Sunday, February 17, 2019

The real emergencies

The Daily Star has a pair of great opinion pieces about what constitutes read emergencies (as opposed to the phony one touted by Trump).

Tim Steller charges that the Incoherent border emergency doesn’t trouble Arizona politicos. After ripping Trump’s speech into incoherent shreds, he tags our highest office holders with incoherent silence.

The president said this.

I could do the wall over a longer period of time. I didn’t need to do this. But I’d rather do it much faster. And I don’t have to do it for the election. I’ve already done a lot of wall, for the election — 2020. And the only reason we’re up here talking about this is because of the election, because they want to try and win an election, which it looks like they’re not going to be able to do. And this is one of the ways they think they can possibly win, is by obstruction and a lot of other nonsense.

And I think that I just want to get it done faster, that’s all.

Huh? He just acknowledged the emergency declaration wasn’t needed? That he just did it because he wanted to get more wall done faster? That’s weird. Even the Republicans in Arizona must be fleeing from this flimsy justification. What does Gov. Doug Ducey say?

Arizona has watched for decades as Washington has failed to prioritize border security. It’s unfortunate it has come to this rather than Congress doing its job. But action is needed. I support President Trump’s plan to secure our border.

Wait, but Congress just passed a border-security deal that even the president likes except for one detail, the spending on the wall. That’s how Congress does its job, making compromises. Surely senators like Republican Martha McSally and Democrat Kyrsten Sinema saw through these sloppy justifications. What did McSally say?

I will continue to study the emergency declaration and additional funding proposal to ensure it increases border security while not adversely impacting our military.

Oh, so she took the brave stand of taking no stand. What about Sinema?

Congress just did its job, approving more resources for border security. Congress has more work to do on immigration and border security, and I will keep working with my colleagues to get it done.

OK, now we can see what’s going on. The president just made an incoherent argument that any borderland resident can see through, calling their homes the site of a “national emergency” even while admitting he just wants to build more fence faster.

Interesting how nobody in Arizona’s three highest offices dares to point out the obvious flaws that their own Southern Arizona constituents could point out instantly.

And then Sarah Gassen exposes Trump’s self-indulgent ‘emergency’ by identifying real emergencies afflicting Arizonans. Here is most of what she had to say.

The true national emergencies are happening one person, one child, one family, one school, one community at a time.

These real emergencies happen every day.

The emergency is when rent can’t be paid and your family is put out.

The emergency is a second-grader doing his homework in the bathroom because it’s the least noisy place in the one-room trailer he shares with a grandparent and four siblings.

The emergency is knowing you can’t feed your family without help because your job doesn’t pay enough to cover the bills.

The emergency is not having reliable transportation and needing to take your child to school and yourself to work.

The emergency is rationing your insulin because you can’t afford the full dose.

The emergency is sleeping outside because you have nowhere else to go.

The emergency is gun violence in our streets, our schools, our businesses, our houses of worship.

The emergency is a classroom bursting at the seams being led by a teacher with a master’s degree who must work a second job to support her family.

The emergency is a crime victim refusing to call the police because they’re afraid immigration agents will be called.

The emergency is a child coming home to find her mother has been deported.

The emergency is losing a loved one to violence — no matter the murderer’s nationality.

The emergency is an elder living in loneliness.

The emergency is treating drug addiction only as a law enforcement problem.

The emergency is neighborhoods where children can’t safely walk to school and don’t get a quality education once they arrive.

These are the everyday emergencies that have ceased to be seen as emergencies, because they’ve gone on so long.

They’ve slipped into the realm of neglect and that’s-just-how-it-is.

And they’re certainly not the kind of emergencies that come with rallies of cheering crowds and television cameras.

Watch Trump for any length of time and you’ll witness his need to be seen as the adored savior, to latch on to people who’ve been real victims so he can play them for sympathy, appropriating their pain in his desperate need for approval.

Trump’s declaration of an emergency sets a dangerous precedent for the country, and it speaks to the hollowness of his agenda.

There is no hero worship to be had in feeding hungry children, no fame attached to giving families a safe place to live.

There’s no adoring crowd in putting together a food box for your neighbors or paying teachers what they’re worth.

Responding to these emergencies is far more important to our national safety than Trump’s wall could ever be.

No country or community can be safe or secure when so many of its people live every day without either.

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