Friday, February 17, 2017


Almost as soon as this report broke, it was denied by the White House:
The Trump administration considered a proposal to mobilize as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to round up unauthorized immigrants, including millions living nowhere near the Mexico border, according to a draft memo obtained by The Associated Press.

Staffers in the Department of Homeland Security said the proposal had been discussed as recently as last Friday.

The 11-page document calls for the unprecedented militarization of immigration enforcement as far north as Portland, Oregon, and as far east as New Orleans, Louisiana.

Four states that border on Mexico were included in the proposal — California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas — but it also encompasses seven states contiguous to those four — Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana.
The denial:
White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Friday the document was "not a White House document."

"There is no effort to do what is potentially suggested," he said. Spicer called the AP report "100 percent not true, adding that there was "no effort at all to utilize the National Guard to round up unauthorized immigrants."

So what's going on? The Moscow deputy bureau chief for Bloomberg Businessweek thinks it's eleven-dimensional fascist chess:

But if that's how this was meant to work, you'd think the Trumpers would want it to hang in the air a little longer before issuing a denial. And you'd think they'd want to clear the news cycle a bit, to give it some breathing room. We still haven't stopped talking about yesterday's Trump press conference; this got wedged in between that press conference and what could be another Lenny-Bruce-shortly before-his-death moment, Trump's appearance today at Boeing, which is happening as I type.

Also, why propose a deportation force (authoritarian) and give governors an opt-out option (wussy)?
Governors in the 11 states would have had a choice whether to have their guard troops participate, according to the memo....
There's no way the Democratic governors of California, Oregon, and Colorado are going to say yes, and I'm not sure about the Republican governors of purple New Mexico and Nevada. It's as if the Trumpers want to come off as jackbooted thugs, but nice jackbooted thugs -- jackbooted thugs who say "Please."

It's my opinion that this would be very popular among white voters across the country, including some now-wavering moderate conservatives. So why not just do it? Get it written, get it vetted, get it done? I think it's because there's a crazy-idea shop in the West Wing (Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller), but there's no one who's skilled at putting policies into effect, which requires a minimal ability to interact with other human beings and coordinate with those other human beings on implementation. So the White House executive-order-and-memorandum shop is basically a federally funded version of a regular column at a wingnut online news site -- heavy on extreme ideas, but with not much skill at follow-through.

This might still happen. I just don't know why it isn't happening already.

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