White House policy adviser and Joseph Goebbels look-alike Stephen Miller told a Fox News “First Hundred Days” town hall yesterday that Donald Trump’s next “Muslim ban” will be exactly like the first one, except totally constitutional, you guys!
Not that he admits anything was amiss before. “Nothing was wrong with the first executive order,” Miller told Martha MacCallum. Instead, he insisted, “there was a flawed judicial ruling, it was erroneous.”
However, from what Miller said next, it’s not clear that he has actually read the 9th Circuit’s opinion:
The president recently read the statute, from the Immigration and Nationality Act, which clearly states he has the power as president to impose any restrictions he deems necessary when it’s in the national interest. However, because of the exigency of the situation, and the need to protect our country and to protect our citizens, the president is going to be issuing a new executive action based off of the judicial ruling, flawed though it may be, to protect our country and to keep our people safe…
Miller is talking right past the 9th Circuit Court. In their ruling, the three-judge panel specifically pointed out that the Trump administration had failed to establish that any of the countries on his list represents a national security emergency. They also pointed out that secrecy is no barrier for federal courts, which have well-established procedures to deal with classified material. If the Trump administration had such evidence, they would be free to present it.
To date, the White House has presented zero evidence of an imminent future terror threat requiring blanket bans on people of seven nationalities. Miller still can’t make that case — and he doesn’t even try, since there just isn’t any such data to support the argument.
A thorough analysis by the libertarian Cato Institute found that between 1975 and 2015, no immigrant from the seven countries on Trump’s travel ban list killed a single American citizen in an act of terrorism. But facts aren’t important to Stephen Miller — fear is. Also, loathing. Because the white evangelical and/or white nationalist base just wants fewer Muslims in America, by hook or by crook, so any excuse will do.
“Look at Yemen, look at Libya, look at Syria, look at the conditions in these countries,” he told McCallum, thus naming three places where American firepower has helped produce an outflow of refugees. “This is an assessment based on the threat these countries pose today and going into the future” — a hint that team Trump would love to bomb the shit out of all seven countries on that list.
Miller substitutes magical thinking for evidence of an emergency. With a few “minor technical differences,” Miller said, Trump can issue an executive order that achieves “the same basic policy outcome for the country” — meaning fewer Muslims who come from scary places that America is bombing, or that Steve Bannon would like to bomb.
It’s a safe prediction that the new order will be challenged in federal courts and that the Trump administration will lose again. No doubt Stephen Miller will deem that next legal defeat “flawed,” “erroneous,” and “false,” too. And then maybe he’ll draft a third version of the same executive order because he’s clearly not a fast learner.
I'm not saying that Stephen Miller bears an eerie resemblance to Reich Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels except oops OK here you go. pic.twitter.com/0Uo10M7XRO
— Eric Garland (@ericgarland) February 12, 2017