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Trump & GOP Are Wall Hypocrites

I’m more in favor of some kind of border wall, or barrier, than I am opposed to it, but here’s the thing: Trump and the Congressional Republicans have shut down the government over an issue that they didn’t do jack on for the two years the GOP controlled both houses of Congress, and, of course, the White House.

If Trump declares a national emergency to bypass Congress to get the money for the wall, he will be wrong, and his own party should stand up to him. But I don’t want to hear too much caterwauling from Democrats, who went along with it when President Obama pulled a similar move for DACA.

Still, Trump and his party stand on very weak ground. Philip Klein, writing in the Washington Examiner immediately after the president’s televised address, underscores the point: [1]

We heard a lot tonight about illegal immigrants committing crimes and about the necessity of locking down the border. But that’s a case that he’s basically been making since he launched his presidential campaign three and a half years ago.

He’s been president for nearly two years, and up until last week, Republicans controlled both chambers of Congress. At any point during that two years, Republicans could have passed a bill to fund the border wall, and he could have gotten at least $5.6 billion.

Republicans were ready to use the reconciliation process, allowing the Senate to pass legislation with a simple majority, to repeal and replace Obamacare. They successfully used the procedure to pass a massive tax cut. They certainly could have found a way to use it to put some money into building a border wall had Trump actually fought for it earlier in his administration.

In 2017, Trump had just won the presidency and building a wall was a significant part of his platform. At the time, he had significant political capital among Republicans, who would have been reticent to defy him on such a central issue.

Instead, he waited until now to make a firm stand, at a time when his party just lost control of the House and he has zero leverage over Democrats, whose base expects maximum resistance.

change_me

National Review, opposing an emergency declaration for wall construction, is right: [2]

Legalities aside, this would be a very bad practice. It’s an offense against the spirit of our system for a president to fail to get he wants from Congress — in a dispute involving a core congressional power, spending — and then turn around and exploit a tenuous reading of the law to try to get it anyway.

We know this seems increasingly quaint, especially after President Obama’s pen-and-phone governance in his second term, but we believe presidents have an obligation to honor the role of the respective branches of government, even when it’s not in their political interest, even when there seems to be a clever workaround.

This has to stop. It’s bad enough that the Republicans are going along with the government shutdown over an issue that neither they nor Trump dealt with when they had the power to do. The fact that the Congressional Republicans aren’t drawing a bright line on a matter of principle right now is even worse.

Again: I would rather see a wall of some sort, at least on much of the US-Mexico border, than not, as part of a broader overhaul that changes asylum laws. The status quo is not tenable. But the Republicans and the Republican president could have done whatever they wanted for the past two years about the border barrier. They did not. For this they’ve now shut down the government? I think about all those federal workers who are living paycheck to paycheck, and are now hurting because Trump realized that he was on the verge of his base figuring out that he never really cared about the wall in the first place.

UPDATE: Here’s a comment from reader DS, whom I know personally, and who is a conservative Evangelical:

It’s just like abortion — George W Bush talked a good game, but did nothing while his party controlled Congress and the executive branch.

Rile the base and do nothing … until nothing can be done, then pretend to be thwarted by the evil opposition.

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150 Comments To "Trump & GOP Are Wall Hypocrites"

#1 Comment By Rusty On January 11, 2019 @ 1:11 pm

I can’t wait until 2032, when Trump has been president for 16 years under martial law, the wall on the Southern border is complete, and ‘conservatives’ turn their gaze northward and exclaim “OMG NOW THE DRUGS ARE COMING FROM UP THERE! EMERGENCY!”

#2 Comment By JonF On January 11, 2019 @ 1:29 pm

Rich, as others have pointed out the GOP could have easily used the reconciliation process to pass Wall funding with 51 votes. Instead they wanted that maneuver on a failed attempt to ditch the ACA and afterward on Paul Rtan’s tax cut. One sees where their priorities lie- and yes, Trump went along with it.

#3 Comment By JeffK On January 11, 2019 @ 1:29 pm

@CLW says:
January 11, 2019 at 9:33 am

“Trump is a brutishly simple creature incapable of complex thought: he sensed, and has endlessly stoked, the fear among some about teeming hordes of brown people surging into this country.”

I agree 100%. Trump is to identifying society’s issues as a dog trained to smell out cancer is to the finding the disease. Sniff, sniff, cancer, tail wag. Now give me a treat!

The trouble is, the dog really doesn’t understand cancer, cannot diagnose the type/cause of the cancer, and cannot come up with a treatment plan.

Much the same with Trump. He has identified and put many societal diseases front and center. But he doesn’t understand the causes of the problems, and his treatment plans seem to be crafted to either make the disease worse, or actually kill the patient.

But…… I guess he does deserve a treat or two. But that’s Melania’s job.

#4 Comment By Sheila (the other sheila) On January 11, 2019 @ 1:40 pm

Noah, any thoughts on JeffK’s links about the undocumented immigrants that Trump has been employing? Your rationalizations of his hypocrisy are fascinating to me.

#5 Comment By MattinTX On January 11, 2019 @ 1:43 pm

“I think about all those federal workers who are living paycheck to paycheck, and are now hurting because Trump realized that he was on the verge of his base figuring out that he never really cared about the wall in the first place.”

So? Out here in the real world, many of us men (mostly) are independent contractors. In fact, many of the men these government employees work with are independent contractors. We get small to non-existent paychecks all the time, despite working full time, without all the benefits the government workers have (what’s a pension?). Possibly for the first and only time in their working lives, a few government workers are going to get a tiny taste of what it’s like to be in the private sector.

A little taste of the real world will be good for them.

#6 Comment By Collin Rei On January 11, 2019 @ 2:03 pm

“Clinton only had a majority if you include California. And California’s votes do not count, because if California’s votes had counted, California would be under Proposition 187.”

1) The impact of Prop 187 was the aftermath not the election. It turns out most Hispanic-Americans are citizens and even in 1990 the state was 26% of the citizens! It was how much minorities remember the 187 campaign that is remembered most here.

2) How did Prop 187 effect Arizona and Nevada in 2018?

3) In case anybody is wondering, Texas the percent of Texas H-A (~39%) is equal or higher than California. (There is 15% of Asian-Americans in Cali by the way.) Texas is not going Blue anytime soon due the number of Energy jobs and the level religion in the state but conservatives should take note.

#7 Comment By Ken Zaretzke On January 11, 2019 @ 2:18 pm

“DACA was a simple matter of taking a situation that was chronically impossible to comprehensively control, and making decisions about enforcement priorities.”

That’s utterly delusional. Congress didn’t have the votes to provide amnesty, and so Obama ignored the separation of powers and created amnesty for that particular cohort. It was Obama’s version of “my way or the highway.”

#8 Comment By Polichinello On January 11, 2019 @ 2:20 pm

As I understand the current “crisis” causing the “emergency”, it’s families and individuals presenting themselves at Ports of Entry claiming asylum, and the need to follow law/rule/policy/procedure to handle the and their claim; it’s not those families/individuals heading out into the desert and illegally crossing the border at some remote river ford.

The latest agreement with Mexico will require those people to wait in Mexico while their cases are adjudicated, so now they can’t use this process (in bad faith) to secure de facto
permisos. Thus they want to get over the border to then present themselves and use our asylum process (in bad faith).

Now a normal country that wasn’t riddled with traitors in the legal profession would simply throw them out for the squatters and thieves that they are. But liberals are too eager to procure vote mercenaries and cheap nannies for the Chamber of Commerce, so we have to prevent the illegal aliens from coming in altogether. Thus a wall.

Yeah, Trump should have done this right off the bat. He didn’t. He had other priorities. Shame on him. That said, there were efforts to tighten up the system and disincentivize illegal entry, but Hawaiian judges have been throwing wrenches in the system every chance they get.

#9 Comment By Simon On January 11, 2019 @ 2:48 pm

For nearly two years (2009-2010) Barack Obama’s Democrats controlled both Houses of Congress, including a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. They made no serious move in those years to advance climate change legislation.

As soon as Republicans took back the House, The left began wailing about the dire consequences for “the planet.” I don’t remember anyone calling them out for hypocrisy. It’s called politics.

#10 Comment By JeffK On January 11, 2019 @ 4:43 pm

Regarding Lord Karth’s advice “Imagine the furor that would result if President Trump decided to send US troops to occupy Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador to deal with the gangs that are in large part inciting all these caravans.”.

Go for it, Trumpy Bear. Your approval rating will spiral down into the single digits.

#11 Comment By EngineerScotty On January 11, 2019 @ 5:25 pm

So? Out here in the real world, many of us men (mostly) are independent contractors. In fact, many of the men these government employees work with are independent contractors. We get small to non-existent paychecks all the time, despite working full time, without all the benefits the government workers have (what’s a pension?). Possibly for the first and only time in their working lives, a few government workers are going to get a tiny taste of what it’s like to be in the private sector.

A little taste of the real world will be good for them.

The problem with this is… the “government workers” who are now discovering the problems of potential wage theft, aren’t the Congresscritters who could do anything about it.

Tightening up the “independent contractor” loophole, which many employers use to dodge wage and hour regulations (and some contractors may use to avoid taxes, as there is often no withholding done), would be of great public benefit. Those opposed to illegal immigrants getting work would also benefit, as one is only required (IIRC) to verify the employment eligibility of one’s employees, not of contractors, so contractor status might be legally used to wink-wink-nod-nod hire folks not legally authorized to work.

Here’s IRS guidelines on the topic: [3]

Many common examples of misclassification:

* Hairstylists working in places like a Great Clips are often treated as contractors–they have to “rent” the chair and pay out of their “proceeds”, even thought the store handles the money and only gives them a net amount, and the store also generally dictates their hours and may prevent them from working elsewhere.

* Real estate agents are classified as contractors under (federal) law, even though those who don’t run their own brokerage are required (by state law) to work under the supervision of a principal broker.

#12 Comment By EngineerScotty On January 11, 2019 @ 5:28 pm

For nearly two years (2009-2010) Barack Obama’s Democrats controlled both Houses of Congress, including a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. They made no serious move in those years to advance climate change legislation.

Cap-and-trade was actually a major priority, and did pass the House. It wasn’t taken up by the Senate however.

Of course, after losing the House in 2010, Obama didn’t try to force it through with a government shutdown.

#13 Comment By JonF On January 11, 2019 @ 6:13 pm

Simon, th be House voted in favor of Cap and Trade early on the Obama administration.

#14 Comment By Quizil Donor On January 11, 2019 @ 6:50 pm

The sad reality is, Trump campaigned as a candidate on a stated platform that the Koch’s and Adelson in particular could not influence him, since he did not need their financing to get elected. Once in office, he rapidly knighted their lackeys and appointees, selected specifically by the Kochs and Adelson teams.

This author absolutely laser-targets the issue at hand, which is that while he was steered into acting as the 3rd Bush administration, these appointees brought about the will of their sponsors, not the stated goals of Trumps campaign.

The Wall and a legislative clamp down on 3rd world immigration, were bypassed as instead Trump went into even more foreign occupations / wars, and gutted the tax cut bill of its one redeeming facet- the clause to limits its tax benefits to companies that engaged in domestic production using American workers.

That clause was stripped out, and that alone would have made redundant most of his China trade war efforts or Jareds’ NAFTA capitulation, since it accomplished the same ends. In reality the bill would likely never have passed if not for stripping out that clause, since its supporters’ purpose was not to benefit Americans.

The time to fight for the wall, and to shine a stage light on those Republicans who were scurrying about like rats, trying to please their open borders owners was when they had both Houses and a coming mid-term to hang like a sword of Damocles.

Getting beaten by sell out Repubs hungry for ‘Koch Kash’ is no fault, and should have been a Battle Royale on Trumps agenda, especially when the schedule then allowed him to select challengers and to campaign for them in whatever the few districts were that he needed to flip.

Waiting til after the mid terms, when you would expect to lose a House, is tactically like holding off on a military offensive against a force with its supply lines severed, until they have receive massive reinforcements.

In effect, Kochs and Adelson forces have no interest is secure american borders or limited immigration, and by turning his admin over to their assets, he gave away policy to their priorities – nothing more, nothing less.

Now we have a Koch push for ‘Dreamer’ amnesty piggybacked onto any wall, and Trump promising H1b VISA holders of citizenship they are not entitled to. The notion that H1b VISA holders have rare skills, or are anything but largely unskilled labor, is so nonsensical… Its over. There is no strategy here.

If you limit immigration, and create integration, it benefits American workers. If you flood the nation with slave workers, it benefits asset owners and those with access to capital largess. The later needs to sell assets in a normal state, when they grow old and can not maintain them.

This allows the asset owners to achieve market price for the real assets, and it allows a NORMAL progression in which those entering the workforce can buy land or assets, and work them to generate income until it comes time for their kids to inherit or to sell.

What the Koch system is doing is permanently capturing assets and real property for the few, by creating a new legislative chattel system in which surplus laborers are provided to the rentier class to permanently hold on to and accumulate vast real assets, to the detriment of everyone else.

All immigration should have largely stopped in 1976, when the Homesteading Act was terminated, as this repeal largely confirmed that the ‘POND WAS STOCKED’. Immigration was designed to POPULATE the Nation, not to leverage workers for non-laboring capital owners, who would serve at their chosen wages.

Frankly right now, its the Dems scourging the telecom carriers over selling location data on Americans flagrantly, and its the Dems attempting to hold Drug manufacturers to the same low prices domestically that they charge in foreign nations, while the Republicans fight the later very deceptively.

Trumps only real salvation now will be the last hail mary he has left, which is to ignore the donor class and simply sit down with Miller and start drawing up executive orders (birthright citizenship, overturning judicial consent decrees on fraudulent claimants abusing the asylum system). Let the courts overturn the orders, and push it to the SC..

The salvation cant come from the Republican party. It will need to be a split party that as part of its core platform refuses money beyond small donations, within its ranks, part of its platform. No man can serve two masters, and the one who pays best nearly always wins what he wants.

#15 Comment By James Gillen On January 11, 2019 @ 7:09 pm

ealAlan says:
January 11, 2019 at 8:15 am

“The problem with arguing against Trump saying “what if the Democrats do that when they are in power” is that the Democrats will do that when in power anyway if they feel like it regardless of what Trump does.”

So much for first principles. It’s precisely because they would do it anyway that you need to establish the standard. We have all the laws we need to stop a president from the party that we don’t like, but none of those laws are enforceable if you won’t enforce them against the president that you DO like. It’s a matter of maintaining a political culture of norms, because that is the only thing that will maintain the laws. If you want to throw that away, that’s on you.

I can’t be sure, but there might have been a couple people in the days of Monicagate leading up to impeachment who were warning the Democrats, “Do you really want to set a precedent that ‘it isn’t perjury if it was only about oral’? What happens if some Republican president turns out to be a sleazy real estate investor trying to cover up affairs that were politically damaging?”

I’m sure that the Democrats’ consensus response would have been, “if you’re asking us to handicap ourselves on the assumption that Republicans will be honorable, you’re delusional. Those guys will always put Party over Country and power over the Constitution, because that’s just the kind of bastards they are.”

#16 Comment By Liam On January 11, 2019 @ 7:19 pm

“For nearly two years (2009-2010) Barack Obama’s Democrats controlled both Houses of Congress, including a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.”

How memories fade. Filibuster-proof was only the case for a handful of months, during which there were many other fish to fry in 2009. It took months to seat Al Franken, and then Ted Kennedy died, replaced by Senator Kirk who then was replaced by Senator Brown (R).

#17 Comment By Ellimist000 On January 11, 2019 @ 7:33 pm

Ken Zaretzke,

“That’s utterly delusional. Congress didn’t have the votes to provide amnesty, and so Obama ignored the separation of powers and created amnesty for that particular cohort. It was Obama’s version of “my way or the highway.”

Which he did with an executive action (of which he’s is among the lowest offender of all presidents in the last 50 years; Trump is on his way to being the worse without the wall thing) which controlled directives within agencies well under the purview of the executive branch under current law.

I don’t agree with how executive actions are used, but you don’t get to cherry-pick only when a Democrat is doing it. Under the current system, Congress does not get to micromanage the executive departments unless they take actions that they did not take. And I would argue that DACA can hardly be said to even skirt the laws passed by Congress as other Exec. actions have because the immigration laws are targeted to people culpable of violating immigration law, with the DACA folks arguably aren’t. And federal enforcement in all areas is allowed discretion of pursuit of violations; otherwise, a lot more people would be in trouble with the IRS and SEC.

What Trump is talking about lies far beyond this, as it is touching Congress’s funding and inter-state powers, brushing against Constitutional limitations on deploying the military in the United States, and seizing property, and running around the court system (which he will have to do if he wants this wall to be built any time by the end of his potential 2nd term). Oh, and because the majority of the populace didn’t vote for him, we just had an election that mandated his opposition, and the wall is something 2/3rds of the country, including many Republican elected officials and most people on the border don’t want.

#18 Comment By Ellimist000 On January 11, 2019 @ 7:48 pm

Noah172,

“This is like saying that we should discourage smoking by banning it in indoor public places, but not by taxing cigarettes. That’s dumb, isn’t?”

Not if taxing cigarettes causes more problems than it solves, barely stops any smoking, and is vehemently opposed by the majority, which regrettably counts for something no matter what color, political affiliation, or alleged grievances the pro-taxing portion of the population has.

Your analogy is akin to lacing low doses of carcinogens into cigarettes to stop smoking. It’s probably not enough to really stop many people from smoking all things considered, but a few wills, but others will die sooner than they might have, and this will enrage the general populace. But hey, at least the lacers will feel good about themselves as their First Lady skates by smoking a home-rolled loosey (Ok the analogy is breaking down now. But I suspect you may know what I mean by bringing her up 😉 )

#19 Comment By Ellimist000 On January 11, 2019 @ 8:03 pm

“Sadly, how wrong we were in 1981. You need to look at history, JeffK”

That was true then, and you might be rightnow, but presumably, the replacements were getting paid. Not true during a shutdown in a much more active world. They could probably cause enough trouble long before Trump can officially order them back or sanction them, and really, the man isn’t Reagan. Do you think he won’t suffer as an unpopular president for firing working class people…who aren’t getting paid?

#20 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On January 11, 2019 @ 8:21 pm

Congress didn’t have the votes to provide amnesty, and so Obama ignored the separation of powers and created amnesty for that particular cohort.

That’s delusional (to coin a phrase). Indeed congress didn’t have the votes to do much of ANYTHING about immigration. Meantime, the president has to give direction to a mass of federal agencies that don’t have the luxury of just sitting around waiting for congress to act. So SOME priorities have to be set. President Obama pointed out to his more exuberant supporters more than once “I’m president, not king.” He identified a cohort that was far and away the lowest priority for enforcement, and established a temporary administrative measure to be open and above board about not wasting ICE time going after them. Orderly administration, not much more. He couldn’t offer them citizenship, and he knew it.

Clinton only had a majority if you include California.

Clinton didn’t have a majority at all. Clinton had a plurality. Trump had a slightly smaller minority, just short of Clinton’s plurality. Nobody had a majority.

@Siarlys: I grew up among trailer park rednecks. Cry me a river.

And? You’re being awfully vague here. You learned to be a “redneck” and love it? You learned to hate your neighbors and you had to endure years of psychotherapy to become human again? Or what?

I graduated from a high school where a bunch of bikers and a bunch of intellectuals formed the first anti-war marches, and by the time I got there we all listened to Creedence Clearwater Revival together.

Democrats have no interest in “giving Trump something he can boast about on Twitter.” They want to humiliate Trump, and Trump has given them the perfect opportunity to do so, and the perfect issue to do that with.

Like I said, the Democrats are stupid. Its not entirely clear that they are going to be able to humiliate Trump. He holds a few cards for now. They need to read more Sun Tzu.

#21 Comment By PapayaSF On January 11, 2019 @ 8:44 pm

[NFR: So the will of a president who was elected despite receiving fewer votes than his opponent is more important than that of elected officials, and judges appointed by duly elected officials? This is strongman garbage. — RD]

Ugh, you are better than this, Rod. “Fewer votes” means nothing because that is not the game being played. It’s like someone complaining that a team lost the World Series even though they scored more total runs: “total runs” is not how a World Series is determined. Trump played and won the game according to the rules: electoral votes won. If the game was total votes, he’d have played differently (e.g. by campaigning in in Blue states.) Hillary was an idiot because she ignored much of the Midwest and then, late in the game, poured resources into “safe” states to run up her popular vote total so that she’d have a “mandate.”

#22 Comment By Harve On January 11, 2019 @ 9:36 pm

Simon says:

“For nearly two years (2009-2010) Barack Obama’s Democrats controlled both Houses of Congress, including a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. They made no serious move in those years to advance climate change legislation.”

Nonsense. The House did pass legislation but it got stopped in the Senate because the democrats only kind of had a veto proof for a few months at the most. Franken wasn’t seated until July, Kennedy was dying, Byrd was in poor health, Landrieu, Lincoln, and Baucus were facing re-election in red states and were New Democrats, Nelson was an out and out conservative, Bayh was a jerk as was Liberman.
Kennedy died and was replaced by a Republican after a few months because Mass. Democrats for some unknown reason decided to nominate Martha Coakley

Unlike Republicans who belong to an ideologically driven party with a decided Leninist ethos, the Democratic Party is more diverse and undisciplined. With any luck, perhaps 2020 will see a senate with an actual filibuster proof Democratic majority.

#23 Comment By G.O. On January 11, 2019 @ 9:37 pm

There is evidence that Trump hires illegal immigrants at his properties. Punish companies that intentionally hire illegal immigrants and the need to build a way goes away.

#24 Comment By Shemp On January 12, 2019 @ 12:19 am

In other words, it’s not good enough that Trump belatedly realizes why he was elected and wants to keep a promise. it’s only good enough if he doesn’t exactly at the right time and exactly the right way, or else Rod will support the Democrats.

Good good, how feckless. Just admit you don’t want to support any actual politicians because none of them are good enough for you. Write in Jesus on the ballot and be done with it.

#25 Comment By JonF On January 12, 2019 @ 7:56 am

Re: It was Obama’s version of “my way or the highway.”

While I don’t retract what I said above concerning presidents ruling by decree, in this particular instance Obama did have some solid ground to stand on: the immigration folks are his employees to direct. This is the equivalent of a police commissioner deciding to focus on some crimes and not others.

#26 Comment By JonF On January 12, 2019 @ 7:59 am

Re: If Trump started throwing CEOs and illegal-nanny-hiring housewives in jail…wow,

The CEOs are in no danger. They don’t make hiring decisions at that level. It would be the lower level department managers who would bear the brunt of it.

#27 Comment By Kurt Gayle On January 12, 2019 @ 10:54 am

Angela Nagle (please see my post of Jan 11, 8:59 am) explains the most fundamental reason for the enormous migrant pressure on our southern border:

“Globalization often creates a vicious cycle: liberalized trade policies destroy a region’s economy, which in turn leads to mass emigration from that area, further eroding the potential of the origin country while depressing wages for the lowest paid workers in the destination country. One of the major causes of labor migration from Mexico to the United States has been the economic and social devastation caused by the North American Free Trade Agreement (nafta). Nafta forced Mexican farmers to compete with U.S. agriculture, with disastrous consequences for Mexico. Mexican imports doubled, and Mexico lost thousands of pig farms and corn growers to U.S. competition. When coffee prices fell below the cost of production, nafta prohibited state intervention to keep growers afloat… By 2002, Mexican wages had dropped by 22 percent, even though worker productivity increased by 45 percent.7 In regions like Oaxaca, emigration devastated local economies and communities, as men emigrated to work in America’s farm labor force and slaughterhouses, leaving behind women, children, and the elderly.”

[4]

In one of the most prophetic interviews ever broadcast on US television, Sir Games Goldsmith in 1994 predicted the current mass migrations that are sweeping the world:

34:00 Sir James Goldsmith: They say that GATT, the purpose of which is to create what is known today as efficient agriculture and to impose it worldwide…The idea of GATT is that the efficiency of agriculture throughout the world should reach the most efficient. That sounds logical: to produce the most amount of food for the least cost. But what does that really mean? An economist will say that’s obvious — the most amount of food for the least cost. But what is cost? When you intensify agriculture, and you reduce the number of people on the land, what happens to those people? They’re chased into the towns.They lose their job in the land. If they go into the towns, there’s no jobs. There’s no infrastructure. The social costs of those people, the financial cost of the infrastructure, has to be added to the cost of producing food. If you want to have the real cost of food…On top of that, on top of that– that’s just economics, and economics should not be the whole argument. On top of that, you are breaking families. You’re uprooting them. You’re throwing them into the slums. Do you realize that in Brazil, the favelas did not exist before the Green Revolution of intensifying agriculture.

36:01 James Goldsmith: In the world today, there are 3.1 billion people still living in rural communities. If GATT succeeds, and we’re able to impose modern methods of agriculture worldwide so as to bring them to the levels, say, of Canada or Australia, what would happen? Two billion people out of those 3.1 billion people — straight arithmetic calculation — would be uprooted from the land and chased into the towns. Now, throughout the world–
36:21 Charlie Rose: With all of the destabilizing impact that it will have.
36:26 James Goldsmith: And you’ve seen it. But it’s the greatest single disaster– it’s greatly more disastrous than any war we’ve had. We have to change priorities. The purpose–let’s take agriculture. Instead of just trying to produce the maximum amount for the cheapest direct cost — let us try and take into account the other costs. Our purpose should not be just one-dimensional cost of producing food. We should take into account that we want the right amount of food of the right quality for health, of the right quality for the environment, and employing enough people so as to maintain social stability in the rural areas. If not, and we chase 2,100 people into the slums of the towns, you– we will create, on a scale unheard of, mass migration. So as to satisfy an economic doctrine, a piece of economic thinking, we would be creating 2 billion refugees. We would be creating mass waves of, of migration which none of us could control. We would be destroying the towns which already largely are destroyed – look at Rio; look at Mexico; look at our own towns — and we’re doing this for economic dogma.

#28 Comment By Edward Dougherty On January 12, 2019 @ 12:51 pm

So I heard an interview on NPRs Weeken Edition with Thomas Donahue the head Of the United States Chamber of Commerce. While the interview was left wanting in several areas, his support comprehensive immigration reform and his belief that the US does not have enough qualified worker to fill open private sector positions was unmistakable at least to me.

Many of you can bash the Dems on this issue all you want and much of it is deserved. However it is groups on the GOP side such as the USCOC that are as culpable as those on the Right. And they will likely maintain their influence as President Trump becomes more of a liability.

#29 Comment By JeffK On January 12, 2019 @ 6:03 pm

@Kurt Gayle says:
January 11, 2019 at 12:02 pm

Kurt. 2019 is way different than 1981. There was a nasty recession in 1981, and many more people were idle then than there are now. The increase of marijuana use across the general population in the US will make finding replacements much more difficult.

Airlines provide significantly more passengers miles in 2019 than 1981. 200 Billion passenger miles in 1981, 964 Billion in 2017 (last year I could easily find data).

Airline loading has increased significantly since 1981. A lot more people are flying now than back then.

I stand by my statement. “The shutdown will stop when businessmen cannot fly, consultants sit home with 0 billable hours, Amazon/Fedex/UPS quits delivering Amazon’s sparkling farkles and needed drugs, and Americans cannot fly to Disneyland. ” A terminal in Miami was just closed because TSA workers are calling off.

Big business is not going to put up with Trump’s shenanigans much longer, especially since they have their tax cut.

[5]

[6]

[7]

[8]

#30 Comment By Michie TN On January 13, 2019 @ 9:49 am

I think the current emphasis on border wall is smokescreen for other agendas. Trump can have military build wall, so funding is not the problem. But now GOPs have clear majority in Senate, and good judges for setup. Gov shutdown saves $, might lead to permanent closures (TSA, IRS… ?), having Dems opposed to wall paints them in shades of black disgrace. We are witnessing political shenanigans per SunTzu.

#31 Comment By Noah172 On January 13, 2019 @ 10:53 am

Harve wrote:

Unlike Republicans who belong to an ideologically driven party

If that were true, Trump wouldn’t be President. He got the nomination because, not in spite of, his ideological deviations from GWB (immigration, foreign policy) and Paul Ryan (trade, cut old folk programs, as well as the Bush stuff) and the Tea Party (muh deficits, muh small government). Trump had difficulty getting big items through the last Congress because many Republicans (McCain, Flake, Corker, Murkowski, and other Senators, and Ryan and a few dozen Representatives I could name) disagreed ideologically with Trump.

the Democratic Party is more diverse and undisciplined

Which is why Hillary had to fight a pack of top-tier candidates to get the 2016 nomination…

With any luck, perhaps 2020 will see a senate with an actual filibuster proof Democratic majority

They need 13 more seats. Where are they getting those? States where you can’t be Ocasio and get elected. And some of the current Democratic Senators aren’t solid votes for a sweeping left agenda either (Manchin, Jones [for what time he has left], Sinema, et al.).

It is quite tiresome to see commenters (many of them on this blog) who decide to be willfully stupid in pretending not to understand the analogy between Trump and his first two years and Obama with his or Clinton with his. Trump had narrower same-party majorities than Obama or Clinton, and more ideological and personal opposition from within his party than Obama and Clinton, yet the willfully stupid commenters say Drumpf is a failure or a fraud or whatever for not getting everything he wanted his first two years, while they have excuses at the ready for why O didn’t get cap and trade and so forth.

You liberals are not fooling anyone. If Obama or Clinton can be excused for not getting everything they wanted from same-party Congressional majorities (because those caucuses were divided, time was short, crises happened, etc.), then Trump can be excused. Indeed, he deserves more leniency in judgment because, again, his same-party Congressional majorities were narrower and more divided from him on policy and personality than the Democrats were from Clinton 1993-94 and Obama 2009-10.

And knock it off with this, “Democrats only had six months to break the filibuster in Obama’s first two years!” That’s six more months than Trump had, so thus six fewer months of excuse-making.

#32 Comment By Noah172 On January 13, 2019 @ 10:59 am

Siarlys wrote:

He couldn’t offer them citizenship, and he knew it

He gave them work permits. That’s the rub with DACA. It’s more than prosecutorial discretion. Obama granted legal benefits to a class of lawbreakers without the authority to do so.

All of you commenting keep ignoring this point because you know it makes Obama look bad.

#33 Comment By Noah172 On January 13, 2019 @ 11:08 am

Ellimist wrote:

Not if taxing cigarettes causes more problems than it solves, barely stops any smoking, and is vehemently opposed by the majority

We already have fencing on portions of the border. It has been effective in reducing illegal crossings (by 100s of 1000s over the years) in those sections. It was not controversial when it was built, there were bipartisan majorities to build more, and the existing fencing is not at issue now. (Nobody is calling for the existing fencing to be torn down.) So there goes your dumb retort. (And this is to say nothing of all the other countries which have used border barriers effectively.)

#34 Comment By JeffK On January 13, 2019 @ 12:11 pm

@JonF says:
January 12, 2019 at 7:59 am

“Re: If Trump started throwing CEOs and illegal-nanny-hiring housewives in jail…wow,

The CEOs are in no danger. They don’t make hiring decisions at that level. It would be the lower level department managers who would bear the brunt of it.”

I help implement large computer systems for a living. Back when Sarbanes Oxley was passed, there was a huge rush to implement compliant financial systems. Because senior executives would be held liable for false financial statements, including statements from subsidiaries. A similar law could be passed, holding sr executives accountable for hiring decisions made at lower levels.

Much is possible with legislation. However, for legislation to be effective bills have to be passed and signed into law.

#35 Comment By JonF On January 13, 2019 @ 12:33 pm

Re: It’s just like abortion — George W Bush talked a good game, but did nothing while his party controlled Congress and the executive branch.

Where he could– yes, only at the margins– Bush issued some restrictive executive orders on the topic. He also appointed a number of pro_Life judges. And realistically that’s all he could do.

#36 Comment By Ken Zaretzke On January 13, 2019 @ 1:52 pm

“Indeed congress didn’t have the votes to do much of ANYTHING about immigration.”

Congress didn’t have the votes to provide any kind of amnesty, so Obama went over Congress’s head, heedless of the separation of powers, in providing the quasi-amnesty known as DACA for the cohort of immigrants most likely to be allowed to stay and bring their nearest relatives–a big beautiful bunch of future Democratic voters. Obama rigged the whole thing to get the Democrats more voters, never mind the drain on public resources.

#37 Comment By Sheila On January 13, 2019 @ 1:59 pm

(I did not write this comment myself, but it bears repeating)

The current GOP is supposedly is the party of strict father morality, which among other things includes support of hierarchy and obedience to authority. Presumably DJT was able to convince enough strict father Republicans that he would be a credible strict father and exercise his authority as President to get himself elected as POTUS. Yet we now see articles not just about Don the Con, but also Donnie the child-king of tantrums. What’s going on here? Is DJT really a strict father or merely a two-year old kid in tantrum mode?

So far what I am seeing is a lot of the Republican leadership aiding and abetting their child-king of tantrums. One of the latest examples is VP Pence doubling down on DJT’s demands for Democrats to give DJT his wall (or else). But as most parents know, when you give in to the two-year old who is saying NO even as he changes his mind, you are giving away the keys to the kingdom, and that is not good parenting.

Today we have the irony of the strict father morality crowd allowing themselves to be led in circles by by the king of tantrums. If the current Republican/conservative leadership wants to credibly claim the mantle of strict father morality, they are going to have to step in, as a strict non-nonsense father would, and reign in their child-king of tantrums. They are going to have to be effective parents to their would-be strict father, exercising discipline and setting boundaries When, oh when is this going to happen? If the current GOP does not step in and discipline their boy-president, they will lose all credibility to govern the country. Think about it.

#38 Comment By Cavin On January 13, 2019 @ 7:57 pm

Kurt,

As JeffK pointed out, a 1981-style firing of air traffic controllers wouldn’t work today. Besides, I don’t know that it would be legal to fire them simply because they refused to work without pay.

Your economic analysis also overlooks the fact that there is a labor shortage for many blue-collar jobs. One of the biggest problems relates to immobility. Working-class whites are less mobile today that at any time in recent history. They’d rather seek out a meager living in their hometowns than move to places where the jobs are.

I suspect that much of this trend is due to decades of living to “conservative” media outlets. These media outlets have convinced working-class whites to take less responsibility for their own lives and to blame their struggles on others. The reality is that the economy changes, and those changes often cause jobs to shift elsewhere. Nelly a million people were laid off in the industrial heartland in the early 1980s. Most of thee people packed up and moved from the Midwest to places with better opportunities. They didn’t waste their time blaming immigrants, gays, or other vulnerable scapegoats. No. They picked up and moved on with their lives. JD Vance was right. Most working-class whites in the heartland could fix most of their problems with a U-Haul. But moving on is hard. It’s far easier to buy into the snake oil that people like Trump, Coulter, and Limbaugh are selling.

#39 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On January 13, 2019 @ 8:30 pm

Kennedy died and was replaced by a Republican after a few months because Mass. Democrats for some unknown reason decided to nominate Martha Coakley

Roughly for the same reason Democrats nominated Hillary Clinton… its her turn, she has markers to call in, how can we lose anyway?

#40 Comment By Delaware Bridge On January 13, 2019 @ 8:44 pm

It’s about time somebody treated it as an emergency. On the subject of immigration we’ve been acting like smokers who kept smoking after the Surgeon General’s warning came out.

I don’t usually agree with Trump’s policies, and I strongly dislike him, but on this one I hope he stays strong and gets it built. It’s a matter of basic national security.

#41 Comment By BD On January 14, 2019 @ 9:05 am

Nothing is surprising about this. Republicans don’t really care about a wall, they just want a symbolic fight to throw red meat to their base (remember the “caravan” that amazingly dropped out of the news after the midterms?). If they truly wanted the wall they’d have traded for it with the Democrats back when they were in similar talks a year ago.

Immigration restrictionists know that the wall is a dumb waste of money that would do little to stop illegal immigration (compared to hiring more border agents and immigration judges and making it far riskier for employers to hire anyone without verifying their immigration status). So when liberals offer the wall in exchange for something, restrictionists never take the deal unless they get something else.

Republicans are about tax cuts, period. Everything else is for show.

#42 Comment By JeffK On January 14, 2019 @ 10:28 am

@Cavin says:
January 13, 2019 at 7:57 pm

“Nearly a million people were laid off in the industrial heartland in the early 1980s. Most of thee people packed up and moved from the Midwest to places with better opportunities. They didn’t waste their time blaming immigrants, gays, or other vulnerable scapegoats. No. They picked up and moved on with their lives. JD Vance was right. Most working-class whites in the heartland could fix most of their problems with a U-Haul. But moving on is hard. It’s far easier to buy into the snake oil that people like Trump, Coulter, and Limbaugh are selling.”

Exactly. In the spring of 1980 I graduated college from PSU. Late summer of 1980 I borrowed $700 from my parents and left western PA and moved to Texas. Slept on friends floors for 6 months until I had a job and was established with my own 1 bedroom apartment. Stayed through the boom and bust. Moved to VA afterwards, then NY, to finally return to PA with a graduate degree and strong resume. I hope to retire relatively well off in a few years.

Most friends that stayed in Western PA have very little to show for 40 years of hard work and hard times. Most friends that left are doing well. That in itself tells me something.

It is extremely hard to leave an area in decline if that includes leaving family. It is even harder if you don’t have at least 6 months expenses in the bank to cover all of the expenses associated with a long distance move.

We should establish policies that help people move from declining areas. We should establish policies that encourage businesses to move to declining areas.

I suspect The Republicans would disagree with both ideas (social programs for poor people = bad / government intrusion into business location decisions = bad). So, we will continue with the same stupid approach. Provide just enough government support to keep people ‘alive’ (and hooked on opioids), but not enough to help them rent that U-Haul and put down 3 months rent (first month, last month, and security deposit) on a place to live where the economy is doing well.

Oh well…. What’s Einstein’s definition of insanity? Answer: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” 40 years of insanity. Same results.

#43 Comment By Hound of Ulster On January 14, 2019 @ 11:50 am

@Noah172

The DACA folks, for the most part, ‘broke the law’ at an age (in some cases as a literal babe in arms) when they were not capable under both law and custom to give consent or properly weigh the consequences of said choice. To deport them just for that, to countries they have never known and often don’t speak the languages of, is the equivalent of sentencing someone to life in prison without parole for stealing a candy bar when they were five years old twenty years after the fact, and in the meantime they had become useful members of society. That strikes most people as deeply unfair and an unjustified use of government resources.

I will also point out that giving relief on DACA is much more popular than the Wall. And any political figure with any brains would have taken the DACA for the Wall compromise that Trump nuked (because Coulter said mean things about it btw) because of that. Trump clearly is bad at basic political math, as he would have his Wall by now if he was Good At His Job. A Republican granting permanent relief on DACA , after the Democrats couldn’t do it when they had power, also would have caused more than few fissures in the Democrats’ coalition…

#44 Comment By JonF On January 14, 2019 @ 12:57 pm

People in an economically depressed area should look into finding a job elsewhere. But that should be done over the Internet not by moving. Unless you have a job offer or you have someone in a new place you trust to put a roof over your head for the duration, moving without a job is a short trip to homelessness.

#45 Comment By Cavin On January 14, 2019 @ 2:14 pm

JeffK,

Bingo. I’m all for providing assistance for people to move to places where they can thrive. But relocation probably requires $20k in liquid capital, assuming you have a solid plan. Better for dad to move.in advance, find a job, and move the family later. But that requires savings too.

#46 Comment By Noah172 On January 14, 2019 @ 8:32 pm

Harve wrote:

To deport them just for that, to countries they have never known and often don’t speak the languages of

You assume all DACA beneficiaries came to the US at very young ages. Many came as older teenagers. Many speak Spanish natively and English poorly or not at all (so says Homeland Security), evidence that they do in fact remember their home countries and are not well-blended into America (because they have not necessarily been here that long).

You also assume these people are all, y’know, telling the truth about their ages and life stories. Because nobody would dare tell a lie to stay in America and invite the rest of the family over.

And any political figure with any brains would have taken the DACA for the Wall compromise that Trump nuked

That is a horrible deal for immigration restrictionists. You know this, which is why you support it. Big amnesty for the children of criminals which will encourage more criminals to bring minors with them. Liberal lawyers will file suit on whatever grounds they can, liberal judges will grant their injunctions, the wall gets delayed until after the 2020 election, Democrats hope they win, then they rescind the wall money. Oh, and since chain migration was not changed, the amnestied Nightmares, hundreds of thousands or a few million of them, bring their relatives (millions of them). You know this is the game, that’s why you support it.

Restrictionists want a wall, but more than that (end to chain migration, E-Verify, etc.), and we are not willing to give away the store the way Reagan did in 1986.

A Republican granting permanent relief on DACA , after the Democrats couldn’t do it when they had power, also would have caused more than few fissures in the Democrats’ coalition…

You are either ignorant or disingenuous. Pick one.

Reagan signed a huge amnesty in 1986. Daddy Bush signed a big expansion of legal immigration in 1990. Bush 43, McCain, and Paul Ryan promoted amnesty relentlessly. Before Trump, the Republican Party’s leaders, though not so much its followers, were quite liberal on immigration, and it earned the party little with either Latinos, Asians, or self-righteous college-educated white Diversity-worshippers (the main constituency for liberal immigration).

Trump began his Presidential campaign speaking bluntly of the problems of Mexican influx, and he got about the same share of the Latino vote as Romney, and there was no surge of Latino voters relative to other ethnic groups. The Vote Cast survey (new alternative to exit polls) for 2018 showed Republicans getting a third of the Latino vote, like normal (a little better than what the exits said for Trump in 2016). O’Rourke’s strong showing in Texas was due to upscale whites, not a brown surge. Similar story with the victories of Sinema in Arizona and Rosen in Nevada — Republicans slipped with whites over health care and suburban female dislike of Trump, not an unusually bad showing with Hispanics angry about immigration.

#47 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On January 14, 2019 @ 8:53 pm

People in an economically depressed area should look into finding a job elsewhere.

I would prefer prioritizing capital investment in economically depressed areas where people live and would like to continue living. Even if it has to be attempted by a heavy-handed People’s Commissariat of Equal Access to Capital. (E.g., the nation and the world owe West Virginia a pattern of investment to replace the investment made to transform a state of property owning small farmers and small business owners into a state utterly dependent on mining coal.)

#48 Comment By JeffK On January 15, 2019 @ 7:05 am

Hello Noah172.

Any response to Sheila’s request for comment on Trump hiring illegals as personal cooks, maids, and employees on his golf courses?

Sheila (the other sheila) says:
January 11, 2019 at 1:40 pm

Noah, any thoughts on JeffK’s links about the undocumented immigrants that Trump has been employing? Your rationalizations of his hypocrisy are fascinating to me.

#49 Comment By JonF On January 15, 2019 @ 8:57 am

Noah, DACA amnesty could be written to disallow chain migration by such connections.
And overall politics is the art of the possible, and that means compromise. To get some of what you want you’re going to have to give others some of what they want. I actually thought Trump would be better at this process than a lot of professional pols, and maybe if he were 20 years younger and not so eager to obey the ukases of Ann Coulter and her ilk, he would be. Right now you are getting zip, nill, nada- and Trump is growing less popular by the day making it less likely you’ll get any of your program enacted. Is that really preferable to compromising? Half loaves are better than none at all.

#50 Comment By Hound of Ulster On January 15, 2019 @ 1:04 pm

@Noah

You do realize that the DACA folks do get deported if they commit other crimes subsequently. Trump called *all* people coming over the border from Mexico (as others have pointed out, illegal crossings have dropped substantially since their peak in the 1990s, not entirely due to increased enforcement, and the large majority of illegal immigration is from people flying into major airports and over-staying visas like the current First Lady was accused of doing. A wall on the Mexican border is useless in that context) as rapists and drug smugglers. In the context of Trump’s support for the birther conspiracy theory nonsense, and the fact that people like you enthusiastically support him (I have seen you posts on IQ and race…) suggests to the rest of the country that MAGA is actually MAWA (Make America White Again). It is on you to dispel this notion, because a not small part of the country views Trump and the forces behind his rise to power as an existential threat to their survival. Prove them wrong.

You keep waving around one exit poll here, one exit poll there, as if it means anything. And getting 1/3 of something still means you are losing a majority of something. You keep hand-waving away the losses the GOP is sustaining in ‘white’ suburbia, especially among college-educated women. You do not seem to grasp that if you lose suburbia, your route to a majority, or even a larger pluriaty, coalition is closed off because of how the US population is distributed now. Rural areas and small-to-mid sized towns that do not have a going economic concern of any sort (could be college of some sort, a new industry that just developed, or a tourist attraction) are collapsing demographically have been for some time now. This is the main base of support for things like the wall and refusing the DACA folks relief. You are setting yourself up to become a permanent minority if you refuse to compromise on these issues in any sort of constructive way, and any time you yell that the Democrats are for ‘open borders’ (spoiler alert:they aren’t) it reveals to be a deeply unserious person who actually doesn’t care about about solving problems.