Thursday, February 02, 2017

Trump's "fascism forever" Supreme Court pick: shades of Rehnquist by The Wayne Madsen Report

Trump's "fascism forever" Supreme Court pick: shades of Rehnquist 

By The Wayne Madsen Report

President Trump further leads the United States into the depths of fascism in his selection of Neil Gorsuch as the replacement for the late Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court. In the early 1980s, while attending the elite Jesuit-run male-only Georgetown Preparatory school in Washington, DC, Gorsuch founded the "Fascism Forever Club." Gorsuch served as president of the club until his graduation in 1985. At the time he was attending the prep school, Gorsuch's mother, Anne Gorsuch, served as the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency under Ronald Reagan.

Gorsuch entry in the 1985 Georgetown Prep School yearbook

Anne Gorsuch was a harbinger for the anti-environmental Scott Pruitt, Trump's pick to head the EPA. As EPA administrator, Gorsuch attempted to quash the Clean Air Act while she smoked two packs of Marlboros a day. She died from cancer in 2004. Although the type of cancer was never disclosed, Gorsuch died at the Aurora Medical Center in Aurora, Colorado, which has top ratings for lung cancer treatment.

The Fascism Forever Club was billed as an anti-faculty group opposed to what it considered were "left-wing" faculty members.

Gorsuch's 1988 Columbia graduation yearbook, in which Gorsuch extols Kissinger's infamous quote about the illegal and the unconstitutional

In his graduation yearbook at Columbia University in 1988, Gorsuch's photograph is shown alongside his favorite quote, one made by Henry Kissinger on August 29, 1967: "The illegal we do immediately, the unconstitutional takes a little longer." Kissinger made the statement while a professor at Harvard, where Neil Gorsuch would eventually attend law school.

Gorsuch's early flirtation with fascism complements other fascist tendencies by the Trump administration, including its disregard for the Constitution and Bill of Rights. On February 2, Trump attended the annual National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, DC, which is sponsored by the secretive Fellowship Foundation led for decades by the 88-year old Douglas Coe. The foundation traces its origins to a Seattle Methodist minister named 
Abraham Vereide, who advanced anti-labor fascist politics in the post-World War I years. Vereide's anti-union and pro-business prayer breakfast group, a cover for fascist policy-making, soon went nationwide.

In 1989, Coe, who Hillary Clinton once called her "spiritual mentor," said, "
Hitler, Goebbels and Himmler were three men. Think of the immense power these three men had... But they bound themselves together in an agreement . . . Jesus said, 'You have to put me before other people. And you have to put me before yourself.' Hitler, that was the demand to be in the Nazi party. You have to put the Nazi party and its objectives ahead of your own life and ahead of other people."

On the day "
Punxsutawney Phil," the Pennsylvania groundhog, predicted six more weeks of winter, Trump sat with hundreds of creepy right-wing followers of Coe in the ballroom of the Washington Hilton Hotel. They include senators, U.S. representatives, ambassadors, corporate executives, and leaders of foreign nations.

Trump's nomination of Gorsuch is reminiscent of President Nixon's nomination of William Rehnquist to the Supreme Court in 1972. Two years earlier, Nixon ordered the White House guards to wear ornamental Prussian military-style hats, something befitting Nixon's "imperial presidency," which ultimately led to his resignation over the Watergate scandal. The Prussian hats did not last very long amid ridicule by the press and late-night TV comedians.

Nixon's nomination of Rehnquist shocked many when it was discovered that as a young lawyer in Arizona, Rehnquist held views similar to those of the far-right John Birch Society: Chief Justice Earl Warren and President Dwight Eisenhower were "pinko" leftists, while Associate Justices William O. Douglas and Hugo Black were outright "commies." In the late 1950s, Rehnquist was opposed to desegregation and lamented the fact that whites and "negroes" might have to "glower at one another" over integrated lunch counters. For all Rehnquist's far right-wing views, Nixon did not like Rehnquist when he first met him in the White House. The future Chief Justice was a bureaucratic flunky in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel at the time. Nixon asked his counsel John Dean about Rehnquist, "Is he Jewish? He looks it." Dean replied that he was of Scandinavian descent.

Rehnquist's far-right background did not prevent him from being confirmed by the Senate as both Associate Justice and, later, as Chief Justice. And, although Gorsuch admired fascism and Kissinger in his earlier years, that did not prevent the Senate from confirming him unanimously on a voice vote as a federal appeals court judge in July 2006.