Trump Rolls Out The Not-So-Welcome-Wagon
U.S. president Donald Trump must have sold his soul to the man at the crossroads. In his run to the White House he was repeatedly rescued by deus ex machina. Engaged in a costly alley fight of his own making on immigration, the new president was handed a reprieve for his beleaguered executive-order rollout.
With his competence in question over confusion at America’s borders, Trump pulled off a Supreme Court coup that silenced much of the domestic debate about Somali and Yemeni immigrants for the next 24 hours.
Polls from the presidential election had said that 70 percent of Trump voters claimed his vow to name an originalist/ constitutionalist to the Supreme Court was a very important reason they supported him. He supplied a long list of 21 candidates, reduced it to six and finally to two for the seat of legendary conservative jurist Antonin Scalia.
In a city that thrives on leaks, the Trump team managed to keep his nominee secret till the president introduced Neil Gorsuch on primetime TV Tuesday at the White House. (A cloak-and-dagger scheme had whisked Gorsuch secretly to Washington.) Suddenly the concerns from his base about competence miraculously dissipated while his many critics were outfoxed— again.
The usual suspects were not impressed, of course. Despite Gorsuch's sterling reputation, the resistance to the 49-year-old from the progressives who’ve captured the Democratic Party were quickly out with their alternative-universe logic.
On CNN, Democratic house leader Nancy Pelosi allowed that Gorsuch might be a nice guy, but “it’s a hostile appointment… as far as your family is concerned. I you breathe air, drink water, take medicine or in any other way interact with the courts… this is a bad decision. He’s well outside the mainstream of American legal opinion.”
We’ll take that as a maybe. It’s likely Gorsuch will pass and succeed in the Supreme Court, but the immigration schism in America (or Canada) will not be healed anytime soon.
Trump won the presidency in large part because he was the only one among the Republicans candidates willing to defy the settled immigration orthodoxy. By the time his GOP opponents— and Hillary Clinton— realized the importance of the issue, Trump had ridden the populist wave about immigration to the White House. His Executive Order delaying refugees from seven nations represents his promised approach to balancing secure borders while also continuing a compassionate policy for newcomers.
Rather than catch up on why they were housed by voters, Pelosi & Co. continue to whine like an actor who shows up on set every day to tell producers they were wrong to not cast him. Students rioted (http://www.slate.com/content/dam/slate/blogs/the_slatest/2017/02/01/berkeley_protests_cancel_pro_bigot_milo_yiannopoulos_campus_appearance/berkeleyprotest.png.CROP.cq5dam_web_1280_1280_png.png) and fellow travellers shouted Racism!
They pointed to the Jews who were turned away by the U.S. and Canada as they tried to escape the Nazis in the late 1930s and 40s. They took strength from foreign governments flummoxed by the Trump/ Brexit/ Le Pen ascension. And they acted just goofy. On Tuesday one immigration activist announced America has no moral rights to dictate immigration policy because of slavery. Okay…
Here’s a slice of the immigration debate. (http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/tucker-carlson-tonight/index.html#/v/5303939599001) FOX TV host Tucker Carlson interviewed Mark Hetfield, CEO for the federally funded resettlement organization HIAS. Hetfield had issued a statement saying that the Trump EO is contrary to American values. Asked what those values are— because polling shows Americans oppose large-scale Syrian resettlement by wide margins— Hetfield said that refugees are never popular, and he doesn’t go by polling.
Carlson then asked what percentage of the 60- 100 million refugees worldwide does America have a moral obligation to admit? Hetfield declined to be specific, saying he just doesn’t want a replay of the Jews in the 1930s.
Asked if Americans should be concerned after the tumult in Europe following admission of 1.5 million refugees, Hetfield cited what he calls the stringent immigration process facing immigrants already. Did he ever ask immigrants about their stand on sharia, genital mutilation and religious violence? Hetfield replied, in effect, not my job. (Although it was his job to scold his fellow countrymen.)
All of which returns us to where we began: If it’s a moral obligation for America and Canada to pick up the immigration slack in a time of crisis, how do they triage the estimated tens of millions ofrefugees worldwide to decide who’s in and who’s out? Who decides what person running from hostile forces has a higher degree of danger? Should the vetting process be shortened to get them out of danger?
They all have heartbreaking stories. Do you take children first? Families? People who might assimilate better? Do you give preference to those who illegally wandered across your border to find safety in a new land? Or those who follow the legal protocols for immigrants?
Likewise, what rights do citizens have to the safety of their persons from immigrants who come from nations with militant religious terror? What rights do citizens have to guard against malign forces already rooted in America or Canada? In the settled politics before Trump, those in political power had declared these issues to be settled.
This week Trump shattered those expectations and the heads of the virtue signallers. As usual liberals wanted people to know they have big hearts (https://www.yahoo.com/news/13-most-political-moments-sag-161433006.html), bigger plans and, when they find someone else to pay for their virtue, something might actually get done.
While they postured Trump filled that void. 304-227. Deal with it.
Bruce Dowbiggin @dowbboy. Bruce is the host of podcast The Full Count with Bruce Dowbiggin on anticanetwork.com. He’s also a regular contributor to Sirius XM Canada Talks. His career includes successful stints in television, radio and print. A two-time winner of the Gemini Award as Canada's top television sports broadcaster, he is also the best-selling author of seven books. His website is Not The Public Broadcaster (http://www.notthepublicbroadcaster.com)