To Trump, Everybody’s Always Running Some Kind Of Scam

 

That Includes Canadians, The ‘Deep State’, The “Fake News Media”, Democrats, And Immigrant Families At The Border

Wonder why he sees things that way

In an incredibly revealing, and at times genuinely insightful speech before a group of small business owners, Trump gets going by talking about how Canadians are running a scam where they come over the border into the U.S. to buy shoes and then scuff them up so they don’t have to pay exorbitant duties when they bring them back into Canada. “They make them sound old or look old.” Squeaky shoes?! “We’re treated horribly”. Um, OK, this may be true, but hardly meets the definition of “horrible”?

And the President seems right at home before the National Federation of Independent Business (which goes by the seemingly awkward acronym “NFIB”, until you realize it’s incredibly fitting for Trump–at least the “FIB” part), veering way off script from the get-go.

It’s worth watching the whole speech if you have the time and stomach for it.

So anyway, after the President’s cautionary tale about the Canadian footwear flim-flam, he moves on to the ‘deep state’ (though protesting “I was never a ‘deep state’ guy”) and a “scam” being perpetrated in cahoots with the “fake news media” to zero in on families being torn apart at the border as a way of distracting attention from hearings going on right now on Capitol Hill with the  Justice Department Inspector General about the F.B.I.’s handling of Hillary Clinton’s email, because “those hearings are not good for them”.

Finally, Trump returns to the topic of the day: children being ripped from their families at the border. He accuses many would-be immigrants arriving at the Southern border of running a scam where they lie about why they’re really trying to get into the U.S. Trump blames this on the fact that they have “professional lawyers” representing them who are advising them what to say. (Of course, the basic job description of a “professional lawyer” is to prepare clients for court appearances. That’s not “cheating” as Trump claims).

Trump:

“They say, “Say the following:” — they write it down — “I am being harmed in my country. My country is extremely dangerous. I fear for my life.” “Say that. Congratulations. You’ll never be removed….that’s cheating because they’re giving them statements. They’re not coming up for that reason. They’re coming up for many other reasons and sometimes for that reason.”

Here’s a clip of that (click on the photo to play):

 

Without mentioning him by name, Trump then lampoons proposed legislation by Texas Republican Ted Cruz, to help process families by hiring a slew of new immigration judges. “Sir, we’d like to hire about five or six-thousand more judges”, Trump says hyperbolically. (Cruz’ proposal is for 375 new judges.)

We agree with Trump on this: a wildly increased judicial presence at the border would only serve to normalize a lot of the abnormal things that are happening right now. But that’s not why Trump opposes it. You got it: it’s a scam. “Can you imagine the graft that must take place?” he asks.

He then accuses Democrats of running a scam inviting “MS-13; gang members from all over the place, come on in!” for the sole purpose of beefing up their voter base, “possibly intelligently” Trump admits.

And here’s where we find what we believe to be the most revealing moment: Trump, as he is wont to do, relives his victory in 2016–“that was a beautiful night, don’t you agree?”–and in doing so reveals a major blind spot. He talks about how the reason he won is he had clear, simple positions on things like taxes and crime, and all Democrats had was “vote against Trump”. So when voters got to the booth intending to vote Democrat they held up for a second and thought “wait a minute, what do they stand for?”

Here’s Trump’s riff on that:

 

And you know what? Trump is completely right about that. “What do they stand for?” is still the greatest weak point for Democrats going into this year’s midterms.

Except

By his administration’s policy of tearing children from their families at the border (administration officials say 2,342 children so far), Trump is handing Democrats a huge thing to stand for: basic human decency.

 

Tent city for immigrant children in Tornillo, TX

 

That’s probably why Republicans (including Cruz–his competitor Democrat Beto O’Rourke was leading protests all weekend), scrambled to play catch-up. A group of 13 Republican Senators, led by Orrin Hatch, signed a letter urging the Trump Administration to suspend its “zero tolerance” policy until Congress can pass legislation, saying “we cannot support implementation of a policy that results in the categorical forced separation of minor children from their parents”.

And tomorrow the House will vote on proposals to address the issues. Trump went to Capitol Hill last evening to discuss that (and ended up talking about a lot of other things too), saying before he headed over “we have a House that’s getting ready to finalize an immigration package that they’re going to brief me on…and that I’m going to make changes to”. Said one prominent–and nervous–conservative House member: “I’m hoping it was just an off-the-cuff comment.” To us, as we’ve said before, it’s simple: Trump wants to make sure he gets full funding for his lasting legacy, “the wall“.

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