalist approval. I doubt if she'll ever be publicly questioned about it, but unlike Trump she's probably not going to waffle about rejecting white supremacists if that time comes.

But what can the AFP list-makers have been thinking? This list has all the intellectual depth of a "do you think Mighty Mouse could beat up Superman?" discussion, buttressed by the painstaking research of an overdue high school history paper (and in that sense, it might find a welcome reader in Trump after all).

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