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Democrats slip on ICE
Date: 2018-Jul-03           Author: Rob Dennis
If you can't win on "baby jails," do you have any business in politics?
Leave it to Democrats to find a losing strategy when battling against the imprisonment of babies.
President Donald Trump's cruel, unnecessary, racist policy to separate children from their parents at the border caused America to recoil in horror, the more so because many of these families were refugees fleeing the most appalling atrocities in their home countries. Haunting audio of crying children was leaked, and a shameful new phrase became common parlance - baby jails.
The Trump administration not only enacted the most awful possible policy, but did so in the most incompetent possible way. It quickly emerged that some parents were deported while their children remained imprisoned in the United States. There was no plan in place to reunite families. The whole thing was a shit show.
Anyone with half an ounce of political savvy knew this policy was poison. Two-thirds of Americans disapproved of it, while less than 30 percent approved. Even Republican legislators bucked the Cult of Trump.
Democrats could get by from now until the midterms using just two hashtags: #babyjails and #reunitefamilies.
Instead, some prominent Democrats are going out of their way to blur this simple, heart-rending narrative by pushing a radical-sounding plan to abolish the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency. Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Elizabeth Warren, both 2020 presidential wannabes, and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio are among those who have come out in favor of getting rid of ICE.
The plan isn't really radical, and it's not in any way an indication that Democrats are in favor of open borders. But it sure does sound that way, and Trump and his media fluffers wasted no time in pushing that narrative.
The plan is worse than radical: it's boring, won't happen, and lets Trump off the hook.
Rep. Mark Pocan, who is drafting a going-nowhere-fast House bill to abolish ICE, said the legislation "would dismantle ICE and create a commission to provide recommendations to Congress on how the U.S. government can implement a humane immigration enforcement system that upholds the dignity of all individuals, while transferring necessary functions to other agencies."
Cool. Let's get that on a bumper sticker.
Democrats are never happier than when they're grinding their way through a wonkish policy paper or rolling up their sleeves for a bracing four-hour committee meeting, and they never seem to understand that they need to win elections before they're actually allowed to govern.
No one campaigns in poetry anymore, let alone prose. Republicans have always understood that a simple lie will get you further than a complicated truth. Remember "death panels," nine years later? Sure you do. Now quick, what's the Democrats' campaign slogan for the midterms? I'll wait.
Democrats have the best of both worlds - a simple truth - and can't seem to use it effectively. America needs to reunite these families and ensure nothing like this ever happens again. Democrats should be pushing for this every day. Simple. True.