John Avlon: Huge Influx at the Border Is 'Fundamentally a Trump Administration Policy'

One of the worst things about the media in the Trump-era is the surprising amount of journalists who think that the history of bad things began on January 20, 2017. Nowhere, is this more evident than the situation at the border and Tuesday's edition of New Day on CNN was no exception. 

Co-host Alisyn Camerota read a couple of tweets from liberal California Democratic Rep. Karen Bass, that said that if a parent did what the Administration is doing at the border, such as "child in a cage without soap or toothpaste" they would be thrown in jail for child abuse. 

But then she asked CNN senior political analyst John Avlon by talking about the intra-Democratic Party fight on whether to pass a bill providing emergency funding for the border situation. Camerota worried out loud that if Democrats don't pass the bill, they will be held at least partially responsible for any humanitarian problems that are occurring at the border. 

 

 

Avlon agreed with Camerota that Democrats better pass the emergency funding bill if they want to avoid having the blame "credibly" shifted their way, arguing they should not let the perfect become the enemy of the good. He declared that, "This is humanitarian crisis on the border but it's largely self-inflicted. It'll be a stain on America's reputation. Funding it, funding a degree of relief for these folks is probably better than compounding the crisis and politically catching some flak for what's fundamentally a Trump Administration policy." 

Avlon, is wrong about this being "fundamentally" a Trump policy and Bass is wrong about soap and toothpaste, a talking point that CNN contributor Bianna Golodryga would repeat later in the segment. We know this because former Obama DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson unapologetically told Chris Wallace as much on Fox News Sunday. As for soap and toothpaste, the blogger known as AG_Conservative wrote at National Review, "the hearing in the video was related not to actions taken by the Trump administration, but to a challenge of a 2017 ruling that the CBP under the Obama administration had violated the Flores Settlement agreement with its treatment of children in custody."

Not everything bad that has ever happened started with Trump and just because Democrats deny doing things that they now regard as gross human rights violations, doesn't mean they aren't being hypocritical.

Here is a transcript for the June 25 show:

CNN New Day

8:01 AM ET

ALISYN CAMEROTA: Meanwhile House Speaker Nancy Pelosi trying to quell a revolt in her own party over border funding. Pelosi is trying to push to get a funding bill, but there are deep divisions about whether it does enough to address the humanitarian crisis with children at the border. All this attention though has had an impact. Hundreds of migrant children are being moved out of one filthy border facility to a new location in Texas, so we'll talk about all this. We want to bring in our panel. We have Lisa Lerer, she’s politics reporter from "The New York Times" and CNN political analyst, John Avalon, CNN senior political analyst, and Bianna Golodryga, CNN contributor great to have you all here. Let’s talk about what’s happening at the border. 

We just had Congresswoman Karen Bass on. She blames the Trump Administration, she believes they're intentionally inflicting harm. Here's what she tweeted, she said, “The Trump Administration is guilty of abuse and neglect. This is state sponsored child abuse.” “If a parent locked their child in a cage without soap or toothpaste, they would be charged with child abuse. If a parent were to put there 8 year-old in charge of caring for a toddler, they could be charged with child endangerment. Then the parents would go to jail.” So, John, that is what's happening at the border. But I don't know that she can only blame the Trump Administration because as we know last night the Democrats were having this heated meeting for three hours with Nancy Pelosi, they too are struggling over what to do, even how much money to give. I mean, there's even no indication they'll meet the deadline this week of getting money to the border. 

JOHN AVLON: I think that's why Nancy Pelosi is really focusing on the need, she argues, to pass this bill. Because blame could credibly be shifted, at least in the fire fights of politics, to Democrats saying “Why aren't you funding the money to make the situation better?” Liberal Democrats saying “Look, we don't want to have any association with this unless, you know kids get out of cages.” Bottom line in politics, the perfect cannot be made enemy of the good. This is humanitarian crisis on the border but it's largely self-inflicted. It'll be a stain on America's reputation. Funding it, funding a degree of relief for these folks is probably better than compounding the crisis and politically catching some flak for what's fundamentally a Trump Administration policy. 


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