As you know, the Trump administration enacted a monstrous policy to separate children from parents at the southern border. Yesterday, the AP reported that about 2,000 children were stolen from their parents in the last six weeks. Camps — for children! — are in the works.
But while the thought of putting brown children in kiddie jails may make MAGAchuds somewhat less flaccid, this cruel policy isn’t popular outside the base. Even the usually supine White House press corps roused itself to drag Sarah Huckabee-Sanders over it this week. Even preening fraud and avid Trump butt-plug Franklin Graham managed to condemn it.
Trump isn’t smart, but he has a schoolyard bully’s knack for reading a crowd, so he’s shooting out squid ink clouds of lies to evade responsibility for his own policy. He’s blaming Democrats, who control zero branches of government, for a law that doesn’t exist, even while his own toadies, including John Kelly and Jeff Sessions, are on the record defending the abhorrent Trump administration policy as a measure to deter immigration.
Yesterday, Trump wandered outside the Fox News media bubble and got some push-back on his lies about the family separation policy:
"I hate it," Pres. Trump says of administration's policy of separating children from parents at the U.S. border, claiming he has no ability to alter the policy without votes from Democrats. https://t.co/FaycODDn27 pic.twitter.com/zEJT1XgxKk
— ABC News (@ABC) June 15, 2018
In the clip, Trump keeps lying and gets snippy with the reporters. You can tell he’s not used to such impertinence — Steve Doocy and crew had lined up to blow him moments before, so being aggressively questioned must have been jarring. But we can tell the push-back landed because Trump later expanded the scope of the lie via this ridiculous White House statement:
CONGRESSIONAL DEMOCRATS’ FAMILY SEPARATION POLICY: Too many American families have been permanently separated from loved ones lost to illegal alien crime.
Open border laws and policies are responsible for the permanent separation of too many American families whose loved ones have been lost to illegal alien crime.
President Trump has met with family members whose loved ones have fallen victim to illegal alien crime.
Conflating this form of “family separation” with another fools no one, of course, but it’s a return to familiar ground. Demonizing undocumented immigrants has been a pillar of Trump’s strategy since the day he launched his campaign. Even the so-called straight news programs on Fox reinforce this nonsense by calling parents whose children have been killed by undocumented immigrants “Angel Moms” and “Angel Dads,” as if they’re more special than the order-of-magnitude larger group of parents who’ve lost children to homegrown gun violence.
But I don’t think reverting to form is going to make the backlash to caging immigrant children go away; Trump’s ham-handed ploy has a whiff of desperation about it. A Pence speech got interrupted by protesters yesterday. Thousands have marched nationwide. Democrats in Congress are relentlessly calling attention to the issue and planning more trips to the border.
So, what’s the endgame here? I’m not sure if Trump and his minions enacted this evil policy to force Democrats to negotiate on immigration or if they did it just because they enjoy torturing brown people and know racist cruelty plays well with the base. But now, at least, Trump seems to think he can hold these kids hostage — much as he’s holding young Americans in DACA status hostage — to force Congress to fund his racist vanity wall and curtail legal immigration.
My guess is the Trumpsters have overplayed their hand with this heinous policy and will be forced by public outcry to walk it back. Moreover, the sheer evil of the policy and cynical, bald-faced lying about it seem to have activated the dormant outrage gene even in the Beltway press, which had grown inured to scandal and shocking behavior. I guess we’ll find out soon enough.
In the meantime, if you see ANY Republican in public, including the mayor of your population 511 town, ask them about the Trump administration’s family separation policy. If you’re unlucky enough to be represented by a Republican senator or congresscritter, ask them about it. The bastards are squirming, and that’s a good thing.