Among the atrocities The Leader dumped in his first week in office, none was so contentious as his executive order on immigration restrictions that left thousands of dual citizens, green card holders, et alia subject to expulsion or stranded overseas, and suffering Syrian refugees totally, hopelessly SOL. It is such a transparently unconstitutional cock-up that White House officials were changing their interpretation of the order on the fly, and federal judges, prompted by the ACLU, began blocking it 24 hours after it was issued.
While demonstrations sprang up across the country and decent people, ranging from Malala Yousafzai and Mo Farah to your friends and neighbors denounced the ban, rightbloggers and other conservatives said on the contrary, it was good what The Leader did — real good!
These folks divided into two camps: First, outright yahoos, who enjoyed the xenophobic spite that the order was meant to rile among citizens who’ve never seen a Muslim except on Fox News or Breitbart cutting off heads or raping white Europeans; second, the ones who tried to act reasonable about it, who were actually worse.
Among the yahoos was, naturally, Gateway Pundit and S.M.O.T.I. Jim Hoft, who provided Scary Muslim stories such as “Flashback: Eight Muslim ‘Refugees’ in ONE MONTH Indicted, Sentenced for Joining-Arming ISIS and Al-Qaeda.” Hoft’s list was heavy on Bosnians, though, and included only one citizen of any of the seven countries The Leader named for exclusion — Abdinassir Mohamud Ibrahim, a Somali caught in a conspiracy charge. That figures, as the actual number of terrorists attributable to the seven countries is very low. (Among the nations The Leader left off his list, however, are some like Saudi Arabia that have actually sent attackers to the U.S.; but The Leader has business interests there so, you know, ’s chill.)
At PJ Media, David P. Goldman admitted the order “is callous towards individual Muslims but merciful to American citizens, who have the right to go about their business without fear of mass terrorist attacks.” As long as some Muslim somewhere is forced to stay in his native bomb-site, Joe Yankee can go to the Cinnabon down at the mall without having to worry about putting a new 9-11 sticker on the bumper of his SUV.
There was a bunch of whatabout-Obama. The Federalist’s Sean Davis, for example, said The Leader’s opponents were hypocrites because Obama’s reversal of the wet-foot-dry-foot policy toward Cuban refugees “banned refugees from communist Cuba.” (They’re no longer automatically classed as refugees, but the U.S. will still accept 20,000 Cuban immigrants a year). Davis also headlined that “The Obama Administration Stopped Processing Iraq Refugee Requests For 6 Months In 2011.” (The U.S. admitted 9,880 Iraqi refugees in 2016.) You have to wonder why, while Obama was president, Davis reliably attacked his immigration policy as too soft instead of praising it for its rigor. Well, a fella can have a change of heart, or whatever he has instead of one.
Hot Air’s Jazz Shaw thought it was great that The Leader was “shaking things up… As to the situation with Iran, how much would you care to wager that this is a negotiating tactic on the President’s part to soften them up for a different offer?” He’s known for his great deals, see! At present it, er, doesn’t look like it’s working out that way (“Iran to take ‘reciprocal measures’ after Trump’s immigration order”), but watch for a twist ending after the next commercial.
While these hardcore guys ululated, more reputable rightwing outlets tried to make it look legit. Take National Review, whose writers took nearly a day to come up with their justifications.
David French, who had recently been complaining that the Women’s March was “post-Christian dissent” (meaning, I guess, that the marchers weren’t browbeating terrified women at abortion clinics), took the traditional approach of ideologues whose latest policy is going smoothly: “Let’s slow down and take a look at the facts.”
First, said French, you don’t want to be like that hysterical Senator Ben Sasse — er, Chuck Schumer! “Did [The Leader] implement his promised Muslim ban?” asked French. “No, far from it. He backed down dramatically from his campaign promises…” To paraphrase Ian Faith in This Is Spinal Tap, you should have seen the EO he wanted to do!
French suggested Obama was just as bad as Trump in his way — “his refugee cap from 2013 to 2015 was a mere 70,000,” whereas The Leader’s cap is 50,000 (except French didn’t mention Obama’s cap went to 110,000 last year — probably an oversight); also, in 2016 Obama only let in 12,486 Syrians, as opposed to The Leader’s planned total of zero. (At the same time, Obama was guilty of a “dramatic expansion” in the refugee program and “dramatically ramped up refugee admissions” — Obama’s either too stingy or too generous, depending on what French told the suckers last.)
“It is not necessary to bring Syrians to the United States to fulfill our vital moral obligations,” sniffed French in the evidence footage St. Peter will one day show at the Pearly Gates just before they spring the trap door.
French also did the Scary Muslim routine, claiming the “terrible recent track record of completed and attempted terror attacks by Muslim immigrants” justified the “short-term ban on entry from problematic countries.” French did not mention the paucity of terrorists from the banned countries; based on everything he’s ever written, we can rule out shame as a reason.
Oh, but French did admit he found the restriction on U.S. military allies “deeply problematic,” and that the detention of green card holders was “madness” — not in a hysterical way, though! But there’s no need to protest: “I believe and hope” that Homeland Security Secretary will take care of the former, said French, and that The Leader might “stop misapplication” of the latter. Because, come on, it’s The Leader — when has he ever been unreasonable? (Instapundit Glenn Reynolds didn’t like the green card thing either; “I’d be very interested in knowing who actually drafted the order.” If only The Leader knew about this!)
“Trump’s Exclusion of Aliens from Specific Countries Is Legal,” headlined French’s colleague Andrew C. McCarthy, perhaps hoping the restrictions would give him fresh opportunities to pursue his great enthusiasm: torturing foreigners.
Dan McLaughlin explained that “the executive order, on its face, does not discriminate between Muslim and Christian (or Jewish) immigrants,” then talked about “Trump’s own stated reason for giving preference to Christian refugees” — meaning I guess that while it does discriminate between Muslim and Christian immigrants, it doesn’t do so on its face, but maybe in its neck or shoulder area.
Oh, and Charles C.W. Cooke, a Brit here on a green card, said the order wasn’t so bad in general (“if voters wish to use the legislature to limit our future inflows, that’s their prerogative”) but totally wrong about people who hold green cards. “I do expect to be treated differently than a guy who just got off a plane for the first time,” he huffed. Glad to have you in the fight, comrade.
At Legal Insurrection, William A. Jacobson called the claim that Trump ignored nations in which he had business was “a lie…fake news.” So, Trump doesn’t have business in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia? Well, yes, but Obama had called the seven excluded nations “countries of concern,” and The Leader is bound to choose those countries and no others for some reason that Jacobson neglected to mention — perhaps out of The Leader’s deep respect for his predecessor. As to the green card business, “this is partially true,” Jacobson admitted, “but it will be handled on a case-by-case basis.” So don’t worry, and especially don’t protest!
PJ Media’s Tyler O’Neil said in The Leader’s defense that “at least one of the Paris bombers entered the country as a Syrian refugee” — that is, “Ahmad al-Mohammad” had a fake Syrian passport. So even if the Syrians themselves are getting bombed to extinction, someone pretending to be Syrian killed Americans so we have to keep them out. But don’t worry, Syrians, we know it’s not your fault! Remember that as you’re crushed by falling debris.
At this writing protests are still happening across the country and indeed spreading across the planet; they have even started, just barely, to penetrate the Republican Party. It is doubtful that The Leader cares, because he is confident that his followers respond favorably to brutality, and that out there in the heartland they are pleased by the sheer viciousness of it. But I like to think the shade of Adlai Stevenson visits him at night, and whispers in his ear, “Yes, but you need a majority.”
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 30, 2017