Donald Trump’s weekend golfing getaway to Mar-a-Lago, just two weeks into his presidency, cost taxpayers an estimated $3 million.
Never mind that Trump has repeatedly said he would be all work and no play.
In 2012, the billionaire businessman declared it “Unbelievable!” that Barack Obama would waste millions of taxpayer money on some R&R. Then in 2015, the presidential hopeful vowed he “would not be a president who took vacations” and instead spend his time focused only on work and making America great again.
Yet, not only did Trump spend much of his taxpayer-funded luxurious leisure golfing — something he repeatedly kvetched about Obama doing — he also spent much of Saturday dropping Twitter bombs and throwing a great big Trumpian fit.
It was all because on Friday after Trump had jetted his way to Florida, Seattle federal judge James Robart issued a temporary restraining order grinding the implementation of Trump’s travel ban to a halt.
It was the first real challenge to Trump’s authority as POTUS. He did not take it well.
Waking up early at his Florida estate, Trump started off Saturday morning slamming the “so-called judge” and warning that “if certain people are allowed in its death & destruction!”
He then devolved into a day-long tirade showing America just how their new Commander-in-Chief would respond when he did not get his way.
It was not pretty and it was certainly not presidential.
Here’s how the epic Trumpertantrum all broke down:
Trump contradicted his own staff
Just days prior to Trump’s Super Bowl weekend getaway, Press Secretary Sean Spicer tried to defend Trump’s controversial executive order by declaring “It’s not a Muslim ban. It’s not a travel ban.”
Spicer added: “It’s a vetting system to keep America safe.”
Fast forward to Trump’s first day in the Sunshine State when, angry that his “vetting system to keep America safe” was blocked by a judge, Trump himself called it a ban, not once but four times in one day.
“Because the ban was lifted by a judge, many very bad and dangerous people may be pouring into the country. A terrible decision,” Trump tweeted.
It was a bit of messaging self-sabotage that has become an all too common part of Trump’s presidency.
It also pales in comparison to the most egregious part of even that single Saturday tweet because:
Trump also portrayed travelers from Muslim countries as “very bad and dangerous people.” (They aren’t.)
Repeatedly during Trump’s Saturday tirade, the President of the United States painted people from the seven Muslim-dominate countries as “dangerous” and “bad.”
“The judge opens up our country to potential terrorists and others that do not have our best interest at heart. Bad people are very happy,” a pissed off Trump ranted.
Here’s a quick fact-check: None of the seven countries blocked from entry from Trump’s ban are responsible for a single act of deadly terrorism on US soil since 2001.
“Since 9/11, no one has been killed in this country in a terrorist attack by anyone who emigrated from any of the seven countries,” William C. Banks, director of the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism at Syracuse University College explained.
In addition, according to experts, the travel ban is not expected to have a significant impact on the nation’s terror risk at all, making Trump’s argument not only spurious but downright Islamophobic and mean.
Yet, that didn’t stop Trump from claiming Muslim nations are behind the ban too.
In one of his most absurd moments — and a variation of his “many people” agree with me boasts — Trump tweeted out that Muslim nations are behind him too.
What if far more interesting, though, is that the only real evidence that can be found of Muslim countries backing Trump’s ban is an article in Al-Jazeera which notes Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan, foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates disagreed that Trump’s ban was “Islamophobic” and a tweet from a police official in Dubai.
The other countries mentioned in the Al-Jazeera piece — predominately countries where Trump just so happens to do big business— were noted for their silence, not their ringing endorsement of Trump’s ban.
In addition, the foreign minister of UAE actually argued that his support of the travel ban was based, largely not out of fear of “death and destruction, but out of respect for US sovereignty and law, which is ironic because:
Trump seems to think he can disregard checks and balances if things don’t go his way.
In his most infamous tweet of his Saturday Trumpertantrum, Trump reduced Judge Robart’s decision to the acts of a “so-called judge” who in, acting, “takes law-enforcement away from our country.”
Robart is a respected member of the judiciary. He was also appointed by a Republican to the bench and confirmed in a 99-0 vote. He is not, in any way “so-called” and his actions were not “ridiculous.”
More importantly, Robart was simply doing his job, playing his role in the balance of power that prevents the swing from democracy to autocracy.
Yet, Trump thought it was okay to try to try to mock Robart’s authority because:
Trump does not understand that America speaks in many voices, not just his.
In one of the more overlooked tweets of his all-day tirade, Trump wrote this:
But here is the thing. The country HAS been saying who they want to be able to come into the country through protests, legal filings, and even polls. The majority of the country simply do not agree with Donald Trump or his shoddily executed Muslim ban.
However, instead of listening to these voices and learning, the autocrat-in-chief simply lashed out at those who opposed them and tried to delegitimatize their points of view.
It is a dangerous precedent for an “unpresidented” POTUS intent on doing things his way.
It should also be a wake-up call for the rest of us.
Trump has proven in just his first few weeks of office that he views opposing voices not as discourse, but dissent and danger.
That is not how democracy works.
The tantrummy tyrant must not be allowed to silence others just so he can have his way. We the people still have a voice. It must be heard.