Good morn..oh, who am I kidding? It’s a crap morning…
[The Warm-Up is going to be uncharacteristically short. (UPDATE: Well, not that short, as it turned out…) Between my hotel check-out and my arrival home, I spent 11 hours in lines, crowded airports, an airplane, listening to violent thunderstorms and trying to get online with the wi-fi going in and out, not to mention the usual excessive intake of junk y food purchased at exorbitant prices. On top of that, I’m really ticked off, behind the 8-ball in too many projects to mention, out of food, and can’t figure out how to release the emergency brake on the only functioning car we have, my son’s Mercedes.]
“A group of protesters accosted Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi outside the screening of the new documentary about Mister Rogers at the Tampa Theatre on Friday night, questioning her about her recent actions on health care policy and her stance on immigration.
A video of the confrontation, taken by progressive activist Timothy Heberlein of Organize Florida, shows several people shouting down Bondi as she leaves the theater escorted by law enforcement after seeing Won’t You Be My Neighbor….”
- Again, there is an ethical obligation for principled Americans to confront these fascists—meaning the protesters. Every citizen has the right to go to a movie, eat out, or walk their his or her dog in the park without being abused and harassed. Stand up for that right (see: The Declaration of Independence) , or lose it. Bondi should have been rescued on the spot before authorities had to be called.
- You can check Ethics Alarms by searching for “Pam Bondi.” I am not a fan; indeed, she is an outrageously unethical prosecutor. But the way to address that is through appropriate regulatory bodies, not through the acts of vigilante thugs outside a movie theater.
- “What would Mister Rogers think about you and your legacy in Florida? Taking away health insurance from people with pre-existing conditions, Pam Bondi!” Maria José Chapa, a labor organizer, can be heard yelling to Bondi in the video. “Shame on you!” Who cares what Mister Rogers “would” think, if he weren’t, you know, DEAD? A. Nobody knows what he would think. B. “What would Jesus think?” is idiotic enough, but Mr. Rogers? This wasn’t only unethical harassment, it was incompetent harassment.
2. Tales of the double standard… From Mediate:
On Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace interviewed former DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson, who said that under President Barack Obama, they did detain some children alone and some families together, two policies for which Donald Trump has been under considerable fire.
After President Trump signed an executive order last week to stop the separation of families at the border, the administration took new fire for the idea that families would be detained together. Rep. Louis “The secretary of Homeland Security has lost all morals when it comes to protecting children and enforcing our immigration laws.”
It is also something for which the ACLU blasted President Obama years ago.
On Sunday, former Secretary Johnson told Chris Wallace that they thought it was necessary at the time, and that it is still is.
Wallace showed now infamous photos from 2014 of children in detention and asked if the Obama administration had handled things “so well.”
“Without a doubt the images, and the reality, from 2014, just like 2018, are not pretty,” said Johnson. “We expanded it, I freely admit it was controversial, we believed it was necessary at the time, I still believe it is necessary to remain a certain capability for families.”
Johnson also addressed another phrase that has come up many times in the last week, saying directly that “we can’t have catch and release” and stating that under his DHS in the Obama administration they “deported or repatriated” over a million people.
“…when asked in 2014 about the tens of thousands of unaccompanied children who had come to the border, Hillary Clinton responded, “We have to send a clear message: Just because your child gets across the border, that doesn’t mean the child gets to stay. We don’t want to send a message that’s contrary to our laws or will encourage more children to make that dangerous journey.”
[Pointer: Stephen Green]
3. From the “Destroying the village to save it” files: Over the weekend, angry ex-Republican NeverTrumper George Will actually argued that good conservatives should make Nancy Pelosi the next Speaker of the House, because Donald Trump’s existence on Earth offends him. Here was Will’s “reasoning”:
In today’s GOP, which is the president’s plaything, he is the mainstream. So, to vote against his party’s cowering congressional caucuses is to affirm the nation’s honor while quarantining him. A Democratic-controlled Congress would be a basket of deplorables, but there would be enough Republicans to gum up the Senate’s machinery, keeping the institution as peripheral as it has been under their control and asphyxiating mischief from a Democratic House. And to those who say, “But the judges, the judges!” the answer is: Article III institutions are not more important than those of Articles I and II combined.
I have often admired Will as a writer and a principled conservative theorist, but like so many others, he has lost his marbles, and credibility, over Donald Trump. Will dislikes Trump for many of the same reasons I do, but his bow-tied, classist snobbery is now compelling him to reject his own substantive principles and descend into hypocrisy and incoherence. This was evident some time ago. For example, Will properly condemned President Obama’s unconstitutional, dishonest and incompetent Iran deal, writing at the time,
The Iran agreement should be a treaty; it should not have been submitted first to the United Nations as a studied insult to Congress. Wilson said that rejecting the Versailles treaty would “break the heart of the world.” The Senate, no member of which had been invited to accompany Wilson to the Paris Peace Conference, proceeded to break his heart. Obama deserves a lesson in the cost of Wilsonian arrogance. Knowing little history, Obama makes bad history.
Yet somehow, when President Trump properly withdrew from the treaty for the same reasons Will had articulated (though more articulately, of course: what Will hates most about Trump is his clumsy mode of expression, the unmannerly cur!) Will found a way to attack Trump for it anyway.
He is now the prime example of the Ethics Alarms adage, “Bias makes you stupid.” If bias can make George Will this stupid, nobody is safe.