Have you noticed how President Trump and his supporters seem to be expending a lot of energy trying to spin the administration’s shameful decision to separate families at the border? They want you to believe that those tragic scenes are somehow President Obama’s fault, or the product of Democratic political games. Bill Maher has noticed, and he’s calling bullsh*t.
All this talk from Trump and his people about how they can't do anything about the border policy because, "the law's the law, our hands are tied" – where was that when they were sabotaging Obamacare? That's also the law.
— Bill Maher (@billmaher) June 20, 2018
“All this talk from Trump and his people about how they can’t do anything about the border policy because, ‘the law’s the law, our hands are tied’ – where was that when they were sabotaging Obamacare? That’s also the law,” the comedian tweeted.
He’s absolutely right. Throughout the campaign, Trump promised to turn the border into a prison and to treat undocumented immigrants like rapists and drug dealers, often using those exact words. Now he’s delivering. What we can’t understand is, why are Trump and his supporters trying to blame Obama when this is exactly what they wanted? They should be spiking the football and celebrating another Trump victory.
Instead, they’re saying that President Obama has handcuffed him with his policies, and that Trump would do the right thing but for the big bad Democrats. But to Maher’s point, since when has this president felt either bound by anything Obama put into place, or limited by Democratic initiatives, even ones he’s invented out of thin air like this supposed ‘Democratic Law?’ He’s taken a wrecking ball to virtually all of Obama’s policies that he felt restrained his MAGA agenda. Why now play the victim, and why are his supporters playing along with it?
The bottom line is this: there is no law that says children must be separated from their parents at the border. None. That language appears no where in any of the bills passed by Congress that currently govern immigration enforcement – not the original legislation going back to the 50s, and not in the dozens of bills that have amended and updated the law ever since.
But there’s no language that says parents and children must remain together while they’re processed at the border, either. That’s a huge problem, but that still doesn’t explain what’s happening because the constitution gives us a fix for these things.
When the law isn’t clear, the Constitution empowers the president to interpret the law and decide how best to enforce it. Both the Department of Justice, which does the legal interpreting, and the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees ICE, which is the agency on the ground processing immigrants, report to the president, not to congress and not to the courts.
The answer is simple. They know ripping kids from their parents’ arms is morally wrong and a line that should not have been crossed for any number of reasons. But they also know Trump is only giving them what they asked for. They feel guilty for asking for it, some of them. At the very least they understand how troubling the optics are now that it’s playing out in real life, and they’re having trouble living with the shame of wishing for it and enabling what they’re seeing.
Now that they have it, however, they don’t want to give it back. They literally want to have their cake and eat it too. And so rather than own it, relish in it, and celebrate it like they have most other Trump ‘winning,’ they’re blaming everyone but themselves and their beloved president. I haven’t seen one pro-Trump social media post or Fox News talking head that doesn’t begin their ‘defense’ of what’s happening at the border with something like “I’m against separating families but…” No they’re not. They wanted this. They asked for this. And they voted for the guy who promised to give this to them.
You’d this arrogant president and his sycophantic supporters would at least have the moral fortitude to own it and live with the consequences. Then at least they can’t be accused of hypocrisy. But that would take courage, which is something no one has ever accused the president of having.
There’s a word for people who acknowledge moral wrong doing by their leaders, but fail to stand up to it and contort themselves to find excuses for it. They are called cowards. We’re pretty sure Bill Maher would agree.