Steve Bannon
Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

Yesterday brought some bad news for the Bannon/Miller wing of the White House. First of all, there was an election in the Netherlands.

Dutch voters turned out in force to back pro-European parties and help Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s Liberals easily beat off an election challenge by the anti-Islam Freedom Party of Geert Wilders, drawing a line in the sand over the spread of populism…

The outcome was worse than opinion polls had suggested for Wilders, representing a rejection of his platform of pulling the Netherlands out of the European Union, abandoning the euro, closing Dutch borders and stopping all immigration by Muslims. It suggests that the nationalist sentiment that prompted the U.K.’s Brexit vote and won Donald Trump the White House will struggle to secure as big a foothold in Europe’s core.

That sparked some hope for a similar outcome in the upcoming elections in France and Germany.

Secondly, U.S. District Judge Derrick K. Watson issued a ruling on Trump’s travel ban 2.0.

A federal judge in Hawaii on Wednesday issued a sweeping freeze of President Trump’s new executive order hours before it would have temporarily barred the issuance of new visas to citizens of six Muslim-majority countries and suspended the admission of new refugees.

One of the more interesting parts of the Judge’s ruling indicates that he took the words of Trump and his surrogates literally. After quoting the numerous references the president made to a “Muslim ban” during the election, he writes this:

Nor is there anything “secret” about the Executive’s motive specific to the issuance of the Executive Order:

Rudolph Giuliani explained on television how the Executive Order came to be. He said: “When [Mr. Trump] first announced it, he said, ‘Muslim ban.’ He called me up. He said, ‘Put a commission together. Show me the right way to do it legally.’”

SAC ¶ 59, Ex. 8. On February 21, 2017, commenting on the then-upcoming revision to the Executive Order, the President’s Senior Adviser, Stephen Miller, stated, “Fundamentally, [despite “technical” revisions meant to address the Ninth Circuit’s concerns in Washington,] you’re still going to have the same basic policy outcome [as the first].”

But perhaps the most delicious part of this ruling went beyond the words to the symbolic.

In commenting on that tweet, James Fallows identifies the divide.

That pretty well sums up the tie that binds these two stories with a reference to Rep. Steve King’s tweet about Wilders.

In the great struggle of our day between the white nationalists and an embrace of our diverse babies, yesterday brought a couple of small victories. That is worth celebrating.

Nancy LeTourneau

Follow Nancy on Twitter @Smartypants60.