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The Factual and Rhetorical Silliness of Family Separation Whataboutism

People who supported Trump’s policy justified it by falsely claiming that today’s critics never cared about Obama’s detention facilities.

So...maybe it wasn't a good idea? ||| The Drudge ReportThe Drudge Report"OBAMA KEPT THEM IN CAGES," screams the headline at The Drudge Report. "WRAPPED THEM IN FOIL." Which seems like an odd way to advertise the virtues of President Donald Trump's freshly discontinued policy of separating children from parents caught entering the country without permission, although perhaps I'm not the target audience.

The story Drudge links to is even odder. "HERE ARE THE PHOTOS OF OBAMA'S ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT DETENTION FACILITIES THE MEDIA WON'T SHOW YOU," The Daily Caller proclaims. "Photos of border detention facilities from the Obama-era, taken during 2014, look nearly identical to the ones taken during the Trump era," reporter Benny Johnson writes. "You never see them, however. Here they are, taken in 2014 during a media tour of Obama-era detention facilities in Brownsville, Texas, and Nogales, Arizona." It's like a Möbius strip of sophomoric right-wing media criticism. THE MSM NEVER SHOWS YOU THESE PHOTOS THAT WERE TAKEN BY THE MSM!

More in that vein from professional Trump booster Ryan Fournier:

To say that there was "no outrage" about Obama's detention facilities is to tacitly admit that looking up news articles published in 2014 is just too heavy a lift. The opportunistic-outrage charge gets levied at Reason every time we write about the Trump administration's immigration enforcement policies. "Children in cages in 2014 was okay because Obama," one self-described "Classical Liberal" recently tweeted at us.

Yeah, no.

"Obama Is No BFF of Latino Immigrants or Civil Liberties," says another Reason headline from the time. "How Obama's War on Drugs Destroys Legal Immigrant Families," goes another. The search engine is your friend.

To the extent that a through line can be detected within family-separation whataboutism, it's something like TRUMP GOOD, MEDIA/DEMOCRATS BAD. Fair enough. But today's most dexterous whataboutists are depriving themselves of a key insight today that may cushion the blow of tomorrow's disappointments. Yes, yes, it's true—you can even find it on my Twitter feed and Reason archive!—that some of the politicians criticizing Trump's policies this past week spent other periods in their lives echoing some of the president's immigration rhetoric and policy recommendations. Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush, John McCain, Bill Clinton; the list is long.

But what do we learn when examining how pols—very much including Donald Trump—have changed their minds or emphases on a given hot-button issue? One perennial lesson is that most politicians are full of dukey and hold their fingers to the winds of public opinion. But if you hate John McCain and Bill Clinton as much as the average Trump enthusiast does, shouldn't it make you feel less comfortable, not more, that they sounded like immigration hawks precisely when they felt that their re-election chances were threatened (Clinton in 1995-96, McCain in 2010)?

It's easy to notice when politicians you despise make insincere, absolutist promises they cannot possibly fulfill on issues you care deeply about. But what if the new guy you do like, who only truly came to this issue in the course of trying to win a highly competitive Republican primary, was also pandering? What if it turns out you cannot "seal the border," can't get Mexico to pay for a wall, and can't even build the sucker yourself without bulldozing the whole notion of private property? What if, in the course of pursuing these impossible zero-tolerance dreams, you employ police-state tactics that overwhelming majorities of Americans find abhorrent?

When all that happens (it's really not an if), it may be time to examine your own assumptions about what is possible, let alone desirable, in immigration policy. Until then, though, TRUMP GOOD, MEDIA/DEMOCRATS BAD.

From the archives:

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  • ||

    Guys - there are like three active threads going on this already. Slow-roll it a little, willya?

  • Rat on a train||

    Somebody hit a nerve today. Obviously Trump in general, but I bet the commentariat pushed them over the edge.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    There has been an influx of Trump supporters recently, ever since a Reason article was linked on Drusge.

  • Just Say'n||

    I think there has been an influx of woketarians ever since Bill Kristol started retweeting Reason articles

  • Just Say'n||

    No joke, Kristol is a big fan now. Congrats, Reason!

  • Zeb||

    Bill Kristol is woke now?

  • Cynical Asshole||

    To Trump supporters, anyone to the left of Pat Buchanan, especially on immigration, is "woke" now. Just like to the left anyone to the right of Stalin if "literally Hitler."

  • Just Say'n||

    So, you're a Kristol fan too? Makes sense, he's an asshole too

  • Ariki||

    But the ladies love my little moustache.

  • lulz farmer||

    If Bill Kristol likes you then you're probably doing something wrong.

  • Rat on a train||

    Wait until 4chan invades.

  • rferris||

    I am not so sure, Lately I have found that my subscriptions to the Nation, IN these times and Mother Jones may be a waste as REASON is picking up many of their talking points.

    I think Reason staff has a mild to medium case of anti-trumpitis. It is damaging their credibility and even more it is taking the space and attention from information that we count on Reason to provide. We do not need another voice echo of the left wing main stream media.

  • Longtobefree||

    Well, Trump does head a vast federal government, and (in theory) Reason readers are in favor of small(er) government, so I would expect Reason to be anti-Trump. Just I would expect it to be anti-Pelosi, or anti-Schumer. I would expect it to be pro-individual rights.
    I also expect the moon is made of extremely edible green cheese.

  • a tandem||

    matt is right we should be careful about "whataboutism."

    But the simple fact that this type of relativizing is absolutely valid in the poltical sphere. You can't simply dismiss the massive double standard by calling it "whataboutism." Resons and matt Welch themselves often point to double standards; does that make they purveyors of "whataboutism."

    Even this statement is problematic:
    To say that there was "no outrage" about Obama's detention facilities is to tacitly admit that looking up news articles published in 2014 is just too heavy a lift.

    Matt is simply totally wrong there. I just ran a google of the top news outlets news coverage of this and in no way was the 2014 coverage either qualitatively near the outrage coverage the past month alone. NYTimes has had 93 news, news analysis, editorials and opeds centering on this issue and attacking trump on this the past two months. In all of 2013 they had five on this specific subject. That is 19:1. WaPost is even worse.

    In fact Reason itself objectively gave that 2014 Obama story 1/14th the story count, and what looks to be 4% of the word count it is giving the issue under Trump.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    The opportunistic-outrage charge gets levied at Reason every time we write about the Trump administration's immigration enforcement policies.

    [emphasis added]

    Yeah, I'd say so. Not that I blame them though. They spent the entire term of Obama's presidency criticizing him only to have the usual left-tard trolls show up in every comment thread to screech "BUT BOOOOOSH" anytime they criticized Obama over, say, continuing to order drone strikes in countries that we weren't formally at war with, or when he begged Congress to renew the PATRIOT Act, or pretty much continue all of Bush's War on Terror policies. And now on every immigration story there seems to be a chorus of "BUT OBAMAAAAH." It was stupid then and it's stupid now.

    If people want to defend the zero tolerance immigration policies that leads to the separation of families, then fine, but make an actual argument. Whataboutism is not an argument. Not now, not ever.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    [emphasis added]

    Heh, guess I should have taken that out. Originally I was going to bold the quote from the article, but decided against it. I was worried people might mistake it for a Hihn comment.

  • Ariki||

    I was worried people might mistake it for a Hihn comment.

    Nah, too much rational and reasoned thought.

  • Jerry B.||

    It is interesting that the people who used "But - Bush!" all through the Obama administration are the same ones who now yell "Whataboutism" every time Obama's record is brought up vis a vis Trump.

  • a tandem||

    matt Welch's claim that both were somewhat equally covered on separation and "caging" children is just asinine because it just demonstrably false.

    To say that there was "no outrage" about Obama's detention facilities is to tacitly admit that looking up news articles published in 2014 is just too heavy a lift.

    What complete BS,. I just ran a google of the top news outlets news coverage of this and in no way was the 2014 coverage either qualitatively near the outrage coverage the past month alone. NYTimes has had 93 news, news analysis, editorials and opeds centering on this issue and attacking trump on this the past two months. In all of 2013 they had five on this specific subject. That is 19:1. WaPost is even worse. In fact Reason itself objectively gave that 2014 Obama story 1/14th the story count, and what looks to be 4% of the word count it is giving the issue under Trump.

    Also Reason never used the word "cage" for Obama's 2014 actions

  • BambiB||

    I find the "Whataboutism" disingenuous. We should look at the policy on its own merits and judge it in that context. Currently, the US spends about $35,000 per criminal alien child/year. As far as I'm concerned that's wasted money and is the direct result of being insufficiently forceful in stemming the invasion of America.

    Station the military on the border with orders to kill anyone crossing illegally. Anyone. Everyone.

    They'll probably have to shoot all of about a dozen criminal aliens before the rest get the message, "America is SERIOUS about stopping the invasion". This will save America untold billions of dollars over the years as fewer welfare cases and assorted criminals risk being shot to steal from, rape, bludgeon or otherwise victimize the American People. Who knows? Maybe the scum washing across our borders will actually make the effort to improve their OWN countries?

  • Trollificus||

    That sounds harsh, but why should we be a safety valve for Mexicos' mega wealth-inequality? Why is everyone okay with this part of the equation:

    USA: "Hey! Why don't you take care of these people yourselves? Do you want us to be the solution to your problems?"

    Mexico: "Oh, would you? We're too busy stealing all the money to help them thanx."

    That's one of my problems with this idiotic "refugee love" narrative. Why don't any of these empathetic soft-hearts ever address the source of the problems? The corrupt countries, the countries that endorse active religious discrimination, the countries destroying themselves in civil war as would-be tyrants fight over who gets to be Thief-in-Chief...nobody ever suggests fixing them so they don't produce all these "refugees". Wonder why not?

  • JoeBlow123||

    I can summarize this article in five letters.

    "WAHHH"

  • damikesc||

    That virtue ain't gonna signal itself.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    KEEP UP OR GET OUT OF THE WAY

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    At least we're not talking about guns. Man, that Hogg kid is probably gonna need therapy now that he's been kicked so far to the curb.

  • Rat on a train||

    Won't somebody think of the children and go shoot some for a good cause?

  • KevinP||

    Please watch and share this profanity-laced interview with David Hogg, one of the astroturfed Parkland student gun control activists. This is what they are all about:

    http://freebeacon.com/issues/david-hogg-wild


    Quotes from the 17 year old:

    "When your old-ass parent is like, 'I don't know how to send an iMessage,' and you're just like, 'Give me the fucking phone and let me handle it.' Sadly, that's what we have to do with our government; our parents don't know how to use a fucking democracy, so we have to."

    "It just makes me think what sick fuckers out there want to continue to sell more guns, murder more children, and honestly just get reelected. What type of shitty person does that? They could have blood from children splattered all over their faces and they wouldn't take action, because they all still see these dollar signs."

    To Senator Rubio: "What about the $176,000 you took for those 17 people's blood?
  • Moo Cow||

    /yawn.

  • Br571||

    Coverage /= Outrage

  • Half-Virtue, Half-Vice||

    That's a fair point.

  • Ron||

    Its not so much wahtaboutism as it is proof that their rhetoric is false and only because of who is in power. I'd be vary happy if this level of media investigation into government wrong doing was going to be the thing for whoever is President but we know this isn't true when you look at CPS for example, the left says nothing because its against the wrong group of people.

  • damikesc||

    They also seem to not notice that the outrage brigade is demanding more now.

    You are not going to get open borders. We will not even negotiate on it anymore

  • CDRSchafer||

    I'd give them open borders to get rid of the welfare state. Course we get rid of the welfare state they won't be running for our borders any longer.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano wants you to keep your hands off his Medicare.

  • Zeb||

    Its not so much wahtaboutism as it is proof that their rhetoric is false and only because of who is in power.

    That's all true. But how many times does it need to be said? It's probably just because I'm some kind of weirdo individualist, but I'd much rather see conversations about what the right thing would be to do, not who's a hypocrite and who said what when Obama was president.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    ^This^

    We get it, the left are a bunch of hypocrites and their crocodile tears over these poor immigrant children are all an act. I don't think there's too many people on these comment threads that ever thought otherwise. There's no need to re-hash that every fucking time.

  • Ron||

    it needs to be said as many times as whataboutism is used as an excuse to ignore complaints about their false rhetoric. its an evil circle of who will stop first.

  • LynchPin1477||

    But Reason isn't ignoring the hypocrisy. They are trying to argue that it's a bad policy regardless of what Obama did and didn't do

  • Azathoth!!||

    And there's the crux of the issue--why keep bringing up the fact of this endless hypocrisy?

    Because they don't 'keep' bringing it up.

    It 'keeps' popping up with different situations.

    On nearly every political point the left's real policy is 'do as I say, not as I do'--and when this is brought up it is derided as 'whataboutism' and a whole cycle of recrimination begins that always ends with 'well, yeah, but it's okay when WE do it' from the left.

    And we're brought back to start.

    No progress can be made because we're never allowed to address the problem.

    The closest we ever get to addressing it is--"We get it, the left are a bunch of hypocrites and their crocodile tears over these poor immigrant children are all an act. I don't think there's too many people on these comment threads that ever thought otherwise. There's no need to re-hash that every fucking time"

    And you can't move forward when one side is trumpeting their commitment to hypocrisy.

  • gimmedatribeye||

    But how many times does it need to be said?

    It always needs to be said. You don't let people get away with that shit.

  • KevinP||

    Correct.

    Flashback: Both Hillary And Obama Advocated Separating Migrant Families, Strict Border Control [with videos]


    Quote:
    While the left rages against "separated migrant children" which they blame on President Trump's "zero tolerance" enforcement policy of Bush-era rules, several "inconvenient" video clips have cropped up revealing both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama advocating virtually the same border policy they are currently attacking Trump over.

    For example, Hillary Clinton said during a 2014 CNN Town Hall;

    "We have to send a clear message, just because your child gets across the border - doesn't mean your child gets to stay"
  • Fmontyr||

    Kevin, nothing you said indicates that both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama advocated for SEPARATING children from their parents. You might wish it were so, but get your facts straight

  • Cathy L||

    To say that there was "no outrage" about Obama's detention facilities is to tacitly admit that looking up news articles published in 2014 is just too heavy a lift.

    Looking up news articles from 2014 is proof that you're a plant.

    You know how hard Google is for deplorables.

  • Just Say'n||

    "It didn't happen if Stephen Colbert didn't talk about it"

  • Cathy L||

    I assume you are quoting yourself there.

  • Just Say'n||

    No, just quoting a standard woketarian, like yourself

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Mow your own fucking lawn, lazy.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Of course, that's not really an argument either.

  • Brian||

    I don't mind facts at all, but I can't help but notice when people conveniently pretend to forget them.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    It's possible to believe that Trump's policy is wrong and to also believe that the Democrats are exploiting the issue and have no genuine interest in solving the problem, particularly if allowing the problem to fester will help the "Blue Wave" come ashore.

  • Echo Chamber||

    ^ this

  • Tony||

    Might as well considering, despite the president's delusional insistence, they have no legislative power right now.

  • damikesc||

    Dems can filibuster anything.

    And they will.

    They are now demanding no incarcerations at all.

    PLEASE run on that.

  • Cathy L||

    "Libertarians for mass incarceration" has a nice ring to it.

  • Tony||

    Oh my god this is potentially a disaster for Republicans beyond what they were already facing. Immigration was always better for them because they get hysterical about it while Democrats are meh. But if the story of immigration going into November remains innocent children, things are evened out to a degree. Maybe even a few of them will feel bad about themselves.

  • damikesc||

    It won't. It will be "Well, we have a bill to reverse a policy but Democrats want MS-13 gang members out more"

    And then if kids are raped in centers, well, Dems had a way to resolve the problem.

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    The latter is exactly what Welchie Boy and his Sorosian minions wants. It's called "the fundamental transformation of America."

  • LynchPin1477||

    Wait, Matt's on the Soros payroll now?? And here I am still cashing my Koch checks like a sucker.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    It's possible to believe that Trump's policy is wrong and to also believe that the Democrats are exploiting the issue and have no genuine interest in solving the problem

    Bingo. Both sides are using the issue for political leverage. No one's interested in actual immigration system reform because it would take away a valuable club to beat up the other side with come election time.

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

    Yeah I absolutely disagree with Trump's southern border policies. Freedom of movement is a natural, individual, human right. Period. Any law or policy that prevents people from attempting to create a better life for themselves is illegitimate. But after the 11th or 12th article in Reason mimicking hundreds of other hysterical articles in the MSM perpetuating the latest TDS cause du jour until the next outrage takes over the news cycle I started to get weary. I'm pretty sure next week will bring yet another Trump scandal that will lead to an unprecedented level of weeping and gnashing of teeth. Meanwhile I can still buy vaping juice, I just got an individual health insurance policy for half of the Obamacare exchange price, and business has never been. If Reason's favored alternative to Johnson had been elected I wouldn't have any of those things and we'd still have shitty immigration policies, a WOD and probably a shooting war with Russia in Syria. If that labels me a Trump supporter it's just another cross I'll have to bear,

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

    business has never been better...

  • Jeff77042||

    Freedom of movement into my home or across national borders is emphatically not a human right. Anyone in favor of anything approximating true open borders is either nuts or incredibly naïve. I served in seven third-world dystopias, four of them Islamic visions of what can only be described as Hell on Earth, I kid you not. With open borders the movement would almost entirely be one-way, from the undeveloped world to the developed. I'm not exaggerating when I say that with open borders the developed nations would effectively be destroyed within fifty year, tops.

    According to one U.N. population growth model the population of Africa is projected to increase from 1.3-billion today to 4-billion by 2100. If America & Europe were to each take 5%, 200-million, they would quite literally be destroyed, no exaggeration, and the remaining 3.6-billion wouldn't even notice they were missing.

    The Japanese, in particular, understand something about homogeneity & social trust/cohesion and demographics & destiny that the West collectively does not.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    Agreed. And open borders are especially dangerous for welfare states. A pox on both.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Yeah I absolutely disagree with Trump's southern border policies. Freedom of movement is a natural, individual, human right. Period.

    Yeah, except no. Not in the least.

    And not just for humans. Or even animals.

    Every single living thing claims and protects it's territory. Not one living thing is allowed to 'move freely' into the territory of another.

    Ever hear of this thing called 'disease'? It's a battle over territory.....though we don't usually think of it that way because the 'territory' in question is pieces of our bodies.

    Libertarians need to look long and hard at this idiot anti-property notion that is the open borders fetish and try to see where it came from and excise it. Because it is NOT, in any way, a libertarian concept.

  • gimmedatribeye||

    So theoretically, you can just come into my home?

  • Azathoth!!||

    Real libertarians support individual liberty, for all.

    Yes, Michael, they do.

    They also understand that no one has the 'real liberty' to take or use someone elses stuff without permission.

    You need to refute me before you get to laugh or ask questions, Michael. You have to show that you understand what I've said, and have an actual valid contribution to make instead of your usual self-referential lambasting.

  • Jerry B.||

    On some Washington Post article comments, I repeatedly asked the folks who were outraged about Trump's policy what they would do instead. Never got an answer except snark, insult, or let them all go and hope they show up for their hearing. I also suspect the Democrats would rather have the crisis than a solution.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    You got your answer today. Read Cuomo's piece in the NYT.

  • RabbitHead||

    Right, because the point that the left is trying to make is not so much that separating children is bad, it is that that Trump is some kind of unique and special breed of asshole.

    the "What about" point is that he's pretty much the same as every other asshole.

    The shit that comes out varies a bit depending on diet but that's not a real difference is it?

  • Hugh Akston||

    If the other side does something, that justifies us doing it even harder. That's just how morality works.

  • Zeb||

    It's how politics works, anyway.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    Widespread media outrage didn't exist when it was Obama. Articles do not equal screaming outrage. Did Reason do multiple stories per day every day when it was Obama? Were Obama officials being threatened? Were his children?

    But what do we learn when examining how pols—very much including Donald Trump—have changed their minds or emphases on a given hot-button issue? One perennial lesson is that most politicians are full of dukey and hold their fingers to the winds of public opinion. But if you hate John McCain and Bill Clinton as much as the average Trump enthusiast does, shouldn't it make you feel less comfortable, not more, that they sounded like immigration hawks precisely when they felt that their re-election chances were threatened (Clinton in 1995-96, McCain in 2010)?

    The lies of the "good guys" should make you feel bad about yourself. Christ the quality of 'reasoning' around here is going into the toilet.

  • sparkstable||

    +1

  • ||

    8 posts here in the last day and a half on immigration. Nazi references being bandied about as a reasonable description of the POTUS and his immigration policies is just like '14......

    Thanks for reminding us Matt :)

  • JoeBlow123||

    Hahaha.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    Did this happen under Obama?

    Man arrested after threatening to kill Republican Congressman's children.
    He told an intern: "If you are going to separate kids at the border, I'm going to kill his kids."

    Temporarily separating children at border: literally Auschwitz. I
    Normalizing mob violence against political opponents, which is literally a fascist trait: totally awesome.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    How about Republican Congressman threatening a reporter?

    For fuck's sake, Longtorso, what are those articles supposed to prove? That both sides have gotten more shrill since 2014?

    You were more tolerable when you used to post your PUA links.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    You linked to his apology. This sham of an article is trying to claim "but we all objected then too", which is clearly bullshit if you judge by how shrill and vocal the objections are.

    2014 wasn't all that long ago, you know. It wasn't the Victorian Era.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    CMB's afraid that Trump's going to deport his pets.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Man arrested after threatening to kill Republican Congressman's children.
    He told an intern: "If you are going to separate kids at the border, I'm going to kill his kids."

    Boomer shitlib status confirmed.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    Don't matter. The P...y Grabber-In-Chief just caved.

    "We can do it through an executive order," Trump told Fox & Friends on Friday, on family separations at the border. Today, Wednesday, he signed an executive order.

  • Ron||

    that executive order is already being fought over, proving its not about the kids being separated but about how do we keep a story in the public eye to attack those we hate only because they are a different team

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    It will get overturned and he now has political cover. Remember how he lacked the power to unilaterally undo Obama's unilateral "Dreamers" thing?

  • Cathy L||

    It was written specifically to violate current law so it would be overturned.

  • 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed||

    Is this an example of that N-dimesional chess I'm always hearing about?

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    More like really stupid people being outsmarted by the Trump admin because it is so easy to do.

  • damikesc||

    It's what you wanted. Congrats.

    ...perhaps asking Congress to do something wasn't a bad idea...

  • Cathy L||

    It's not what I wanted.

  • damikesc||

    You WANTED them to be seperated?

    Your writing is really terrible if you missed the mark THAT badly.

  • KevinP||

    So you mean that the Trump administration was trying to follow the current law? Do tell us more.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

  • Hugh Akston||

    Did you read the actual story before you linked to it?

    In an attempt to do that, Lavigne wrote a program that scraped LinkedIn for profiles that listed ICE as an employer. The program returned information on nearly 1,600 people, and Lavigne posted the resulting data publicly on GitHub. The database included information like job title, profile picture, and general location of work.

    He literally published the results of a search for publicly available information.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    He gathered the info to spread to people for intimidation. Why else do you need the names of individual employees?

  • Hugh Akston||

    I can't see into the souls of other people like you apparently can. All I know is that I don't find it terribly outrageous to publish information about people that they already voluntarily published.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    You don't need to look into anyone else's soul to spot the obvious.

    ANTIFA SPREADS LIST OF ICE AGENTS COMPILED USING LINKEDIN AND BLASTS IT OVER TWITTER
    ...While the original post of ICE personal information has been removed, the Antifa Twitter account linked to an archived post, where viewers can access the Lavigne's original database....

    ..."I've downloaded and made available the profiles of (almost) everyone on LinkedIn who works for ICE, 1,595 people in total. While I don't have a precise idea of what should be done with this data set, I leave it here with the hope that researchers, journalists, and activists will find it useful," Lavigne wrote on Medium....

  • Hugh Akston||

    So your claim is that his intention was to intimidate and you support that with a quote of him saying he doesn't know what people should do with the information.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    "Won't anyone rid me of this meddlesome priest?" What else would Antifa want with this?

  • Ariki||

    Antifa farm Unicorns Johnny!
    I'm sure they have no desire to do stupid shit to people they ideologically hate right Hugh?

  • Jerryskids||

    But what about immigrants versus illegal immigrants versus asylum seekers, unaccompanied minors versus parents with children, holding facilities versus detention facilities, laws versus executive orders versus agency policies, partisan point-scoring versus principled positions, simplistic solutions versus complex problems, good intentions versus unintended consequences, shitheads versus shit-for-brains?

  • Echo Chamber||

    nuance? context? no room for that on the righteous indignation hate train.

  • Brian||

    There is a little something shady about certain people just now noticing what they say amounts to a humanitarian crisis.

    Just sayin'.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

  • Ron||

    I thought Occupy was a peace full group like Antifa and all other liberal organizations

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    Occupy is every bit as peaceful as Antifa.

  • markm23||

    Another organization emulating the Brownshirts?

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

  • Jerryskids||

    Look, none of this matters because Trump signed an executive order halting the practice of separating the kids from the parents so just chill out. Sure, it's just a temporary fix, but Trump has assured us he will be working on a Final Solution to the problem.

  • Brandybuck||

    Wrapped in foil?!?!? What the fuck does that mean? Don't make me go to Drudge to find out what the fuck that even means!!!

    Sigh.

  • Tony||

    How do you know what John's going to be obsessed with today if you don't visit Drudge?

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Cause he will let us know shortly.

  • Hugh Akston||

    And repeatedly.

  • Cathy L||

    It's about the mylar blankets.

  • SIV||

    Baking children like potatoes. Obama's diet didn't stop at dogs.

  • Ariki||

    Mexican BBQ bro, Mexican BBQ.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    It means they were given 'space blankets' to sleep under.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    How about things like this in 2014?

    Here's Stephen Miller's Cell Phone Number, If You Need It
    The Trump administration's policy of separating immigrant children from their families has been credited primarily to the strenuous efforts of White House adviser Stephen Miller. Perhaps you would like to call him about it.

    The New York Times reported that Miller, the wolfish young Trump whisperer, has been the most effective driving force behind the implementation of the brutal policy that is now leading the national news—a policy that Miller himself called "a simple decision." And while citizens plan protest marches and scream at Kirstjen Nielsen as she eats dinner, Miller himself has been rather unavailable for direct feedback from the public.

  • Tony||

    Obviously the remedy is to stop covering Trump's concentration camps. To make it fair and balanced.

    I admit to knowing only vaguely about Obama's immigrant policies and this being an issue on which I was opposed to him. Not only because it was draconian, but because it was an obvious attempt to appease people who think things are bad if and only if Obama did them and the reverse for Trump. His biggest flaw: assuming his opponents were rational and acting in good faith. Lots of people suffered because of that naivite.

    Remains the case that the only way to move toward more humane immigration policies is for the mass racist hysteria on the right to shut the fuck up. Let's start in these comments threads.

  • Pepe Le Pew was a sex offender||

    Link to your outraged opposition?

  • Tony||

    I don't get outraged or otherwise have strong feelings, but you can take my word for it that I did not simply worship every action Obama took no matter how contrary to my values or basic decency, because I'm not like Trump supporters in that way.

  • Pepe Le Pew was a sex offender||

    I don't take your word for it.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    Shut the fuck up Tony. Obama's actions aren't the fault of bad people who made him be bad, poor dear.

  • Tony||

    I said they're the fault of his own personality. Not being initially starstruck during the 2008 primary, his apparent belief in his own messianic powers to heal partisanship was one of the more annoying things about him to me.

    Republicans are still stupid and evil though.

  • Ariki||

    Are you saying then that the terrible events are not Obama's fault but rather the Republicans fault for not accepting his Holiness' divinity?

  • chipper me timbers||

    "Republicans partisans are still stupid and evil though."

    FTFY

  • Brian||

    Yes, I remember when immigration hawks promised to love Obama if only he'd be tough on immigration. Oh, the poor, gentle naive man. God bless is innocent soul.

  • Knutsack||

    With this executive order, the media will now give him credit for his "evolving" position, right?

  • Tony||

    "Embarrassing surrender" is how the Washington Post is putting it. That should make him overwhelmed by a feeling of generousness to the children.

  • damikesc||

    And the WaPo is certainly a reliable source for that. Hey, isn't Bezos, richest man on Earth, still underpaying his staff there?

  • Echospinner||

    Perhaps the president and his wife worked it out.

    She is an immigrant and a mother.

    Donald was lose lose on this bet. Walk away and claim higher ground.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Tje first sentence on the last paragraph can equally apply to the at all costs advocates of de facto open borders as well.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    How about this? Did this happen in 2014?

    OFFICE OF FIRST LADY CALLS SECRET SERVICE AFTER ACTOR PETER FONDA CALLS FOR BARRON TRUMP TO BE KIDNAPPED
    The Office of the First Lady has notified the Secret Service after actor Peter Fonda called for kidnapping Melania and Donald Trump's son, Barron, The Daily Caller has learned exclusively.

    In a tweet sent Wednesday, the actor called for Barron to be "ripped" from Melania's arms and put in a cage "with pedophiles."...

  • Iheartskeet||

    Exhibit number one million as to how Trump is treated differently. Impossible to imagine under Obama.

  • Alcibiades||

    True enough.

    This is what happened to someone who mildy criticized one of Obama's kids back then:

    http://thefederalist.com/2014/12/03
    /dear-media-this-elizabeth-lauten-
    nonsense-is-why-everybody-hates-you/

  • KevinP||

    For those who like reading the New York Times:

    I did a search on the NYT web site:
    Donny Ray Williams Jr., the Democratic congressional staff director and rapist: 0 stories
    Elizabeth Lauten, the Republican congressional staffer who insulted the Obama daughters on social media without touching, assaulting or raping them: 148 stories.

    What else is the NYT keeping from you?

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    Did anyone say that about Obama's kids in 2014? That's the point.

  • VinniUSMC||

    Learn to read Hihntard.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano echoes the sound of wind going through his skull.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    WE SHOULD RIP BARRON TRUMP FROM HIS MOTHER'S ARMS AND PUT HIM IN A CAGE WITH PEDOPHILES....

    is exactly how Fonda started his tweet. This was not a what if, idiot.

  • Hidebehindyourcause||

    I can only imagine the drooling, gnashing of teeth, profuse sweating, and overall discomfort of Hihnsano as he struggles to reply to your logical response

  • VinniUSMC||

    "What ifs" are hypothetical scenarios. You claimed that the tweet proposed a hypothetical scenario. Just because you didn't write "what if" doesn't mean you didn't imply a "what if". I know Hihntard, reading comprehension is so hard. If only you spent as much effort on reading for comprehension as you did on relying replying with an idiotic flourish.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Satires, ridicule and analogies can be or reference hypothetical situations.

    They are not mutually exclusive.

    Peter Fonda didn't ask or 'ask' anything. He made a declarative statement about what he, and his should do.

  • Rockabilly||

    I planned to go to Montreal to see a band I liked. I was crossing from Vermont into Quebec and there was a gate with a guard. He wanted to see my passport. I said I'm a libertarian and I don't need one. He said I still needed one. So I backed up, drove back into Swanton, Vermont and parked my car. Then I got out and crossed the border through the woods.

  • Tony||

    We should do away with passports to travel in North America. But that would probably piss the libertarians off too, wouldn't it?

  • Libertymike||

    No, it would not piss off this libertarian.

    While we are at it, Tony, why not do away with 1040s?

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    Well Congress's approval rating is much lower than Trumps, so useless bellowing it is.

  • sarcasmic||

    You do have a good point. I mean, people who support liberty and freedom of movement would be outraged if people were allowed liberty and freedom of movement without first getting a government passport. Because libertarians only support liberty when it means asking permission and taking orders from government. You are so smart.

  • Tony||

    Just going by a clear majority of the posters here whenever the subject of immigration comes up. I'm sure you agree that the excuses for why we must make an exception to freedom in this once instance are pretty lame.

  • sarcasmic||

    You confuse a vocal minority for a clear majority.

  • Jerry B.||

    My libertarian issue with immigration isn't so much people coming to the U.S. legally or illegally, but that once they get here I am legally obligated to support the ones who can't make a living with my taxes. If there was no government support, individuals would think harder about coming here, and voluntary charitable organizations should be able to collect enough donations (Because with less or no tax, folks like me would be more charitable) to take care of most of those already here. Maybe some would even go back to their original homes.

  • KevinP||

    Correct.

    Record $135 billion a year for illegal immigration, average $8,075 each, $25,000 in NY


    Quote:
    The swelling population of illegal immigrants and their kids is costing American taxpayers $135 billion a year, the highest ever, driven by free medical care, education and a huge law enforcement bill, according to the the most authoritative report on the issue yet.

    And despite claims from pro-illegal immigration advocates that the aliens pay significant off-setting taxes back to federal, state and local treasuries, the Federation for American Immigration Reform report tallied just $19 billion, making the final hit to taxpayers about $116 billion.
  • Mickey Rat||

    Prior to the bipartisan tightening of security following 9/11, one used to be able to cross into Canada without a passport.

    Of course, you were still supposed to declare stuff to customs and such, and sometimes your vehicle could get inspected.

  • Tony||

    Where is that border wall? Coming along in the 2nd term perhaps? Canadians can rape your daughters too, and they have the element of surprise.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Never trust a fella with a helmet on his head.

  • Hidebehindyourcause||

    I guess if you buy into the argument that nobody in Canada wants to harm people in the U.S. you can make a case not to be checked when crossing the border.

  • The_Hoser||

    There might be a border wall coming, but we'll be building it. Around 26K people crossed illegally from the States last year, most of them attempting to declare asylum (umm, nope). Quebec has just announced they will not take anyone else and they are now busing them to Toronto, where the shelters are 96% full and the city will now spend more than $70M this year. Because, you know, Toronto has no problems with homelessness or anything else.

  • Vernon Depner||

    In those days, crossing into Canada was easy. Trying to get BACK IN the US could be a nightmare.

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

    Back when Nam was raging the Canadians would make you prove you had enough cash to have your trip and GTFO. Show us the money or turn around and drive south. Other than that I never had a problem. But yeah, U.S. Customs were real dicks. I sat at the border in Detroit one time for about 4 hours while they ransacked my '62 VW microbus (ragtop of course). Didn't find anything but I'm pretty sure they would have if they'd spent a little more time searching.

  • bevis the lumberjack||

    "We should do away with passports to travel in North America. But that would probably piss the libertarians off too, wouldn't it?"

    Used to be that way. Then 9-11 happened and fucked everything up.

    Of course changing those rules didn't improve our security one iota, but at least they DID SOMETHING!!!!

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I think this opens up a large question of where was the media before? Especially when we know they knew it was going on, because they published small articles about it. It just didn't blow up then. But we know it's going on, and so it opens the question of how much bullshit is going on that the media purposefully smothers to support their goals.

    Same question as to why covering our myriad war abroad has disappeared.

  • 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed||

    That is an excellent point.

  • Echo Chamber||

    ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding

  • Just Say'n||

    Shhhhh....you don't get woke street cred by being honest

  • Cathy L||

    The question isn't about the media, but the public. The media was there, but the public didn't care so much.

    Perhaps the problem is too few people willing to oppose Obama actually...consuming media.

  • Just Say'n||

    The media was "not there". This is the dumbest talking point ever. Are you honestly denying a double standard in media coverage over this issue?

  • damikesc||

    She apparently didn't want Trump to stop the seperation, going by her early comments. She seems a bit confused.

  • damikesc||

    She apparently didn't want Trump to stop the seperation, going by her early comments. She seems a bit confused.

  • kcuch||

    The overton window comes into play

  • Iheartskeet||

    Welch sounds a little butthurt.

    Maybe the reaction to Reason's articles re Trump is because it seems like every goddamn article drips with snark and the obligatory "...of course Trump is an asshole..." that weren't present in the Obama articles. It gets old, man.

    Plus, I followed the link to the Reason article on asylum. The headline is straightforward. Meanwhile what did we witness recently ? Blah blah blah we'll KIDNAP YOUR KIDS. If you can't spot the difference in tone, at Reason and elsewhere, you are being willfully blind to it.

    I mean, come the fuck on bro'.

  • SIV||

    Welch sounds a little butthurt.

    Matt's been butthurt since the Fall of '16 when his girl lost.

  • Hidebehindyourcause||

    Didn't they also say that Trump would be worse than Hillary? I guess distancing ourselves from those fucking conservatives is more important than rational thought

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    and the obligatory "...of course Trump is an asshole..." that weren't present in the Obama articles.

    Gee, I don't know. Maybe Trump is more of an asshole than Obama was.

  • Iheartskeet||

    They seem about the same on the asshole scale to me.

    Obama was a more polished asshole. Perhaps thats more sinister.

    Rhetoric about bringing guns to knife fights, punching back twice as hard, and getting in their face never seemed to earn Obama the criticism that Trump gets for similar (or even more modest) statements. As a result, many progressives seem to have internalized these as stage direction.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    This is blowing up now to distract people from the problems in the FBI. Reason is helping to distract people from problems in the FBI (yes, they published one lone "abolish it" article among the flurry of immigration articles).

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

  • sarcasmic||

    Matt, you don't get it. Facts don't matter. The Republicans on this site know the truth, and no amount of facts will change their minds. They know that you never said a peep when Obama implemented these policies. So what if you can produce where you did exactly what they say you didn't do? Stupid facts don't matter. The narrative is what matters.

  • sarcasmic||

    ...produce *articles* where...

  • VinniUSMC||

    "Facts".

  • VinniUSMC||

    Wait, are you actually a parody? Are you an amazing troll, or are you really this stupid?

  • Citizen X||

    "OBAMA KEPT THEM IN CAGES," screams the headline at The Drudge Report. "WRAPPED THEM IN FOIL."

    Welp, i just found my Halloween costume this year.

  • 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed||

    Going as Obama is a little tired an this point.

  • Citizen X||

    I can't go as Obama. I don't own any mom jeans.

  • 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed||

    How's your jumpshot?

  • Citizen X||

    Let's just say that part of the costume would be accurate.

  • Tony||

    Well I'm going as a baked potato so I hope we don't end up at the same party.

  • Citizen X||

    Did you just fat-shame yourself?

  • sarcasmic||

    That was almost funny.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    To say that there was "no outrage" about Obama's detention facilities is to tacitly admit that looking up news articles published in 2014 is just too heavy a lift.

    I think it's not the coverage but the feeding frenzy coverage. One would not be out of line calling it breathless. And while I may not necessarily agree with the current (well, up until a few hours ago current) border policy, there were legitimate arguments for it which were simply not being included for fear, I assume, of cooling any hot takes.

    Emotions make for bad journalism (I blame Twitter), as does desperation for a good opposition party showing in midterm elections. That's what's at play here, and that's why the people who need to be convinced are tuning this noise all the way out.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    The lack of outrage is also because there is no good solution to this. Turn them over to maybe a parent, maybe a kidnapper, that brought them here? Put them in the same centers as adults and older kids? All have issues.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Those would indeed be some of the legitimate arguments that don't make the hot takes.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    Having a kid in tow meaning you get a free pass in would encourage either kidnappers, or parents risking their childrens' safety to bring them along.

  • John Thacker||

    Eh, you're complaining that there's a difference between the coverage of a policy that was opposed by 20-30% of people (but many Democratic politicians, pressure groups, libertarians, and eventually ruled to violate the settlement in Flores), and a policy that is opposed by 60-70% of people.

    Yeah, the moderate position, taken by both Obama and Trump and many other Presidents, would be to detain families together (unavoidable when minors arrive alone). Once the courts ruled that out, and it's a pure choice between family separation and catch-and-release, the American people will, well they'll insist that they don't like either choice and that the judges should reconsider, but you can guarantee that family separation will be unpopular.

    If anything, you should be complaining that catch, release, and monitor didn't get more negative coverage (outside of conservative press), since that was the unpopular thing, albeit something that the Obama Administration was forced into doing.

  • 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed||

    Eh, you're complaining that there's a difference between the coverage of a policy that was opposed by 20-30% of people (but many Democratic politicians, pressure groups, libertarians, and eventually ruled to violate the settlement in Flores), and a policy that is opposed by 60-70% of people.

    That couldn't possibly be because of any differences in media response.

    Aaaannd technically, Welch is the one complaining.

  • John Thacker||

    That couldn't possibly be because of any differences in media response.

    Except that those numbers are consistent both with polling then and polling done now, in the middle of the media response. Really, you don't think that the policies are different? And yes, I don't think that the media response is driving the polling rather than the other way around. The media response to random but unlikely gun violence has been overwhelming but barely budges polls; it's not the difference between 30% and 70% disapproval, like here.

    Aaaannd technically, Welch is the one complaining.

    Plenty of people are complaining. Fist is complaining, Trump defenders are complaining. Nearly anyone whose favored policy is towards either extreme (which does, I note, include me) has an incentive to conflate the policies and complain that the media treat them differently. But the American people can and have treated family separation different from intact family detention. The level of outrage is different because they're different things with greatly different public opinion.

    That people who always favored catch-and-release will understandably shift the goalposts if the policy changes doesn't mean that the middle policy wouldn't have a different level of public reaction if it were legal.

  • Bubba Jones||

    The coverage of the detention centers was all in the context of Obama announcing the expansion of DACA.

  • John Thacker||

    However, the policy Obama did was the plurality American position (first, detaining minors who arrived alone until the courts forced release, then later arguing that whole families could be detained until the courts forced a choice, then the Obama Administration chose release over separation), not the more extreme position of family separation. While detainment of entire families and of minors who arrived alone was opposed by many Democrats and liberals and libertarians, it was favored by a plurality of the American people, and thus would never get the same amount of outrage.

    One way in which the Obama Administration (and all other prominent politicians) was similar to the Trump Administration is that detention of entire families was the first choice. One important way in that it was different is that after that choice was ruled out by the courts (respecting the Flores settlement), the Obama Administration (like others) fell back to catch-and-release rather than go to family separation; the Trump Administration chose family separation. So there's a similarity there, but also a profound difference about whether the fall-back option of family separation was acceptable.

    It's fine to note that the initial favored policy choice of both were similar, and to have frustration that that "moderate" position is being blocked by the courts. But the secondary option taken once that favored option was ruled out was very different, and merits different coverage.

  • Social Justice is neither||

    You do realize your post is not based in fact, right. It may be the journolist narrative but it doesn't make it true.

  • Just Say'n||

    Whataboutism: (noun) a made-up term employed when ones hypocrisy is employed

    Eg: Matt Welch cried "whataboutism" when someone noted that the media's recent indignation about family separation at the border had been occurring under President Obama

  • John Thacker||

    Except no. Family separation didn't occur under President Obama. Two things happened under Obama-- First, minors who arrived at the border by themselves (thanks to DACA being predictably misunderstood and twisted into rumors that any minor would be allowed in) were detained at first, until a court order forced them to be released. Second, after that, families that arrived at the border were detained together, with the Obama Administration arguing that the previous court order about releasing minors swiftly didn't apply to intact families. The Obama Administration lost that battle to, and then chose "catch-and-release" with monitoring over family separation.

    One way in which the Obama Administration (and all other prominent politicians) was similar to the Trump Administration is that detention of entire families was the first choice. (Unsurprising, since that's the plurality American position, including people in both parties and independents.) One important way in that it was different is that after that choice was ruled out by the courts (respecting the Flores settlement), the Obama Administration (like others) fell back to catch-and-release rather than go to family separation; the Trump Administration chose family separation. So there's a similarity there, but also a profound difference about whether the fall-back option of family separation was acceptable.

  • ||

    One important way in that it was different is that after that choice was ruled out by the courts (respecting the Flores settlement), the Obama Administration (like others) fell back to catch-and-release rather than go to family separation; the Trump Administration chose family separation. So there's a similarity there, but also a profound difference about whether the fall-back option of family separation was acceptable.

    Well, there's also the slight bit of hypocrisy that Reason was lukewarm on DACA's obviation of Congressional approval and even tacitly endorsed Trump's notion that immigration really needs to be handled legislatively. A stance which is consistent with his current position but Reason, presumably, opposes.

    But we can all just waive our hands and say #whataboutism and #ButGorsuch and forget about that.

  • Just Say'n||

    That's not actually true. The administration did engage in family separation toward the end of the administration. They just didn't impose zero tolerance like the current administration

  • Happy Chandler||

    http://www.npr.org/sections/it.....under-fire

    NYT editorial, Hillary declared opposition.

    It's hard to get more mainstream than that.

    http://www.politico.com/story/.....ion-119377

    Obama pledged to minimize the policy. A majority of Democratic reps and senators demanded that the practice be ended.

    But, other than that, it's exactly the same.

  • John Thacker||

    It's also different because people are comparing the policy (disallowed by the Flores settlement) that has plurality to majority support, even among Democrats, with a policy that has support in the high twenties.

    Detention of families together (or of unaccompanied minors) was unpopular with 30% of people, including a lot of Democratic pressure groups and politicians but broadly popular even with ordinary Democratic voters; that's what Obama did until the courts stopped him. (And what the Clinton, Bush, etc. Administrations did or would have done. Even what the Trump Administration's first choice would be.) Separation of families is unpopular with 70% of people. They aren't the same.

  • Emotional Opposition Animal||

    To say that there was "no outrage" about Obama's detention facilities is to tacitly admit that looking up news articles published in 2014 is just too heavy a lift.

    Only a couple of those articles don't contain any outrage about the detention facilities. Many of them are not even about that subject but just happen contain the words "detention facility" buried in them. (Search engines have limits, as I'm sure you know) And oh yeah, you're talking about articles spread over a year as opposed to the current feeding frenzy.

    And yeah, there were a couple of Reason articles at the time about how Obama should be doing more for more open borders. Again, not remotely comparable to what's happening now.

  • Ron||

    not only that but where were the cries of Nazi death camps in those early articles

  • KevinP||

    Why are we detaining these people? We should simply use charter flights or government aircraft to fly them back to their home countries and give them bus fare from there. If they want to claim asylum, they can apply in front of a US consulate there.

  • Jima||

    Why waste the jet fuel? They walked the fuck in, they can walk the fuck back. I don't owe them a bus ticket either. If we have a border, then put them on the opposite side of it. On foot. Do any of the people advocating for open borders have locks on their homes? Why? To control entry, that's why. There is nothing wrong with controlling entry into the USA either. I don't get why that is controversial. If the immigration system as currently implemented sucks, then keep replacing congress people until some group gets the message and fixes it. Putting the same dusty old crooks in office over and over has clearly failed to solve the problem. So the polls are where term limits get implemented. Or we continue to do the same dumb shit over and over and bitch about it. I expect option 2 will prevail, same as always, because Team Red/Blue! I don't give a rat's ass who lives in the White House, this can get done if people wanted it done.

  • ||

    To say that there was "no outrage" about Obama's detention facilities is to tacitly admit that looking up news articles published in 2014 is just too heavy a lift.

    I don't think I could have laughed harder that this linked to google.com instead of reason.com.

    Seriously, I would've posted sooner but I had to apologize to the people in the office.

  • ||

    Here's some heavy lifting for you Welch:

    Opposition to Obama's detention policies: here

    Opposition to Trump's detention policies: here.

    The search engine is indeed your friend.

  • ||

    Here's the analogous link for the immigration articles that appeared on the same day as the featured one during Obama's presidency.

  • Malvolio||

    This does illustrate the general wisdom of my policy of supporting Republican candidates for president: the media, by and large, hate them and so, in their fury, DO THEIR FUCKING JOB.

  • Emotional Opposition Animal||

    Except they don't. They screech about whatever incendiary shit they can find to beat the GOP up with, while not actually exposing the real abuses that are happening behind the scenes. The MSM is useless regardless of who's in office.

  • Emotional Opposition Animal||

    Thanks for teaching me how to use Google, Matt! [/sarc]

    "2014 Obama detention facilities" : 16.3 million results
    "2018 Trump detention facilities" : 54.8 million results

  • Emotional Opposition Animal||

    But what if the new guy you do like, who only truly came to this issue in the course of trying to win a highly competitive Republican primary, was also pandering?

    It wasn't at all competitive actually. Trump led from beginning to end. And while I suspected he was pandering at the time, he's held to his position even when it would have been politically convenient not to. No comparison whatsoever to McCain in 2010.

    What if it turns out you cannot "seal the border," can't get Mexico to pay for a wall, and can't even build the sucker yourself without bulldozing the whole notion of private property?

    Agreed that the first two are impossible, though it's certainly not the first time a politician has used hyperbole. A little overly dramatic to claim that ED-ing some fence lines at the border would destroy the whole notion of private property.

    What if, in the course of pursuing these impossible zero-tolerance dreams, you employ police-state tactics that overwhelming majorities of Americans find abhorrent?

    If you're worried about the opinion of overwhelming majorities of Americans, you better just drop libertarianism entirely.

  • perlchpr||

    Yeah... I may not be real happy with the concept of eminent domain, but it's pretty stupid to argue that "securing the national border" would not fall within it's even most stringently confined reasons for existence.

  • sparkstable||

    Why do people not understand "whataboutism"? It isn't a defense... it's an attack at the validity of someone else's criticism. Not the same thing.

    The Trump people saying "What about..." is perfectly valid because it underscores the lack of sincerity coming from the left.

    Does that mean that what Trump is doing now is right or wrong? No... it doesn't speak to that at all. It only serves to explain why a Trump supporter doesn't give two craps about what a lib says on the issue because the Trump supporter has just proven the lib is a hack. AND HE WOULD BE RIGHT TO POINT THAT OUT.

    That still doesn't mean he's defended his position... someone with credibility could still attempt to call him out on it. He may turn into a blubbering idiot trying to defend himself. He may fail miserably... but none of that undoes the validity of pointing out that the left don't care one whit about these people.

  • Ron||

    you stated it well Sparkstable, far better than I did

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    "Whataboutism" is just a type of tu quoque fallacy. It is an attack on the integrity of the speaker, instead of a response based on the merits of the speaker's arguments. That is why whataboutism is so dumb.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Crying "whataboutism" is just a type of tu quoque fallacy. It is an attack on the integrity of the speaker, instead of a response based on the merits of the speaker's arguments. That is why crying 'whataboutism' is so dumb.

    FTFY

  • ranrod||

    this site loves the open borders crowd... you people are anarchists

    Earth to Democrats/Progressives: Trump Did NOT Separate These Kids From Their Parents, Their Parents are South of the Border.. When I hear the Party of Babykillers, A.K.A The Democrats, argue for the rights of Children, I must pause to fully absorb the hypocrisy. Yet the already 3000 homeless Americans in San Diego, many of whom are veterans, still aren't worth their time or money.. Let me see if I am understanding this correctly. Are the leftists mad because these poor immigrants were too destitute to afford abortions in their home countries? Or are they mad because the parents abandoned their children while they continue to live in Central and South America? That's the truth which they conveniently forget.

    Don't let them lie to you America, this is nothing but political fodder and we need to expose the truth. Nielsen said that the "vast, vast majority" of the 12,000 child border crossers in federal custody were actually sent to the southern border alone with human smugglers. For those that don't remember, this entire situation was created by the Democrats and the policies of the Obama Administration.

  • ranrod||

    I realize that the immigration problem is not new but the current situation is clearly a contrived event. If anyone out there believes that this solicitation, and the current flood of immigrants, are simply cases of "business as usual" and an "unforeseen problem" then you also likely believe that the DHS needs billions of bullets for target practice.

    But it is obvious that our federal government is, at the very least, not trying to stop this and, as I believe, manufacturing the problem to advance their agenda. We simply want to see the borders secured and the laws enforced BEFORE we talk about immigration policy reform.

    The Democrats created the problem so they could use it as political fuel later. Democrats don't care about these children. They are just pawns on the 3-D Chess Board. Nothing much ever changes in The District of Corruption.
    http://www.dcclothesline.com/2.....-border-2/

  • John Thacker||

    Trump Did NOT Separate These Kids From Their Parents, Their Parents are South of the Border.

    No, you're confusing Trump with Obama. The kids that Obama put in cages are the ones whose parents sent them unaccompanied. What Trump has been doing is separating kids who arrived with their families.

    Thanks ranrod, you're demonstrating why what Obama did, while still upsetting to 30% of Americans, is not nearly as bad as what Trump's doing. Good job of defending Obama from the people who claim that Trump is doing the same thing.

  • KevinP||

    McClatchy: Yes, Obama separated families at the border, too


    Quote:
    President Barack Obama separated parents from their children at the border.

    Obama prosecuted mothers for coming to the United States illegally. He fast tracked deportations. And yes, he housed unaccompanied children in tent cities.

    ...Obama's policy helped create the road map of enforcement that Trump has been following — and building on.
  • ranrod||

    Why Force America To Be The World's Charity Ward?
    At the end of the last year of our first "anchor baby" president, he allowed over 65,000 children to invade our borders. He watched them, in conjunction with Mexico's president, who helped that massive entourage—-stampede into our country. When not stopped by our U.S. Border Patrol at the border and turned back because of our "anchor baby" president's orders to disregard our laws, we, the American taxpayer paid for 65,000 new illegal alien children as to schooling, food, housing and medical care. Many united with their illegal alien parents. That's on top of the 350,000 anchor babies we pay for annually because Congress won't stop the practice. Remember: you and every working person in the USA pays for those babies from K through 12, along with food, housing and medical care. We're talking billions if not trillions of dollars over the decades!

    Because our past five presidents, along with successive U.S. Congresses, failed or refused to enforce and secure our borders with our current laws, (can you imagine the payoffs and benefits big business paid them not to enforce our laws for the past four decades?), we face an accelerating onslaught of the world's poor, desperate and illiterate.

  • Happy Chandler||

    More undocumented immigrants are leaving to return to Mexico than coming in from Mexico, and has been that way since ~2012.

  • Headache||

    Bullshit, it was only 2012 and just Mexicans, not the Central Americans, because Mexico would put them in jail for thirty then deport.

  • Sevo||

    "More undocumented immigrants are leaving to return to Mexico than coming in from Mexico, and has been that way since ~2012."

    You tend to post a LOT of bullshit, mostly opinion from a noted dimbulb, which we are supposed to accept as fact or argument.
    And then you post supposed facts, but somehow can't find a cite to go with them.
    Hint, shitbag: Cite or STFU. Is that clear?

  • ranrod||

    He could have asked, "Why didn't Border Patrol agents return them to Mexico with their families intact?"
    Am I losing my understanding of common sense actions, personal accountability and our right as a nation to maintain our borders for the security of our citizens?

    We're not obligated as a country or as families to care for the rest of the world's families. Ironically, Mexico remains a third world failed country because it refuses to educate its citizens to maintain a thriving economy. It refuses to create jobs. It's as corrupt and backward as any third world country.

    But which one of the 535 Congressional representatives in our U.S. Congress speaks up about what's coming? Which one of them understands or even whispers these numbers? Which of them wants to stop this massive human population overload being foisted upon our country and future generations?
    https://newswithviews.com/ why-force-america-to-be-the-worlds-charity-ward/

  • Mark22||

    What if, in the course of pursuing these impossible zero-tolerance dreams, you employ police-state tactics that overwhelming majorities of Americans find abhorrent?

    I don't know. What if you actually asked the question you really need to ask: "how many thousands of dollars are you, personally, willing to spend every year in order to allow illegals to come and stay in the US"? If the answer is close to zero, then all that "abhorrence" is just posturing. If it is not hot air, then we should make it easier for people to put their own money at risk, sponsor, and pay for immigrants.

  • Happy Chandler||

    Immigrants benefit the economy. Americans are richer because immigrants are here.

  • Headache||

    But not the economy from which they came.

  • Mark22||

    Immigrants benefit the economy. Americans are richer because immigrants are here.

    Legal, skilled immigrants do benefit the economy.

    Illegal migrants and asylum seekers from South America make Americans poorer overall.

  • KevinP||

    Some certainly do. Illegals? Not so much.

    Record $135 billion a year for illegal immigration, average $8,075 each, $25,000 in NY


    Quote:
    The swelling population of illegal immigrants and their kids is costing American taxpayers $135 billion a year, the highest ever, driven by free medical care, education and a huge law enforcement bill, according to the the most authoritative report on the issue yet.

    And despite claims from pro-illegal immigration advocates that the aliens pay significant off-setting taxes back to federal, state and local treasuries, the Federation for American Immigration Reform report tallied just $19 billion, making the final hit to taxpayers about $116 billion.
  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Wait wait, you want to make this into a cost-benefit analysis?

    Then be sure to include on the "cost" side of your ledger the cost associated with the loss of our liberties if the police state wet dreams of complete border security are ever imposed.

  • Headache||

    People who supported Trump's policy justified it by falsely claiming that today's critics never cared about Obama's detention facilities

    Welch is disingenuous. The two links have no connection to the sub line above Also, "THE MSM NEVER SHOWS YOU THESE PHOTOS THAT WERE TAKEN BY THE MSM", the photos are from Getty archives and don't provide who the photographers are.

    Matt are you falsely claiming a false claim?

  • Mark22||

    People who supported Trump's policy justified it by falsely claiming that today's critics never cared about Obama's detention facilities

    The policy is justified by the simple fact that adults who cross the border without permission are committing a crime for which they can and should be arrested; they are also putting their children at risk.

    People are simply pointing out that when Democrats are hyperventilating over this policy, they are also being hypocrites. That's not a justification for the policy, it's simply an additional observation.

  • rferris||

    I do not see much Libertarian thinking on the border issue. Libertarians believe in incentives. First under Obama it became apparent to potential illegal immigrants that using their children as tools to get into the USA was an advantage. SO, the incentive is resulting in a big wave of family crossings instead of just males looking for work.

    Now we are trying to end the incentive of putting your children at risk to sneak into the USA. Does any one know of a different way this could be accomplished??

    No one likes separating children from parents, but all American citizens are promptly separated from their children when they break federal laws. Do illegal immigrants deserve a better deal than citizens??

    I do not think the big "crisis" is about the children, it is politics using the children to advance a false narrative.

  • John Thacker||

    No one likes separating children from parents, but all American citizens are promptly separated from their children when they break federal laws.

    No, the vast majority of American citizens are released on bail or on their own recognizance, sometimes with monitoring. Even Paul Manafort initially was released on bail until evidence emerged that he was witness tampering.

    (That's even aside from all the cases where people are not arrested at all but just expected to show up in court, or things are just ignored, like in the 15 or so states where speeding even 1 mph over the speed limit is a misdemeanor that technically could face jail time.)

    Do Libertarians believe in holding everyone in jail indefinitely as soon as they are arrested, and in arresting people for every crime? Both would be an enormous change in the criminal justice system.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    Fine. Have the border-crashers released as soon as they post $1000 per person. (We could use the money.)

  • sparkstable||

    If I know the negative consequence of an action, and do it any way... who is responsible for that outcome? Me, or the person who warned me what would happen then came through on that warning?

    In ANY OTHER scenario we would blame the actor for imposing on the reactor. But here we blame the reactor for... well, reacting... to what the actor did (break the law by crossing illegally).

  • sparkstable||

    In other words... if I tell you that I will shoot you if you trespass then you trespass and get shot, who is truly responsible for the scenario's ultimate condition (me having shot you and you being shot)?

  • Vernon Depner||

    Either way you look at it, you're still going to prison. You're not allowed to shoot someone for disobeying you unless you're a cop.

  • sparkstable||

    Well... yes. But that's ignoring the point of discussing what should be. There is a lot about what is that sucks. Just because something is a certain way does not mean it should be that way.

  • Vernon Depner||

    Then I'll address the matter of principle: you are responsible for your own actions, regardless of what you might have told someone else to do. In your scenario, you are responsible for the shooting.

  • Agammamon||

    "HERE ARE THE PHOTOS OF OBAMA'S ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT DETENTION FACILITIES

    Really needs a hyphen in there.

  • JeremyR||

    When you have one side literally calling the other Nazis and are working themselves up to use violence, I think someone pointing out that the previous administration doing the same thing is a fairly good counter

  • Wrath0fKahn||

    I am not surprised that Reason was consistent and bipartisan in critiquing this aberration, but I think a lot of the people are correct that mainstream media certainly didn't blitz the news cycle for two weeks during Obama's tenure. I certainly don't recall that being the case, even though we did get some coverage.

    A good number of Trump's vices are carried over from Obama and/or Bush, but they are covered very differently, and for those of us hoping for a better 2020 outcome that's disappointing because it demonstrates that the progressives haven't learned their lesson. They may well chase the country back into the arms of Trump because of how insistent they are on being arrogant, duplicitous little shits. I'm fine getting pissed about that, frankly.

  • Sevo||

    The press should be oppositional to both the sitting POTUS and congress; that's their job.
    Unfortunately, the legacy press forgets that when they become lap-dogs during proggy admins, which now means Ds. If you read anything about TR, you'd see the same slavish praise by the press for the same horrible results.

  • LynchPin1477||

    The most frustrating part is that most of the coverage, regardless of the outlet, isn't about the policy itself or how to fix it. It's about the outrage and counter outrage and counter counter outrage. Which pretty well since up most political discourse.

  • Sevo||

    TDS is a dangerous affliction.

  • ||

    And the disingenuousness of it all.

    I think it's fair to point out that this stuff has been going on before Trump it turns out but it didn't seem to bother too many people when it happened under Barry.

    They care less about the kids and more about inflicting maximum political damage on Trump. Had it been about the children, they could have pressured Congress to do something.

    The outrage is extra primo crispy because Trump is President.

  • John Thacker||

    I think it's fair to point out that this stuff has been going on before Trump it turns out but it didn't seem to bother too many people when it happened under Barry.

    You're the one being disingenuous and conflating things. Except it's not fair to claim that the same stuff has being going on. What went on under Obama was: 1) Detention of minors who arrived at the border or crossed unaccompanied (thanks to DACA rumors), until the courts made him release them, and slightly later 2) Detention of intact families together who crossed illegally, until courts made him release them.

    The Obama Administration didn't separate intact families after the aforementioned court order. Instead, they went to catch-and-release-- because the courts forced them to (to the chagrin of their more liberal allies and of many libertarians, including me.)

    The outrage is extra crispy because the policies are different. About 30% of people object to detaining intact families together, but the majority of people prefer that to catch-and-release. However, 60-70% of people dislike separating families, and the 30% who dislike detaining intact families hate it even more. (Even though, yes, as soon as the policy shifts to detaining families together, they'll shift to trying to stop that because catch and release is their ultimate goal-- but in that, they won't have the support of a majority, just of the courts.)

  • ||

    He laid down the road map to this and it's proper to bring this up to keep perspective.

    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/new.....25764.html

  • ||

    I don't dispute it was wrong and inhumane, but we're splitting hairs a tad, no? He had to cut his losses; it was a political loser.

    https://bit.ly/2ttkLZP

  • josh||

    This is sort of why I can't participate in the immigration debate with much enthusiasm. No one wants a conversation. You have one side saying round them up and send them all back without any regard to humanity or practical considerations. And then the other side invites illegals to their convention, treats them like VIP's, and then acts stunned when anyone says immigration should perhaps do their job and go pick them up since we know exactly where they are.

  • hello.||

    Linking to three neutrally-framed articles from 2014 when you've literally written over 2 dozen articles in less than one week with inflammatory headlines declaring the president "brutal" "cruel" "evil" and "offensive" is a perfect example of the blatant hypocrisy you keep getting called out on. But hey maybe it really is everyone else!

  • vek||

    DING DING DING, we have a winner!

    The difference in treatment, even from a supposedly libertarian magazine, is so blatant nobody can possibly miss it.

    Reason REALLY needs to shift more Center-Libertarian, instead of hardcore Left-Libertarian in their writing. I'm a bit of a Right-Libertarian myself, but I can take middle of the road sane arguments just fine. I CAN'T stomach all this progressive seeming virtue signalling, logic lacking, nonsense that Reason publishes anymore. They don't even try to actually make any valid points, or really tackle the multitude of legitimate criticisms of the positions they PUSH... They just virtue signal.

    Virtue signalling is NOT "reason" in any way, shape, or form.

  • John Thacker||

    You are the one who lacks reason. The policies are treated differently because they are different. Obama's policy was intact family detention, which, while opposed by liberals and libertarians, was and is the majority supported policy in the country. That also is apparently the preferred policy of Trump. However, courts ruled against family detention while Obama was in office, leaving the choice between either the "catch and release" policy, or separating families. Faced with that dilemma, no other Administration would separate families.

    While the Trump and Obama Administration may be similar in their first choice policy (which Trump is somehow trying to get the courts to change their ruling), the Obama Administration did not separate families once their first choice was ruled out. It's not the same.

    About 30% of people objected to intact family detention and favor "catch and release." A much, much larger group of people object to family separation, even people who dislike catch and release.

  • John Thacker||

    And many of the 30% who objected to intact family detention are much, much more grossly upset by family separation.

  • vek||

    The fact is Trump didn't legally have the CHOICE to do what both of them seem to prefer.

    The fact that Trump would decide to prosecute, and separate, given the two options is not some horrible thing IMO.

    I'm 99% sure that IF the options were properly explained, which the media absolutely HAS NOT DONE, and if they did I bet it would be a lot closer to 50/50 at least. They're spinning it like the choice is between keeping families together in detention, or splitting them up just to be assholes. Which is NOT the case. If they were told it's between catch and release and splitting them up I think a lot of people would be more torn. But the media absolutely can't calmly explain shit when it has anything to do with Adolph Trump.

    Frankly between the two I favor prosecuting them and splitting the kids up as needed. I'm fine with keeping them together if they can get the case law changed. Anyone who doesn't see this is just the 10,000th intentional media distortion of something Trump has done is fooling themselves. Even Reason can't report on it soberly, let alone all the fully left leaning media.

  • Walk_on_Walter||

    The word "whataboutism" is what hypocritical cunts use to deflect from their hypocritical cuntery. So, great job, Matt! You're the king of the hypocritical cunts of the day!

  • posmoo||

    So Reason wrote 2 articles in 8 years criticizing Obama and dozens of articles in past month about the same policies under Trump and this fucking idiot this is a good argument that this wrag is an honest voice?

  • John Thacker||

    about the same policies under Trump

    You are wrong and and the idiot here. Obama's policy was intact family detention, which, while opposed by liberals and libertarians, was and is the majority supported policy in the country. That also is apparently the preferred policy of Trump. However, courts ruled against family detention while Obama was in office, leaving the choice between either the "catch and release" policy, or separating families. Faced with that dilemma, no other Administration would separate families.

    While the Trump and Obama Administration may be similar in their first choice policy (which Trump is somehow trying to get the courts to change their ruling), the Obama Administration did not separate families once their first choice was ruled out. It's not the same.

  • VinniUSMC||

    Keep repeating yourself, maybe one day it will become true.

  • NashTiger||

    The factual and rhetorical silliness of Matt Welch articles: That fucking clown is claiming with his stupid failure of a Google Search Results link that the MSMedia writ large were criticizing Obama. It is laughable. I don't even think he examined his own link. Calm, level-headed stories that quote Obama Admin officials and presuppose everything they say is true (like all media coverage from 2009-2016).

    There is one solitary story in his link about "Rights Organizations" criticisms, but no editorial scale-tipping in favor of the rights organization quoted.

    What a fucking JOKE

  • WJack||

    People have been separated from their families for possible illegal conduct during recorded history and probably before that, but now Trump.

  • AlmightyJB||

    TRUMP BAD, MEDIA/DEMOCRATS BAD.

  • Heraclitus||

    It's not that we forgot them. I'm not sure the public ever really let it sink in back then. Think about it. Trump ran on a platform that the Dems are not securing our border. So he needs a wall and strong policies to act as a deterrence. We know, and knew, that there existed hundreds of miles of walls under Obama. Now Trump is saying Obama had similar draconian polices that we should infer, acted as a deterrence. I believe a few lonely voices tried to make these points during the 2016 election. While Trump was carving out his niche as the tough on immigration candidate people on the left and Libertarians were pointing out how myopic that stance was. But since Dems don't like to admit their tougher policies they ceded that ground to Trump. Look where it got them.

    What we did was allow both the Dems and Trump to project false and misleading narratives. It is now coming back to bite Trump but it will certainly rebound on the Dems as well. Unfortunately we do not have a media well equipped to deal with all the nuance.

  • Árboles de la Barranca||

    TRUMP THE MERCIFUL

  • Mcgoo95||

    +1 for incorporating a homeomorphic manifold into an immigration article.

  • wreckinball||

    Nobody is addressing the problem. The problem is that we have large number of folks trying to enter the country illegally AND the human smugglers have now discovered that going with children + just saying "asylum" may work and in 20 days you will just be released, mission accomplished. .

    NONE of whats being proposed will solve the problem which is allowing these people in and then having to detain them! Its infuriating.We have all kinds of issues with how we detain these folks who are trying to enter illegally. How about not detaining them?

    Solution, VERY QUICKLY SEND THEM BACK TO MEXICO, i.e. no long term detainment. No border claims of asylum. If you want asylum make your claim in writing and you don't enter the country AT ALL i.e. stay in Mexico or wherever your from its really not our problem until its approved. Then c'mon in if approved. Possibly allow application at the US Embassy in their country.

    So some scenarios:

    1) Person comes to the border portal without a legal passport, solution send them back immediately,
    2) Person comes to the border portal same as 1, but claims asylum, give them an asylum application form , tell them to fill it out and send it and them send them back immediately
    3) Person sneaks over the border and gets caught, have drive-thru courts at every ICE station and give them a hearing and send them back immediately

  • Vernon Depner||

    The problem with your suggestions is that most of these people are not caught red-handed at the border. They're caught inside the US, and so there has to be due process to establish that they are here illegally.

    The asylum process as currently established is only for people who are already in the US. If they are outside the US, they would have to apply for refugee status. Different definition and rules from asylum status.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    "The problem with your suggestions is that most of these people are not caught red-handed at the border. "

    Hence the demand for a wall...

  • Brett Bellmore||

    As soon as you utter "whataboutism", I know the conversation is over. "Whataboutism" is just the latest left-wing excuse for refusing to respond to an argument. A few years ago it was 'tu quoque' the left was misusing, now they've moved on.

    Indeed, just by using it you out yourself as aligned with the left. If you join the flock we know what sort of bird you are.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    "Whataboutism," is a misnomer. The suffix "-ism" implies a system of belief. But the conduct described is not that. It's more like a rhetorical method—an annoying and illogical rhetorical method, to be sure. A better term would be "whataboutery."

    Hope you like that one better, Brett.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    "Whataboutism" is just the latest left-wing excuse for refusing to respond to an argument.

    Nah. There is way too little of "refusing to respond to an argument." An argument based on changing the subject? Refusal ought to be automatic. I take that farther. You want to argue by analogy? My tolerance is limited. It might be okay as a conversation starter. But before you are done, I expect an argument that can stand entirely on its own, without the analogy. Otherwise, the analogy is just a roundabout subject change.

    Whataboutery, as I call it, is all about subject changing. Nobody should respond to it.

  • southcoast||

    Wouldn't a website called reason examine the other side of the ledger where countries south of the U.S. are exporting their societal and governmental failings to America? These countries are engaging in an enormous outsourcing project where they are sending their residents to the U.S. to get on public assistance so U.S. dollars can be sent back to these 3rd world holes. Why would this site examine why parents are selling their children to get some more money from Americans?
    Such dishonesty.

  • macsnafu||

    Reason is part of the mainstream media? Since when??
    Also, some people just don't get that you can be against liberals and conservatives both, although I'm still confused as to how some people can think there's much of anything truly conservative about Trump.

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