The Monday Morning Teaser

As I’m sure you know, the debate over how we’re treating families trying to enter the U.S. illegally is still going on. Far from clearing things up, the executive order Trump issued Wednesday created even more confusion about what will happen next and what should happen. Just about everybody who comments on this is trying to spin it one way or another, so it requires a bit of work to sort out where exactly we are. I’ll try to lay that out as clearly as I can in “Family Separations: Should we be horrified, relieved, or just confused?”. That should be out before 10 EDT.

Like last week’s “The corporate tax cut will never trickle down“, this week’s other featured post spins out of a Paul Krugman column — this time a far less technical piece called “The Return of the Blood Libel“. Paul’s point is that the case against immigrants — that they are pouring across our border in record numbers, spreading murder and mayhem across our country — can’t be dealt with by any rational policy, because it’s just not happening. Like the ancient belief that Jews ritually sacrifice Christian children, the immigrant-caused “American carnage” exists only as a dystopian fantasy.

Eastern European Jews couldn’t stop sacrificing children, because they had never done it. Similarly, no proposal to make Trump’s followers safe from immigrant crime can ever succeed, because their fear is not based in reality. For decades, we’ve been building fences, adding border agents, and increasing deportations, and yet the fear is greater than ever. A wall, family concentration camps, dictatorial powers to evict immigrants without hearings — none of that is going to help either, because those actions happen in the real world, and that’s not where the problem is.

In my post, I’ll take this example and generalize a bit: “You can’t compromise with bullshit”. (Other examples: Canada can’t wipe out its trade surplus with the US, because it doesn’t have a trade surplus with the US. Nothing can be done to stop the persecution of Christians in the US, because there is no persecution of Christians in the US.) It’s in the liberal DNA to seek win-win solutions through compromise, but compromising with bullshit never works. Whatever you offer to do, it won’t solve the imaginary problem, precisely because the problem is imaginary. The other side will end up just feeling conned again, because (from their point of view) they gave you something, and they got nothing.

That should be out around 11.

The weekly summary will have to be short. It will link to some articles about the trade war, Republicans starting to defect from Trump, and a few other things. It should post sometime between noon and 1.

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  • Pete Tasker  On June 25, 2018 at 8:44 am

    Doug, I’m looking forward to these Sifts. Trump has climbed to new lows in his lies and offensive (both meanings) attacks of all parts of our society in trying to slough off the crap from his and Sessions’ Zero Tolerance policy that started with changing the definition of the basis for asylum resulting in making of the applicants at the border crossings criminals!

  • Linda Barker  On June 25, 2018 at 12:10 pm

    Beyond the separation and detention of families crossing our southern border illegally, the same is happening to those who cross legally, seeking asylum. This practice is contrary to our own laws, let alone to the civil respect for human rights. The tension here in southern New Mexico, within 90 miles of the border, is to me palpable. The deportation of productive members of our communities causes fear for many, including the children in our schools.

    What further dismays me is the speed with which this president has been able to act in complete disregard of our laws and social norms on so many fronts, apparently with the support of more than half of Congress, and increasingly of the Supreme Court. Is our democracy no stronger than this? It is not healthy to live with the fear that is being generated by all of these actions.

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