Sean McElwee edition: As it has finally turned out, we the people just aren't sharp enough to conduct our own affairs.
It isn't just Them, the ones Over There. It's also Us, the ones Over Here! As it turns out, we the fiery liberals tend to be tremendously hapless too.
The examples have come thick and fast in the past several days. For today, let's pile on Sean McElwee.
Over at the new Salon, McElwee was fighting mad yesterday morning. Because our team knows only one play, his piece ran beneath these long, fiery headlines:
MCELWEE (4/30/17): Donald Trump’s first 100 days have been a big success—at least when it comes to vicious racist policiesYay yay yay yay yay yay yay! Trump wasn't just succeeding with racist policies. His policies were viciously racist. They were overtly racist!
Amid all the failures, Trump can claim a big win: He has pursued overtly racist policies that will shape our future
Yay yay yay yay yay yay yay! We love hearing talk like that!
Just for the record, to what policies did young McElwee refer? After naming some topics Trump has abandoned, the fireman cut to the chase:
MCELWEE: Infrastructure seems to have fallen off Trump’s agenda for now, and contrary to his promise to provide health insurance for all, Trump pushed for Paul Ryan’s health care bill, which would have left millions uninsured. He backed cuts to Medicaid (despite his promise not to touch it) and has proposed massive tax cuts for the Republican donor class. Far from pursuing a non-interventionist foreign policy, Trump has been sucked into the Blob and embraced interventionism. The only area where he has distinguished himself from the GOP establishment is his aggressive pursuit of deeply racist policies.Under the headline "Trump's Key Success," McElwee said that Trump has aggressively pushed deeply racist policies. Specifically, “arrests of immigrants with no criminal records more than doubled to 5,441,” McElwee said, providing a link.
Trump has freed ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) to deport undocumented immigrants aggressively—even those with no criminal record—and has proposed a massive expansion of the agency. According to the Washington Post, “Arrests of immigrants with no criminal records more than doubled to 5,441.”
Before we clicked, we wondered. We wondered if McElwee could possibly be linking to the Washington Post report we had in mind.
We clicked, and sure enough! He linked to this April 17 report by the Post's Maria Sacchetti—a report which clearly shows the following:
In 2014, when Barack Obama was president, substantially more "immigrants with no criminal record" were arrested from January 20 through March 13, as compared to the number of such people arrested this year. The numbers look like this:
Immigrants with no criminal record arrested,We're going by what Sacchetti reported. That said, it's the report to which McElwee linked.
January 20 through March 13
Under Obama, 2014: 7,483
Under Trump, 2017: 5,441
Don't get out wrong! The number of arrests this year is higher than in either of the past two years. But in 2014, three years ago, the number of arrests was much higher. On that basis:
If Trump's policies are deeply, viciously, overtly racist, what does that say about Obama? For the record, we're just asking.
Given the numbers she was reporting, we were struck by the weakness of Sacchetti's report when it first appeared. McElwee came along and excitingly ginned up the language.
At the present time, for good or for ill, this is the only way our pitiful team knows how to play the game. It helps explain the remarkable fact that Donald J. Trump is sitting in the White House.
McElwee's young; he knows one play. Over Here, among us rubes, that play is overtly exciting.
Also reported by Sacchetti: "Overall, deportations are down by 1.2 percent, to 54,741 in January, February and March, compared to the same period last year."
"Last year," Obama was president. Once again, we're just saying. We have no idea.