NYT's Masquerading and the Mueller Probe
Right on cue with my 2nd Amendment commentary earlier this week, The New York Times jumped further into the debate with an op-ed masquerading as a “news” article. The subject is the upcoming vote in Congress to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act. It’s the same act from 1994 that expired in February, with one change. The previous law essentially allowed law enforcement to confiscate weapons from those convicted of domestic abuse, as long as they were married to or living with the victim. The change would add those convicted of domestic abuse to include stalkers, current or former boyfriends, or dating partners.
Seems reasonable enough, and it would be if the definition of domestic abuse had remained the same. But in the classic overreach that prevents commonsense measures on gun violence from being addressed in a logical way, the gun-control folks put provisions in the law that could be interpreted as having things like Facebook posts qualify as stalking, and therefore a legal basis for taking away weapons.
The NRA has objected, and the black-helicopter crowd is even claiming the provision was a deliberate poison pill designed to allow Democrats to portray the GOP and NRA as anti-women. In typical biased fashion, The New York Times ran the following headline: “NRA’s Next Target: Violence Against Women Act.” Black helicopters, indeed.
This is why nothing reasonable gets done. Politics rules over everything. It’s the same with the immigration “crisis.” It is undeniable that there is a very real crisis on the southern border. It’s both an immigration problem and a humanitarian disaster, but Democrats until recently have completely denied what everyone’s eyes tell them.
It’s also crystal clear that the culprit is primarily the asylum laws. Rather than abide by the international definition of asylum eligibility, which is based on persecution due to political or religious beliefs, our courts have extended that to cover things like personal safety, poverty, or employment opportunity. Toss in the rulings on treatment of children and families, and you have a recipe for virtually unfettered illegal immigration that is fairly compared to an invasion.
This aspect could be cured in 15 minutes if Congress would do its job. But even after grudgingly admitting that there is a crisis, Democrats immediately moved the goal posts by claiming the solution is to give more money to the countries where the illegal immigrants are coming from so that the incentive to come here is reduced. Let me get this straight: We need to pay countries and people not to break our laws.
I have nothing against the right kind of foreign aid, and if the Hispanic countries shut the door on their people breaking our laws, then giving them funding to help that effort might make sense. But the onus should be on them to prove to us that they are cooperating.
Everyone on both sides just wants the issue, not the solutions, because they each see it as politically beneficial. We have been at this game on immigration for decades, and someone needs to break the logjam. My suggestion to Trump is that he use his newfound political capital from the Robert Mueller report to do just that.
Forget the rounding-error incrementalism of debating whether there is a crisis or whether Trump has the authority to fund a wall. Trump should put forward a comprehensive immigration plan that secures the border, modernizes the legal immigration process, stops chain migration and birthright programs, provides a commonsense visa and work-permit system, puts draconian penalties on employers who hire illegals, deals with the Dreamers, and, yes, provides a path to legal status for those already here illegally if they follow the rules.
Dare the Democrats to fight it. My bet is that this would completely undercut the Hispanic love affair with the Democrat Party and win Trump and the GOP huge percentage increases in minority voting.
The same purely political motives are at work in the debate on Mueller-report transparency. Of course, Attorney General William Barr is prohibited by law from disclosing all of the report, and yet Democrats are threatening to go to court if they don’t get it all.
This is all to be able to characterize any redacted material as evidence that Trump and his minions are withholding information that they just know will reveal the collusion they all know is there (Mueller notwithstanding) and keep the investigations coming. It’s all to keep the issue visible for as long as possible since they also know that Barr will have no choice but to push back on the request for full disclosure, and it will take months for the case to work its way to the Supreme Court.
The irony is that there is a straight-faced legal issue to be raised here: Does the public interest to see everything due to the unique nature of the Muller probe override the restrictions that exist by law? Only politics is preventing everyone from getting together, accepting in good faith the redactions that Barr must apply, stop creating conspiracy theories about Trump and Barr burying the collusion, and put the issue before the Supremes to resolve.
I realize that’s something like “if cows had wings,” but it would be nice for once to see our employees in DC who supposedly work for us do the right thing, stop playing games, and get real stuff done.