Monday, June 18, 2018

Too Bad, So Sorry

Melania Trump spokesperson Stephen Grisham on Sunday morning issued a statement which read

Mrs. Trump hates to see children separated from their families and hopes both sides of the aisle can finally come together to achieve successful immigration reform. She believes we need to be a country that follows all laws, but also a country that governs with heart.

In unison: let us clap our hands for a First Lady who hates to see children separated from their families. By now, she has presumably turned off her television set and avoided videos on social media so that she's not forced to see what her husband has wrought. The New York Times' Peter Baker explains

The president has falsely blamed Democrats for the situation, saying that he was simply enforcing a law that they had written. But no law requires families to necessarily be separated at the border. Children have been taken away from their parents because of a Trump administration “zero tolerance” policy enacted this year to prosecute all unlawful immigrants as criminals.

Steve M. adds

Melania isn't challenging her husband -- this is part of the administration's bamboozlement process. Stephen Miller embraces the family separation policy, Kirsjen Nielsen says family separation isn't administration policy, the president blames it on Democrats -- it's all one big "sorry not sorry," with Miller speaking to the immigrant-haters, the president speaking to the Democrat-haters, and Nielsen and Melania attempting to confuse everyone else.

But there is something additional: heart.

It turns out that even Mrs. Trump's appeal to governing with heart is an echo of- and probably a shout-out to- the President.  In defending his decision to strike a Syrian air base, in an April, 2017 interview with the Associated Press Mr. Trump cited the "human responsibility" of the presidency. He added "here, everything, pretty much everything you do in government involves heart, whereas in business most things don’t involve heart. In fact, in business you’re actually better off without it.”

In September he claimed at a press availability in the White House that he has "a love for these people" and "a great heart" for Dreamers.

Prior to his State of the Union address the following January, the president remarked

When you're a businessperson, you don't have to worry about your heart, the heart.  You really do what's best for you — you know, for almost purely monetary reasons....

I'm telling you, the immigration is so easy to solve if it was purely a business matter, but it's not.  And I think that's something that I've learned maybe more than anything else.  You have to govern with all of the instincts of a businessperson, but you have to add much more heart and soul into your decisions than you would ever have even thought of before.

The President has argued that he governs with "heart," and now his wife "a country that governs with heart." We have seen what Mr. Trump means by that and have no reason to believe his wife means anything else. Melania Trump chose on her own to enter the political fray and issue a statement intended to take the heat off the President of the United States of America for a very unpopular policy.  We should not pretend she has done anything different.

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