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How They Defend the Indefensible

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You can call it a “policy” (Jeff Sessions) or you can call it a not-policy (Kirstjen Nielsen) or you can call it a “law” (Sarah Huckabee Sanders). You can say that yes it’s a policy but nobody likes it (Kellyanne Conway) or you can say it’s a “zero-tolerance” enforcement of a Democratic law (Donald Trump) or a zero-tolerance enforcement of an amalgam of various congressional laws (Nielsen) or a zero-tolerance enforcement of the Department of Justice’s own preferences with respect to enforcing prior laws (Sessions).

You can say the purpose of the Justice Department’s family separation policy is deterrence (Stephen Miller, John Kelly) or you can claim that asking if the purpose of the policy is deterrence is “offensive” (Nielsen). You can claim in your legal pleadings that the family separation policy is wholly “discretionary” and thus unreviewable by any court, meaning that only the president can change it (Justice Department in Ms. L v. ICE). Or you can claim that only Congress can “fix loopholes” (Nielsen) or you can say that Congress as a whole can’t fix anything because congressional Democrats are entirely to blame (Trump, Mike Huckabee).

You can blame all this newfound “loophole” action on a consent decree from 1997 in a case called Flores (Sessions, Paul Ryan, Chuck Grassley) or on a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision that interpreted Flores (Nielsen) or on a 2008 law called the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (Nielsen). Better yet, you can fault some magical mashup of “the law” that forces you to defend every statute to its most absurd extreme (Sanders). By this logic, you can also claim that Korematsu—the case authorizing the removal and detention of Japanese Americans during World War II—is still on the books and thus needs to be enforced because it’s also “the law,” but that would be insane. Oh, but wait. Trump proxies made that very claim during the campaign (Carl Higbie).

You can pretend that by turning every adult who crosses the border into a presumptive criminal your hands are tied, so you need to jail children to avoid jailing children (Nielsen). You can insist that the vast majority of children who cross the border are being smuggled in by gang members (Nielsen) or that all asylum-seekers are per se criminals (which they are not) or that lawful asylum-seekers should just come back at a better time (Nielsen). You can claim you never intended your policy (if it is in fact a policy) to have any impact on asylum-seekers at all (Nielsen) but of course it would turn out you were lying and this has been the plan all along (John Lafferty, Department of Homeland Security asylum division chief).

You can say the Bible wants you to separate children from parents (Sessions). You can say again, incredibly, that the Bible wants you to separate children from parents (Sanders). But that would be pathetic (Stephen Colbert).

You can blame the press for the photographs they take (Nielsen) and for the photographs they don’t take (Nielsen). You can suggest that the children in cages are not real children (not linking to Ann Coulter) or that the cages are not in fact cages (Steve Doocy) even though government officials admit that they are cages. You can claim that the detention facilities are “summer camps” or “boarding schools” (Laura Ingraham). You can take umbrage that the good people of DHS and CBP and ICE are being maligned (Nielsen).

You can say that separating children from their parents is a strategic move to force an agreement on Trump’s wall, which would make the children purely instrumental (Trump). Or you could say that this is a way to protect children by deterring their parents, which would also make the children purely instrumental (Kelly). Or you can instead say you are protecting the children from all the harm that happens to children transported over borders by doing untold permanent damage to them as they scream in trauma (Nielsen). Because the best way to deter child abuse is through child abuse.

You can fight to the death about comparisons to Nazis or you can celebrate a candidate (Corey Stewart) who is a hero to Nazis or you can merely show a staggering lack of comprehension about what Nazis actually did (Sessions).

You can fact check and fact check and fact check these claims and it won’t matter that they are false. And the fact that nobody in this administration even bothers to coordinate their cover stories at this point reflects just how pointless it is to fact check them anyhow. It’s an interactive game of choose your own logic, law, facts, and victims, but every single version of this story ends with screaming children in cages, sleeping under foil blankets as strangers change their diapers. The trick is twisting and dodging and weaving until you get to that final page.

It is very sad (Melania Trump). Something should be done (Ted Cruz). If only there were some mechanism to stop torturing children. If only there were some way to stop litigating why we’re doing it and who is doing it and just stop doing it.



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skorgu
2 days ago
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GOP. Delenda. Est.
wmorrell
3 days ago
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If only.
popular
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mokelly
4 days ago
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Godwin Suspends Godwin's Law

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by Dan Savage

Godwin's Law:

American attorney and author Mike Godwin coined his eponymous law on Usenet in 1990. Godwin's law (or Godwin's rule of Hitler analogies) is an internet adage asserting that "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Hitler approaches 1"; that is, if an online discussion (regardless of topic or scope) goes on long enough, sooner or later someone will compare someone or something to Adolf Hitler or his deeds. Promulgated by the American attorney and author Mike Godwin in 1990.... [There] is a tradition in many newsgroups and other Internet discussion forums that, when a Hitler comparison is made, the thread is finished and whoever made the comparison loses whatever debate is in progress.

Godwin:


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skorgu
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By darkstar in "The Constitutional Crisis is here. It's been here." on MeFi

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"I can say that it is very biblical to enforce the law. That is repeated throughout the Bible."


Again, my years as a Biblical scholar are preventing me from ignoring that Joseph and Mary violated the King's royal decree seeking to separate children from their parents, and fled to another country to seek asylum from the King's deadly violence.

I'm not sure how much more on the nose you can get, except to point out how the Parable of the Good Samaritan demands that we take care of travelers in distress, even to the point of feeding, clothing, housing and providing health care.

Or, indeed, that Jesus himself was eventually murdered by the lawful government of the day.

I swear, the gross, willful obtuseness about some of the most fundamental teachings and themes of Scripture makes me so angry at the Evangelical Christian movement and their eagerness to embrace authoritarianism and hatred when it suits them. It's why I eventually had to give up the ministry — I just couldn't remain a part of such hypocrisy and wickedness.
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popular
5 days ago
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karmakaze
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07974
mareino
5 days ago
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Washington, District of Columbia
skorgu
6 days ago
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America is stuck forever in the purgatory of forever litigating and relitigating the 2016 election and identifying who must shoulder all blame for it.

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America is stuck forever in the purgatory of forever litigating and relitigating the 2016 election and identifying who must shoulder all blame for it.


Posted by pwnallthethings on Thursday, June 14th, 2018 7:32pm


138 likes, 21 retweets
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skorgu
9 days ago
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While few things—including this—are certain, it's *extremely likely* that the Comey letter and the subsequent media coverage of it cost Clinton the election. 53eig.ht/2pFFLKg twitter.com/UpshotNYT/stat…

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While few things—including this—are certain, it's *extremely likely* that the Comey letter and the subsequent media coverage of it cost Clinton the election. 53eig.ht/2pFFLKg twitter.com/UpshotNYT/stat…

But as the Department of Justice concludes its report into Mr. Comey’s conduct, it is still unclear whether his letter cost Mrs. Clinton the presidency. nyti.ms/2JF6C6A


Posted by UpshotNYT on Thursday, June 14th, 2018 7:39pm


23 likes, 12 retweets

Posted by NateSilver538 on Thursday, June 14th, 2018 7:42pm


5107 likes, 1793 retweets
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skorgu
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RT @HillaryClinton: But my emails. twitter.com/kyledcheney/st…

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IG found that on numerous occasions, COMEY used a personal GMail account to conduct official FBI business, according to source briefed on the report.


Posted by kyledcheney on Thursday, June 14th, 2018 5:42pm


10127 likes, 4465 retweets

Posted by HillaryClinton on Thursday, June 14th, 2018 9:36pm
Retweeted by mattcolville on Thursday, June 14th, 2018 10:19pm


251399 likes, 92304 retweets
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