Trump White House: But What If We Told You ... MEXICANS!
Helluva presser yesterday, boys! That Miller kid is a messaging whiz! General Kelly really has that White House on lockdown. Everything's running with military precision now that you got rid of Spicey and Reince.
Oh, but we are to kid! After Donald Trump's Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Week, his approval rating is down at 33%. Congressional Republicans are polling even worse after they crashed and burned on healthcare. And economic conservatives are starting to come to the realization that HOLY SHIT! NO ONE IS DRIVING THE BUS in Trumpworld. So now it's time to throw some red meat to the base!
Enter Tom Cotton and Dave Perdue, who stood beside the president yesterday and played the Very Serious Senators announcing a Very Serious Immigration Policy. Sure it's a retread of legislation that was DOA when they introduced it in April. But check out the cool acronym! THE RAISE ACT. It stands for Emergency Plan to Keep The White Working Class On Side For A Huge Tax Giveaway to the Super Rich This Fall.
Oh, fine! It stands for Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment. But this piece of shit is nevernotever passing the Senate. It would need 60 votes to overcome the filibuster -- the reconciliation trick only works for the budget. And Senators Graham, McCain, and Flake have already said they want nothing to do with this bill, since their states rely on immigrant labor.
The only purpose of the press conference was to gin up the base and let Donald Trump pretend to be the Big Daddy of the Republican Party. Briefly, the RAISE Act would:
- Cut legal immigration in half, from 1 million to 500,000 per year;
- Cap the number of refugees admitted at 50,000 per year;
- Narrow eligibility for family visas to spouses and minor children;
- Shift to a preference for highly skilled, wealthy applicants; and
- Shift to a preference for English-speakers.
This law is pitched squarely at people who have decided to believe that immigrants are pouring into the country and stealing jobs from Real Muricans. Per the New York Times,
"This legislation will not only restore our competitive edge in the 21st century, but it will restore the sacred bonds of trust between America and its citizens,” Mr. Trump said at a White House event alongside two Republican senators sponsoring the bill. “This legislation demonstrates our compassion for struggling American families who deserve an immigration system that puts their needs first and that puts America first.”
They don't call him The Bullshitter in Chief for nothing! The idea that immigrants threaten the local labor market has been roundly disproven. BUT IT FEELS TRUE!
Image credit: Cato Institute.
Odds that WaPo's conservative editorial writer Jennifer Rubin has a nervous breakdown during the Trump Presidency: 100%.
When introduced in April the bill was roundly criticized by more than 1,000 economists. There is near-uniformity among respected economists that immigrants do not “steal” jobs from native-born Americans (in part because they have different skill sets and in part because they make the economy bigger), have almost no impact on domestic wages (except for non-high school graduates, where the impact is less than 2 percent) and are essential to keep the economy growing. By reducing the number of immigrants by a half a million, the bill would shrink the U.S. economy and exacerbate the problem of an aging workforce (immigrants statistically are younger than the native-born population).
Nevertheless, for anti-immigrant groups who often insist they oppose only illegal immigration, it’s a revealing moment. They cheer the idea that we should take fewer hard-working, pro-American immigrants through legal avenues. (Trump, by the way, continues to hire substantial numbers of foreign workers at his resort in Florida.) No, the anti-immigrant forces simply want to keep people unlike themselves out of the United States. Their economic arguments are tired, wrong and a pretext for xenophobia.
Lucky thing we at Wonkette aren't conservatives! It wasn't our party that welded together a coalition of anti-tax vulture capitalists and racist God-botherers. But Republicans know that the corporate wing will fall back in line when it comes time to negotiate their fat tax cut. The GOP just needs to wave something shiny in front of the bigots while they gut social services to pay for abolishing the Estate and Alternative Minimum Taxes.
Which is why we got that rancid little weenus Stephen Miller at the podium during the White House press briefing, shittalking the Statue of Liberty. Because no one turns a bullshit nothingburger into a BIG STORY like that asshole. Through sheer obnoxiousness, he manages to make headlines out of the ENGLISH ONLY dogwhistle, when everyone knows it will never happen.
We are 95 percent certain that Miller's antics at yesterday's presser were unplanned and that the White House unleashed the little runt in hopes that he'd get good publicity for the law. The days of us thinking that Bannon was playing nine-dimensional chess are long gone. On the other hand, we are all talking about it today...
[WaPo / NYTimes / WaPo, again / CATO Institute]
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.