Littwin: The lowest Trumpian low – traumatizing children in order to build his ridiculous wall

Let’s be clear on this. The cruelty taking place on our borders is intentional and not an unfortunate byproduct of an ill-conceived law.

Yes, the cruelty is very much intentional. The inhumanity is intentional. The violation of every American norm is intentional. The reminder of the Japanese internment camps may not be intentional, given Trump’s problems with history, but it is clear and obvious to everyone who doesn’t go around taking  about the amazing things Frederick Douglass is doing.

The unforgivable grabbing of more than 2,300 children from their parents at the border — some of these parents here to seek asylum — and housing them in what amounts to cages is meant to force bleeding-heart Democrats to the table to give Trump his ridiculous $25 billion border wall.

The separated children — at least 100 of them under the age of 4 — are hostages, just as the DACA kids are being held hostage to an insane, unnecessary campaign promise that will solve absolutely nothing.

Trump might as well be putting a gun to little kids’ heads until we give him what he wants and then, and only then, he’ll reunite them with their parents, if he can find them. The New York Times has a story up about parents being deported while their children are left behind.

From Jeff Sessions, we hear that that the zero tolerance policy is a matter of deterrence. They might what as well call it what it really is, as I read in one tweet — state-sponsored trauma.

And there’s Trump’s other move, which is to lie repeatedly and, of course, brazenly about the situation. Blaming the Democrats for a law that doesn’t exist. Refusing to admit that his so-called “zero tolerance” policy really is a zero soul policy. Acting if he is personally horrified by the situation but is helpless to change it. Acting as if the policy has any relationship to child trafficking. Pretending as if the policy is not his own and that he couldn’t end it in three seconds with one phone call.

I don’t know if this is the worst lie of the literally thousands of lies Trump has told during his tenure as president, but it must be the most heartbreaking. It’s so bad, in fact, that the Trump administration is at a loss as to how to defend it. You can be sure that, even in Trump’s America, grabbing kids from their parents is an overwhelmingly unpopular move.

In a tweet, conservative Trump critic Bill Kristol named three conflicting explanations for the crisis coming from the White House.

Trump: The Democrats made us do it.

Stephen Miller: It’s our policy to do it.

Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen: We’re not doing it.

He should have added this fourth explanation heard from both Jeff Sessions and Sarah Sanders: The bible made us do it.

ProPublica has released audio it obtained of children being separated from their parents at the border last week. It is excruciating to listen to. I feel so bad … for Donald Trump?

The audio is of 10 separated children. The crying is desperate. As the ProPublica writer notes in explanation, “Many of them sound like they’re crying so hard, they can barely breathe. They scream “Mami” and “Papá” over and over again, as if those are the only words they know.”

You can hear the background music for Sessions’ bible lessons.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration released video from one of detention centers so people could actually see the cages. You don’t have to listen to the ProPublica audio to hear the public outrage.

The critics of this policy are everywhere, but let’s try on this Washington Post op-ed by Laura Bush, the rarely outspoken former first lady, who called the zero tolerance policy that removes desperate kids from desperate parents “cruel” and “immoral” before adding that “it breaks my heart.” She, too, compared the images of children in cages to the Japanese internment camps, which she called “one of the most shameful episodes in U.S. history.” This would be another.

Melania Trump tweeted much the same thing. She didn’t blame her husband explicitly — she said both sides must come together to find a solution — but it was clear what she was saying. 

On one side, Sen. Dianne Feinstein has written a bill to stop the separations. Every Democrat has signed onto it. No Republicans have. Not one. I watched Susan Collins, the Republicans’ most moderate senator, rail against the separations but say that she couldn’t sign the Feinstein bill because it was “far too broad.” She didn’t say she had tried to reach a compromise with Feinstein. She said instead that she and Jeff Flake have written the president a letter. Meanwhile, it took our own Cory Gardner until Monday afternoon to finally condemn the separations with a tweet, saying Congress, where I believe he works, should do more.

I tweeted this in reply, since neither he nor his staff returns my phone calls: “Nice words from @SenCoryGardner. Except he didn’t mention Trump could fix the problem with one phone call. Or that he, like all GOPers, didn’t sign Feinstein bill. Or that it took until today, with polling running well against GOP, to say anything. Maybe there’s more he could do.”

Maybe he could talk to Feinstein about how to make her bill bipartisan. Maybe he could admit that any outrage should be directed toward the White House. Maybe he could call for Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kristjen Nielsen to resign. 

Or maybe he could tweet out this AP dispatch from one of the reporters who was given a very brief tour through the McAllen, Tex., facility in question. The story begins this way: “Inside an old warehouse in South Texas, hundreds of children wait in a series of cages created by metal fencing. One cage had 20 children inside. Scattered about are bottles of water, bags of chips and large foil sheets intended to serve as blankets.

“One teenager told an advocate who visited that she was helping care for a young child she didn’t know because the child’s aunt was somewhere else in the facility. She said she had to show others in her cell how to change the girl’s diaper.”

This is America in 2018. It’s too late to be shocked.

Photo by Jonathan McIntosh via Flickr creative commons

8 COMMENTS

  1. Mike’s badly proofread piece simply describes how Mr. Trump is similar to a man we all know as “Adolf,” and Mr. Sessions is similar to another man we all know as “Josef.” They lived in another country, in another century, but their bigotry, and that of their supporters, is not time-sensitive. The fact that they HAVE supporters after this is itself despicable.

  2. Also worth mentioning is that the administration appears to be suppressing any photographs of female detainees, presumably because such photos would create even more empathy.

    One would think a zero-tolerance policy would simply turn entire families away at the border. Separating them, though, is deliberately and needlessly and counter-productively and immorally cruel.

  3. Elections have consequences.

    “Hiding news that doesn’t fit an ideological or a partisan agenda is perhaps the worst form of media bias. And it’s one more reason the public holds the press is such low esteem.” – Investor’s Business Daily

    “(Mr. Trump) won’t be president. He was sliding in the polls before the video, and the video now means that he has no way to climb back. Which independent voter, which suburban woman, which Main Street Republican on the fence is going to vote for Trump now?” – Mike Littwin

    Magical thinking: The belief that one’s own thoughts, wishes, or desires can influence the external world. It is common in very young children. – Radiotherapy

    President Trump 306 Electoral votes
    Hillary Clinton 232

    #droptheMike

    }{

    Mr. Littwin is not just upset, he’s mad, he’s angry, he’s infuriated, he’s incensed. He hasn’t been this outraged since, well, last week when—-at least according to Mr. Littwin—-the pundit-world was “snookered” by President Trump’s accomplishments in Singapore. It should be pointed out that although Mr. Littwin is also a member of the “pundit-world” he is one of those extremely rare snooker-proof pundits which enabled him to report that President Trump accomplished nothing in Singapore. Well, outside of making the world a safer place.

    Yes, he actually said that.

    But that’s not the first time Mr. Littwin has demonstrated how being snooker-proof benefits his readers. In 2016 when the pundit-world almost unanimously predicted a Hillary Clinton victory it was the snooker-proof Mr. Littwin who alone predicted a Donald Trump win.

    Oh, wait……..

    Mr. Littwin’s latest hyperbole-filled column uses emotions to fill the gaps left in logic, phrases like “ kids are being held hostage” and “(President) Trump might as well be putting a gun to little kids’ heads” and “The audio is of 10 separated children. The crying is desperate.”are all designed to draw an emotional response. And Mr. Littwin’s use of the “putting a gun to little kids’ heads” imagery seems more than a little hypocritical coming from a man who dislikes guns intensely.

    There are, of course, equally tragic immigrant stories Mr. Littwin has totally ignored because they don’t fit his finely-tuned and hyper-partisan sense of outrage. Here from the Daily Caller is a story Mr. Littwin ignored because it didn’t fit his rather narrow political view or because Barack Obama was in the White House. Take your pick.

    “The “Angel Moms” of two American sons killed by illegal aliens told The Daily Caller how they felt about the media coverage of migrant parents separated from their children at the border.
    The mothers told The “DC that there was huge hypocrisy in the mainstream media focusing on migrant parents instead of American parents who were permanently separated from their children after those children were killed by illegal aliens.

    “There is hypocrisy in many ways. The total disregard for American families ripped apart because of illegal criminals, the total lack of concern for children in the U.S. being raped in North Carolina by illegals at disgusting numbers (some months over 400 child rapes by illegals), no concern [for] homeless American children or Veterans who would do anything to have what’s provided [to] these children. Yet, our politicians call it inhumane treatment. Would they rather these kids coming across our borders stay with the adults who aren’t their biological parents but have kidnapped them to get across the border as a ‘family unit?’”

    Then there’s this from The American Thinker:

    “Putting a child in temporary housing or foster care when their parent engages in illegal activity is standard practice – even for U.S. Citizens. A bit of information that’s been largely ignored is that there are an unknown number of American children who’ve been separated [sic] from their parents and placed in foster care when their parents are incarcerated.

    As The Daily Caller’s Saagar Enjeti points out, an estimated 20,939 American children were put in foster care when a parent was incarcerated in 2016, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.That accounts for about eight percent of the total number of children who entered the foster care system that same year.”

    And again from the Daily Caller:

    “The (Trump) administration decided to prosecute all adults who enter the country illegally, but a 9th Circuit ruling restricts the government from holding immigrant families for more than 20 days, as National Review’s Rich Lowry points out in an excellent article detailing the background of President Donald Trump’s move. In that time, the federal government has only two options — separate the children while parents are put under court proceedings or release the family with hopes the adults will show up at a later court date.

    The former is heart-wrenching. The latter is bad policy, providing a perverse incentive for parents to drag their children along a treacherous path in hopes of more easily immigrating to the U.S. Illegally.”

    Snooker that!

    November 08, 2016

    “’Cause I don’t have no use
    For what you loosely call the truth” – Tina Turner

    Flags of Valor
    Folds of Honor
    Special Operations Warriors Foundation

  4. Lopez. Can you sum up in twenty-five words or less what you have against Mike Littwin? Your rants don’t help alleviate the concern expressed in the article. No fallacies, now.

  5. FIN Denver,

    He’s a politically-blinded, agenda-driven hypocrite. See Laquan McDonald.

    Thanks for your interest.

    Don Lopez

  6. I noticed that Littwin did not mention the law that required vetting- checking parenting, was a change to immigration law in 1997, and there was a slight change to that in 2015. Note: Clinton was president in 1997, and Obama was in 2015. The zero move, referred to crossing the border fences or walls, or areas not at the lawful processing stations, is a Misdemeanor violation of the law. (Yes, that is a violation of the law. And after 20 days to try finding who the parents are, and their location, that detention facility, must turn them over to another facility of ICE, Homeland Defense, for more intensive search for legal, documented parents or relatives. The Executive Order signed by President Trump, was a temporary relaxation of the rigid law, written or modified by Democrats. Shame those criticizing, do not have staff who can read, and do not do own research. Perhaps they cannot read, either.

  7. Obama and Hillary advocated separating children and strict border control. So did Bill Clinton while he was President. No crying, howling, tears then from the activists, many of which are crying and howling now.

    No current denouncements of Obama, Hillary and Bill for the practice, and or saying pretty much what Trump says about immigration.
    Obama, who was famous for EO’s, never signed an EO to stop the practice. Of course the media and activists were also very silent when it happened under his watch.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-06-19/flashback-both-hillary-and-obama-advocated-separating-migrant-families-strict

  8. @Frank & Robert…

    Mr. Littwin hates Trump. Anything he does is horrible in Mr. Littwin’s eyes – regardless if Obama or Clinton did the same or worse. Understand that and you will understand Mr. Littwin’s columns a lot better.

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