Friday, November 29, 2019

Maybe He Meant "Child Separation"


Perhaps the problem is prep schools- probably not, but maybe. The Washington Post reports

A liberal ex-governor walks into a bar, followed by a conservative Trump administration official.

Instead of a punchline, what followed, one witness said, was a “shame-invoking tirade” by Martin O’Malley, the former Democratic governor of Maryland, directed at Ken Cuccinelli II, the former Virginia attorney general who is acting deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

The two political polar opposites crossed paths Wednesday night at the Dubliner, a Capitol Hill Irish pub popular on Thanksgiving Eve with Gonzaga College High School graduates. Both men attended the school, graduating five years apart in the 1980s, and both said they were there to visit with former classmates.

Siobhan Arnold, who was visiting from Philadelphia, had just met O’Malley at the bar when Cuccinelli walked in. Soon the two men were face-to-face, she said, with O’Malley excoriating Cuccinelli over the Trump administration’s immigration policies.

O’Malley said “something about his [Cuccinelli’s] grandparents,” Arnold said in an interview. Cuccinelli said little if anything in reply, she added, quickly leaving the area.

“O’Malley was shouting,” Arnold said. “I don’t think Cuccinelli was responding. I think he’s like, ‘Time to go. Just got here and I’m leaving.’ He pretty much retreated.”

O’Malley disputed Arnold’s account on one point: He said in a text message that he wasn’t shouting, but raised his voice “just to be heard” in the pub.

Both O’Malley and Cuccinelli described a confrontation that involved O’Malley hotly criticizing Cuccinelli’s politics. And both said they eventually ended up face-to-face with O’Malley asking Cuccinelli if he wanted to throw a punch.

But the men disagreed on who invaded the other’s personal space. Cuccinelli said O’Malley, after pushing through a group, bumped up against him, an action O’Malley denied. O’Malley said Cuccinelli “put his chest up in mine, to which I said, ‘What is it, Ken? You want to take a swing?’”

O’Malley, a former Baltimore mayor who was Maryland governor from 2007 to 2015, unsuccessfully sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016. He said that when he spotted Cuccinelli, he unloaded his frustration at the Trump administration’s separation of migrant children from their parents and detention of immigrants in chain-link enclosures at the southern U.S. border.

(Cucinelli's questionable version of events can be seenhere.)

The son of immigrant parents? Cages children? Works for a fascist president? Accurate so far, though reasonable people can quibble (barely) about the last. However

"We all let him know how we felt about him putting refugee immigrant kids in cages," O'Malley said, adding that such practices were "certainly not what we were taught by the Jesuits at Gonzaga."

If it wasn't taught at Gonzaga High School in the District of Columbia, it may have been at Punahou School in Honolulu, where a young Barack Obama matriculated. In a piece in April rightly criticizing President Trump for claiming that his child separation policy mimicked that of President Obama, the Editorial Board of the Baltimore Sun explained

Now what makes this claim so insidious is that there’s a nugget of truth here but only the tiniest of one. That is to say that children were sometimes separated from adults at the border in limited cases such as suspected human trafficking or when family ties appeared doubtful or they were simply unaccompanied minors, a practice that took place during George W. Bush’s presidency as well. What raised a furor, and caused the number of incarcerated children to skyrocket, was the so-called “zero tolerance” policy begun in pilot program in 2017 and then greatly expanded by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions one year ago. Under this wholly Trump administration policy, all adults crossing the border illegally were treated as criminals and their children housed apart from them. This affected thousands of children and it was handled so poorly that the Department of Homeland Security still hasn’t offered a full accounting of how many youngsters were involved and whether they were all successfully reunited with their families. The president ended the practice last summer.





Truth be told, not every policy initiated, or continued, by Saint Obama was a good one, though this one probably was reasonable and virtually unavoidable (video above from 6/18).  It's very easy to criticize President Trump. It's also righteous and means the critic is invariably correct. It's not necessary to erase history, as Martin O'Malley has, to do so.



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