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Donald Trump Renews Call For Ban On Muslim Immigration

Trump Nixon V

Six  months after first bringing the issue up after the attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, Donald Trump renewed his call for a ban on immigration into the United States by Muslims:

In a speech reacting to the massacre in Orlando where 50 people were killed, presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump doubles down on his proposal to ban immigration of Muslims, and he expanded his proposal to “suspend immigration from areas of the world where there is a proven history of terrorism against the United States, Europe or allies.”

Speaking at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics Monday, Trump did not mention foreign policy or discuss the fight against terrorist group ISIS, which the killer pledged allegiance, instead he said the attack early Sunday morning at the Pulse nightclub was the result of the U.S.’s immigration policies.

“TThe bottom line is that the only reason the killer was in America in the first place was because we allowed his family to come here,” Trump said, reading from a teleprompter. “That is a fact, and it’s a fact we need to talk about.”

The killer was born in New York but his father is an immigrant from Afghanistan.

Trump had originally said he would temporarily suspend immigration from Muslims, but he was starting to soften that idea in recent weeks. But after Sunday’s horror, he went further.

“The ban will be lifted when we as a nation are in a position to properly and perfectly screen those people coming into our country,” Trump said. “We are importing radical Islamic terrorism into the west through a failed immigration system.”

In reality, of course, Trump’s position on Muslim immigration is largely irrelevant to the tragedy in Orlando because the shooter, Omar Mateen, was born in New York in 1996 to parents who had immigrated to the United States from Afghanistan in the wake of the war between the Soviet Union and Afghan rebels that ultimately led to a humiliating Soviet defeat and withdrawal. Mateen was raised in Florida and apparently didn’t even leave the country until he was an adult, when he visited Saudi Arabia for reasons that the F.B.I. has yet to determine, although it appears at least one of those occasions appears to have been for the purpose of participating in the hajj, the pilgramige to Mecca that all Muslims are required to make at least once in their life if they are able. In any case, Mateen was an American citizen who was already in the country so Trump’s ban wouldn’t have stopped the attack in Orlando on Saturday night any more than it would have prevented Syed Farook, the American citizen involved in the attack in San Bernardino, from carrying out the attack he was involved in. In response, Trump asserts that if his ban had been in place in the past then Mateen’s parents would not have been allowed to come to the United States and, therefore, the attack more than 20 years later would not have happened. He says this despite the fact that there doesn’t appear to be any evidence that Mateen’s father had a record of supporting extremism at the time he came to the United States, although he has apparently made statement sympathetic to the Taliban at some point in the past. Indeed, reports have indicated that his father was a supporter of the mujahadeen during the war with the Soviets, which suggests that he may have been included in one of the various programs used to grant asylum to people involved in fighting the Soviet for those who were in danger in the years after the war ended. In any case, the fact of the matter is that Trump’s ban on Muslim immigration would not have prevented the attack in Orlando, just as it would not have prevented the attack in San Bernardino.

Trump’s response to the attack in Orlando is hardly surprising, of course, and it largely mirrors his response to the attacks late last year in Paris and California. Back then, he advocated  closing mosques and maintaining a database to track Muslim-Americans and Muslim immigrants, constantly repeated debunked claims that “thousands” of Muslim Americans were celebrating the destruction of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, and in the wake of the San Bernardino attacks increased his anti-Muslim rhetoric to an even higher level until it reached its apex with his call for a ban on Muslims being allowed into the country until “we can figure out what the hell is going on,” an open-ended commitment that suggests it would effectively be permanent. With that history, it’s not really all that surprising that Trump would seek to exploit yet another attack for his electoral advantage, and to cynically rely on the worst forms of anti-Muslim bigotry in order to do so. As I noted when Trump first proposed this idea, in addition to the fact that it is rooted in the basest form of religious bigotry, there are serious legal arguments against Trump’s idea:

Beyond the practical arguments, though, it would seem as though a complete ban on immigration based solely on someone’s religious beliefs is something that would be a violation of the First Amendment as well as other parts of the Constitution. It’s true that there isn’t necessarily a Constitutional right for an immigrant to enter the country, but a law that bars people based on categories such as religious beliefs would strike me as being clearly unconstitutional. Of course, Trump isn’t proposing this idea as something he seriously believes will become law, especially since it is exceedingly unlikely that Donald Trump will ever become President. Most likely, it’s just the latest example of a campaign strategy that seems to involve saying more and more outrageous things and then sitting back and watching as the media gives him free media time that only serves to increase his poll numbers. It is a strategy that has worked exceedingly well so far, unfortunately, and it will likely work this time as well.

The most notable thing about Trump’s statement, of course, is that it is the latest, and arguably one of the worst, examples of the extent to which he has built a campaign around the idea of appealing to the worst aspects of American politics. It’s also another exhibit in favor of the argument that it is entirely appropriate to consider the man to be a fascist and a demagogue, and indeed just somewhat dangerous as a political figure.

Despite all of that, of course, Trump’s position didn’t harm him at all in the Republican primary, so it’s not surprising that he’d fall back on the same strategy now. We’re not in a primary now, of course, so it’s unclear whether Trump’s demagoguery will benefit him ax much as it did six months ago. In either case, I suppose we can expect to see a week or more of this from Trump and we should know pretty quickly how the general public reacts to it.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Trump renews call for ban on all things Trump.

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  2. Guarneri says:

    A self inflicted wound.

    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/why-so-hard-to-tell-the-truth-about-orlando/article/2593689

    BTW. The hajj is a once in a lifetime requirement, not 3 times in 4 years. And participants generally modify their names. Good luck with that exculpatory line.

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  3. barbintheboonies says:

    There are many in this country who will cheer him for this, whether they believe what he says or not. He will stir up the bigots until they return fire and it will go back in forth until something gives. I don’t know what the answer is but doing nothing is not the answer. Law enforcement is over-whelmed with crime and if citizens take the law into their own hands that creates even more headaches for them. I just want to ask why do they come here if they hate it here live where your among people you wish to be with and leave us be. We have enough problems without yours too.

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  4. Jane2 says:

    @Guarneri: That’s about as credible as Salon’s article blaming Orlando on “toxic masculinity”. One can take any event and shape it to fit one’s pet theory.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. Hal_10000 says:

    Every time I think Trump can’t sink any lower, he manages to find a new level. One of the things you look for is how a President respond to a crisis. Now we’ve seen how Trump responds: pat his own back, attack everyone in sight, divide the country, call for even more powerful and invasive government.

    And the scary thing is, his hysterical shrieking reaction will probably give him a couple of points in the polls.

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  6. James Pearce says:

    @Guarneri:

    BTW. The hajj is a once in a lifetime requirement, not 3 times in 4 years.

    So you must have some information he went there for another purpose then. If not, that’s okay.

    Just don’t go thinking your guess is better than anyone else’s.

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  7. Hal_10000 says:

    Something else to note: while we might be appalled at what Trump said, this speech is a yuge victory for him. Because everyone is talking about him. Anyone know what Clinton said? See.

    If you guys want Clinton to win, stop talking about Trump all the time.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  8. steve s says:

    Actually i Do know what clinton said. I knew before I knew what trump said.

    I chalk this up to having better than average facebook friends, who pay more attention to substance than bullshit.

    Trump is the embodiment of the GOP, so I’m ignoring him, because there aren’t enough ignorant loudmouth racists anymore to win the presidency.

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  9. An Interested Party says:

    …this speech is a yuge victory for him.

    Is it? The more he runs his mouth, the more exposure he gets, the more ridiculous he looks, the more he presents himself as being unacceptable as the president of this country…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  10. Hal_10000 says:

    @An Interested Party:

    In principal, I agree. In practice, we keep saying that and it keeps not being true. The more obnoxious he gets, the more his core of supporters love him. And in a moment of fear after a terror attack, people have a tendency to drift to the demagogue.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  11. James Pearce says:

    @Hal_10000:

    If you guys want Clinton to win, stop talking about Trump all the time.

    Trump will probably be out of politics by year’s end. Now may be our only chance.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  12. michael reynolds says:

    Well, the line it is drawn, the curse it is cast.

    Trump has defined the battlefield. I don’t like this terrain, I’d much rather be defending a narrower front. The enemy is smaller in number, but united. I’d have given up 10 or 20% of the ground, but here we are with our chins all the way out.

    When this many Americans feel that something must be done, that some action must be taken, and you have the obligatory loudmouth you need for a good lynching, you cannot expect to just soothe it away. Obama and Hillary need to find a way to an action that will do minimal harm and fit at least the extended definition of “something.”

    I suppose we can hope the American voter is far cleverer and more mature than they’ve generally been.

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  13. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @barbintheboonies:

    I just want to ask why do they come here if they hate it here live where your among people you wish to be with and leave us be.

    Beyond the statement being a run-on sentence, got any evidence of that whole “come here if they hate it here” thingie? I realize that it’s conventional wisdom among the RWNJ set, but it runs counter to my experience of people who leave their homes.

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  14. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Guarneri:

    Islam America has a terrorism problem.” [See Branch Davidians, Dylan Klebold, Waco, Ruby Ridge, OKC, I could go on…]

    Why is that sentence so hard to say?

    See how that works? Easy as pie! Pray tell, why is it so hard?

    (This is not to say that Islam doesn’t have a terrorism problem–I don’t honestly know, nor do I know that “their problem” is worse than “ours” [I’m just an ignorant cracker], but mow your own lawn before to go telling someone else how to tend theirs.)

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  15. Rafer Janders says:

    @Hal_10000:

    And in a moment of fear after a terror attack, people have a tendency to drift to the demagogue.

    That is a claim often made, but it’s not necessarily true. People also have a tendency to drift towards the competent, can-do types, and to stay away from the out-of-control hysterics.

    Guess which is which in this election….

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  16. gVOR08 says:

    @michael reynolds: I think I’ve mentioned before gVOR’s Third law of Project Management. (Or maybe Sixth, I make these up ad hoc.):
    Don’t panic, we got through the last hundred of these crises. But do be seen running around in circles with your hair on fire enough to convince management you share their panic.
    You’re right that Clinton and Obama have the very difficult task of convincing the electorate they’re lashing out wildly while not doing anything stupid. And Trump has the advantage of having no such constraint.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  17. Modulo Myself says:

    This is a hopeful hypothesis, but Trump is far better outside the bubble of his base when he’s talking about Mexicans taking peoples’ jobs and the elite not caring than he is when he claims Obama is a secret Muslim agent.

    The former is plausible because it’s upsetting conventional wisdom. The latter is something your aunt sends in an all-caps email. It’s pathetic and bad.

    Right now, the contrast between how some people grieve (sadness, solidarity and understanding with those who have been hurt) and how others do it (anger and fear at being usurped) is pretty clear.

    The latter does not upset conventional wisdom or political correctness. It’s pathetic and deformed, and trying to capitalize on it is even worse.

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  18. Joe says:

    @barbintheboonies:

    We have enough problems without yours too.

    I am pretty sure I know the “yours” are in that sentence, but tell me exactly who the “We” is. Seriously. In detail.

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  19. Tony W says:

    Trump is truly a genius – with a Capital ‘J’.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  20. Stan says:

    One of the Koch brothers compared Trump to Mussolini, and Meg Whitman threw in Hitler as well. Their motives are good, but they’re wrong. What we’re seeing in Donald Trump is Joe McCarthy, sixty years later. There’s the threat from a foreign ideology, mentoring by Roy Cohn, attacks on the president as soft on our enemies and probably sympathetic to their cause, and a respected Republican leader, Robert Taft when I was in high school and now Paul Ryan, going along for personal advantage. Then we had Joseph Welch, Edward R. Murrow, and Margaret Chase Smith. Who do we have now? Koch, Whitman, Mitt Romney, and Scott Walker. Like most liberals, I dislike them. But they’re upholding the honor of their party, which is more than I can say for most of their colleagues.

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  21. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Joe: I think it’s the “we” of the quote “We have met the enemy and he is us.” But, I might be wrong.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  22. Joe says:

    Nope, @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker, I don’t want a slogan. I want it word for word. Just really want to hear@Barbieintheboonies say this.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  23. michael reynolds says:

    @gVOR08:

    I think that’s exactly right, and from now on it may reappear as Michael Reynolds’ seventh law of project management.

    Mind you I have no idea what they could do in specific terms. But hey, they asked for the job, let them work it out.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  24. michael reynolds says:

    @Stan:

    Once again we are limited in our use of historical analogies by the fact that the extent of American historical knowledge is 1776, Civil War, World War 2 and Vietnam. People’s general level of foreign history knowledge amounts to D-Day, Hiroshima and Commies, plus for some reason we don’t like the French.

    I’ll bet you that not one American in 20 has any idea who Otto Von Bismarck was, for example. A somewhat influential gentleman. The American people are so ignorant of history that they’ve heard more than one American president solemnly say that we have never used our military power for conquest, and not laughed themselves hoarse. We have the shortest history of any developed nation and somehow manage not to know even that. And we’re the new Rome with not a clue about all those far-flung friends, allies, foes and all shade between.

    And now I’ve ranted. Sorry.I write YA books and people occasionally ask me whether I think it would be hard to switch to adult. I tell them other than the pay cut, no. There’s nothing the average adult knows in this country that the average 15 year-old doesn’t.

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  25. michael reynolds says:

    Now, according to MSNBC, Mateen may have been gay. Because nothing this year is normal. Speaking just as a political junkie, this is as good as 1968.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  26. JohnMcC says:

    @michael reynolds: I don’t recall if you have revealed your age here, but I very clearly remember 1968. I was less than one year out of VietNam with a PurpleHeart that I actually thought would mean something to my future. I pull off the InterState to get a tankful of gas in Memphis and — at the bottom of the exit ramp — was an Armored Personnel Carrier with the familiar M2 50Cal pointed right at me!

    That was 1968.

    This is rough. But it’s not George Wallace, Richard Nixon, VietNamWar rough.

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  27. MBunge says:

    @michael reynolds: Obama and Hillary need to find a way to an action that will do minimal harm and fit at least the extended definition of “something.”

    I don’t really understand this comment. Should people not expect their leaders to take action in the wake of something like this? Should they be satisfied with just doing the same things we’ve been doing, even when it’s no longer working or maybe hasn’t ever worked? You can call Trump’s Muslim ban racist, because it is, but how much longer can we call it stupid when the people who got us in this mess and have been dealing with it, Republican and Democrat, not only don’t know how to clean it up but can’t even imagine what a world without this mess would look like?

    Mike

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  28. bill says:

    ok, trump reiterated a stance from months ago- and he’s right.
    i mean really, why do we feel the need to import people who hate gays, christians, jews, blacks, trannys, anyone who isn’t muslim, etc? it’s not like they pick crops or clean houses for the wealthy- and they won’t adapt to our culture, plus they treat women like garbage.
    so really, what’s with the red hot muslim love y’all seem to have? i mean aside from obama’s need to double down on his “muslims love us”/ “religion of peace” bs?
    @michael reynolds: awesome, a self loathing gay islamic terrorist! he was a wife beater too, and his dad is pro-taliban……just your typical guys next door……in hell.

    side note- a gay friend of mine went batshit nuts on facebook- says he’s getting a gun and carrying it to clubs now. can’t blame him, the gun grabbers are going nuts too- thinking that gun bans would have stopped this…..just imagine if the bar patrons were packing!

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  29. Loviatar says:

    @michael reynolds:

    When this many Americans feel that something must be done, that some action must be taken, and you have the obligatory loudmouth you need for a good lynching, you cannot expect to just soothe it away. Obama and Hillary need to find a way to an action that will do minimal harm and fit at least the extended definition of “something.”

    ohh, ohh, I know “something” we can do, lets drop a nuclear bomb on Afghanistan.

    wait, what, he was born in Queens New York, USA.

    wait, what, it wasn’t really Islamic terrorism, he was just a self-hating gay man who used ISIS as a beard.

    I guess we’ll have to wait for the next time to do “something”.

    —–

    michael reynolds,

    So far you’ve advocated nuclear war and indiscriminate violence for no other reason than it would make you feel better to do “something”

    You are an immoral, criminal asshole.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  30. grumpy realist says:

    And how are we supposed to identify these “Muzzies”, hmmm? Maybe something like tracking their bloodlines, saying that anyone who has at least one grandparent that is Muslim is sufficient, then, hey, we can have them wear a symbol! Something like a yellow crescent, right?

    (By the way, I suggest those of you who want to “ban Muslim immigration” in order to get rid of possibly radical children 20 years down the road take a quick peek at exactly how much of a dent you will be doing into US entrepreneurship and inventorship. I’m sure certain other countries will be quite happy to take the risk.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  31. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker: See Branch Davidians, Dylan Klebold, Waco, Ruby Ridge, OKC, I could go on…

    You really shouldn’t. “Branch Davidians” and “Waco” are the same incident, and Ruby Ridge was about a family that wanted to be left alone, but the government didn’t allow that.

    I appreciate a good Monty Python reference as much as the next person (if not more), especially when it’s inadvertent, but I don’t think you meant to pull the old “one… two… five!” routine here.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  32. Mikey says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Now, according to MSNBC, Mateen may have been gay

    Yeah, dude was on Grindr and a couple other gay dating apps.

    Some reports say he knew exactly where he was going because he had patronized Pulse in the past.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  33. Lit3Bolt says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I think your original analysis is going to be more on the nose. Especially since the news coming out now that this “terrorist” loved his men and went to gay clubs and used gay dating apps. No one is going to be able to square this peg into a media narrative, because the partisan ideological contradictions are too strong.

    Now if he had attacked DisneyWorld, we would have been well and truly f*cked.

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  34. An Interested Party says:

    …what’s with the red hot muslim love y’all seem to have?

    A better question is what’s with all the red hot Muslim hate that you have? I mean, I get how you’re scared of these people, but we as a country don’t need to panic and do stupid things like banning Muslim immigration, which, by the way, is probably illegal, just because a few of you are soiling yourselves…

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  35. C. Clavin says:

    If we had a functioning press, the speech Trump gave yesterday would have marked the end of his candidacy.
    Egregious lies.
    Factual errors.
    Unconstitutional proposals.
    Demagoguery.
    Xenophobia.
    A toxic mix of arrogance and ignorance.
    Last we heard this ban was just a suggestion, the beginning of negotiations, or something. Now it is a full-blown Republican policy plank.
    If you think this man should be President of these United States, then you have serious mental health issues.

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  36. C. Clavin says:

    Apparently this guy Mateen, an American born citizen, was a self-hating gay man.
    Is Trump going to deport all the gay people, now?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  37. Rafer Janders says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Is Trump going to deport all the gay people, now?

    Only until we figure out what’s going on.

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  38. Jenos Idanian says:

    Trump proposes a temporary ban on immigration from places that have a lot of people who want to kill us, until we figure out a better way to tell apart the dangerous ones from the ones trying to get away from the dangerous ones.

    Hillary proposes a permanent change to a fundamental right of every American.

    Obviously, Trump’s proposal is the radical notion here…

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  39. Pete S says:

    @grumpy realist:

    By the way, I suggest those of you who want to “ban Muslim immigration” in order to get rid of possibly radical children 20 years down the road

    This really doesn’t go far enough. We need to ban immigration from countries the US is currently supplying with arms but will invade at some point in the next 35 years. If Donald Trump becomes president this could be a long list.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  40. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Trump proposes a temporary ban on immigration

    No…Trump proposes a ban until we understand how to end these threats. You cannot end terrorism. That is an impossible task. Anyone with half a brain understands that. Ipso facto, he is calling for a permanent ban.

    When I’m elected, I will suspend immigration from areas of the world where there is a proven history of terrorism against the United States, Europe or our allies until we fully understand how to end these threats

    My lord, you are a colossal dupe who will buy anything that orange-faced comb-over is selling you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  41. KM says:

    @Lit3Bolt :

    Now if he had attacked DisneyWorld, we would have been well and truly f*cked.

    Considering I’m taking the family in a few months, I can tell you the level of panic among those who know is skyrocketing. “OMG they were going to hit Disney! You can’t go – It’s Not Safe!!” My inbox has been flooded with articles from concerned coworkers and acquaintances who think I don’t watch the news for some reason. When I point out he may have been going for one last trip instead of casing the place, I get accused of being naive. When I point out all the stories of people sneaking guns in and forgetting them on the rides (It’s a Small World for god’s sake!!) to show how there’s always been some armed weirdo nearby, I get shushed as that’s different. If I say this is all speculation and nothing actually happened, I get stared at. Clearly, the House of Mouse is dangerous because a terrorist once went there for possible nefarious purposes.

    Meanwhile, my household is awaiting the trip eagerly. Other then more rigorous security (and maybe less crowds), I don’t anticipate any issues.

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  42. al-Alameda says:

    @bill:

    side note- a gay friend of mine went batshit nuts on facebook- says he’s getting a gun and carrying it to clubs now. can’t blame him, the gun grabbers are going nuts too- thinking that gun bans would have stopped this…..just imagine if the bar patrons were packing!

    I tend to agree, generally, wanting to carry a gun wherever you go is “batshit nuts”.

    Just another day in America, mass shootings are inevitably going to happen periodically.

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  43. KM says:

    Donald Trump doubles down on his proposal to ban immigration of Muslims, and he expanded his proposal to “suspend immigration from areas of the world where there is a proven history of terrorism against the United States, Europe or allies.”

    Hmmmmm methinks that doesn’t include Christians fleeing persecution in the ME, would it Donald? If it does, that would certainly piss off fundies that suddenly they’re on the no-go list as well. Also, how far back is this proven history going? After all, one could easily include Israel for the USS Liberty in there or Lebanon for Beirut. Adding in that most groups are stateless now, do we punish countries where we were hit like India; sure he says “allies” but we’re allies with Mexico and he’s totally for a wall there because of the violence.

    Terrorism is a worldwide problem. Saying “You can’t come here if you’re from where terrorism comes from” is basically saying the whole world’s off limits. Makes for a nice sound bite but terrible policy.

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  44. Pch101 says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Anyone with half a brain understands that.

    Jenos comes up short in that department.

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  45. michael reynolds says:

    @JohnMcC:

    This is rough. But it’s not George Wallace, Richard Nixon, VietNam War rough.

    I would have been 14, and my father was deployed to Vietnam. (US Army). No, I agree this isn’t as rough, what with fewer assassinations and riots, but hey, there’s still time! I was speaking more of the narrative flow, the surprises, the head-scratching moments, the sheer lunatic unpredictability of this year. Usually by this stage in the game we have a fairly good notion of how it’s going to play out. Well, not this year.

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  46. michael reynolds says:

    @KM:

    I can’t believe you’re not seizing on this excellent excuse for canceling Disney World.

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  47. Mikey says:

    @KM:

    Makes for a nice sound bite but terrible policy.

    This is among the best one-sentence summaries of the Trump campaign I’ve seen.

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  48. Rafer Janders says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Usually by this stage in the game we have a fairly good notion of how it’s going to play out. Well, not this year.

    Actually, no, we do have a fairly good notion of how it’s going to play out this year — certainly, at this point in time, a better notion than we had in June 2000, June 2004, or June 2008, at which point all of those races were more toss-ups than they are now. Clinton will win, and win handily. Sure, Trump will make a lot of noise, but that’s just noise, and does not affect the fundamentals.

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  49. bill says:

    @al-Alameda: well, we don’t really hear about chl holders shooting up places….just saying.
    mass shootings tend to happen in ‘gun free’ zones, as the shooters are aware of this and have no fear of it.
    but hey, that’s just me i guess.

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  50. michael reynolds says:

    @MBunge:

    People should and do expect their leaders to do something. The problem is with the menu of available “somethings.”

    If we pull back on the whole issue we have a conflict between modernity (The West/Japan) and civilizational dead-enders (Islamic extremists/various fascists). As someone the other day pointed out, we’ve essentially won the war – a market economy, representative democracy, human rights have become the default. There’s no other competing ideology that has any purchase.

    So we have two paths we can go by (humming Zeppelin): the way of the Hammer or the way of the Clock. We can crush opponents by force of arms, or wait them out. Given our societal refusal to go all Genghis, we’ve evidently decided to play out the clock. If we’re going that way our actions should be defensive while minimizing the distortion of our own society – security measures, but not SWAT teams kicking in doors, overseas strikes but not invasion and occupation. The Obama approach.

    So, basically we do something that doesn’t amount to much but seems to be something. Kabuki. Like Hillary using the apparently magical phrase ‘Islamic extremism” or whatever it was.

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  51. KM says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I can’t believe you’re not seizing on this excellent excuse for canceling Disney World

    I fear being lynched by a crowd of small children if I ever considered doing that. The adults will either aid and abet or just look the other way :) This family gathering is happening come hell or high water; they just opened a Trader Sam’s and I plan to work my way through the liquor menu. I’m also refusing to wear the M Family Reunion shirt. Or a costume. I just want to ride Space Mountain in (slightly buzzed) peace…..

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  52. michael reynolds says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    I hope you’re right.

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  53. KM says:

    @michael reynolds:

    So we have two paths we can go by (humming Zeppelin): the way of the Hammer or the way of the Clock.

    I like this. I would suggest we are pursing a third option though: the Way of Water. Essentially we are culturally eroding at the foundations these fundamentalist require the way waves erode a cliff. It is usually subtle and too long-term to notice but occasionally the bedrock goes first and the upper cliffs cave spectacularly. By actively and passively supporting things like education for women, better health initiatives and basic human rights, the societies they hide in turn against them. Oh they may not side with us per se (salt and freshwater) but malleable water beats unyielding stone every time.

    The Hammer seeks to beat them into our image, the Clock waits till they die and are replaced but Water washes away the dirt and leaves the raw materials to become something new.

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  54. Dave D says:

    @KM: This reminds me of how under provisions of the PATRIOT ACT Hmongs were listed as terrorists under a provision for taking up arms against the rightful government and denied the ability to immigrate to the US. That rightful government they took up arms against was that of North Vietnam, and those arms were supplied by the US. No matter left high and dry in Thai refugee camps even now and forcibly being moved back to Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia at great risk to themselves and forced reeducation. Policy often has a series of unintended consequences that will likely do more harm than good in these situations.

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  55. Blue Galangal says:

    @bill: This must have been on the NRA memo that went out about this tragedy. I’ve seen it on Facebook countless times already. There was an armed, off-duty policeman working security at Pulse who exchanged fire with Mateen. Tell me how this was a gun-free zone? And how a good guy with a gun was able to stop a bad guy (with 2 guns)? Did the off-duty policeman just need moar gunz?

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  56. Mikey says:

    @Blue Galangal:

    There was an armed, off-duty policeman working security at Pulse who exchanged fire with Mateen.

    I guarantee that inconvenient fact will go down the gun-lover memory hole faster than you can empty the magazine on an AR-15 into a crowded nightclub.

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  57. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @KM: If it helps, I’ll root for the fewer crowds part for you. I loved my trip to Orlando all those years back.

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  58. al-Alameda says:

    @bill:

    mass shootings tend to happen in ‘gun free’ zones, as the shooters are aware of this and have no fear of it.

    … or like Fort Hood?

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  59. Andre Kenji says:

    The problem is that any single loser can buy an semiautomatic rifle and kill dozens of people in a nightclub, a bar, a shopping mall, a school or a church. There is always losers from all kinds of religions and backgrounds willing to do that.

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  60. gVOR08 says:

    @michael reynolds: You’re welcome to it.

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  61. gVOR08 says:

    @MBunge:

    I don’t really understand this comment. Should people not expect their leaders to take action in the wake of something like this?

    People should expect their leaders to organize a coalition to fight ISIS and kill their fighters by the tens of thousands.
    People should expect their leaders to bend every effort to identifying, locating, and killing ISIS leadership.
    People should expect our leaders to find and cut off ISIS’ funding.
    People should expect intelligence resources at every level, federal, state, local to make every effort to find potential terrorists in our own country.
    People should expect refugees coming into the US from conflict areas to be vetted as carefully as possible.

    Our leaders are doing all that. What more do you want them to do? Are you sure it wouldn’t be counterproductive, violate our basic social tenets, or both?

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  62. Lit3Bolt says:

    @michael reynolds:

    We went over this with the Paris attacks in November. It’s a tempting thought that we can invade the city, crucify all the men and women, and then fling the children into the bonfires. That we can kill so many people that no one would ever dare f*ck with us again. And you know that’s fantasy author BS.

    It’s weird, you seem to warn against the risks of creeping fascism and then flirt with the very same fascist impulses. Just like Israel!

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  63. michael reynolds says:

    @Lit3Bolt:

    It’s not fascistic unless you hold that FDR and Churchill were fascists. Perhaps you have a romanticized view of WW2. We burned down cities in Germany and Japan in large part as retaliation, and yet FDR is a god of Democrats. Lincoln in his day had a version of it, unleashing Sherman in Georgia and South Carolina. And M.A.D. was massive retaliation to the power of ten.

    A better criticism would be that the results of those terror/retaliation attacks were quite mixed. You could argue it worked pretty well in convincing rich Southerners it was time to pack it in. You could argue that it had very little effect on the Nazis. But you could equally argue it was quite effective against Japan. The threat of it certainly kept the Cold War cold.

    But arguing that disproportionate retaliation is fascistic is not historically accurate. You want to see disproportionate, look at the Mexican War. They took some potshots and we stole half their country. Or the War of 1812, where some impressed sailors somehow forced us to invade Canada (unsuccessfully). Or the Spanish-American War where we annihilated the Spanish fleet with essentially no loss on our side, over what was probably a pretext.

    Incidentally, we won WW2, the Civil War, the Mexican American War, the Spanish American war, and the Cold War, and scored a draw in 1812. Using more civilized, proportional approaches we fought Korea to a draw, lost in Vietnam, arguably lost in Iraq and likely in Afghanistan. (I’d score WW1 as irrelevant since we were basically just holding France’s coat.)

    Now, look at the aftermaths. We evicted the Spaniards which was probably net plus for folks in former Spanish territories, though not an unmixed blessing. I’d say California (which we swiped) is rather more successful than any portion of Mexico. The old Confederacy is, well, they’re still there and slavery ended in 1865. Our brutal victory in WW2 has given the western world its longest period of sustained peace, as well as turning Japan into a pretty good model of ally and democracy. And the USSR went away without the trouble of a WW3 because we essentially broadcast our willingness to obliterate humanity rather than accept defeat.

    So, call it what you like, but it is clearly “American” historically, and has a better record of success than our more recent restrained and proportional efforts.

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  64. Rafer Janders says:

    @michael reynolds:

    So, call it what you like, but it is clearly “American” historically, and has a better record of success than our more recent restrained and proportional efforts.

    Man, there are so many blatant historical mistakes, errors of fact, and outright confusion in the above post that it would take me an hour to correct it all

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  65. michael reynolds says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    Oh? I rather doubt that. Especially since you didn’t bother to refute even a single point. Why don’t you give it a try?

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  66. Davebo says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I guess the upside is that historically you only “get your war on” every 14 years or so. But don’t you grow tired of those 14 years of having to explain what an idiot you were at the time?

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  67. Davebo says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Though Rafer probably had the right idea and I’m making a mistake I’ll bite.

    We burned down cities in Germany and Japan in large part as retaliation

    And this was a disproportional response to Germany burning down London? How so?

    unleashing Sherman in Georgia and South Carolina

    On April 12, 1864, the worst war crime ever perpetrated during the Civil War took place on a bluff above the Mississippi River, 65 miles north of Memphis, Tenn. Three years to the day after the firing on Fort Sumter, 1,500 Confederate troops swept over defenses of Fort Pillow and massacred hundreds of surrendering Union soldiers, most of them black.

    Champ Ferguson, enough said. Sherman gave specific orders that civilians were not to be harmed unless unless they resisted.

    And M.A.D. was massive retaliation to the power of ten.

    This is just too silly to even consider. I really expect better of you but again, you’ve got your war on.

    Annihilating Fleets is pretty much what one expects their Navy to do if possible. It certainly in no way a disproportionate response if one understands the meaning of both war and disproportionate.

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  68. michael reynolds says:

    @Davebo:

    1)
    The bombing of London was a pinprick compared to the strategic bombing of Germany. More died in Hamburg alone than in the Blitz. And the RAF practiced a particularly brutal type of bombing. They had done some research and concluded that what burns in a city is not the buildings but the contents of same. So they would take a first pass with high explosives meant to blow the roofs off. Then came the incendiaries, and when you do it “right” you get a firestorm. Here’s a nice little detail from Hamburg: people who jumped into canals to survive were boiled alive.

    The RAF, unable to sustain the losses that came from daylight bombing, hit on the tactic of simply picking a city and obliterating it. The lowest estimate is that 5 times as many Germans died from strategic bombing as Brits. Some estimates have it 10 times.

    So, yes, that was disproportionate. Our bombing was mostly daytime because we objected to area bombing on both practical and moral grounds. But we did assist in some of those city-killer raids, and even with daylight “precision” we blew up many a hospital and school.

    2)
    The point was not that Sherman was killing civilians, he wasn’t, not deliberately. But he was practicing economic warfare against civilians, a tactic the south did not employ against the north – possibly just lack of opportunity. Therefore, yes, a disproportionate response. And you can hardly cite Fort Pillow as an excuse since Pillow was army-on-army, and Sherman was army-on-civilian.

    3)
    Please explain how I have mischaracterized MAD. Was it not a threat to launch thousands of nuclear weapons, annihilating millions of civilians, and perhaps humanity itself? Saying “it’s to silly” is itself silly.

    4)
    Yes, we do expect our fleet to annihilate an enemy’s fleet, but given that the Maine was almost certainly not a legitimate predicate, we were almost certainly annihilating a fleet that had done us no harm. Which would be kind of the definition of an overreaction. Especially since the Spanish fleet was a joke and unable to resist.

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  69. Matt says:

    @al-Alameda: Fort Hood was pretty much gun free. Sure some of the guards had guns but I rarely saw any when I used the range there. Now it’s a different story though.

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  70. michael reynolds says:

    @Davebo: @Rafer Janders:

    This really goes to a pet peeve of mine: Americans don’t know their own history, which is particularly embarrassing give that we have the shortest history of any developed nation.

    We have a long history of ruthlessness followed by a lot of b.s. pretending we don’t. We are the champions of the world when it comes to maintaining our amour propre.

    I’ll give you another nice stat: something like 60,000 Frenchmen died from Allied bombing during liberation. Yes, we killed more of the people we were attempting to liberate than we lost in Vietnam or Korea, and roughly as many as died in the atomic bombing of Nagasaki. Why? Because the American way of war is tech-heavy. We like materiel – tanks, planes, bombs, artillery – because it minimizes US casualties. Somehow that databit did not make it into Saving Private Ryan or The Longest Day.

    We are a nation built almost entirely on land we took by force of arms, everywhere from the Appalachians to Hawaii, and yet we lecture the Israelis on taking West Bank land. Rich coming from us. We love to talk about the longest peaceful borders in the world – yeah, they are peaceful, now that we’ve given up dreams of conquering Canada and have already taken all we wanted from Mexico.

    When people talk about our values being inconsistent with aggressive war, or wildly disproportionate responses, they must mean the values we acquired after we’d slaughtered everyone we needed to slaughter. We enjoy the special virtue that comes to a nation when all its enemies are dead.

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  71. Mikey says:

    @michael reynolds: I don’t think the concept of “proportionate/disproportionate” even existed during WW2. We did what we decided was strategically and tactically necessary to win. We weren’t going to invade Europe with the same number of troops the defending Germans had, that would have been stupid. We aimed to overwhelm with men and arms. We aimed to bomb their factories flat and de-house their civilians. War was waged against nations, not just nations’ armies.

    We like materiel – tanks, planes, bombs, artillery – because it minimizes US casualties.

    We like those things because they are dramatically more effective in killing the enemy than is a soldier with a rifle.

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  72. grumpy realist says:

    @Jenos Idanian: Yes, I know those sorts of “temporary” restrictions. Sort of like how your deadbeat sister just “temporarily” moves in “just until I can get back on my feet” and you discover you’re still supporting her and her mooching brood 15 years down the pike.

    “Temporary” my ass.

    At least Hillary doesn’t lie to us about changes.

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