A place to comment on Trump’s Muslim Ban 2.0

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And yeah, that’s what it is. Clear away the nonsense and that’s what you’re left with. He said when he ran for president that that’s what he’d do, and this is his second attempt to get away with doing it.

All the whys and wherefores and details and adjustments are kind of irrelevant to me. What I see is that the entire effort — which he has made the top priority of his first days in office — is completely unnecessary. It’s an overwrought, complicated solution to a problem that does not exist. It is absurd every bit as much as it is offensive and unAmerican.

The administration keeps mouthing the ridiculous justification that this is needed to “keep America safe.” I won’t go into that except to note that Charles Krauthammer — who takes a backseat to no one in advocating for national security — dealt with that with the contempt that it deserved a month ago: “Not a single American has ever been killed in a terror attack in this country by a citizen from the notorious seven.” Which is now six, Trump having discovered that Iraq is an ally.

So, you say what you have to say about it. I’m done for the moment…

33 thoughts on “A place to comment on Trump’s Muslim Ban 2.0

  1. Bryan Caskey

    Gave it a quick read. It’s still questionable policy without much of a real benefit, but it’s now more defensible in courts. If it’s got a weakness, it’s the religious discrimination issue.

    Certainly, it’s a recognition by Trump that his first EO was severely flawed. That’s something in itself. Has there been another example of Trump even implicitly walking something back?

    Reply
    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      And yeah, that’s the idea. This is supposed to be more defensible legally.

      But I end up where I started. It’s a more legally defensible way to do something stupid, wrong and unnecessary…

      Reply
      1. Bryan Caskey

        Silver lining in this is that it shows that Trump’s administration isn’t totally immune from political and legal pressure.

        Yeah, that’s a low-bar, but I’m trying to make up for being Captain Bringdown.

        Reply
  2. Harry Harris

    Although I agree with the comments above, I think this is one of the least damaging things Trump and the Republicans have in store for us. He knows how to grab headlines with outrageous stuff whenever he or his allies is moving the real agenda along. Make the Trumpsters think he’s protecting them from “those people” while transferring tax burdens down the income scale and kicking low-income wage earners in the teeth.

    Reply
    1. bud

      This and the House healthcare bill rollout were largely ignored thanks to Trump’s latest tweet storm(s). The press needs to get it’s priorities right. Clearly Trump will say anything any time. I don’t think he’s smart enough to actually be doing this as a brilliant diversionary tactic. Nonetheless it’s having that effect.

      Reply
      1. Harry Harris

        As I predicted in this blog last week, the Republican bill nixes the extension of the paltry 1.9% Medicare tax beyond the wages of the middle class. Their attempts to get this one over will not be ignored. People with a good amount of passive income (like some of mine) will get a break if this is passed. People with a ton of passive income and salaries above 118K will get a big windfall. These are some sneaky rats. John Dean revealed later that the middle class portion of Reagan’s tax cuts were “thrown in” just to make the bill look less like a boon to the wealthy.

        Reply
    2. Norm Ivey

      I think this is one of the least damaging things…

      I get where you’re coming from, and I agree that on a personal level, this is one of the least damaging things they are proposing. In the broader view, I think this will make Americans less safe, especially those traveling in predominately Muslim countries. We gain nothing from it, and it gives the radicals a recruiting tool.

      I still believe that the most damaging policies will be those that favor a continued oil and coal based economy over prioritizing renewable fuels. Even if you set the threat to the planet aside (and I don’t), the rest of the world is forging ahead with solar, wind and even nuclear power. Economically, we will be left behind by the short-term greed and short-sightedness of this administration.

      Reply
      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        I see such policy matters as that — the environment, health care, what have you — as being like the tide. There’s always a push and pull on those things in this country. The Democrats get control for awhile and do one thing; the Republicans get control for awhile and do another.

        And maybe I’m less concerned about those things because I grew up in a time when there was a governing consensus, and the swings from one end to the other were relatively mild, and easily undone.

        Now, in this age of hyperpartisanship, the parties at least give lip service to wilder swings. But I find that to a great extent they are tempered once they’re in office. For instance, Democrats would have preferred single-payer (as I certainly would), but let themselves be pulled back when it was their turn to govern. The Republicans have wanted total repeal of ACA with nothing to replace it, but faced with actually DOING it they’re getting cold feet, torn between doing what they said they’d do and the realization that outside their extreme base, doing so would be REALLY unpopular.

        I’ve worried since the beginning more about the degradation of the office of president and therefore of our whole system of government, the tarnishing of the American brand, both at home and abroad. It’s the stuff that Trump wants to do that is patently unAmerican, the things that throw away American leadership in the world, the things that make a mockery of our longtime image as the City on a Hill, a model for people wanting to be free… THAT’S the stuff that concerns me. Because it seems a lot harder to recover from.

        The longer we see ourselves — and others see us — being governed by a twitchy, unhinged ignoramus who lacks any knowledge of or affection for the basic assumptions that make this country special (or, if you will, great), the more we’ll accept it as normal, and the less likely it is that our country will recover from it.

        That’s why things like this concern me more than, say, what we do for a time with energy issues.

        Yeah, I understand — such effects are physical and tangible. But I see Trump as having far greater power to damage the intangibles that make this country great, and that’s where my worry is focused…

        Reply
  3. Bob Amundson

    I wish U.S. immigration policy was based on taking in the most vulnerable first; i.e., women and children. Many of these countries are sinking: “Women and children first!”

    Reply
    1. Claus

      That’s sexist, what if I said only men allowed into the country because they tend to come here to work and don’t sign up for entitlement programs. Would that be okay?

      Reply
  4. Karen Pearson

    This stands in direct opposition to Isaiah 58: 6-7, and much of what the other OT prophets kept fussing about, as well as Matthew 20: 31-45. Other than that, I have no problem with it.

    Reply
      1. Karen Pearson

        Lets try chapter 25–dyslexia strikes again. Believe it or not, I can be looking at the verses, and do things like that. Thanks for straightening the reference out.

        Reply
          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            Oh, I think it is, the way they use it.

            There is no “wall” between church and state, nor should there be, to the extent a lot of secularists think. There’s just the establishment clause, and the free exercise clause.

            Seems simple to me. No one church or other religious entity will be established by the state and empowered to collect tithes as taxes or otherwise compel actual, specific participation.

            And you can subscribe to whatever beliefs you want.

            That’s it.

            A lot of “liberals” take it to the point of frowning on any personal expressions of faith in the public sphere (such as citing Scripture in explaining why you believe in a certain public policy), which is ridiculous…

            Reply
            1. bud

              No, no, no. That’s utter nonsense. Liberals don’t have ANY problem with people expressing their religion in public, even in school. What we object to is forcing religion on others like the stupid Blue laws and teacher led prayer in schools and pep rallies. No place for that stuff.

              Reply
                1. Brad Warthen Post author

                  Oh, and “the stupid Blue laws and teacher led prayer in schools and pep rallies” are not establishment of religion. Not that I’ve ever felt strongly enough about any of them to champion them editorially.

                  I just say something mild like “I think society was saner when commerce shut down once a week,” or “I can see the point of those who object to teacher-led prayer, but I don’t regard it as necessarily unConstitutional…” and then we’re off to the races with the VEHEMENT objections from you and Doug.

                  Speaking of which, where IS Doug? We haven’t heard from him in a week…

            2. Karen Pearson

              Then you wouldn’t mind your grandchildren attending a public school where the teacher led prayers were always addressed to “Allah” and no prayer ended “in Jesus’ name?”

              Reply
              1. Brad Warthen Post author

                No, not if I lived in Riyadh. Here, it would be rather odd.

                We raised our kids Catholic, or tried to. (Which means prayers invoked the Trinity, rather than ending “in Jesus’ name.”) But growing up here, they were surrounded by evangelical expressions of faith. Which is to be expected. Sure, they were made uncomfortable when they ran into the anti-Catholic sentiment harbored by many dissenting Protestants (which seems absurd after all these centuries, but it’s remarkably persistent). But that’s not religion, that’s just stupid prejudice wrapped up in religion. I don’t see how relatively benign expressions of the dominant religious culture do anyone any harm. Perhaps my kids would disagree, though. It’s tougher for kids to deal with things that an adult might laugh off.

                I subscribe to a sort of “when in Rome” approach. I believe in showing deference to local sensibilities, respect for other’s beliefs.

                I’m reminded of when we spend a couple of nights on the farm of the family who had “adopted” our daughter in Thailand, way out in the boonies where farangs like us were seldom seen. There was a little Buddhist shrine in the corner of the room where we slept on mats on the floor.

                When we were getting ready to leave, the grandmother wanted to offer a prayer for our safe journey. She knelt before the shrine, and tugged at our hands to get us to join her, which we were happy to do — doing our best to imitate her own position.

                I felt blessed by the experience.

                I’m not a Buddhist. I don’t intend on becoming a Buddhist. But of course, of course, I wanted to show full respect to the faith of my hosts — especially when the expression of faith in question was so kindly intended…

                Reply
                1. Brad Warthen Post author

                  We still had prayer in school at the very beginning of my school career.

                  My favorite memory of that: In the second grade, in New Jersey (yes, among the godless Yankees!), after the daily prayer, one of my classmates reported to the teacher that another kid had had his eyes open.

                  The teacher asked, “How do you know?”

                  That may be a painfully obvious old chestnut, but when you’re 7, it’s the height of wit…

      1. Karen Pearson

        Those are my reasons. I consider them moral as much as religious. They needn’t be your reasons. But watch out for that pesky karma.

        Reply

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