Thursday, September 01, 2016

Donald Churchill, Indeed

After Donald Trump last week expressed apparent reluctance to deport illegal immigrants, he was slammed by Ann Coulter, about whom I then remarked "isn't right twice a day, and is often bombastic and offensive. Nonetheless, once a decade or so she makes a valid point other conservatives bypass."

Responding to Donald Trump's rally speech on immigration Wednesday night, Coulter made me look foolish when she tweeted "I hear Churchill had a nice turn of phrase, but Trump's immigration speech is the most magnificent speech ever given." (Perhaps she's given to hyperbole.)

So much for "four score and seven years ago," "How long? Not long, because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice,"  and "let them come to Berlin." Even more substantively, there was "the time has arrived in America for the Democratic Party to get out of the shadow of states' rights and to walk forthrightly into the bright sunshine of human rights." And that is only among American speakers, and a rigidly abridged list. Your mileage may vary.

Trump's speech was a fairly deft mixture of bluff, bluster, and bellicosity.  But it was also, at times, internally inconsistent.

"Hillary Clinton," he claimed "has pledged amnesty in her first 100 days, and her plan will provide Obamacare, Social Security, and Medicare for illegal immigrants, breaking the federal budget." That would be true were Hillary Clinton to have advocated amnesty, Social Security and Medicare for illegal immigrants, and a plan which would break the federal budget, in his telling more costly than a wall costing tens of billions of dollars.

That was, however, only a Trumpian-style case of distortion, manipulation, and rank dishonesty. Less obvious was the catch made from the speech, annotated, by Washington Post reporter Philip Bump, who should be an argument for the care and maintenance of the oft-derided "dead tree" media.  "Under my administration," Trump contended, "anyone who illegally crosses the border will be detained until they are removed out of our country and back to the country from which they came."

How, more observant critics than I might have observed, is that even possible?  Bump himself asks "First of all, what about the wall?"

Trump sought to sell the idea that his "impenetrable physical wall" will prevent anyone from illegally crossing the border.  After all, "we will use the best technology, including above-and below-ground sensors, towers, aerial surveillance and manpower to supplement the wall, find and dilocate tunnels..."

There will be no one left who would illegally cross the border, he argues.  Of course, his pie in the sky, by and by, when you die scenario is fantasy.  The wall will not be built and, as Bump had explained in detail the day before, "the government has tried to rely on sensors to help protect the border in the past, without much success."

Donald Grump stated "What we do know, despite the total lack of media curiosity, is that Hillary Clinton promises a radical amnesty combined with a radical reduction in immigration enforcement." British wartime prime minister Winston Churchill once declared "From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent." Oh sure, Ann, there is no difference.

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