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

"...doesn't philosophy amount to the sum of all thinkable and unthinkable errors, ceaselessly repeated?"--Jean-Luc Marion

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

Thursday, June 27, 2019

"The American People constantly question:


"Why aren't we doing a better job to protect the dignity and worth of the children, the children, the children?"

Good question.  This is not the answer:


First, it's worth noting this bill passed the Senate 84-8.  Second, AOC's concerns are so far under the stitches she's wrapped herself around the core of the baseball.  I follow these matters fairly closely, and I have no idea what's going on here.  I'm not sure what the bill was the House passed, or what bill the Senate passed the House is now accepting. What do the American people know?  "For God's sakes, they're kids man!"  They know the photo of the father and his daughter, her little arm around his neck, drowned in the Rio Grande.  They know nobody is doing anything about this.  They don't know what it has to do with Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer or even AOC.  They don't know what the hell AOC is talking about.  They know: "For God's sakes, they're kids, man!"

Will Trump & Co., as AOC says, "keep hurting kids"?  Yes; he'll do that no matter what.  He'll find ways to do it, even if the law explicitly tells him not to.  He'll declare "absolute immunity" or do it with a double super-secret executive order, or just whisper down the line to let it continue.  You know he will.  I know he will.  We all know he will.  And no, there's nothing we can do about it.  But that doesn't mean we keep fighting over who has the real rule of law, and who doesn't, and insist we are doing it "for the kids".

I've seen that fight.  I want none of it.

We have to insist on helping the kids.  And when the kids still aren't helped, we try to help them again.  And when that doesn't work, we try to help them yet again.  And we keep trying.  We never stoop to the level of a Donald Trump, for whom these children don't even exist.  When a reporter asked him about that now infamous photograph, he expressed no regret, no emotion, no concern at all.  He blamed the Democrats.  The only thing the Democrats can do is not give him more excuses to lay that blame.

The asylum laws Trump rails against are, if I understand correctly, partly the product of international treaties.  It makes sense Trump would want to trample those laws; he wants to trample the entire post-WWII world of treaties and alliances, like the ignorant child he is.  Those asylum laws will not change because they cannot change; even the GOP understands that.  Trump will always insist on some new demand, always move the goal posts on the Democrats, because the cruelty is the point, and he won't give up on that cruelty (mostly because he has no compassion, no human feelings at all, except for himself and himself alone).  The Democrats cannot give him what he wants, so he will continue to be cruel.  But neither can the Democrats out-Trump Trump by being more intransigent, more intractable, more insistent on their side winning, than he is.  Trump will burn down the world and call himself victor.  The Democrats must be the adults in the room, the reasonable party that tries to end the nightmare.  "For God's sake, they're kids, man!"  If the Democrats forget that, there is no difference left between them and Trump, between them and the GOP.

The Democrats may have to lose, in order to win.  It may seem only a moral victory, but Donald Trump must be exposed for the amoral monster he is.  The only way to do that, is to act in the best interests of the children; or at least more plainly appear to be doing so than Trump is.  And maybe that will undermine Mitch McConnell in Kentucky, or other GOP senators in other states.  Maybe it will further undermine Trump, whose presidency already hangs by a thread, if it hangs by that much. Or maybe it won't lead directly to any political reckoning at all.  But we have to act for the children; or give up entirely on our own humanity.

*And AOC is insisting on arguing the political win/loss.  She never addresses the Speaker's point about the children.  Which says something about her argument, and something about why she's arguing it.  It's not a good look.

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