So former Obama administration Attorney General (and erstwhile white collar non-crime fighter) Eric Holder spent time on the teevee machine telling the world how “Abolish ICE” is bad for Democrats. This is why most New Democrats, especially those connected to Big Law*, should not be the face of the Democratic Party. There’s a way to answer this question that doesn’t shit on much of your base (at last count, 43% of Democrats agree with abolishing ICE, whatever that really means), while at the same time, allows you to regain the offensive:
- Say something like, “Well, I’m not sure if we should abolish or reform ICE, but it’s clear there are many problems with how that organization is run and how the leadership and individual agents treat the people they’re responsible for (and for Intelligent Designer’s sake, don’t say ‘for whom they are responsible.’). The people who are calling to abolish ICE are absolutely right to be furious about what ICE is doing in our name and to America’s reputation.”
- Then you add, “It’s clear Donald Trump and the Republicans aren’t serious about immigration reform. They have blown up multiple compromise attempts for political purposes. And they refuse to go after the employers who are hiring these immigrants.”
- Followed by, “This is just another attempt by Donald Trump and the Republicans to play to our basest fears and instincts. He doesn’t have any successful policies so he’s just trying to anger and scare people.”
- Bonus points for pointing out that millions of Americans are descended from immigrants who were fleeing desperate circumstances.
But does Holder do this? Of course not. He spends his time distancing himself from his party, all the while, providing talking points for Republicans. He is amplifying their rhetoric, instead of attacking Republicans.
Mind you, this has little to do with policy disagreements. But we need Democrats who have been paying attention for the last couple of decades and who know how to answer questions like this. The sclerotic New Democrat leadership that is in a perpetual cringe clearly doesn’t know how to do this.
And the congregation responds: This is yet another reason why we can’t have nice things.
*Lawyers are very useful and are not bad people (some of my best friends…). However, like all people with training, that training often locks people into certain ways of thinking and speaking that’s really hard to break. Oddly enough, some people don’t like a party that sounds like a bunch of lawyers. Holder sounds like a guy trying to exonerate his client, not make a moral argument.