It is fair to worry that politicians of all stripes are reluctant to actually solve problems because they are so used to the fight. That they know that continuing the battle helps them rally supporters and campaign contributions, whereas real compromise solutions don’t fire anybody up.
It has long seemed to be that such is the case with shoring up Social Security and Medicare, and probably has a lot to do with the constant loggerheads over guns.
Such is clearly the case with immigration. Specifically the Dreamers. Specifically the matter of how to replace the order, issued by President Barack Obama and canceled by President Donald Trump, allowing millions of people who were brought to the United States as children to stay here, work, go to school, be the best Americans they can be, want to be and basically are, lacking that bit of paper.
Trump’s point that such a policy should be an act of Congress rather than an executive order kind of proves itself through the fact that he revoked it. Which he couldn’t have done had it been a statute. (Though he might have tried, given his squishy understanding of the law.)
He’s long made noises that he supports the desire of Dreamers to remain in the United States. He just wants it to be done by Congress. And he wants to get something else out of the deal. Specifically, that absurd wall he is always on about.
Recently Trump tweeted out a slam, charging that the failure to get a Dreamer protection bill through Congress is the Democrats’ fault for not funding the goofy wall. The one that Mexico was going to pay for. Or maybe the Pentagon. (As if the Pentagon spends any money that wasn’t U.S. taxpayer funds to begin with.)
This is back when the gonzo journalist and opportunist known only as Duke (Uncle Duke to Zonker Harris) was the U.S. ambassador to China. Way before Jon Huntsman’s tour there.
Duke’s translator was a young woman who had a proper Chinese name but that the sexist (well, condescending to everyone) Duke just called Honey.
Leading up to this Sunday episode, it had been established that Honey was one of the few people in China who could understand anything Chairman Mao said. He had always spoken in an obscure rural dialect, she said, and he had suffered from heart attacks, a stroke and other maladies. So it was hard for anyone to make out his words.
That led to the exchange in the above cartoon.
In case it’s as bad a copy as I think it is and you can’t make it out:
Duke: Tell me, Honey. Since you’re the only translator in China who can still understand the Chairman, how faithfully do you actually carry out his wishes?
Honey: Well, sir, he changes his mind a lot, and although his word is absolute law, I have to account for that.
For instance, last Monday, he told me to have the Great Wall torn down, since it’s a symbol of ancient tyranny. On Tuesday, I reported that all 1,500 miles had been dismantled.
Then on Thursday, he told me he had second thoughts and that he wanted the wall rebuilt at once.
Friday night, I told him that I had personally directed the mobilization of 20 million workers, and that the entire wall had been restored to its former condition.
Actually, I spent the whole week watching TV, but he thinks I’m a genius.
Duke: In a way you are, Honey.
So, now. If we can just get Fox and Friends to tell Trump that the border wall with Mexico has been built, that everything is hunky dory in that corner of the world, maybe he’ll grin and let it go.
— Trump’s wall: The inside story of how the president crafts immigration policy — Ashley Parker, David Nakamura and Philip Rucker | The Washington Post
— Trump hopes you’re too stupid to notice there’s no wall — Eugene Robinson | The Washington Post
— Take a deal for the dreamers. Build the wall. — Washington Post Editorial