Saturday, August 29, 2015
While the real estate mogul bloviates and offends large swaths of the American public, Clinton rides on as the front-runner in the Democratic presidential primary, Trump-smoke obscuring her own significant flaws.
Just yesterday, for example, at a campaign stop in
Ohio, Clinton absurdly compared several GOPpresidential candidates’ “extreme views about women” to the views of terrorist groups.
She said: “Now, extreme views about women, we expect that from some of the terrorist groups. We expect that from people who don’t want to live in the modern world. But it’s a little hard to take coming from Republicans who want to be the president of
the United States.”
I happen to share Clinton’s views on abortion and other women’s health issues, but that’s an uncalled for and offensive comparison to make. The
Republican National Committee swiftly called for an apology, saying in a statement: “For Hillary Clinton to equate her political opponents to terrorists is a new low for her flailing campaign. She should apologize immediately for her inflammatory rhetoric.”
I agree. And don’t say, “But look at all the offensive things being said on the Republican side.” That doesn’t matter. Two wrongs — or 20 wrongs, or whatever — don’t make a right.
Clinton has every opportunity right now, with the Republican candidates flailing about trying to manage Trump’s xenophobic squawking, to keep to the high road. Comparing your opponents to terrorists is as low-brow as it is inaccurate.
Of course there are other issues as well. Clinton has been dismissive of the legitimate questions and concerns surrounding her use of a private email server during her time as secretary of state, seemingly missing the fact that for some of us it’s not the legality of what she did but rather the overall air of dodginess.
She has repeatedly made light of the situation, once saying she started a Snapchat account because the “messages disappear all by themselves” and, when talking about whether her private server was wiped clean, saying, “What? Like with a cloth or something?”
She seems to be dialing back the cavalier attitude now, but the damage has already been done, and it appears substantial. A
Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday found this: “‘Liar’ is the first word that comes to mind more than others in an open-ended question when voters think of Clinton.”
And 61 percent of respondents say Clinton “is not honest and trustworthy,” a record low for her.
That’s a rather pitiful starting point for the person many Democrats seem to believe is their most qualified candidate.
It’s easy to look at the chaos in the
GOP primary and say, “Wow, is that really the best they can do?”
But if you peer through the dust Trump keeps stirring up, you can get a look at the lackluster Democratic primary and say the same thing.
Friday, August 28, 2015
Once again, Donald Trump has managed to open up a robust national discussion about an issue that up to this point had been largely ignored by the political class. This time, the discussion is about so-called “birthright citizenship,” the idea that whenever a foreign national (regardless of legal status and with a very few exceptions) has a child on American soil, this child automatically becomes an American citizen from birth. This approach to citizenship has been thede facto (though not de jure) approach to the issue of “anchor babies,” the children of illegal aliens who come to the United States so that they can have their children here, thus allowing the parents to remain as well, usually helping themselves to generous American benefit monies.
Defenders of unrestricted birthright citizenship - primarily found among liberals, establishment GOP types, and the more uninformed types of libertarians—adamantly argue from the 14thamendment’s Citizenship Clause that birthright citizenship is not only legal, but is in fact constitutionally protected, and is what the 14thamendment has meant all along. They often try to buttress their arguments by appealing to English common law with its historical provisions for birthright citizenship. However, is this sort of “swim a river, fill our quiver” approach really what the 14th amendment meant? Is it really what English common law, which forms the basis for much of our own law and constitutional interpretation, historically upheld? The answer to these questions is, “No.”
The crux about which the discussion revolves is the Citizenship Clause found in the 14thamendment, Section 1,
“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”
More specifically, what is at issue is the phrase, “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof.” Clearly, the clause was not intended to convey American citizenship to an unlimited pool of children born to aliens on American soil. If this had been the case, then the phrase under discussion would not have been included. Obviously, some limits were intended, those circumscribed by the intent of being “subject to the jurisdiction thereof.”
So what were these limits? Typically, it will be pointed out that the limits due to this jurisdictional issue were that citizenship was not being conveyed to children born of ambassadors and others aliens employed by their foreign governments, nor was it being conveyed to members of various Indian tribes which exercised sovereign powers within their own territories (this latter was rescinded by an act of 1924 which granted Indian tribes full American citizenship). Were these the only restrictions on birthright citizenship intended by the author and debaters of the 14th amendment?
No, actually. Let’s understand what the original intention of the 14th amendment was, which was to grant American citizenship to former black slaves and their children, and to prevent these newly freed citizens from being denied citizenship rights by certain of the southern states. That’s it. This was made clear by Sen. Jacob Howard, who authored the amendment in 1866, who clearly provided the intent for this section of the amendment,
“Every person born within the limits of the United States, and subject to their jurisdiction, is, by virtue of natural law and national law, a citizen of the United States. This will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers accredited to the government of the United States, but will include every other class of persons. It settles the great question of citizenship and removes all doubt as to what persons are or are not citizens of the United States. This has long been a great issue in the jurisprudence and legislation of this country.”
Donald Trump recently appeared on Bill O’Reilly’s show and was presented with an emotive scenario intended to bring Trump into the quandary of the establishment.
In context of rounding up illegals for deportation, Mr. Trump was asked about the families. What about the undocumented people living in our country, working hard and raising children? Is Trump going to bust into every home Janet Reno-style and drag families, kids and all, to the southern border?
This scenario creates quite the image and will be used repeatedly by the press to show just how unworkable, unfair, and heartless Trump’s idea really is.
Trump’s response to the scenario was: if we are to have a country, we have to enforce our laws, and the “good” people will be fast-tracked back into our country with legal status.
The first half of Trump’s response is great – we have to enforce our laws. But for Trump and the GOP candidates who are taking a “hardline” stance on those who have broken our laws and disregarded our sovereignty, I would like to take the emotion out of this scenario and present a laconic response for the candidates.
First, under O’Reilly’s lachrymose scenario, the issue of anchor baby citizenship comes to the fore.
It’s axiomatic that the insane policy of granting U.S. citizenship to the offspring of illegal alien parents must be ended (and the 14th Amendment doesn’t need to be amended to stop it – but that’s another article).
So the unasked and unanswered question is: if the policy of indiscriminate birthright citizenship is ended, should children already afforded citizenship be allowed to keep their status? In other words, should they be grandfathered in? Should United States law state that going forward, citizenship will not be awarded to the offspring of illegal resident parents?
Inasmuch as certain individuals were given U.S. citizenship, I tend to think they should be grandfathered in (although the U.S. is not obligated, and an argument can be made to send them all back).
If they are grandfathered in, then the emotive scenario of the press falls flat.
It falls flat because U.S. policy is such that the parents of anchor babies are not deported and become the beneficiaries of de facto legal status. If grandfathered in, O’Reilly’s tearjerker scenario becomes moot.
Once the new law goes into effect (prohibiting anchor baby citizenship), residents south of the U.S. border will be on notice that if they somehow get past the expected border wall, they will face arrest instead of taxpayer benefits (irrespective of hardship stories).
Now a quick word about rounding up millions of illegals for deportation.
The best way to handle this question is to point out the obvious. No one is proposing going door-to-door and collecting and dropping off hundreds of thousands of people at a time at the border.
Deportation will happen naturally, and many will leave voluntarily. As illegal aliens come into contact with the police and other government agencies, they will be arrested and deported. This means that once birthright citizenship for illegals ends, not many new illegals are going to be applying for taxpayer-funded welfare benefits. If they do show up, they will be arrested and deported. Any benefits currently granted irrespective of anchor baby citizenship will not be dispersed – illegals will scarcely apply with the guarantee of arrest and deportation.
About the morality of deporting those who trampled our laws and sovereignty underfoot.
Trump is right. If we are to have a country, we have to enforce our sovereignty, borders, and laws.
A resident of Summit County, Isabel Framer is a Latina community activist whose expertise springs from her work in language access in the justice system.
It’s a sad state of affairs in the Republican Party today when the candidates are falling all over themselves to out-Trump one another on the issue of immigration. The GOP’s anti-immigrant xenophobia has gone so far, the candidates are now attacking families and innocent children. The Republican outrage du jour concerns “birthright citizenship,” which is a right guaranteed under the 14th Amendment to “[a]ll persons born or naturalized in the United States.”
Donald Trump, Chris Christie, Rand Paul, Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindal, Ben Carson, Lindsey Graham ... nearly half of the GOP field have come out recently in favor of amending the U.S. Constitution or passing legislation to take away citizenship rights from children who are born in America. Early last week Scott Walker voiced his support for ending birthright citizenship, then seemed to reverse course and now is claiming he won’t take a position on the issue. Meanwhile, Jeb Bush says folks should “chill out a little bit” with criticism of his use of the derogatory term “anchor babies.”
One of those who has seemed slightly less offensive with his comments has been John Kasich. However, a quick look at Kasich’s record reveals he has been just as extreme as Trump and the rest of the GOP. In the early 1990s, Kasich was on the leading edge of anti-immigrant fever as a co-sponsor of legislation to end birthright citizenship. The former Fox News host continued his support for this policy during his 2010 run for governor.
Now that Kasich is running for president – against a field that offers him no room to maneuver on the right – he’s trying to sing a different tune on immigration. While Kasich says he wouldn’t take a path to citizenship off the table, he has also said he opposes it. Kasich added, “I don’t favor citizenship because, as I teach my kids, you don’t jump the line to get into a Taylor Swift concert.”
Many immigrant families have been working for decades, waiting to come out of the shadows as Republicans have failed to act, but Kasich thinks that’s somehow equivalent to teenagers cutting the line for a concert.
Now let’s take a look at Kasich’s actual record as governor on the issue of immigration. Ohio is one of the states challenging President Obama’s executive actions that have deferred action for young people who arrived in America as children and parents of U.S. citizens. To date, Kasich has stood on the sidelines while Attorney General Mike DeWine joined a lawsuit against Obama’s executive orders.
Kasich loves to talk about balancing budgets, but he’s ignoring a real benefit for Ohio taxpayers from deferred action. This process, which requires undocumented immigrants that qualify for the program to register, undergo background checks and pay taxes, would bring in an additional $41 million in revenue for the state of Ohio. Add to that the fact that earlier this year a study by UCLA found Ohio was the worst state in the country for promoting the health and well-being of undocumented immigrants.
So ultimately, actions speak louder than words, and Kasich’s actions shouldn’t fool anyone that he’s suddenly a moderate on immigration. If Kasich wanted to do something about immigration, he could pick up the phone and tell DeWine to drop his ridiculous lawsuit. He could make it easier for immigrants in Ohio to access health care and higher education and obtain legal documents. Until then, I’ll view Kasich as a flip-flopping opportunist who can’t be trusted.
Thursday, August 27, 2015
A new Quinnipiac poll has more bad news for theHillary Clinton campaign, with poll results showing voters think of Clinton as “dishonest” and a “liar.”
“What is the first word that comes to mind when you think of Hillary Clinton?” Quinnipiac asked. All three of the most popular answers were along the same lines: “liar,” “dishonest,” and “untrustworthy.” After those responses, Clinton nets a few positive responses, such as “experience” and “strong.” But then the negative qualifiers begin again, with responses like “crook,” “untruthful,” “criminal,” and “deceitful.”
The same question was asked of Donald Trump and Jeb Bush. The top three responses for Trump were “arrogant,” “blowhard,” and “idiot,” while the top responses for Bush were “Bush,” “family,” and “honest.”
The same poll found Clinton with low favorables. A majority of voters, 51%, say that they have an unfavorable opinion of Clinton while only 39% says they have a favorable opinion.
Polling experts agree on one thing when it comes to Donald Trump’s presidential run: They’ve never seen anything like it.
The businessman’s dominance of the Republican presidential race is forcing experienced political hands to question whether everything they know about winning the White House is wrong.
The shocks have come in quick succession, with the businessman first rocketing to the top of national polls, and then taking double-digit leads in the early voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.
In another act of political magic, Trump managed to flip his favorability rating from negative to positive in one poll during the span of a month — a feat that Monmouth University’s Patrick Murray called “astounding.”
“That defies any rule in presidential politics that I’ve ever seen,” Murray, the director Monmouth’s Polling Institute, told The Hill.
Trump’s favorability rose from 20 percent to 52 percent among Republican voters between July and August, Monmouth found.
While a later CNN/ORC poll did not find a similar shift in Trump’s favorability, the Monmouth data was yet another sign that he is a candidate to be reckoned with.
“Throw out the rulebook when it comes to Trump, that’s not even in the parameters of what we see as unusual,” Murray said.
Trump’s dominance of the race has flustered the Republican field, with many of the candidates trying their best to bring him back to earth.
But as the attacks on Trump have intensified, so has his level of support.
Polls released Tuesday show Trump lapping the field in New Hampshire, where he leads his nearest Republican rival by 24 percentage points. The story is the same in South Carolina, where the latest poll gave him a 15-point edge.
While political scientists and other experts continue to insist Trump will not win the Republican nomination, he’s converted at least one high-profile skeptic.
GOP pollster Frank Luntz had dismissed Trump from the start, and declared after the first presidential debate that his campaign was doomed.
But after convening a focus group Monday evening where Trump supporters showed an unflappable allegiance, Luntz changed his tune.
“This is real. I’m having trouble processing,” he said, according to Time.
“I want to put the Republican leadership behind this mirror and let them see. They need to wake up. They don’t realize how the grassroots have abandoned them,” he added.
Polling experts, including Marist’s Lee Miringoff, say Trump is weathering political storms that would doom other candidates because his appeal is more about attitude than ideology.
While many of Trump’s supporters identify as strong conservatives, some of the policies he’s proposed — including increased spending on the border and higher taxes on the wealthy — have prompted accusations from rivals like former Fla. Gov. Jeb Bush that he isn’t a true conservative.
Miringoff said doesn’t expect those attacks to stick.
“This is the next step of the Tea Party — someone who can tap into the sentiment that people have about all the frustration and turn it into ‘We are going to make America great again,’ ” he said.
“This is not a policy paper.”
But even if Trump is rewriting the political playbook, can he go the distance?
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – It's what we've always wanted, isn't it? A totally unscripted White House race? No more predictable politics as usual?
If nothing else, Donald Trump has at least given us that.
He may not be the best person for the job, but Trump has saved us from the play-it-safe, poll-driven, stage-managed, social media-drenched tedium that passes for presidential politics. And in an era where White House campaign cycles have gotten longer and longer, and ever more vacuous, we can be thankful for that.
Even better: The political ruling elite can't stand it.
Trump, of course, was supposed to have been long gone by now. If you listened to the pundits, the Trump for President effort wasn't supposed to have gotten off the ground at all. Trump was a buffoon, a cartoon. A blowhard. A TV huckster. A soulless 1-percenter.
And that hair.
He wasn't even qualified to get in the ring.
But Trump not only ran, he became the favorite on the GOP side, and is gaining on Hillary in head-to-head polls. He has owned this presidential summer.
Along the way, he's had more lives than Rasputin.
Trump was supposed to be dead when he snarled about illegal Mexican immigrant rapists and thieves. But his poll numbers continued to rise.
He was supposed to be toast when he bashed Vietnam War hero John McCain. Nope. Trump went right on surging.
It was going to be a Waterloo when Trump took part in the first GOP presidential debate on Fox News. He would surely fold in the company of all those experienced pols and debaters.
But Trump was the star that night, the reason why many people tuned in. His ongoing battle with Fox host Megyn Kelly has done him no harm. And why should it? It's just one rich, well-coiffed TV celebrity going up against another.
The funnest part of all this has been watching Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush and the rest trying to appropriate little pieces of Trump's damn-the-torpedoes, "straight talk" shtick while not tipping all the way over into Crazyland.
Hillary pokes fun at her email foibles by cracking wise about self-vaporizing messages on Snapchat. And Jeb has been out there shaking his finger at "anchor babies."
But they can't do it, because they've got too much to lose, they want the job too badly. Their whole lives have led up to this moment. They can't take too many chances.
Trump, meanwhile, has already won and has nothing to lose. If he's not elected president, he'll go back to his billions, however many he actually has. His presidential run will make for a great reality series. His brand will be more valuable than ever. New business opportunities are no doubt already raining down on him.
American culture and politics are all about money and celebrity, and Trump's got both.
Trump has also been a Great Unifier. He has the professional pundits and the career pols, on both sides of the aisle, making palaver with each other as they try to figure out how to stop Trump in his tracks while at the same time trying to divine the secrets of his political success.
Suddenly, the Beltway pols and the pundits have a lot in common: We can't let Trumpwin, can we? If nothing else, it's proven that they're all part of the same hypocrisy, Michael Corleone would say. They have been exposed. It's been particularly entertaining to watch.
There is no playbook here. Nobody planned on the Trump Factor, so there's no way to counter it. This isn't how Jeb and Hillary drew it up. The TV talking heads spent months telling each other that the Trump Surge wasn't happening, and now that Trump has legs, they have no Plan B, except to try and goad Joe Biden into the race.
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
For the second time this month, Jeb Bush has said something that is bound to end up in a general election attack ad, should he ever surpass Donald Trump.
Answering a question about federal funding for Planned Parenthood at a town hall meeting in Colorado, the Republican candidate reportedly said, “I, for one, don’t think Planned Parenthood ought to get a penny though, and that’s the difference because they’re not actually doing women’s health issues.”
It was at the Southern Baptist Forum in Nashville, Tennessee earlier this month that Bush uttered the line, “I’m not sure we need half a billion dollars for women’s health issues.”
In both instances, Hillary Clinton’s campaign fired back at Bush, this time highlighting the services Planned Parenthood provides beyond just abortions:
Jeb is just wrong. 2.7 million patients for 900K cancer screenings and 4.5M STI tests and treatments/year
8:31 AM - 25 Aug 2015
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