Sunday Opinion

Migrants, age-ism and much more

Again, the Sunday Tribune brings some varying viewpoints about events in the news. And, as always, the opinions expressed here – in words and pictures – are those of the individual writer or artist, and not neccesarily those of the Orange County Tribune. And here we go ….

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The media was wrong about the migrant caravan

It’s roughly the one-month anniversary of CNN reporter Jim Acosta repeatedly telling President Donald Trump at a press conference that the migrant caravan is “hundreds and hundreds of miles away” and “not an invasion,” and objecting to a campaign ad that showed migrants climbing border walls — “they’re not going to be doing that.”

Now, thousands of migrants from the caravan have arrived in the border city of Tijuana, Mexico, and hundreds of them stormed a border crossing, climbing the fence and throwing rocks. U.S. border agents used tear gas to repel the mob. If the throng was too small to constitute an invasion, it certainly wasn’t a rules-bound group of asylum-seekers.

It was conventional wisdom in the press that the caravan was a concoction of Trump’s fevered imagination. It soon would dissipate and even if not, take months to reach the United States. This widely repeated factoid was based on calculations of its movement on foot (it apparently didn’t occur to anyone that the caravan also would travel by bus or truck). The latest border incident again puts the left’s radicalism on display. It’s not just that Immigration and Customs Enforcement should be abolished; border agents can’t defend themselves from an aggressive rabble.

Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz wondered on Twitter if the use of tear gas violated the Chemical Weapons Convention (the answer is an emphatic “no,” and he deleted the tweet). Rep. Barbara Lee of California described the gassing of “women and children” as an atrocity and called for U.N. inspectors.

All of this rending of garments, despite the fact that the tear gas was directed at the adult males who led the charge, similar crowd-control tactics were used at the border during the Obama administration and, of course, cops use tear gas during disturbances involving fellow U.S. citizens all the time.

The larger issue at the border is the set of rules for Central American migrants. It allows adults with children and minors into the country while their (almost always rejected) asylum claims are adjudicated. They can easily abscond once admitted, and the laxity of the system is an incentive for more Central American family units to come. By working out a possible deal with the Mexican government for migrants to stay in Mexico while they apply for asylum — and forbidding migrants who enter the U.S. illegally from applying — the administration has hit on an approach to tighten up the current loopholes.

But a California district judge, in what looks like another instance of resistance jurisprudence, has put an injunction on the policy regarding illegal entrants. Trump has been wrong to portray the migrants as inherently threatening — the overwhelming majority just want a better life — but we have the sovereign right to decide who does and doesn’t come to this country, and demand that it be an orderly, lawful process. If any significant portion of the caravan gains entry, it will send a message that large-scale movements of people are better than small groups. This could lead to even more pressure at the border, no matter how much it will be dismissed by the same people who insisted the caravan would never arrive.

Rich Lowry is editor of the National Review. (c) 2018 by King Features Synd., Inc.

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It’s another case of Discrimination for the Ages

Forgive my self-indulgence, but at the very start I need to point out that while I may not be young, I am immature. The immature part is familiar to anyone who knows me. But what’s important here is that I’m old. So I freely admit that what I’m writing here comes with a bias: The Democrats are guilty of gross age discrimination and, might I add, hypocrisy.

It is, after all, the same party that sanctimoniously pretends to oppose all “isms,” but obviously that doesn’t include ageism. I’m specifically talking about the ones who would fancy themselves “young Turks,” but they’re more like young twerps — at least some of them are. Inexperienced in the ways of Washington, they are among the House Democrats deciding to show their ingratitude to Nancy Pelosi, who, in fact, is truly adept at navigating the “swamp” maze.

Not only that, but she probably had lots to do with them winning their elections. In response, a few of them want to drop her like a stone. “We need new ideas,” they argue. You mean progressive ideas, children? These are the ideas that Nancy Pelosi has been championing for decades. But experience doesn’t seem to matter. So sayeth the kids who want to take over and run things. It’s as true in politics as it is in my craft and many others:

The youngsters, not far along in the school of life, are put in charge of people they consider obsolete. Experience is unimportant to them, except that it really does matter, especially in the D.C. labyrinth. And you don’t necessarily need to be a young know-it-all. Look no further than Donald Trump. He’s senior, but inept! Which explains why he hasn’t been able to pull off many of his orders or whims.

Nancy Pelosi has spent an adult lifetime learning how to untangle the legislative Gordian knot. The newbies in the caucus barely know how to tie their shoelaces. They haven’t undergone the inevitable frustration that’s part of the governing process, nor have they learned many of the lessons that are really important. All they know is that they have great “new ideas,” like “Medicare-for-all” or tackling wealth inequality.

Gee, why had nobody thought of such things before? Without a Nancy Pelosi to guide them past all the traps, their shouts of idealism soon will turn into whimpers of misery as they are bottled up by those on the other side, like Mitch McConnell, who has been a U.S. senator since 1985.

His specialty is having neophytes for lunch. Here’s what Barack Obama had to say about Nancy Pelosi: “Her stamina, her ability to see around corners, her ability to stand her ground and do hard things and to suffer unpopularity to get the right thing done, I think, stands up against any person that I’ve observed or worked directly with in Washington during my lifetime.”

That “stamina” thing is important, since the age bigots like to claim they have more energy. They are having a hard time keeping up with Nancy Pelosi as she uses all her moxie to keep her job. Assuming she does, she will apply to those who opposed her another time-tested Washington tactic: “Don’t get mad. Get even.”

Bob Franken is an Emmy Award-winning reporter who covered Washington for more than 20 years with CNN. (c) 2018 Bob Franken Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

Categories: Sunday Opinion

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