James Fallows: “3 Simple Facts About the Shutdown”

wall street

James Fallows boils it down at The Atlantic:

  • Reality one: As recently as three weeks ago, Donald Trump was perfectly willing to keep the government open and defer funding for his wall— until a right-wing chorus made fun of him for looking “weak.”
  • Reality two: Trump and his Congressional party never bestirred themselves to fund this wall back when they had unquestioned power to do so, during the era of Republican control of the Congress in 2017 and 2018.
  • Reality three: the U.S.-Mexico border has come under more control in recent years, not less. It’s been controlled by fences and walls in the busiest areas — as has been the practice for decades. The “crisis” is the politics of the issue, not its underlying realities.

Read the rest here.

8 thoughts on “James Fallows: “3 Simple Facts About the Shutdown”

  1. I got kicked out of a conservative Christian forum for refusing to back off of my stance that the health of our lettuce in supermarkets wouldn’t be improved by not allowing Hispanics to work the fields.
    I insisted that the issue with E. coli is one of managers, facilities, etc, not race.
    They couldn’t stand it and booted me.
    The country has always had a lot of prejudice, and it is not doing great in that department today.

    Like

  2. James Fallows gets it right on one point; specifically, Paul Ryan’s feckless management of the house might have been responsible for the wall not being funded earlier. It also appears that Mitch didn’t do a lot either.
    Mr. Fallows, however, is wrong in assuming that a temporary lessening of illegal border crossings is grounds for not having a wall. Professional border patrol agents overwhelmingly advocate more miles of construction. Perhaps they know something deeper about the subject than Manhattan dwellers who write for the elitist Atlantic Magazine.
    As far as Rush Limbaugh and Anne Coulter, Mr. Fallows might well see them as rabble rousers. It is probably the Manhattan or Washington, D.C. air which fosters his view. On the other hand, others view Limbaugh and Coulter as voices for the forgotten men and women in middle America. I doubt that Mr. Fallows spends a lot of time at diners in rural Nebraska.

    Like

    • Speaking as a middle-aged, white, (moderate) evangelical male who lives in more rural Pennsylvania, I honestly don’t fully understand the whole “forgotten men and women in middle America” narrative. I see and hear my neighbors talk about it all of the time, but I have a difficult time seeing it in quite the same fashion. Yes, I can understand it in the context of the decline of some of the traditional “rust belt” industries and the resulting economic stress. That economic part I do understand. But I don’t really understand it from a sociocultural standpoint.

      On that standpoint, it seems to me that what is happening is that for the first time in American history, over the past couple of decades people like me have been asked to make space at the table for others who are not like me. We’re not being kicked away from the table, we are just being asked to share the table. Sure, that understandably creates some additional anxiety. But the reaction I see from those around me indicates that they believe the table has been taken away from them altogether, and they speak about it in terms that are disproportionate to what is actually happening. Which, of course, finds its voice in conservative/right wing media which intentionally amplifies this perception and drives it to a fever pitch, and in so doing contributes more than its part to the whole “culture war” mindset that now preoccupies the thoughts of so many of my neighbors, and causes them to see everyone not like themselves to be malevolent enemies stealing from them in some kind of zero-sum game.

      Like

      • Dave H, you are so correct. You nail it with this, “We’re not being kicked away from the table, we are just being asked to share the table. Sure, that understandably creates some additional anxiety. But the reaction I see from those around me indicates that they believe the table has been taken away from them altogether, and they speak about it in terms that are disproportionate to what is actually happening.” I too have lots of right-wing/evangelical friends/family/neighbors etc here in southeast Pa and what’s really disconcerting is; none of them are hurting economically; relatively speaking they are extremely well-off and comfortable and they’re also not really challenged culturally in any way either. Yet they believe something else and hail trump as messiah… Like you I understand the trumpian appeal in the very real hurting/decrepit places like a rust-out town or WV mountains… But my area has none of that; it’s economy is diverse enough; it’s suburban enough etc yet lot’s of well-off middle-class “christians”, business-class, etc talk, act and apparently feel like the “the table has been taken away from them…” Personally this attitude sometimes makes me feel like actually finding a way to take the table away from them, if that’s the ungrateful, entitled attitude they want to cling to. But I try to back away from that attitude and let it in God’s hands. He’ll let them reap what they may be sowing.

        Like

      • We’re not being kicked away from the table, we are just being asked to share the table. Sure, that understandably creates some additional anxiety.

        But what if you’ve been pre-conditioned to see it as a Zero-Sum Game?

        Like

    • Yeah, and Coulter and Limbaugh (like Trump) spend a lot of time at diners in rural Nebraska. Who do you think you are kidding, besides yourself?

      Nobody serious advocates more walls because it is a ridiculous idea, it is a waste of our tax money on an inefficient solution to a non-existent problem. There are fewer illegal immigrants today than in recent decades.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s