Guest: D.D. Guttenplan of The Nation | Also: Puzder out; Congress makes it easier for mentally disabled to buy guns; ICE detains a 'DREAMer'...
By Brad Friedman on 2/15/2017, 6:03pm PT  

On today's BradCast: There may appear to be chaos right now at the federal level of lawmaking --- in both the Executive and Legislative branches. But that disarray may be working out just fine for Donald Trump and his supporters, as my guest today explains. [Audio link to show is posted below.]

First up, however, Senate Democrats win one for a change, as Andrew Puzder, Trump's labor-hating billionaire nominee to head the Department of Labor removes himself from contention after a number of Republicans threaten to vote against his confirmation. At the same time, however, Congress sends a bill to the President that will kill an Obama era regulation, instituted in the wake of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, that would have made it slightly more difficult for some with mental disabilities to purchase fire arms.

Then, while the "unbelievable turmoil" surrounding this insane White House right now may be alarming to many Democrats and progressives and other reality-based individuals, for Trump supporters living in their own versions of "reality", they may be hearing and seeing exactly what they had hoped from this President --- even as chaos continues to keep both critics and the non-wingnut media off balance and on edge.

D.D. Guttenplan, editor-at-large at The Nation, joins us to explain how much of the on-going chaos is being purposely deployed, not unlike a military strategy developed to avoid anti-aircraft fire during World War II. "I think it's deliberate, and I think it's working," he tells me. And while the temptation to respond to every outrage from this White House may be "satisfying, in the long run it's going to exhaust us."

He makes the case, based on his reporting in the industrial rust belt, that many Trump's supporters are quite pleased with his Administration so far, and that until Democrats begin to focus on winning back those otherwise Dem-leaning voters, they will continue to be overwhelmed by the "barrage of comments, and picked fights, and scandals, and daily assaults on whoever is most vulnerable among us."

"As long as we're being reactive, we're not prioritizing, and we need to prioritize," Guttenplan contends, before going on to detail what he believes some of those priorities need to be in order for Democrats to both win back their voters and the White House along with it.

Finally, speaking of avoiding distractions, last week, while everything else has been going on, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) arrested and detained a man who came here from Mexico with his parents illegally when he was seven years old. Despite legal work permits from the federal government's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program under Obama, no criminal record, and claims by Trump that immigrants like him would not be rounded up, he has been detained for the past week in Tacoma, Washington, according to his attorneys, in the first such case reported since the new President took office...


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