In case you hadn’t noticed, Mike Smith (KFS) points out that the border has become a major campaign issue for the GOP, which is pushing the narrative of an “open border” despite the uncertain meaning of a record level of apprehensions. There’s little way to tell if the percentage of border-crossers being caught has gone up faster than the number making the attempt.
What is certain is that Trump’s wall didn’t cause either figure to go down, and his claim of how much he built includes quite a bit of update and repair rather than new construction.
The latest wrinkle, as Dana Summers (Tribune) records, is that Texas Governor Greg Abbott has taken federal law into his own hands, stringing razor wire across a particularly popular section of the US border with Mexico.
The sharp wire, and state police interference with US Border Patrol, is already being blamed for the drowning deaths of a woman and her two children. (But see comments)
The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the Border Patrol was permitted to cut or move wire, though the ruling is preliminary in that it doesn’t forbid Texas authorities from stringing new razor wire.
It doesn’t really permit immigrants themselves to cut the wire, but that part of Gary Varvel (Creators)‘s cartoon is normal exaggeration.
The more interesting point here is that he doesn’t depict all five justices who made up the majority, only Coney Barrett and Roberts. The implication and accusation is that he feels they failed to vote along the political lines for which they were placed on the court, while Jackson, Kagan and Sotomayor were true to the president who appointed them.
There’s nothing wrong with looking at how particular justices have ruled on particular topics and using that to predict the court’s findings on future cases.
But the notion that one political party owns a particular set of justices while the others are owned by the opposition is a frightening token of our slide from democracy to fascism, though it’s clear that was Mitch McConnell’s philosophy when he blocked Obama’s nominee and then fast-tracked Trump’s last selection.
If only Varvel and McConnell believed that the Republicans own their own SCOTUS judges, it would be an idiosyncratic bit of foolishness we could laugh off. But, of course, it is not, and Abbott is already stating his defiance of the Supreme Court’s authority, joined by a chorus of states’ rights hardliners.
The latest development is pledges from other GOP governors to send their National Guard troops to Texas to help break Fort Sumter’s blockade of Charleston Harbor.
Or something like that.
Lisa Benson (Counterpoint) says the border issue is hurting Biden’s approval rating. She and Summers apparently can’t tell barbed wire from razor wire (Varvel did a good job on that), but she’s probably right about the power of the border crisis as a campaign issue.
Donald Trump certainly sees it as a worthwhile campaign issue, since, as Darrin Bell (KFS) points out, he has told Republican legislators that he does not want to see a solution to the problem because he intends to use it against Biden in his attempt to be re-elected.
Trump’s greatest fear is a tough, effective bipartisan solution. So he’s said the quiet part out loud to prevent it, and Mitch McConnell — always more interested in power than in justice — has fallen in line.
The main voice of dissent from that side of the aisle comes from an exiled RINO:
Don’t Cry For Me, Mar A Lago
A visit to Truth Social — excuse me while I go take a shower — revealed that, while Trump posted about the border, his feed was more full of unhinged rants against E. Jean Carroll, including a lot of repetition so that, as you scroll down looking for border commentary, you find instead the same screwball postings over and over again. He’s lost his fastball and apparently never developed a curve.
As Clay Bennett (CTFP) puts it, the sheep is taking pieces out of the wolf’s tail.
Trump continues to insist that the trial was unfair, just as the 2020 elections were unfair, just as anytime he doesn’t get what he wants, it’s a sign of cheating. He’s even blaming Joe Biden for his loss in a New York State courtroom.
I’ve often used the expression, “It’s not that you can’t make this stuff up; it’s that you don’t have to.”
But in looking over Trump’s assessments of his legal woes, you can’t make this stuff up because it’s so counterfactual that it defies invention. In the first years of Trump’s first term, there were repeated comparisons to Idiocracy, but Mike Judge never had the nerve to push absurdity this far.
And don’t put much faith in Ed Wexler‘s depiction. It’s amusing, and, for sure, Trump is wailing and gnashing his teeth, but if he did wear a barrel for effect, he’d auction it off to the MAGAt hordes, who will be picking up the tab for his gorgeous but inept lawyer (around $3.5 million), since he’ll draw from their PAC donations to pay his legal bills.
As for the $83 million, this article explains some of the when and how she’ll be paid, which I think is going to be about an hour and a half after the Sandy Hook parents collect from Alex Jones. But, even if the appeals drag on until it is his estate making the payment to hers, he sold the hotel in DC for nearly three times what he owes her. He’s gonna be okay.
Another sign of our divided nation: Mike Lester (AMS) errs by thinking that giving women and minorities a chance is what causes people to be scared of Black pilots. Rather, it’s listening to nutjob race-baiters like Charlie Kirk, which is their own damn fault.
Moreover, I remember how proud I was to be aboard my first Frontier Airlines flight with a woman pilot.
Though if you believe women and minorities are inherently incapable, finding yourself on the wrong side of history at 30,000 feet must surely scare the hell out of you.