Cruelty As Political Strategy

From Maureen Dowd, “How Low Can They Go?”

“The argument that migrants coming across the border have a more severe impact on border states is obviously valid. You can’t have a nearly unchecked flood of people coming in — an average of 8,500 a day, according to Axios.

. . . President Biden ignores the border, giving it to Kamala Harris to get under control. We all know that’s not happening. Republicans like Marco Rubio and Lindsey Graham who once tried to work on solutions have now just degenerated into using the border issue to bash Democrats as flaccid.

But the contentions of Republicans about geographical unfairness and Democratic inaction are undercut by their meanspirited behavior.

They are willing to make life worse for vulnerable, exhausted people who are already in a terrible position — and chortle while they’re being cruel.

As Blake Hounshell noted in The Times, DeSantis is courting Trump donors by adopting the racially charged playbook of Trump, who ‘made frequent and aggressive political use of Latino migrants during his run for the presidency in 2016 and long thereafter, casting many of them as ‘criminals’ and ‘rapists’ during his presidential announcement at Trump Tower.'”

Further evidence, as if we needed any, of the (dis)United States decline. Especially if it works.

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