Trump's base loves his Muslim ban. Everyone else hates it because it's illegal, immoral and unenforceable without a massive cadre of brownshirts, but hey, we don't exactly live in a representative democracy these days, do we? So first, the good news from Greg Sargent:
A new Gallup poll brings some encouraging news. Solid majorities of Americans disapprove of all of the major moves on immigration that President Trump has made since taking office:
However, it turns out there’s a deep divide along educational lines on all of these proposals.
- 60 percent of Americans disapprove of Trump’s call for moving forward with a wall on the Mexican border, versus only 38 percent who approve.
- 58 percent disapprove of Trump’s indefinite suspension of entry by Syrian refugees, versus only 36 percent who approve.
- 55 percent disapprove of Trump’s order of a temporary ban on entry for people from seven Muslim-majority countries, versus only 42 percent who approve.
I asked the good folks at Gallup for a further breakdown of the numbers. The result: Non-college whites — who supported Trump overwhelmingly — approve of all three measures, while large majorities of college-educated whites disapprove of them:
This reprises a divide that we saw during the election, in which Trump over-performed among non-college whites, while under-performing among white college graduates relative to past GOP nominees.
These numbers suggest that the first big moves of the Trump presidency, if anything, may be deepening this cultural and educational schism. Even as massive protests have erupted in major cities in response to Trump’s new policies, with protesters rallying behind the besieged minorities targeted by them, reporters from the Associated Press and Reuters talked to Trump voters and found them either unmoved by the commotion or actively supportive of what he’s doing. These new Gallup numbers would seem to confirm that this split is particularly pronounced along educational lines among white voters.
Which is the entire point. Trump knows that any red meat he feeds his base multiplies his power and forces the rest of the GOP to go along or risk being devoured. Even if the courts find the order unconstitutional, Trump wins and makes the case that the judiciary is the problem, not him.
He can't lose, because he's bet on America being full of racist assholes who want to keep their political power through racist assholery.. That's a bet that's paid off time and time again for more than 400 years, guys. Why stop now?
After all, if anyone does dissent, we know what will happen to them and where they will end up, as commenter Prup pointed out earlier this afternoon.
“Even as confusion, internal dissent and widespread condemnation greeted President Trump’s travel ban and crackdown on refugees this weekend, senior White House aides say they are are only getting started,” the Los Angeles Times reported. “Trump’s top advisors on immigration, including chief strategist Steve Bannon and senior advisor Stephen Miller, see themselves as launching a radical experiment to fundamentally transform how the U.S. decides who is allowed into the country and to block a generation of people who, in their view, won’t assimilate into American society.”
How broadly radical their vision is can be seen in “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States,” the companion order to the travel ban, which lists aliens for “prioritize[d] removal.” It includes those who “have committed acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense,” and also aliens who have “abused any program related to receipt of public benefits.”
In other words, some targets can be deported because a DHS agent believes the person has broken a law of any kind, “regardless of whether that person has been charged with a crime,” as one analyst put it. And what does “abusing” a welfare-oriented program mean? Judges and lawyers could be fouled up with that matter alone for years.
Other candidates for the Trump roundup include aliens who have made “a willful misrepresentation in connection with any official matter or application before a government agency.”
What is “any official matter”?
“If these items were not broad enough,” noted Walter Pincus, the venerated former Washington Post national security reporter, “the final category for being detained for deportation is ‘in the judgment of an immigration officer, [the aliens] otherwise pose a risk to public safety or national security.’”
“If ever a category encouraged racial profiling, that is it,” Pincus wrote for the Cypher Brief, a new publication by intelligence professionals covering national security issues.
Millions of Americans think this will just be used on the people they call "illegals". It will be used against anyone who dares to stand up to Trump, eventually. The whole point of this "criminal justice" reform is that in order to make money on these detention facilities, they have to be kept full.
They will find people to put in them.
History has taught us this again and again.