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Snatching Kids from Immigrant Parents

Trump Blames Democrats for His Own Insensitive Policy

Watching President Donald J. Trump blame Democrats for his administration’s inhumane practice of snatching immigrant children from their parents at the border evokes nothing so much as an abusive husband blaming his wife for the beatings he delivers:

Why do you make me do this? I hate doing this! If you’d only be reasonable and listen to me, things wouldn’t have to be this way.

As anyone paying even minimal attention to politics knows, this immoral policy is not “the Democrats fault for being weak and ineffective with Boarder Security and Crime,” to quote one randomly spelled and capitalized tweet out of three to that effect in a little over 12 hours. It’s not really Republicans’ fault, either--at least not yet. Both the Obama and George W. Bush administrations began efforts to curtail the flow of people across the southern border, but neither went so far as to pursue a “zero tolerance” approach that tore apart families en masse. Congress has not passed any bills requiring the practice since then. This bit of nastiness belongs entirely to Mr. Trump--he has made a choice to torment undocumented families--and his attempt to pass the buck is dishonest and gutless. In other words, it’s what we’ve come to expect when Mr. Trump finds himself in an uncomfortable spot.

But the horror show at the border has gotten awkward for Mr. Trump. When the normally fawning Rev. Franklin Graham and other conservative religious leaders start publicly questioning this president’s inerrancy, you know Mr. Trump has really distinguished himself in his iniquity. Even the first lady felt moved to publicly distance herself from her husband’s cruelty, calling for a nation “that governs with heart.” Things have gotten so radioactive that, at a Monday briefing, the homeland security secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen, found it easiest to fall back on incoherence, alternating between blaming Congress for the situation and denying that any such situation existed.

Perhaps recognizing the growing political hazard, the president is headed to Capitol Hill Tuesday evening to try to drag Republican House members deeper into his dumpster fire. Marc Short, his legislative affairs director, has said that the president will explain to Republican lawmakers the logic and “history” behind the decision to split up families. “The policy is incredibly complicated, and it is one we need to do a better job of communicating,” Mr. Short said.

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