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Thursday, September 01, 2016

I gotcher softening for ya right here

by digby

Greg Sargent has a message for the media: you're being useful idiots:

Because Trump stopped using the words “deportation force,” some journalists are claiming he’s “shelving” mass deportations. But to focus on that is to succumb to misdirection. Trump did say he would remove criminals first. But he also said that we will be in a position to consider the “appropriate disposition of those individuals who remain” only after his “beautiful southern border wall” is built, all the criminals are removed, and illegal immigration is ended “for good.”
Even though none of those conditions is ever likely to be met, some are bizarrely treating this as if it holds out the promise of relief or legal status later. But it cannot mean this, because Trump himself flatly ruled out any meaningful path to legal status, and he also said he would rescind Obama’s efforts at executive deportation relief, including for the DREAMers which he repeatedly called “amnesty.” There is no logical way to square those priorities with the potential for genuine assimilation later.

What’s more, as Benjy Sarlin notes, Trump also outlined proposals that add up to a “far more sweeping enforcement regime” than the status quo, and a “major expansion of enforcement in general.” This includes proposals to triple the number of ICE agents, to immediately initiate deportation proceedings for any undocumented immigrant arrested for anything, and to redouble the focus on people who overstay visas. An analysis by Jose DelReal concluded that as many as six million would be targeted for short term deportation under Trump’s regime. As Sarlin rightly puts it, Trump actually recommitted to mass deportations last night, albeit in a somewhat more limited way than his earlier hallucinations about removing all the 11 million with a clap of those strong, manly hands.

Dem strategist Simon Rosenberg argues that Trump also said he’d do more to enlist local law enforcement in deportation efforts. “Trump stopped using the words ‘deportation force,’ then proposed something far more Orwellian and expansive,” Rosenberg says.

Given all of this, Trump’s short term focus on criminals and supposed shift away from mass deportations nothing more than a rhetorical ruse. It’s reporter chum. It’s designed to soften the goal of mass removal, by creating the impression that maybe possibly something can be worked out for those he calls “the good ones” later. But that option is simply not present Trump’s vision, no matter how hard people squint for it. Indeed, all of this taken together puts Trump to the right of Mitt Romney’s “self-deportation” stance. Trump would expand deportation efforts, and more generally, he was far more overtly xenophobic about keeping the dark hordes out, and far more lurid and ugly in his broad-brush tarring of illegal immigrants as criminals and invaders, than Romney was.
The media is invested in normalizing Trump's Nazi-esque rhetoric for some reason and it's truly disturbing. That speech was a demagogic vilification of whole groups of people as criminals and parasites. Anyone who sees that as "softening" is soft in the head.

And there is no doubt that what people actually heard in that speech was a man determined to rid this country of Mexicans and Muslims. And that's apparently what tens of millions of Americans want to hear.