It is shocking but not surprising. The Biden administration is siding with Trump and against those who peacefully protested outside the White House. The press and some Democratic politicians at the time denounced the goon tactics used by cops to clear the park. And it was all done so that Trump could get a photo op. The Biden administration believes that protecting power is more important than fighting for free speech. That is the mentality of those in power in Washington:
Lawyers for the Justice Department urged a federal judge on Friday to dismiss lawsuits against former president Donald Trump, former attorney general William P. Barr and other officials for last June’s violent clearing of demonstrators from Lafayette Square by U.S. military and police.
Trump and other U.S. officials are immune from civil lawsuits over police actions taken to protect a president and to secure his movements, government lawyers said of the actions taken ahead of a photo op of Trump holding a Bible in front of the historic St. John’s Church. A crowd of more than 1,000 largely peaceful demonstrators were protesting the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis before the park was cleared.
A year to the week after Floyd’s death, Justice Department lawyers argued that the lawsuits should also be tossed because last November’s presidential election made future violations unlikely. The government said the square has been reopened, and President Biden’s administration does not share Trump’s stated hostility toward Floyd and the racial justice movement.
The American Civil Liberties Union of D.C., Black Lives Matter, other civil liberties groups and individual protesters accuse Trump and senior officials of driving the June 1 events. Military, federal and local police forcibly cleared the square using batons, clubs, horses, pepper spray, smoke and fired projectiles 30 minutes before a citywide curfew began. Images of violence drew a national backlash against Trump’s calls for “overwhelming force” to put down those he called “THUGS” and domestic terrorists. The nation’s top military official later apologized for walking with Trump before television cameras that day.
Lawyers for the ACLU said that despite legal precedents, the government’s defense would “authorize brutality with impunity” in the heart of Washington at one of the most symbolic spaces within the seat of the federal government.
If their defense was upheld, U.S. authorities “could have used live ammunition to clear the park, and nobody would have a claim against that as an assault on their constitutional rights,” said Scott D. Michelman, legal director for ACLU-D.C.
The latest insult directed at progressives by Joe Biden is a particular eye opener. Biden gave conservative, David Brooks, a NY Times contributor, an interview in where he basically mocks progressives. It’s one thing to snub those who seek a more just society. But why do it with an enemy of the left:
“The progressives don’t like me because I’m not prepared to take on what I would say and they would say is a socialist agenda.” He thinks the people who take the big risks to generate wealth should reap the big rewards.
He’s suspicious of the generous college debt forgiveness plans that have sprung up on the left. “The idea that you go to Penn and you’re paying a total of 70,000 bucks a year and the public should pay for that? I don’t agree.”
Biden seemed unable to keep his own campaign pledges straight, muddling his student debt cancellation proposals. For the record, he campaigned on two distinct planks. One: “immediate” cancellation of $10,000 for every borrower as a form of Covid relief. Two: the cancellation of all undergraduate student loans for debt-holders who attended public universities and HBCUs and who earn up to $125,000 a year. Keeping these two promises is the absolute minimum the Biden administration needs to do to keep the public’s trust.
But the Biden administration should, and can, do much more. Biden should cancel all student debt using executive authority. It is the simplest way the new administration can help tens of millions of people who are being crushed by the double whammy of unpayable loans and an economy-destroying pandemic.
Yet, to date, all the Biden administration has done for this country’s 45 million student debtors is extend Trump and DeVos’s federal student loan payment suspension. Continuing a flawed Republican policy is hardly a progressive victory – especially not for the 8 million FFEL borrowers who are unconscionably left out of the moratorium.
Biden’s cowardly failure to speak up to the brutality in Israel shows the power of the pro-Israel lobby in Washington. But it’s not as great as it once was when no politician dared speak up. Now we see elected representatives who are themselves committed to the cause of Palestinian rights. The tide is changing. No more blank checks for the Israeli government:
Progressive Democrats on Monday called out the Biden administration for promoting Israel’s right to self-defense as the Israeli military pummeled parts of Gaza with airstrikes in response to rocket attacks from militant groups.
The Israeli airstrikes killed 26 people, including nine children, per the Associated Press. Most of the rockets launched by militants in Gaza were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome defense system, but two Israelis were killed. Hundreds of the rockets were fired by Hamas, which controls Gaza, and other militant groups.