The White House
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*I wrote this as a response to the video and as a response to commenters saying anyone who doesn’t want to meet with President Trump is turning down an opportunity to “start a dialogue”.
There’s a right way to do things. Any organizer, activist, business person etc has to layout conditions and achievable goals (both short term and long term) before agreeing to a meeting with anyone. We’re weeks away from the midterm elections so there’s a lot of value for Trump being seen in a meeting with Kaepernick and Kanye. It could give him and his party a chance to increase their share of the black vote. Kaepernick has to come away from the meeting with something that equals that.
You also have to look at the history of the individual you’re contemplating meeting and gauge their seriousness. These are measures that must be considered to make sure you’re not being used and to make sure a meeting is a good use of your time. All of this talk about opening a dialogue or not shutting down dialogue isn’t a relevant critique in the situation Ebro laid out in the video above.
Agreeing to a meeting at the White House with Trump without a stated specific goal laid out and agreed to in advance is really just a photo op.
When Kanye’s wife Kim Kardashian went to the White House she had a specific goal in mind. Her visit was planned weeks before it happened. Kim made sure Trump was open to the possibility of issuing a pardon for the woman she was trying to get out of prison. Days before the meeting the White House press secretary commented publicly about the jailed woman’s story as a way to show they were taking Kim’s visit and cause seriously.
That is how these things work. Until Trump shows signs that he’s open to hearing about Kaepernick’s cause and make a public statement about police brutality and inequality in our justice system, a white house meeting would be a waste of time and will only benefit one side. A discussion about “opening a dialogue” is a classic bait and switch move that politicians use all the time when they want the appearance of action without having to do anything. Thank god Kaepernick is smart enough not to fall for it and I wish Kanye had more clarity on it.
Last week in my “Bad Week For Obama” blog I discussed three current “so called” scandals that the white house is trying to deal with. The IRS debacle, the Department of Justice wiretapping issue, and the attack on the consulate in Benghazi. Honestly I thought all three of those scandals would fizzle and fade away from mainstream media. I knew Fox wouldn’t let these issues die so that part I expected. But mainstream media and even liberal media are still leading their broadcasts with all three of these stories every day. I’m not saying that these issues aren’t important, but they aren’t half as big as everyone is making them out to be. Especially Benghazi. That’s the one that drives me crazy because I don’t understand why an argument over talking points has garnered all this attention. I thought President Obama took all the steam out of that story during the second presidential debate. Romney thought he had a sure-fire trump card that would definitely score him major points but President Obama threw it right back at him and ended up making Romney look like an uninformed opportunist. For some reason Republicans never learn from their mistakes and seem incapable of moving away from issues and political maneuvers that have failed and in some cases failed miserably. Two very good examples of this is Benghazi and the repeal of The Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). The House and the Senate can’t seem to get anything done or even bring bills to the floor for a simple up or down vote, but that hasn’t stopped them from voting on the repeal of Obamacare 45 times. They know each time this will fail but they still do it over and over again. Common sense would tell anyone that there’s zero chance of Obama signing a bill that would undo his biggest piece of legislation. The Affordable Care Act is the most important part of his legacy. Hell, it even has his name in the title (lol). It seems as though everyone has caught scandal fever when it should have been just a 24 hour bug.
I can’t blame everything on Republicans because the White House continually makes bad decisions which makes small missteps into huge epidemics. Their number one problem is rolling-disclosure. Leaking small pieces of information here and there day by day keeps these scandals in the news. They’ve done this with Benghazi, the IRS thing, and the DOJ’s wiretaps. I just blasted the Republicans for not learning from their mistakes, but the White House has the exact same problem. I wish President Obama would have taken charge of the IRS issue as soon as they became aware of it. They should have been the one to bring this to the public’s attention. That would have taken 90% of the steam out of the GOP’s argument. But instead his staff and advisers decided that “plausible deniability” would somehow protect him and limit his exposure without risking his political capital… so they didn’t tell him. That works well in business but it never works in politics. Especially when you’re the president. Maybe this time they’ve finally learned that lessen and they’ll stop giving Republicans ammunition.