Even though Megyn Kelly clearly disagreed with Donald Trump’s anti-American demand that flag burners should be prosecuted and/or stripped of citizenship, she nonetheless offered a friendly forum for a Trump supporter – and attorney, no less – to equate flag-burning protest with arson and to suggest that kind of dissent should be squelched.
Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag - if they do, there must be consequences - perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 29, 2016
As I’ve previously written, Trump’s tweet was probably prompted by Fox’s repeated demonization of Hampshire College for removing its American flag after students had burned one. Last night, The O’Reilly Factor continued that effort when Bill O’Reilly praised producer Jesse Watters’ ambush of the college president. Watters literally put his foot in the door of the college president’s home and refused to move it after repeated requests. But Trump BFF O’Reilly told Watters, “You were polite to him. So, um, he’s a villain and a coward.”
In other words, the flag fascism has been a joint Fox/Trump effort. Who knows how they may collude next?
Kelly made it sound as though the flag had been removed because college “cupcakes,” as she sneeringly referred to the students, couldn’t bear the sight of it. In fact, the flag was removed because it had become a focal point of protest (some students had burned it in protest of Donald Trump’s election) and the college president wanted to address the issues and concerns of students without having the flag involved.
Instead of correcting the record, Democratic guest Julie Roginsky validated Kelly’s specious attack.
Nevertheless after her requisite round of hammy condemnation, Kelly tacitly acknowledged that she understood very well what was really going on. She also did a fine job of standing up for the principles from here on (transcript excerpts via FoxNews.com):
KELLY: [Students are] not saying they can’t function on the face of it, they’re saying, to us it means something else.
But the other guest, Trump supporter and attorney David Wohl, didn’t care – and the heck with the First Amendment!
WOHL: Well, Trump said no one should be able to burn the flag and he’s absolutely right. You know, Megyn, the Supreme Court in 1989 decided that burning the flag was somehow protected free speech. You burn anything else you go to jail. The flag, it’s fine. And you know Americans and the Americans that put Mr. Trump in office are just so fed up with this garbage climate where it’s cool to disparage America, it’s cool to burn flags, it’s cool to hate cops and hate the military.
KELLY: Yes. But there’s the First Amendment –
WOHL: And guess what –
KELLY: The problem for your argument is that little thing called the First Amendment and it’s very clear --
WOHL: Well now, Megyn, here’s the thing. There’s going to be a newly constituted Supreme Court soon as we know and it’s going to be more conservative and my guest is this whole issue will be revisited and if it is, look out. Because I suspect it will be reversed.
Of course, there’s a huge difference between arson and burning a flag. You’d think a lawyer like Wohl would recognize that, as the U.S. Supreme Court undoubtedly did.
To her credit, Kelly followed this discussion with an interview with Jonathan Turley, professor at George Washington University Law School. He also nicely smacked down Wohl’s contention:
TURLEY: The flag represents our collective rights and you hardly honor it by abridging those rights which is what is being suggested. The First Amendment has never been amended. It has never been reduced. It’s served us so well since the founding of this republic. And the suggestion that we should now amend the First Amendment because of what on average is about five to seven flag burnings a year I think is rather reckless. I mean, the question is, do you want the government in the business of criminalizing speech. Those people that want to allow Congress to do it have got to think about the implications of that.
But in Trump land, facts and logic don’t matter, only performance, perception, propaganda and, most of all, power.
Watch the kind of “freedom” Trumpsters envision below, from the November 29, 2016 The Kelly File.
There was an interesting article on CNN’s website this morning about concerns of the LGBT clergy community about what will happen to their rights under the incoming presidency. I was frankly surprised to see them wondering – these guys have made what will happen extremely clear. Pence’s entire career has been about hating and shunning them – of course he’s going to take actions to attack them. Did they think that Donald Trump would appoint a Supreme Court justice who would stick up for them for even a split second? Really?
I think you may be on to something with Trump’s wistfulness. I hope so, anyway. I, too, think he will not be interested in being president, except for the glory. Let’s hope he finds none.
As for son Barron (as opposed to chief strategist Bannon), Melania has threatened to sue whoever it was that said he is autistic. She’s as awful as her husband, in my opinion.
Yesterday evening a usually very well-informed friend asked me about the rumours that Bannon Trump may be autistic. I’d heard nothing on that but my first response was to ask what this had to do with anything. Got a bit aggressive, actually. This morning, I looked for the rumours on the net and found a singular lack of reliable sources … only the taboids where the slant is a screech “Seeee? The Liberals are attacking Trump’s kid!”.
Seems the story started with a video linked to Rosie McDonald (who has an autistic child). Both Rosie and the director (himself, autistic) have apologised for using Bannon as a way to garner sympathy for an anti-bullying message. Their “diagnosis” was based on footage showing the 10-year-old Bannon to be sleepy and disattentive. Unfortunately, the story now has legs in the tabloids and it’s only a matter of time for it to appear on Fox.
For starters, I don’t care if Bannon is autistic or not. I do know that there is no scientifically proven relation between the disorder and the parents (especially the mother), vaccines, etc. They’re still looking for the cause. Regardless, it’s vitally important for us to react by declaring the kid to be OFF-LIMITS!
I remember only too well what so many sick-minded republicans did to Chelsea Clinton as well as the occasional attempts at “humour” (sic) about the Obama girls. Nobody but nobody should be cracking jokes or speculating about kids. Grrrrrr!
Thanks for that detail: a brief ray of sunshine peeking through the big thunderstorm cloud mass. Just a ray, however, and – quite frankly – I’m more scared of Pence, Bannon and Flynn. (Aside: methinks the chemistry between Mattis and Flynn will generate a lot of sparks and Mattis may be the first to abandon the Trump mother ship).
The more I think on it, the more I’m convinced that the President-elect is “hooked on” (aka addicted to) the thrill that these rallies gave to him throughout his campaign. Dwindling attendance won’t do the same job and he’ll probably lose interest in playing at being president. Especially as he realises (I don’t think he’s totally stupid) that the rest of the world has started laughing at him (better than crying, right?). World leaders – like the USA – will have to be polite but the sniggering behind the scenes can’t be hidden for long.
You know? those empty seats at the victory rally give me another “read” on his statement “We had a lot of fun fighing Hillary, didn’t we?” Alluvasudden, that sounds more wistful than gleeful.
There were hundreds, if not thousands, of empty seats at the rally. I’ve been obsessively listening to progressive talk radio and it was one of the hosts who said it. But when I saw footage of the rally, I saw it was true: whole sections of the seats were empty.
Saw on the teevee that Trump has spoken with the President of Taiwan, to the ire of mainland China, a country that holds a sizeable chunk of the US debt. The President-elect’s early actions reveal a preoccupying lack of awareness of reality, and I’m wondering if that victory lap may not actually have been a morale-booster after three weeks of pain, aka reality. Wouldn’t surprise me one bit if he were to need to make monthly forays into such rallies to recharge his batteries. And my crystal ball tells me that attendance at those rallies will fall as reality starts to bite even the most die-hard admirer.
The obvious intention of Trump’s supporters, like Fox News, is to really mess with the Supreme Court. If they have their way, Kennedy and likely Thomas would step down during Trump’s term, thus allowing Trump to appoint young 40-45 year old Borks to replace not only Scalia but also the older Right Wing justices – thus giving them a HARD Right 5-4 majority for the next 25 years. And if Ginsburg or Breyer is forced out by health or age issues in the next few years, they’ll also be replaced by a young Bork, giving the Far Right a 6-3 situation.
If even the 5-4 situation happens, the court will tilt decidedly farther Right, and would quickly become a place where Citizens United would appear to be a learned item of judicial wisdom by comparison. We’d have open season on multiple right wing wish list items, mostly in terms of Right Wing business ideas – namely that it’s the business, not the consumer that has the rights, and that it’s the employer not the employee who needs protection. If the 6-3 situation comes to pass, we could be looking at some truly frightening times. It’s long been a conventional wisdom idea that the GOP would never overturn Roe v Wade for fear of angering even their own female voters and knocking themselves out of power for 20 years. Given the current political climate, where the Right knows it only has a brief window to have their fire sale, I no longer think that notion has as much credence. It’s now more likely that a Right Wing Supreme Court under Trump would press those nuclear buttons as a first resort.
For starters, you can burn a lot of things without “going to jail.” Granted, burning leaves inside a city’s limits may land you in jail (especially during very dry periods) but if you get the proper licenses to burn them, you’ll be spending the night in your own bed.
And, what about money? Haven’t we seen plenty of incidents of well-to-do people (mostly men) using burning dollar bills to light cigars? (Even if all we’ve seen have been for the camera—as in films—the practice had to have happened at some point.)
And I’ve burned plenty of old documents (I defy any identity thief to get personal information from scraps of charcoal, much less ashes) without any visits from law enforcement.
But, as to flags, if you’ve bought and paid for it, it’s yours to do whatever you want to with it.
I would also like to ask Wohl what his opinion is of companies that COMMERCIALIZE the flag, putting them on things like napkins and paper plates—these types of things were being made (and used) when there were all those laws against “flag desecration” but I don’t remember anyone going to jail for throwing those in the trash (certainly a much less dignified end for those “flags”).
So the anti politically correct speech police reveal their real selves. They just have their own speech code.
Besides, how often does this happen? Usually it’s done to get attention, and it does work. The only crime I see is the purpose of inciting a riot.