Adventus

"The central doctrine of Christianity, then, is not that God is a bastard. It is, in the words of the late Dominican theologian Herbert McCabe, that if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you."--Terry Eagleton

"It is impossible for me to say in my book one word about all that music has meant in my life. How then can I hope to be understood?--Ludwig Wittgenstein

“The opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice."--Bryan Stevenson

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Donald Trump Feels Your Pain



The child in that picture is not a two-year old immigrant; it's actually Donald Trump.

No, seriously:  Rudy Giuliani says so:

“It’s a tragedy,” he said. “Nobody feels it more than Donald Trump, believe me.”
Whatever you do to the least of them, you do to Donald Trump?  Yeah, I'm not buyin'.....


“I’ll be signing something in a little while that’s going to do that. I’ll be doing something that’s somewhat preemptive and ultimately will be matched by legislation, I’m sure,” he said, according to a White House pool report.

Cracked like an egg, and practically on schedule.  But can all the king's horses and all the king's men put Humpty Dumpty back together again?  Reporters are regularly calling Trump on his lies, now.  His racism is no longer campaign-trail talk or deniable as a "misunderstood" message; when he tweets over and over again that immigrants "infest" this country, it doesn't take a map to find the destination.  Nielsen won the support of only Trump in her press conference.  Even Sarah Sanders won't defend this policy, and is leaving because of it.  The tolerance for this man's lies and animus have been challenged, and won't be easily put back together; especially since it doesn't take much to provoke him.  Consider this:

“Trump was sitting there with his arms crossed, clearly not liking the fact that he felt like they were ganging up on him,” Bremmer reported. “Eventually he agreed. He said, okay I’ll sign it.”

“At that point, he stood up, he put his hand in his suit jacket pocket and he took two Starburst candies out, threw them on the table and said to Merkel, ‘Here, Angela, don’t say I never gave you anything,'” Bremmer explained.

That's Trump at the G-7 summit in Canada.  That's not the behavior of a 70 year old man; that's the behavior of a 7 year old.  That's not the behavior of a President of the United States.  That's the behavior of a person who has no idea what he's doing or why he's doing it.  When he railed against a proposed bill for more immigration judges, he didn't even understand those are not Art. III judges, and do not need Senate approval to be appointed. He doesn't understand governance at all, and isn't learning.  His ignorance is his belief system, it is his whole way of understanding the world.  Even if he withdraws his hideous immigration policy entirely, he will still be the problem, and that problem is now so plainly in sight even the courtier press can't ignore it anymore.*

There is something badly broken here, and it will be a long time healing.  Reports are now that some of these immigrant families may never rejoin; that children and parents may be separated forever.  Their traumas will be deep, traumas we inflicted on them for no reason other than cruelty and indifference.  "Quit trying to make us feel teary-eyed for the children" a Trump supporter in Arizona said, as if reporting on the tragedy is the problem, not the tragedy itself.  If the wells of compassion are so dried up in some people, we must supply their compassion, too, in addition to our own.  It is not the law's fault that these children are being damaged, it is ours; the law is our master, not we the law's.  There are humane responses to this issue, whatever you think about the nature of the border (and if you think it is and should be an absolute and impermeable barrier you would be surprised and probably disappointed by the daily life along it).

This is coming to an end, for the time being, which only means it will retreat from the headlines.  That is as it should be, compassion fatigue and outrage fatigue would soon set in, anyway.  These children and these matters should not be forgotten, but neither can those fires be kept burning until November; that won't help the children, and it won't help the political situation either.  But Donald Trump is going to do what he always does:  crack and run and declare victory and blame his "enemies" for his failures and come back at it again before November because this is who he has always been:  a xenophobic racist who cannot stand the idea of sharing a planet, much less a country, with people who don't look exactly like him.

Update:  Or, Trump will find a way to shoot himself in both feet at once:

The New York Times reports that the Trump administration’s plan to end family separation via executive order will involve the creation of a system for indefinitely detaining families together, a move that seemingly violates the 1997 Flores court settlement which prohibits the federal government from keeping children in custody for extended periods of time. (The Obama administration attempted to institute large-scale family detention in 2014, though without the “indefinite” part that would seemingly violate Flores; it was widely decried as a disorganized disaster.)
Or, as JMM points out, Trump wants to violate the Flores order so he can blame the courts now.

Never quit before you've made the situation as bad as you possibly can.

"The horror!  The horror!"

*I add this as a footnote; an article in WaPo, via Charlie Pierce:

President Trump — a man already known for trafficking in mistruths and even outright lies — has been outdoing even himself with falsehoods in recent days, repeating and amplifying bogus claims on several of the most pressing controversies facing his presidency. Since Saturday, Trump has tweeted false or misleading information at least seven times on the topic of immigration and at least six times on a Justice Department inspector general report into the FBI’s handling of its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server. That’s more than a dozen obfuscations on just two central topics — a figure that does not include falsehoods on other issues, whether in tweets or public remarks.
Hmmm....maybe the Emperor really is clothe-less? 

2 Comments:

Blogger trex said...

Very thoughtful and thorough contemplation of this issue. Thank you.

8:50 AM  
Blogger dave said...

" a xenophobic racist who cannot stand the idea of sharing a planet, much less a country, with people who don't look exactly like him."

The irony is, the narcissist secretly hates himself. So even that terrible country would be a hell to him. Alas, he has the power to make it hell for us too.

8:04 AM  

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