Note To Republicans: If You Are Going To Switch Sides Without Looking Like A Grandstanding Turncoat, You Have To Do A Better Job Explaining Why Than Chris Vance

That's Chris, about 12 rows up, third from the left...

(That’s Chris, about 12 rows up, third from the left…)

Chris Vance once was the  chair of the Washington state Republican Party. He unsuccessfully ran for the U.S. Senate last year, and now is stuck in a bright blue state where conservatives are as popular as bedbugs. Trying another approach, he has come out with an op-ed announcing that he has joined the protesters in his state, which are challenging the President’s efforts to more tightly control immigration, refugees, and the threat posed by Islamic terrorists.

My crack (and indispensable) issue scout Fred found Vance’s article and passed it along, asking, “Does belonging to a party ethically require loyalty to its agenda? Or to its principles? Is belonging to a party inherently unethical? The Founding Fathers might have said yes.”

The answers to these are: 1) Belonging to a party, like any group, allows principled dissent and advocacy for more just and reasonable policies. When an individual cannot support any of a party’s agenda, then he or she has an obligation to go elsewhere. Can one element of the agenda, such as support or opposition to abortion, be a deal-breaker? Of course. 2) If a party member cannot support a party’s principles, than pretending to be a member of the party is inherently dishonest, a breach of integrity and unethical. 3) Democracy requires political parties to function, as all democracies have learned. The Founders would have disagreed, but we have had the benefit a couple hundred years of experience that they lacked.. The Founders also would have disagreed with allowing women to vote, blacks running for President, and children having Constitutional rights.

I doubt any of the questions apply to Chris Vance, however. What appears to be going on is that an unsuccessful politician has assessed the likelihood of conservative Republican going very far in California Northwest, and decided to re-invent himself as not just anti-Trump (that didn’t work, because he was anti-Trump during the campaign and still lost) but anti-President and pro-Left Wing Freakout. His real problem, judging from the column, is that Vance just isn’t very bright, or perhaps isn’t very skilled at hiding the fact that his core beliefs are adjustable.

Vance begins by saying,

I read a summary of Donald Trump’s executive order regarding refugees and immigrants. Then I read the order itself. And then I read it again.And then I went online and my wife and I became members of the American Civil Liberties Union. Sunday night, for the first time in our lives, we became protestors, along with thousands of other Americans, joining a rally in Seattle’s Westlake Park.

Sound like an Ethics Hero, no? No. The ACLU, by its own admission, has nothing to do with protecting the rights of would-be immigrants and refugees, because it concedes that non-citizens who are non-U.S. residents have no Constitutional rights. Nor should they have. “I read the order and joined the ACLU” is a non-sequitur, unless Vance is making a point that he doesn’t bother to articulate.

“Trump is in the process of turning the party of Reagan, who championed growth, free trade and active American leadership in the world, into the party of protectionism and isolationism,” Vance says as his first explanation. Well, that conclusion is open to debate on many fronts. Reagan was President 30 years ago, and conditions change; this President also champions growth but has different ideas about how to achieve it after the longest period of insufficient growth in U.S. history. His believing that U.S. interests should come before those of other nations and that foreign bodies should not have authority to dictate to this country is only “isolationism” to those who want to push the U.S. toward global government.

Mostly, however, this has nothing to do with his decision to join mobs in the streets who are part of a Democratic/progressive effort to prevent a duly elected government from having the opportunity to do what elections, the Constitution, political tradition and basic fairness demands: enact its policies and see if they work.

Why would a Republican joining the “not my President” chants of anti-democratic leftists and their naive tools be more ethical than the hypocritical Democrats already in the mob? (Reminder this is hypocritical because Republicans treating a new Democratic President this way before 100 days had passed would be condemned as racist, sexist, or unAmerican or whatever other label the Left could attach.).

Then Vance writes..

“And now, with his immigration ban, he is turning the party of Lincoln into the modern-day anti-immigrant Know Nothing Party.”

Wait, is this the party of Lincoln, or the party of Reagan? The Know-Nothing Party was the party of Millard Fillmore, and the claim that Republicans or the President are “anti-immigrant” like that short-lived 19th Century fringe party is a lie, a slur, and Democratic Party anti-Trump campaign holdover mud, deriving from the open-border advocates’ Orwellian habit of referring to illegal immigrants as immigrants, as if there isn’t a material distinction. The President and the Republican Party, and to that I would add anyone who has a functioning brain, believe that illegal immigrants should not be allowed in the country, and not be coddled or welcomed if they somehow get here. So do I, as I identify with one of those three.

All right, to be fair to Vance, why does he believe the Executive Order in question shows hostility to immigration generally?

In the fall of 2015, after the terrorist attacks in Paris, many Republicans — including me — said we should stop admitting refugees from ISIS dominated areas, mainly Syria and Iraq, until the FBI could adequately vet them and guarantee that they weren’t a threat. But many Trump supporters want to go much farther and permanently ban Muslims from entering the U.S. — and with his executive order, Trump has taken Step 1 toward doing just that.

Got that? Vance says he advocated something very similar to what the Executive Order aims at, but because “many Trump supporters want to go much farther and permanently ban Muslims from entering the U.S.”, he’s protesting. Vance argues here and elsewhere that Trump’s actual orders should be protested as if they were something entirely different because that’s what his most radical supporters want. That’s neither fair, responsible nor intelligent.

Vance then quotes the order, adding the bold:

In order to protect Americans, the United States must ensure that those admitted to this country do not bear hostile attitudes toward it and its founding principles. The United States cannot, and should not, admit those who do not support the Constitution, or those who would place violent ideologies over American law.

The Horror! Imagine: the U.S. would bar from immigrating foreigners “who do not support the Constitution, or those who would place violent ideologies over American law”!  This is the only sane and responsible immigration policy the nation or any nation should have.

“Why do you want to come here, Foreign Citizen?”

“Oh, I want to overthrow the government, and use violence to destroy your nation’s Constitution, which allows women, blacks, the  godless and homosexuals to live as full citizens!”

“OK, fine, welcome to America!”

Vance explains further:

“This language sounds benign until you consider that many of Trump’s ‘alt-right’ supporters believe that Islam itself is a “violent ideology,” and that all Muslims want to place Islam and Sharia law “over American law.”

Ah! So a President’s statements and laws that he signs should be interpreted not according to what they say, but according to what “many” of that President’s most extreme supporters want it to say!

Vance unravels his credibility at every turn. To begin with, it is not at all extreme or unreasonable to argue that Islam is a violent ideology. It is; whether it is necessarily practiced violently is a different question. Vance, however, uses this false analogy, after calling qualms about Islam “nonsense”:

A generation ago religious bigots made the same sorts of claims about my faith, Roman Catholicism.

Do remind me, Chris: what were all those incidents of deadly radical Catholic terrorism “a generation ago?” You know, the Catholic radicals kidnapping young girls and beheading people? It’s all slipped my mind!  And what was that thing they shouted out when they started shooting or stabbing or crashing planes? Ad maiorem Dei gloriam? Was that what they shouted? I can’t recall.

Vance also says that “Trump made his views crystal clear during the campaign.” Trump’s views have never been “crystal clear, \” because his words are never carefully chosen. Quick: is he really going to deport 11 million illegals? Will he really fire military authorities who don’t agree to torture prisoners? Is he going to get rid of Obamacare, or fix it? He was “crystal clear” that he would only appoint SCOTUS justices who would “reverse Roe v. Wade,”  but his first nominee for the Court has no record of opposing abortion rights, but has often stated that he doesn’t believe it is prudent to oppose established judicial precedent. The claim that the President has made any position clear is laughable, until he actually signs legislation.

Then Vance defaults to complaints about Trump wanting to get out of NAFTA and the TPP. Is that what you’re marching against, Chris? Do you really think a President should be impeached because he doesn’t agree with you on trade?

Chris Vance is joining the protesters in the streets, hoping he can get some of their votes. But if a politician is going to pull this cynical stunt, he has to be able to make a serious argument for why he’s doing it so he doesn’t sound like a grandstanding, posturing fool. I’m sure his mob will be happy to have an extra Trump-Hate chanter, but there is nothing principled about Vance’s position.

__________________________

Pointer: Fred

64 Comments

Filed under Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics

64 responses to “Note To Republicans: If You Are Going To Switch Sides Without Looking Like A Grandstanding Turncoat, You Have To Do A Better Job Explaining Why Than Chris Vance

  1. Chris Marschner

    He will be embraced and used as a propaganda tool. However, he has kissed his political career goodbye.

  2. Chris

    Trying another approach, he has come out with an op-ed announcing that he has joined the protesters in his state, which is challenging the President’s efforts to more tightly control immigration, refugees, and the threat posed by Islamic terrorists.

    That’s a pretty loaded way to frame it, Jack.

    One could just as accurately say he’s joining the protest against the President’s stupid, counter-productive, harmful efforts to fight those threats, efforts that are actually strengthening ISIS, alienating our allies, and harming our reputation in the world.

    I’m not sure the question of party loyalty is relevant here. Republicans as a party, while supporting tighter immigration controls and fewer refugees, have not supported any part of this executive order. Republicans in Congress were not consulted on it before Trump signed it. Many have tried to distance themselves from it, though few have gone as far as Vance.

    A better question might be “Should members of a party be required to change their agenda based on the irrational and unpredictable whims of their party’s leader?

    Sound like an Ethics Hero, no? No. The ACLU, by its own admission, has nothing to do with protecting the rights of would-be immigrants and refugees, because it concedes that non-citizens who are non-U.S. residents have no Constitutional rights. Nor should they have. “I read the order and joined the ACLU” is a non-sequitur, unless Vance is making a point that he doesn’t bother to articulate.

    The point was clear to me. The ACLU has been fighting the EO since the moment it was signed, and has been basically leading the opposition to it. Everyone knows this, so how can this be a “non-sequitur?”

    His believing that U.S. interests should come before those of other nations and that foreign bodies should not have the authority to dictate to this country…

    Why do you keep framing Trump’s extremist philosophy in the most soft-pedaling way imaginable?

    Why would a Republican joining the “not my President” chants of anti-democratic leftists and their naive tools be more ethical than the hypocritical Democrats already in the mob? (Reminder this is hypocritical because Republicans treating a new Democratic President this way before 100 days had passed would be condemned as racist, sexist, or unAmerican or whatever other label the Left could attach.).

    Has Vance chanted “not my president?” I don’t understand your extreme anti-protest stance. Is there *any* type of protest you think is ethical? Do you plan on calling every act of protest against this administration a “freak-out” for the next four years?

    Eventually Trump is going to do something that you think is worthy of legitimate protest. When that happens, will you still regard those of us who were protesting all along as silly hypocritical hysterics?

    Wait, is this the party of Lincoln, or the party of Reagan? The Know-Nothing Party was the party of Millard Fillmore, and the claim that Republicans or the President are “anti-immigrant” like that short-lived 19th Century fringe party is a lie, a slur, and Democratic Party anti-Trump campaign holdover mud, deriving from the open-border advocates’ Orwellian habit of referring to illegal immigrants as immigrants, as if there isn’t a material distinction.

    The executive order has nothing to do with illegal immigration, Jack, so *this* is a non-sequiter.

    And yes, banning immigration entirely from seven countries–when you can point to no evidence that doing so will do anything to keep us safe–is anti-immigrant. Obviously.

    • This is one of your stranger, knee-jerk comments, Chris. Let’s pick my favorites, from the bottom”

      “And yes, banning immigration entirely from seven countries–when you can point to no evidence that doing so will do anything to keep us safe–is anti-immigrant. Obviously.”

      It’s not obvious, in fact it’s obvious what the purpose is and what the logic is. These are 6 failed states and Iran, with active Isis presence. The President has concluded that the vetting may be inadequate to prevent terrorist from entering the country, and is acting responsibly. Only the Obama-esque denial that there is such a thing a Islamic terrorism would make anyone call this “anti-immigrant.” It’s anti-Islamic terrorist. Obviously.

      “The executive order has nothing to do with illegal immigration, Jack, so *this* is a non-sequiter.”

      The post is about Vance’s column. HE brought up the Know-Nothing Party, which was anti-immigration. The point is that there is no evidence that Trump is “anti-Immigration,” and the freakout and fearmongering regarding immigrants is of a piece.

      “Eventually Trump is going to do something that you think is worthy of legitimate protest. When that happens, will you still regard those of us who were protesting all along as silly hypocritical hysterics?”

      Eventually the Earth will be destroyed by a giant meteor: will you still regard those of us who were claiming that world was about to end as silly hypocritical hysterics?

      ABSOLUTELY.

      Why do you keep framing Trump’s extremist philosophy in the most soft-pedaling way imaginable?

      Because I’m fair, Chris. That’s why.

      • Chris

        It’s not obvious, in fact it’s obvious what the purpose is and what the logic is.

        The EO doesn’t serve the purpose of keeping our country safe, for reasons I’ve already alluded to. Alienating our allies, hand-delivering ISIS propaganda that says “Hey, Muslims, America hates you!” disincentivizing translators and others in the Middle East from helping us, giving a middle finger to translators who’ve already helped us by detaining them at airports after they’ve already helped us, and making the US an international pariah: tell me, Jack, which part of this helps keep our country safe from terror?

        It’s perverse to say that a law is based on “logic” when the law can be undermined simply by pointing to any fact.

        The President has concluded that the vetting may be inadequate to prevent terrorist from entering the country,

        The President has “concluded” this, yet has not pointed to a single part of the vetting process that needs to be improved, nor offered a single improvement. It is stupid and gullible to take his word for it that the vetting process is inadequate when he can’t explain how, let alone what is to be done about it. To believe him when he says this law is only temporary, until the process can be improved–when he has no ideas for improvement–represents a total surrender of intellect. He doesn’t know how to improve the vetting process, and he doesn’t care.

        and is acting responsibly.

        When did you revise your opinion to come to the conclusion that this EO was responsible? What happened to this?

        https://ethicsalarms.com/2017/01/30/the-easy-ethics-verdict-on-trumps-middle-east-immigration-suspension/

        Only the Obama-esque denial that there is such a thing a Islamic terrorism would make anyone call this “anti-immigrant.” It’s anti-Islamic terrorist. Obviously.

        This law is anti-Islamic terrorist in the same way that laws against gay marriage were “pro-family.”

        Then as now, opponents of such restrictions were completely, and comically, unable to explain how their proposed restrictions met the purpose they claimed to intend. They were unable to prove that the harm caused by their restrictions was balanced by any observable public good. They had no evidence for their conclusions; merely fear.

        That’s what you’re falling for here, Jack.

        This EO isn’t about keeping people safe. It’s about making people feel safe. You’ve taken issue with liberals–rightly, in many cases–for using this type of logic to push unnecessary gun control regulations. Yet you can’t see that you’re falling for the exact same rationalizations here.

        This is the administration that has stooped to inventing terrorists attacks in Bowling Green and Atlanta in order to make Americans afraid and willing to accept their regulations. This is the administration that put out a list of Islamic terrorists attacks that were allegedly “not covered by the media,” that included the Pulse nightclub shooting and San Bernardino, which got wall-to-wall coverage, and attacks that had nothing to do with Islamic terror according to the police and the victims’ parents. This is the president who, as a candidate, lied about Muslims by saying “thousands” of them celebrated 9/11 on New Jersey rooftops in order to justify action against them, and floated the idea of a “Muslim ban.” This is the president who, as a candidate, gloated that he was right every time there was an act of terror.

        And you seriously can’t see through the smokescreen here?

        The point is that there is no evidence that Trump is “anti-Immigration,”

        My god.

        Tell me, Jack: is there any restriction on immigration that Trump could pass that would make you see him as “anti-immigration?” Or is the argument that as long as there is the thinnest veneer of a justification for such restriction, that makes it not anti-immigrant?

        If someone passes a law that says “Black people are no longer allowed to own guns,” and their rationale for that is the black crime rate, it’s disingenuous to say “They’re not anti-black, they’re just anti-crime!” Yet that’s exactly what you’re doing here.

        Eventually the Earth will be destroyed by a giant meteor: will you still regard those of us who were claiming that world was about to end as silly hypocritical hysterics?

        Bad analogy. You already know that Trump will be a bad president, because you spent over a year telling everyone that. It isn’t a doomsday prediction to say that he will likely do something impeachable, or at least something worthy of protest. (In my eyes, he has already done plenty worthy of protest, but nothing worthy of impeachment yet.)

        • “The EO doesn’t serve the purpose of keeping our country safe, for reasons I’ve already alluded to. Alienating our allies, hand-delivering ISIS propaganda that says “Hey, Muslims, America hates you!”

          1. This is denial X distortion. the areas contain the most terrorist. There are inadequate ways to vet such immigrants, It is safer to accept the quota for immigrants without accepting any from this pool until the pool can be made safer. It’s not a hard argument. And any group that you feel you have to accept without limitations because otherwise they may kill you is a group that just justified being treated differently. I’m amazed any this I hear such a self-defeating point.

          2. They don’t have to prove anything. Obama killed the pipeline admitting that it would have no effect on the very factors he banned it for. He could, because he was President. This President thinks it will help. He’s the President. He’s also not so biased as to pretend that all immigrants are equally warm and fuzzy, and that every one has a right to come here.

          3. Two Iraqi refugees in Bowling Green, Ky. in 2011 were arrested and faced federal terrorism charges after it was discovered that, before becoming refugees, they had potentially targeted U.S. soldiers in Iraq. The inicdent was stupidly misrepresented by Conway, but so what? People like that should not be able to come here. I read the Post’s “Fact Check” on the claim that 72 refugees and immigrants from the 7 countries engaged in terror related activity. The claim is over-stated, but its not irrelevant. The Posy lists example of others among the 72, like

          Nima Yusuf, a native of Somalia, who pleaded guilty in 2011 to conspiring to provide material support to al-Shabab. In her plea agreement, she said she had worked to provide money and personnel for al-Shabab, knowing the group was designated as a foreign terrorist organization.
          Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame, a native of Somalia, who in 2011 pleaded guilty to a nine-count indictment charging him with providing material support to al-Shabab and al-Qaeda. The FBI’s announcement of Warsame’s guilty plea said he was “al Shabaab’s emissary to AQAP [al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula] and arranged for al Shabaab to purchase weapons directly from AQAP.”
          Mohamad Mustapha Ali Masfaka, a native of Syria, who in 2010 was sentenced to prison after pleading guilty to making false statements under oath in naturalization proceedings. Masfaka, a singer, was indicted on a charge of lying to federal officials about his involvement with the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, a designated terrorist organization.
          Manssor Arbabsiar, a native of Iran, who in 2013 was sentenced to prison after pleading guilty to one count of murder for hire, one count of conspiracy to commit murder for hire and one count of conspiracy to commit an act of terrorism. Arbabsiar participated in a plot to murder the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the United States, acting in concert with members of Iran’s Quds Force, which has been designated “as a terrorist supporter for providing material support to the Taliban and other terrorist organizations.”

          And you know what? That’s plenty to ding every one of them. Not worth the risk. But the Post says,

          “But it’s important to note that being convicted of material support is not always evidence that the person was planning a terrorist attack or terrorism-related activities.”

          Unbelievable. It IS proof that they are a worse risk than immigrants who did NOT convicted of material support! Why take the risk? Oh, right—because of the poem on the Statue of Liberty.

          4. “When did you revise your opinion to come to the conclusion that this EO was responsible? What happened to this?”

          The execution and wording of the EO was incompetent. I never suggested that pausing immigration from those hotspots was irresponsible.

          5. Tell me, Jack: is there any restriction on immigration that Trump could pass that would make you see him as “anti-immigration?” Or is the argument that as long as there is the thinnest veneer of a justification for such restriction, that makes it not anti-immigrant?

          Why yes, Chris: any measure that is actually hostile to immigration. Hostile to law breakers who come here in contempt for our laws? Great. Measures that make it more difficult for terrorists to come here? Wonderful. Measures that applying extra care in allowing followers of the death cult that is Islam come here? Responsible, and not anti Islam.

          • Chris

            I was going to respond in full, but you just called Islam a “death cult” and then said that legally treating Muslims different from others isn’t anti-Islam.

            Holy shit, Jack. I’m pretty sure calling Islam a “death cult” is anti-Islam.

            • fattymoon

              I am so FUCKING CONFUSED about the Islamic religion that I have stopped trying to understand any of it. I CAN understand the underpinnings of Christianity, that is, the teaching of Christ. And I’m all for it. Either the religion of Islam has been bastardized over the centuries (as has Christianity) or it is depraved to the very core.

            • Well, I need a better term, then. Suggest one.

              It is a cult, and it holds that all who try to leave the religion must die. It declares fatwas on “infidels,” like the Danish cartoonist who was just murdered. It is the only religion that has anything like Jihad, and its holy book demands that Muslims lie and kill to promote the great one truth. Its followers argue that even if all ends in death and destruction, their reward will be paradise. (Christianity, in contrast, does not reward violence.) I’m sure you say this: it was well publicized in the DC area: http://heatst.com/culture-wars/georgetown-islamic-studies-professor-slavery-ok-so-is-non-consensual-sex/

              A highlight: Brown defended slavery, stating, “It’s not immoral for one human to own another human” by comparing it to marriage—a quid pro quo arrangement in which both slave and master benefited from the arrangement.

              “I don’t think it’s morally evil to own somebody because we own lots of people all around us and we’re owned by people,” said Brown.

              A female attendee asked Brown about the permissibility of sex with slaves, to which the professor stated that “Consent isn’t necessary for lawful sex,” and defined consent as a Western concept that emerged with women’s suffrage and female body autonomy. Brown, he said, believes that marital rape was an invalid concept in Islam.

              Then there was this, also recently.

              Everything I read indicates that this is a totalitarian, anti-democracy, anti-woman, pro-rape, anti-gay,pro-violence, intolerant, world wide cult. (All religions are cults, you know.) Pretending it isn’t doesn’t change anything. Clearly, many Muslims are Muslims the way American Catholics are Catholic but don’t really believe that the Pope is holy or that unborn life is sacred. That’s great. Now all we need is way to tell which ones.

              • Margie

                “Now all we need is a way to tell which ones.”
                There is a way, but only if the under-educated on both sides rid themselves of the bigotry of thinking that Muslims are peaceful, or Muslims are violent. Muslims are individuals, as different from one another as we are. People like Raheel Raza can help us tell the difference, and are willing and eager. It’s mandatory that we embrace true moderate, liberty-loving Muslims, and distance ourselves from wolves in sheep’s clothing like CAIR. The real moderates are in as much peril from Islamists as anyone else, and are the only ones who can even hope to effect the needed changes from within the religion. Trump may be the only one who can actually identify the people who can help, and make this alliance. I believe it’s one of the main reasons he was elected. http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/08/17/trump-muslim-woman-activist-right-islam-islamophobia-ban-column/88863820/

                • John Billingsley

                  Margie, I didn’t reload the comments before I posted and missed your post. I believe you make valid points that I only very briefly touched on.

                • Chris

                  Margie:

                  Trump may be the only one who can actually identify the people who can help, and make this alliance. I believe it’s one of the main reasons he was elected.

                  Wait. You think Trump was elected by people who want to make nuanced distinctions between moderate Muslims and radicals, and that Trump is capable of making such distinctions?

                  Thanks. I needed that laugh.

              • Chris

                All religions are cults, you know.

                Are there other posts you can show me where you have referred to Christianity and Judaism as “cults?” You chose that word for a reason, and you even called it a “death cult;” you are clearly advocating that the government treat Islam differently from other religions.

                And you think you can fairly decide what is and is not “anti-Islam?” You are anti-Islam, so don’t you think you might lack impartiality on whether or not the EO is anti-Islam?

                • Chris

                  “Now all we need is way to tell which ones.”

                  This is an endorsement of pre-crime.

                  • In immigration policy, there is nothing wrong with pre-crime. Nothing at all. Not allowing a foreign citizen to immigrate here is not removal of a right, but the refusal of a privilege. Is not hiring as a bank teller an individual with arrests for theft “pre-crime”? Is not marrying some oen with record of spousal abuse pre-crime.

                    Think again.

                • No, because I haven’t has an occasion to call every religion a cult. But every religion is a cult. Islam happens to eba death cult.

            • John Billingsley

              All religious fundamentalism is dangerous. Fundamentalists interpret their holy books literally and accept that whatever they interpret as God’s commandment must be good because God is good by definition. Such fundamentalist beliefs are delusional and as such are dangerous because they enable basically good people to legitimize doing bad things. Delusional beliefs whether the source is fundamentalist religion or mental health problems prevent critical thought.

              Some extreme Christian fundamentalist have taken verses in the Bible, for example, to justify the murder of doctors who perform abortions or the murder of homosexuals. Fortunately the true extremists are rare and are condemned by the less extreme fundamentalist who use the same verses to justify discrimination and other hate crimes. I am not aware of any passages in the Bible that even in the most literal interpretation indicate that God is commanding that Christians or Jews murder or convert all the unbelievers and be rewarded in heaven for doing so.

              The Koran does have explicit texts which in the English translations I have read clearly exhort a Muslim to kill unbelievers and state that there will be a reward for doing so. There are also clearly identified groups of Muslims who organize for the specific purpose of planning ways to kill large numbers of unbeliever’s and do their best to carry out those attacks and are supported by a large number of their coreligionists. I think it is fair to call that group a “death cult.” I believe though that the great majority of Muslims are not in that group. The problem, as Jack points out, is how to tell them apart. That problem seems to be made more difficult by the fact that the Muslims who are moderate appear reluctant to denounce the violent fundamentalist perhaps because they fear retribution.

              For a more in depth treatment of fundamentalist religion and delusions and the dangers see Lawrie Reznek’s “Delusions and the Madness of the Masses”.

              • Margie

                Thank you for the acknowledgement of my earlier post.

                There are not two distinct groups. There are many, many groups which exist on somewhat of a sliding scale from innocuous to extremely radical. There are also groups within those groups, and individual differences within those. Muslims are as diverse in beliefs and practices as Christians are, but the ones at the extreme end of Islam are far more extreme, and far more numerous, and do constitute a significant threat. It is hard for any of us to know where along that scale to draw the line. That’s where the counsel of people like Raheel Raza can be indispensable.

          • Chris

            1. This is denial X distortion. the areas contain the most terrorist. There are inadequate ways to vet such immigrants, It is safer to accept the quota for immigrants without accepting any from this pool until the pool can be made safer. It’s not a hard argument.

            Again, as long as you ignore any inconvenient facts about the negative consequences of the EO, it isn’t a hard argument at all. But good arguments aren’t made by ignoring facts, and ignoring every counter-argument against the law is not persuasive.

            Is there a significant portion of the national security community that agrees with the EO? From what I’ve seen, there is not. It’s also clear that the national security community had virtually no input on this EO; it was crafted by Bannon, an anti-Muslim blogger with no foreign policy experience, and as you’ve admitted Trump’s own DHS head was not consulted. That seems responsible to you?

            And any group that you feel you have to accept without limitations because otherwise they may kill you is a group that just justified being treated differently. I’m amazed any this I hear such a self-defeating point.

            That’s not what I said. I said that potential allies in the ME will be less likely to work with us now that we’ve banned them from entering the country. That is true, whether you accept it or not.

            2. They don’t have to prove anything. Obama killed the pipeline admitting that it would have no effect on the very factors he banned it for. He could, because he was President. This President thinks it will help. He’s the President.

            We’ll see if the Supreme Court agrees.

            He’s also not so biased as to pretend that all immigrants are equally warm and fuzzy, and that every one has a right to come here.

            No one has ever pretended that, but nice strawman argument.

            3. Two Iraqi refugees in Bowling Green, Ky. in 2011 were arrested and faced federal terrorism charges after it was discovered that, before becoming refugees, they had potentially targeted U.S. soldiers in Iraq. The inicdent was stupidly misrepresented by Conway, but so what?

            Yeah, who cares if our government makes up terrorist attacks in order to scare us into supporting extreme policies?

          • Chris

            Why yes, Chris: any measure that is actually hostile to immigration.

            Sorry, I keep finding new things to respond to.

            What does this mean? I see this EO as hostile to immigration; you clearly do not.

            What is an example of an immigration law that you would see as hostile to immigration?

            • An order that prevented legal immigration, from populations that didn’t include unknown numbers of people likely to kill us or who want to, where actual, reasonable, affordable vetting is possible rather than mythological.

              • Chris

                An order that prevented legal immigration,

                This order prevents legal immigration.

                from populations that didn’t include unknown numbers of people likely to kill us or who want to, where actual, reasonable, affordable vetting is possible rather than mythological.

                Every population, by definition, includes “unknown numbers of people likely to kill us.” That’s what “unknown” means.

                Neat trick.

                • This order prevents legal immigration.

                  Of course it doesn’t.
                  It regulates immigration from terrorism hotbeds.

                  I know you’re fond of this rhetorical distortion, but if I regulate the sale guns to felons, I haven’t banned the sale of guns.

                  • Chris

                    Of course it doesn’t.
                    It regulates immigration from terrorism hotbeds.

                    You’re not making any sense. This executive order took immigration that was previously legal–immigration from the seven countries on the list–and made it illegal. It did this overnight, while immigrants who were coming back to America after visiting abroad were in the air.

                    What else could “preventing legal immigration” possibly mean? Is this another meaningless phrase like “unknown numbers of people trying to kill us?”

                    I can’t know what you mean until you give me an example of a policy that you would call anti-immigrant.

                    I’m beginning to suspect there is no such policy.

                    I know you’re fond of this rhetorical distortion, but if I regulate the sale guns to felons, I haven’t banned the sale of guns.

                    And yet saying that such a regulation would be “preventing legal gun sales” would be functionally meaningless. If such sales were previously legal, then one could say the regulation prevented legal gun sales. But an opponent would simply counter “Well, now it’s illegal, so it doesn’t prevent legal gun sales.”

                    And of course, we already had regulations against allowing terrorists from immigrating to our country. This executive order prevents tons of law-abiding immigrants, who could previously come here legally, from doing so.

                    • I explained that. Preventing an aspect of any broad category of activity (X) that is dangerous, harmful or subject to abuse is anti-[dangerous, harmful abusive] X, not anti-X. The fact that this isn’t obvious is disturbing, but it does explain why the deceitful tactic of calling illegal immigration “immigration” is rationalized.

                    • Chris

                      I explained that. Preventing an aspect of any broad category of activity (X) that is dangerous, harmful or subject to abuse is anti-[dangerous, harmful abusive] X, not anti-X. The fact that this isn’t obvious is disturbing, but it does explain why the deceitful tactic of calling illegal immigration “immigration” is rationalized.

                      This formulation creates so many slippery slope conundrums that I honestly can’t believe you didn’t anticipate them.

                      By this logic, banning all immigration to the US would not be “anti-immigrant” as long as the justification for it was to prevent terror from entering the country.

                      Banning gay marriage to prevent the breakdown of the family structure would be anti-family-breakdown, not anti-gay.

                      Putting all black people in internment camps under the guise of preventing crime would not be “anti-black” under this formulation because it would be “preventing an aspect of any broad category of activity that is dangerous, harmful, or subject to abuse.” By your logic, such a law would be anti-crime, not anti-X.

                      Your formulation is nonsensical, Jack, and implies that absolutely no policy can ever be called anti-immigrant as long as its supporter claim it’s intended to prevent something bad from happening. Whether or not it actually will prevent said bad thing doesn’t even matter.

                      You still haven’t given an example of an immigration law you would define as anti-immigrant. The above is not an “example,” it’s a broad description. The Chinese Exclusion Act would be an example, but according to your formulation it would not be considered anti-immigrant, but anti-unemployment, since the goal was to prevent American job loss.

                    • Chris

                      “anti-crime, not anti-X” should read “anti-crime, not anti-black.”

        • “giving a middle finger to translators who’ve already helped us by detaining them at airports after they’ve already helped us”

          On this specific, I think this protest is truly disingenuous. Chris do better.

          We gave the royal National middle finger to our brace translators when Obama bailed on Iraq and then refused to even provide air support for the fledgling Iraqi army when it *did want* to hold the line against the ISIS onslaught. When it realized we were gonna leave it out to dry, the army bailed in the face of unrelenting hate and monstrosity.

          You know who ISIS targeted first in its newly won territory? Translators and other languages who aided the US effort.

          • “Other languages” should be “other locals”
            I really don’t know how the autocorrect machine mangled that one.

          • “Brace” should be “Iraqi”

            Ugh

          • Chris

            So your response is “Obama did it too?” Really?

            • No, file it under the heading of I don’t think for one minute think you gave two craps about our translators and those who aided us before and I only think you mention it now because you hate Trump.

              Like I said, I think that bit is disingenuous.

              Read next time.

              • File that one under the general heading “Double Standards of the Left”

                • Damn right I do. I got to know many when in the army. I know what their hopes and aspirations were and I also know what infinitely greater risks they took to aid us. I also bothered to pay attention to the first people ISIS targeted when it rolled into Iraq.

                  See I’m consistent about this. I have solid doubts that the Left is (and that includes you)

                  • And yes, the greater wrong on this is Obama’s abandonment of those people who risked the most for us over there.

                    And yes, it would be incumbent on any president seeking to fix that problem to find those people and make it easier for them to access the country.

                    And yes, I agree with Jack that the EO in principle isn’t necessarily wrong. But that it’s writing and execution were hasty and poorly thought out.

                    But that little tidbit as a point of concern over the EO? Emotional baiting. Well tried. But failed. Disingenuous.

    • Baron von Cut-n-Paste

      “Eventually Trump is going to do something that you think is worthy of legitimate protest. When that happens, will you still regard those of us who were protesting all along as silly hypocritical hysterics?”

      Yes. Because when that happens, those of us who haven’t lost our minds will remember the non-stop protests that began concurrently with Trump’s inauguration and discount your new protest as more of the same histrionic bovine exhaust that we’ve been deluged with since November 8.

      For all screaming about not normalizing Trump, these constant protests are normalizing protest of Trump. When something is normalized it fades into the background, so when Trump does something protest-worthy, I won’t be paying attention. I’ll have tuned it out just like I tune out the non-stop construction work happening down the street. Just an immutable fact of life, nothing worth noticing.

      The left is going off half cocked with these endless arrays of protests. Now more than ever we need a principled, mature opposition party. Please, I beg of you, be strategic and judicious in your use of protest, keep your powder dry, and don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes.

        • But they won’t listen.

          Protesting everything is mindless and requires no analysis or sense of proportion. If Trump does it, it’s bad, and the next step to the Apocalypse. Everything, every word, every tweet.

          “..You know. Morons.”

          • Chris

            But protesting the EO isn’t protesting “everything.” You don’t seem to believe any of the protests against Trump, over any issue, have any validity whatsoever.

            I have yet to see evidence that protesting Trump right away is going to make people stop listening to us, and plenty of evidence for the opposite. The protests against the travel ban worked. Within less than a day, protesters had organized at airports across the country, and within a week, multiple courts had struck the ban down. The protests worked.

            Trump’s approval rating has also fallen even lower over the past week.

            Don’t tell me that protesting is useless or counter-productive when all available evidence shows otherwise.

            • “You don’t seem to believe any of the protests against Trump, over any issue, have any validity whatsoever.”

              Here’s the problem.

              Jack probably wouldn’t have any problem with protests of valid things to protest about. But the Left is protesting EVERYTHING.

              EVERYTHING

              The burden isn’t on Jack to decide when the protests are based on genuine principle or just another manifestation of Left Wing derangement…

              The left has lost *all* of it’s credibility.

              Barring a collective step-back, a collective apology, and some sort of collective self-flagellation, prior to getting back to business and seeking principled stands and not just stands based on pure, unadulterated hate, Jack doesn’t have to assume any of the protests are based on valid concerns.

              • A good way to look at it:

                You have pro-Trump guys and you have anti-Trump guys.

                Of the anti-Trump guys you can subdivide them into moderate and reasoned anti-Trumpers and then you have hyperactive anti-Trumpers.

                The hyper active anti-Trump guys have gone SO FAR OFF THE ROCKER, that even the moderate anti-Trumpers have to step in and say “hey this is ridiculous” and they end up becoming an anti-anti-Trump group.

                Then you hyperactive lot turn on THEM as being “pro-Trump”.

                They aren’t and your absolute lunacy is keeping the entire nation of moderate anti-Trumpers, and neutrals and luke-warm give-Trump-a-chancers, and luke-warm Pro-Trumpers a chance to actually oppose him on grounds worthy to oppose him on.

                But, by all means, keep shooting yourselves in the foot. I could care less if the hyper-Left fizzles away into irrelevance and obscurity.

                • Chris

                  Trump’s approval ratings, the resignation of Flynn, the many immediate rulings against the travel ban…none of this indicates to me that the left is shooting itself in the foot with these protests. It tells me that they’re working.

                  • And they should be so proud! They aren’t working. The news media’s approval has fallen more than Trump’s has, and the only bit change is that more Hillary voters think Trump should be impeached…which means they have been made either stupid or anti-fair elections. Obama kept high approval ratings even as his policies tanked. That’s why his vigorous campaigning for Hillary didn’t work as well as it would have if he had been an effective President.

                  • Ends justifies the means.

                    Unethical.

      • crella

        Very well stated. I’ve been thinking along these lines since last night when yet another piece of fake news came across my FB page, along with all the predictable outraged reactions these things always provoke (‘Trump refuses aid to California in dam crisis because they cost him the popular vote’). Eventually, as the dire predictions of fascism and collapse of the nation don’t come to pass, “Trump, Trump, Trump” becomes ” Wolf! Wolf! Wolf!”, and should alarm ever be necessary, it will be met with eye-rolling and yawns as we’re all Trump and fake news weary…

        I like your name, btw.

  3. Rich in CT

    Do remind me, Chris: what were all those incidents of deadly radical Catholic terrorism “a generation ago?”

    Perhaps he means the Bowling Green Massacre?

  4. Wayne

    He’s a craven opportunist looking for a photo op so he can run for mayor of Seattle or something.

  5. fattymoon

    Jack, if you had to say which group you belong to, in which of these three do you fit?

    I think you’re in group #3, as are the majority of your commenters here… the Anti-Anti-Trump Right. Would you agree?
    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/02/the-anti-anti-trump-right/516474/

    • Hell no. The first group is repulsive, and I said so from the start. The second group, at least the ones named, are opportunists. David Brooks is conservative only in comparison to the rest of the Times. And he has been a hysteric regarding Trump. Frum has as much credibility as most hired guns.

      I am not any more pro-Trump than I was during the campaign. I am pro-process, pro-fairness, pro-democracy, pro-integrity, and pro-Presidency. I am, in turn, anti-mainstream media press, anti-fearmongering, anti ignorance, anti-fake news, anti-speech suppression, anti-Clinton worshiping, anti-group grievance politics, anti-favoritism for law-breakers no matter what their excuse is, anti-totalitarianism (which is where the Left is headed), antiboycott, anti-riot, anti-punching Nazis in the face, anti-double standard, anti-media letting one party’s President get away with rank incompetence and civil rights violations, and suddenly getting serious when the other party gains power.

      This article is a partisan hit job claiming that to object to unfair, incompetent attacks on Trump by the biased news media makes one a Trump SUPPORTER. That’s intrinsically dishonest, and I’m surpised you would fall for it.

      • fattymoon

        And here we shall disagree. I’ll back up my argument with some article quotes, although I want your readers to read the full of article for context. Are you ready to rumble, Jack?

        “National Review is the most illustrative (of group # 3). During the campaign, it called Trump “a menace to American conservatism who would take the work of generations and trample it underfoot in behalf of a populism as heedless and crude as the Donald himself.” But now Trump is a Republican president, popular with most conservatives, and under liberal attack. So National Review has developed a technique that could be called anti-anti-Trump. It goes like this.”

        “Step number one: Accuse Trump’s opponents of hyperbole. Democrats, declared John Fund on February 5, are in a “rush to portray Donald Trump as some kind of ‘fascist in chief.’” Liberals, argued Jonathan Tobin on February 6, believe “Trump’s intemperate language about a judge is an unprecedented step down the slippery slope to dictatorship.” Liberal Jews, claimed Nechama Soloveichik that same day, “are falling over one another to label President Trump the latest incarnation of Jew-haters from Pharaoh to Haman to Hitler.”

        “Step number two: Briefly acknowledge Trump’s flaws while insisting they’re being massively exaggerated. On December 16, David Harsanyi declared that, “While I’m no fan of Trump, Democrats have been demanding that I panic over every Cabinet pick, every statement, and every event. It’s not normal.” On February 5, Fund acknowledged that, “Donald Trump has a knack for alienating many voters and saying stupid things. But his biggest asset may be that his over-the-top adversaries are even better at painting themselves in negative terms.” On February 6, Tobin insisted that, “whatever one may think of Trump’s [executive] orders — which were sloppily drawn and clumsily implemented but arguably well within the scope of presidential powers as authorized by relevant legislation — the claims that Trump’s intemperate language about a judge is an unprecedented step down the slippery slope to dictatorship don’t stand up to scrutiny.”

        “The articles cited above make these questions appear secondary. Sure, Trump may have botched something, they acknowledge hurriedly, before turning to what really matters: The left’s overwrought response. In this way, National Review minimizes Trump’s misdeeds without appearing to defend them.”

        “To be fair, National Review has devoted entire columns to criticizing Trump, sometimes harshly, since he became president. But such criticisms only make the magazine’s attacks on liberals for their criticisms more incoherent. Among National Review’s favorite phrases these days is “Trump Derangement Syndrome.” It refers to Democrats who describe Trump as mentally unstable, a pathological liar or a would-be dictator. But National Review once described Trump in those terms itself. A year ago, in its issue entitled, “Against Trump,” the magazine called him a “huckster” whose populism contained “strong-man overtones.”

        Ding! Round 1!

        • I don’t see a point. NR isn’t necessarily doing any of this to defend Trump. I know I’m not. Their objections are valid and substantive. The articalt slimes a legitimate criticism as some kind of sinister deception.

          “Step number one: Accuse Trump’s opponents of hyperbole. Democrats, declared John Fund on February 5, are in a “rush to portray Donald Trump as some kind of ‘fascist in chief.’” Liberals, argued Jonathan Tobin on February 6, believe “Trump’s intemperate language about a judge is an unprecedented step down the slippery slope to dictatorship.” Liberal Jews, claimed Nechama Soloveichik that same day, “are falling over one another to label President Trump the latest incarnation of Jew-haters from Pharaoh to Haman to Hitler.”

          But this IS hyperbole, and Trump is NOT a fascist; in fact, the accusation is moronic. So calling te media on ignorant fearmongering is support of its target? Ridiculous.

          “Step number two: Briefly acknowledge Trump’s flaws while insisting they’re being massively exaggerated. On December 16, David Harsanyi declared that, “While I’m no fan of Trump, Democrats have been demanding that I panic over every Cabinet pick, every statement, and every event. It’s not normal.” Etc.

          Harsanyi’s right, it’s not normal. It is out of control confirmation bias. Schumer’s absurd attacks on Gorsuch is the same. I would make teh same defense of Hillary or Attila the Hun. The author of this hit peice basically says, “They must be supporters because its obvious that everything Trump does is HORRIBLE!” Hysteria.

          “The articles cited above make these questions appear secondary. Sure, Trump may have botched something, they acknowledge hurriedly, before turning to what really matters: The left’s overwrought response. In this way, National Review minimizes Trump’s misdeeds without appearing to defend them.”

          Come on. Hysterical hyper-partisans wildly exaggerate the import of actual conduct, and the gotcha is that calling them on the exaggeration minimizes the the misdeed? It is overwrought; it’s worse than overwrought. It is the exaggeration that appears to minimize the actual conduct.

      • crella

        Yes, Jack. Thank you!

        I read your whole article, fattymoon. The left *is* equating the election of Donald Trump to the rise of facism, the ascendance of white supremacy, and the fall of the nation is predicted daily. For instance, a video going around now has this explanation-

        “America First” — Trump’s foreign policy slogan — was the name of the pro-Nazi group led by Charles Lindbergh that bitterly fought President Franklin Roosevelt in order to keep America neutral between Winston Churchill’s Britain and Adolf Hitler’s Germany. Is it any wonder that Trump and his strategist, Steve Bannon, admire Vladimir Putin?
        America First is a dangerous doctrine. Trump and Bannon are dangerous men.”

        The group was the America First Committee, which existed for about 15 months, up until the US was attacked at Pearl Harbor. It was a group opposed to US intervention in WWII. In the video description,the nature of the Committee is warped, and I really don’t think that the coincidental usage of the same phrase nearly 80 years ago is proof that Trump has ulterior motives in his choice of phrasing. It’s the same logic by which the local religious group insists I have to stop celebrating Christmas because ‘it used to be Saturnalia, which proves that Christmas is un-Christian and evil’.

        I could put up dozens of examples trying to link Trump to fascism and Nazi policies…I see them every day; “The 7 Steps to Tyranny”….” What does creeping fascism look like?” and believe it or not, immediately post-election I have actually seen serious posts by liberals telling women to stockpile birth control or get sterilized ‘ while we still can’ and urging all gay couples to rush out and get married immediately. It was nearly mass hysteria. No exaggeration necessary! They haven’t dubbed him Cheetolini, Dictator-in-Chief and other similar things because they trust him to rule the nation fairly. It’s not normal, any way you look at it.

  6. Alex

    This is cynical to the extreme, in particular in view of the last Senate candidate Washington Republicans put up for national office (disclosure: I know him personally and supported his campaign). This candidate was as pro-immigrant (legal and illegal) as they get – which also means most rural Republicans did not vote for him – likely because of his Hispanic heritage. He is pro gay rights (and from what I saw in the campaign trail no one believed him because of the R next to his name) and supported the marijuana legalization initiative. The only traditionally Republican positions he supported are lower taxes and (lukewarmly) pro-life.

    So if Mr. Vance does not feel the Washington Republican Party represents his views (which do *not* align with what you would traditionally think as Republicans) he is either an extreme leftist or a cynical opportunist – and he’s welcome to leave. Neither works for me, and that’s the reason I sit with the half of WA Republicans who want to overthrow the local leadership and take over with extreme libertarian positions (there’s a reason the Paul’s have done relatively well over in this corner of the country).

    • Well, you made a better case for Vance’s actions than he did. His rational was inconsistent, badly argued and specious. Why all the junk about the ACLU? Why the garbled reference to Reagan? As described by you, he’s hardly a Reaganite. He represented apparent side-switch as something that was mandated by the EO, when in fact he was a left-center, anti-Trump Washington-style Republican from the start.

      As I said: Grandstanding.

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