Notes From the Resistance

The one positive thing we can say about Donald Trump’s presidency is that it has sparked the largest political engagement movement in at least the last 40 years. People are speaking up, organizing and contacting their legislators. Many are even talking about running for political office themselves. In order to maintain our sanity, it might be helpful to look at what’s going on and some of the successes that have already been achieved.

A couple of days ago I wrote about the foreign service officers who had drafted a memo to send through the State Department Dissent Channel expressing their disagreement with Trump’s travel ban. Here is an update on that as of Tuesday:

It started out in Washington.

Then it went to Jakarta. Then across Africa.

One version even showed up on Facebook.

Within hours, a State Department dissent cable, asserting that President Trump’s executive order to temporarily bar citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries would not make the nation safer, traveled like a chain letter — or a viral video.

The cable wended its way through dozens of American embassies around the world, quickly emerging as one of the broadest protests by American officials against their president’s policies. And it is not over yet.

By 4 p.m. on Tuesday, the letter had attracted around 1,000 signatures, State Department officials said, far more than any dissent cable in recent years. It was being delivered to management, and department officials said more diplomats wanted to add their names to it.

ABC News reports on the lawsuits being filed against Trump’s travel ban.

Since he signed the order Friday, at least 13 lawsuits have been filed around the country, including one from Washington state. Attorneys general in Virginia, Massachusetts and New York announced on Monday their intentions to intervene in existing federal suits filed over the past weekend in their states.

I am proud to say that today my home state of Minnesota joined Washington state, New York, Virginia and Massachusetts in taking legal action against the ban.

The push-back has already had some effect.

White House Counsel Don McGahn issued “authoritative guidance” on Wednesday clarifying that key parts of Trump’s controversial executive order, which is aimed at citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries, will no longer cover green card holders, White House press secretary Sean Spicer announced Wednesday afternoon.

A date has been set for the March for Science that I wrote about recently. It will take place on Earth Day, April 22, 2017. You can get involved here.

If you’d like to attend a meeting with your Congressperson to let them know what you think about Republican plans to repeal Obamacare (or any other issue), some wonderful people have put together a list of when/where they are happening.

Here’s a big win for the resistance:

A Republican lawmaker is rescinding his bill to sell off millions of acres of federally owned land.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) announced late Wednesday night on Instagram that he would pull the legislation after backlash from conservation and sportsmen’s groups…

The Disposal of Excess Federal Lands Act called for the sale of 3.3 million acres currently owned by the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management in 10 western states.

Finally, it’s important to keep in mind that the resistance is not confined to blue states. Here are some examples of what is happening in red states from Katie Paris:

  • More than 50 airport protests against Trump’s Muslim ban took place in red states,
  • NASCAR hero Dale Earnhardt, Jr. tweeted this to his 2 million followers: “my fam immigrated from Germany in 1700s escaping religious persecution. America is created by immigrants,” and
  • Budweiser’s 2017 Superbowl ad is titled “Born the Hard Way” and tells the story of their founder’s immigrant past.

If you have news/updates to add, let us know in the comments.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.