Worldview II, CMR’s Climate Change Myopia

Dear Group,

Yesterday I presented a transcript of an exchange between McMorris Rodgers and a geologist at Green Bluff on May 29th. I wish to highlight one part of that exchange:

CMR: Well, you look at the history of the world…and we’ve been through…we’ve been through times when the earth warmed and then also we’ve been through times when the Earth…there’s been more ice on…in the world. So look at the history of the world and there’s been some changes in the climate. Now…the human contribution to that?

Geologist: …I’m a geologist. I know all about global scale warming going back 4.5 billion years ago, but we’re arguing about something that has happened in the last sixty years and it’s incontrovertible that…

These words ring in my ears: CMR: “we’ve been through times when the earth warmed and then also we’ve been through times when the Earth…there’s been more ice on…in the world.”

I have no doubt McMorris Rodgers believes sincerely the doubts she expresses. My question is this: what is the worldview from which she makes her statement? From what background does she approach the evidence of climate science?

We have some clues. (See CMR–Who is She Really?) Prior to high school she attended a series of Christian schools. At age fifteen her family moved from remote British Columbia to a farm near Kettle Falls. There her education continued at the Columbia River Christian Academy, part of the Columbia River Bible Church. The “Statement of Faith” at their website states:

We believe that God created the universe in six literal, 24 hour periods. We reject evolution, the Gap Theory, the Day-Age Theory, and Theistic Evolution as unscriptural theories of origin (Genesis 1-2; Ex. 20:11).

McMorris Rodgers went on to study at the Pensacola Christian College in 1986. Pensacola Christian is an “Independent Baptist liberal arts college.” Amid the gleaming modernity depicted on Pensacola Christian’s website is a document entitled “Articles of Faith.” Among those articles is the following:

We believe that God created the heavens and the earth in six literal days, and that God created all life (Gen. 1). We reject the man-made theory of evolution occurring over millions of years and believe that the earth is approximately 6,000 years old.

A “young earth” literally created in six days about 6000 years ago are precepts of McMorris Rodgers’ entire formal education through college. (The age of the earth is probably not a topic of concern in her lengthy pursuit of an Executive MBA.)

The time frame lighting up in McMorris Rodgers mind when she refers to the “history of the world” in her Green Bluff exchange with the geologist is very short. It is likely an earth history contained in six millennia. In the audio you can almost hear her straining to acknowledge there actually have been times when “there’s been more ice.” Can she let herself even hear, much less comprehend, the idea of an earth 4.5 billion years old? 

Here’s the crux: All credible scientists understand the earth’s climate has changed over geologic time. Ice cores allow us to track those changes over hundreds of thousands of years. The present concern with global warming is expressed by the geologist when he says, “we’re arguing about something that has happened in the last sixty years.” It is not the fact of change, it is the rate of change driven by man’s release of greenhouse gases that should be ringing alarm bells. 

If McMorris Rodgers believes the earth is 6000 years old or has never grappled with the concept of geologic time, any warming or cooling she is willing to acknowledge has to have happened in a really, really short time period.. Sixty years to a young earth believer is a long period of time. To a geologist it is less than a blink. McMorris Rodgers is educationally and doctrinally ill-equipped to comprehend how the rate of change is a concern.

I believe that Cathy McMorris Rodgers is a sincere, good person who means well, is a good mother, who feels she is working hard, and who tries to do what she believes is right. She is socially pleasant. However, until she clearly demonstrates otherwise, we have every reason to conclude her very narrow education and all the hints we have of her worldview prevent her from intelligently assessing and responding to climate disruption.

Keep to the high ground,


CMR on Climate Change/Global Warming

Dear Group,

Last week Scott Pruitt finally resigned, spinning is a swirl of scandal. His letter of resignation was replete with references to blessings, prayers, and “God’s providence.” Trump and Pruitt exchanged words of mutual admiration. Andrew Wheeler, another avowed foe of climate science, but better schooled (with his background as a coal lobbyist) in the nuances of swamp culture, will faithfully continue Pruitt’s climate science dismissal but do so with less fanfare. 

What is McMorris Rodgers’ stance on climate science and global warming, and how does her background and education inform that stance? 

If you have ever listened to McMorris Rodgers speak on the environment, you know she has a standard response to any question about global warming: She pivots immediately to her support for dams and clean hydropower. She strictly avoids any discussion of the science. Below is a transcription of an exchange between McMorris Rodgers and a questioner, a geologist, at Green Bluff on May 29:

Questioner: Could you share with us your personal views and opinions about global warming and climate change?

CMR: Ah, Ah.

Questioner: [interjecting] Personal views.

CMR: I believe in being a good steward. I believe that each one of us should do our part to make sure that we are leaving a better Earth to the next generation. Um, ah…we certainly all agree that we want clean air, clean water. I’m proud of in Eastern Washington that we have some the…we have clean renewable hydropower and I’ve been one of the strongest proponents of…ah…hydropower. Um…I think we really need to look closer as far as the science behind global warming…and…ah, what’s going on.

Questioner: But 97% of credentialed scientists agree that humankind is contributing to global warming are you siding with the 97% or the 3%?

CMR: Well, you look at the history of the world…and we’ve been through…we’ve been through times when the earth warmed and then also we’ve been through times when the Earth…there’s been more ice on…in the world. So look at the history of the world and there’s been some changes in the climate. Now…the human contribution to that? I agree that, as humans, I want to make sure we are being good stewards and that we’re, ya know, being wise and, ah, taking action..

Questioner: So you’re taking a pass on this, aren’t you? Thank you.

CMR: I think, ah, I dunno…what do you think we should do?

Questioner: Well, look, I’m a geologist. I know all about global scale warming going back 4.5 billion years ago, but we’re arguing about something that has happened in the last sixty years and it’s incontrovertible that…

CMR Interrupting: So what do you think we can do about it? I guess that’s my question. What do you think we should do?

Questioner: Agree with the Paris Accord. That’s is a good start.

CMR: And what would the Paris Accord actually gotten us?

Questioner: What has it gotten? Well, without the U.S. as a global sponsor for this it’s going to flounder. Luckily the French and the Europeans and others are reasonably active and every time they have an opportunity talk to a a government official they prod, they question, they say that the one thing which could be done by President Trump would be to honor the finding from the Paris Accord dating back three or four years ago. It doesn’t take a lot. In fact it is probably happening on the sidelines and there’s no official announcement this is the case.

CMR: My understanding of this is that it would have…we were talking about very little impact as far as, you know, changing the course that we’re on but a huge economic impact on America. That America would have been shouldering a lot of the cost as well as the impact of the limitations of the, of the [voice lowering and unintelligible]. So that’s my concern. We need to focus on results…with any regulation. We need to focus on results, we actually need to focus on what’s actually going to make a difference, not just empower a federal agency or government official to be able to dictate how you, how you live…or…how you, you know…

Another Voice: So what’s our government doing to get those results?

CMR: Well…ah…we need to change the way that we approach regulation…where it’s actually focusing on the result…result…not just…

The gist: clean hydropower, “stewardship,” doubt, and even a pivot to the supposed evils of regulation. Does she possess the education, the worldview that could allow her to understand even the basic evidence for global warming? If she does, I see no evidence of it in this exchange, only talking points. It is an opaque subject for her. I believe her worldview prevents her from considering, much less understanding, the issue. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s email.

Keep to the high ground,


CMR’s Worldview?

Dear Group,

“I think he’s a great President because he moved the embassy to Jerusalem.” That is the answer I got from friend and former neighbor whom I asked the reason she voted for and continues to support Donald Trump. 

“So why is that important to you?” I asked.

“Well, I’m a strong believer that the Bible is the word of God.”

“Where in the Bible does it say the U.S. Embassy needs to move to Jerusalem? I was brought up United Methodist,” I asked. “I’ve read the Bible twice and the Books of Revelation and Daniel several more times and I do not recall anything about the U.S. Embassy. Can you point me to the part of the Bible that suggests the importance of location of the U.S. Embassy in Israel?” 

She could not. Instead, she kindly forwarded to me a nicely presented trifold pamphlet entitled “The Revelation Prophecy Chart” from Turning Point Ministries, a radio and television ministry based at the Shadow Mountain Community Church, a Southern Baptist megachurch in El Cajon, a suburb of San Diego, California

The brochure, written by Dr. David Jeremiah, the senior pastor at Shadow Mountain, laid out for me in great detail Dr. Jeremiah’s learned analysis of how the world will end based on the word of God as revealed to him in the book of Revelation, the last book in the Bible. The pamphlet starts with “The Rapture,” runs through “The End of False Religion,” Armageddon, and the “Collapse of the ‘World Market’,” This leads to the Second Coming of Christ and moves on to the “1000 year reign of Jesus Christ, a period of peace and righteousness [that will] last for a millennium.” In the minds of many, including my friend, moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem is a necessary pre-requisite to the fulfillment of this prophecy. To many in this subgroup of Christianity the embassy move is an obvious sign Donald Trump is guided by Divine Providence, regardless of any moral failing he might otherwise exhibit.

This is not the Christianity in which I was brought up. We read the Bible for ourselves and wrestled with its words to find guidance for our lives. I personally strove to understand the Bible in its historical context, to compare its teachings and words with other sacred texts, to reconcile the Bible with my growing understanding of the world and all its complexity. To be sure, I found (and find) the Book of Revelation interesting, even intriguing, but the idea of staking my worldview on the meticulously detailed  interpretation of Revelation by Dr. David Jeremiah really worries me. Ringing in my ears are exhortations in the Bible against following “false prophets.”

How prevalent is this worldview that Donald Trump is the fulfillment of an end times prophecy? More than you might think, I’m afraid. It turns out that Dr. David Jeremiah, as the senior pastor at Shadow Mountain, is the successor of Tim LaHaye (1926-2016). Recognize that name? You might. Tim LaHaye wrote the “Left Behind” series of books between 1995 and 2007. According to  Time the series sold more than 42 million copies, not including spin-offs. Jerry Falwell described the effect of the series:  “In terms of its impact on Christianity,” says Falwell, “it’s probably greater than that of any other book in modern times, outside the Bible.” The book started with The Rapture as a premise and carried on from there, that is, the books are works of future fiction based on Tim LaHaye’s interpretation of the Christian end times. What better way to capture the people’s imagination in the midst of all the millennial craziness?

Below read words of our Representative to Congress as quoted in an article in The Inlander (that I highly recommend). Remember that McMorris Rodgers received her undergraduate degree from the Pensacola Christian College, an independent Baptist institution unaccredited at the time. Among its Articles of Faith one finds: “We believe in the imminent, pre-Tribulation return of Jesus Christ for all believers. The Rapture of the saints will be followed by a seven-year Tribulation, after which Christ will return in glory to judge the world and set up His millennial reign on earth.” In light of her upbringing and my friend’s enthusiasm for the teachings of Dr. Jeremiah, I find McMorris Rodgers’ words a little jarring:

“President Trump has defended Christianity. He has defended religious freedom more than any other president,” McMorris Rodgers says. “He made the decision to move the embassy to Jerusalem.”  

I’ve asked many friends over the last few weeks what significance they attach to the embassy move. Very few made any connection with Christian end times prophecy. A few even naively asked, “Is your friend Jewish?” In citing the embassy moving to Jerusalem is McMorris Rodgers speaking from a worldview like that of my friend?  When she remarks that her “positive disruptor,” Donald Trump, “...made the decision to move the embassy to Jerusalem” is she lighting up a similar worldview in the minds of some of her listeners, a worldview of which many of her constituents, Christian or not, have little awareness? Is her viewpoint on national policy nurtured by her confidence in Christian end times prophecy? 

He has defended religious freedom more than any other president,” Really? Weren’t you free, Ms. McMorris Rodgers, to practice your particular brand of Christianity before Donald Trump? Do you suppose Muslims, Sikhs, and followers of other religious traditions in these United States feel like their religious freedom is defended by your “positive disruptor?” 

from their radio and television pulpits to broad audiences, including my friend, people who believe Dr. David Jeremiah, for example, offers them the one true interpretation of God’s Word. .

Then remember that the current U.S. Congressional District 5 Representative believes her Christian faith and worldview are defended by Donald Trump and his shift of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. 

Keep to the high ground,


P.S. I urge you to take a short internet safari into the world of Christian end times prophecy. Listen to Dr. Jeremiah rail against the “New World Order” (as exemplified by the United Nations). Or listen to Dr. Jeremiah explain how the very existence of Israel at this time is proof the end times are near.

“Walk a Mile in Our Shoes”–CMR and Family Separation Policy

Dear Group,

McMorris Rodgers has issued a statement disagreeing with the practice of family separation. It is worth a read, particularly the last paragraph which says:

Again, I don’t believe in tearing families apart, but I also believe that people need to be coming to America legally, which is why I support increased border security efforts so families aren’t put in this situation. The new Goodlatte bill that I helped negotiate, the Border Security and Immigration Reform Act, will fix this family separation problem and authorize funding for construction of the border wall, close enforcement loopholes, end catch and release, reform the legal immigration system, create a merit-based visa program, and provide the DACA population a bridge to the legal immigration system and earn legal status in our country.

Note what I have pointed out several times before: There is no mention of citizenship being offered to even the most innocent of the “DACA population” in this bill, only possibly renewable “legal status.” In exchange for that sop she wants to “reform” a legal immigration system that isn’t broken. She will happily tag along on the coattails of her “positive disruptor,” Donald Trump, as her excuse to ram it through. She does not “believe the government should separate children from parents,” but she is happy to use the Dreamers as hostages to further the Republican agenda while continuing to withhold from them any viable path to citizenship and voting.

McMorris Rodgers is complicit with Trump, Sessions, Miller and the lot of them as long as she is not directly, or though her staff, actively involved in re-uniting the 2300 families her government has torn apart. 

Keep to the high ground,


An Introduction to a Thoughtful Writer (You can’t compromise with bullshit”)

Dear Group,

Happy Fourth of July.

I concentrate on the local and regional politics of Congressional District 5, eastern Washington. I try to make sense out of national and regional news and relate that news to local and regional politics, politics in which we get to cast a vote on August 7th (Primaries) and November 6th (General Election). 

Today’s email I give over to a writer/blogger for whom I have the utmost respect, Doug Muder, an “ex-mathematician” (with a Ph.D.). Every Monday I look forward to three emails appearing in my inbox from Mr. Muder. His perspective on the news of the week always strikes  me as spot-on, the links he offers highly valuable. They are always a vast improvement on the bubbling froth of national daily news.

Furthermore, Mr. Muder often provides a context for my interpretation of the actions and statements of elected officials closer to home, people like McMorris Rodgers.

On June 25th, he wrote a post entitled “You can’t compromise with bullshit.” It is so pertinent I have re-read it three times and I take the liberty to paste it below in its entirety…but what I really want you to do is visit this post at his website, sign up for his weekly email (the link is in the left hand column if you’re reading on a computer), and look for his Monday emails with the same anticipation that I do. Here is the full link (so if it doesn’t work by just clicking it, you can copy and paste it into your browser):

What follows is his post:


For the second straight week, I start with a Paul Krugman column. This time it’s “Return of the Blood Libel” from Thursday. The key observation concerns the Trump administration’s family-separation policy, the one that has obsessed the country for the least two weeks.

What’s almost equally remarkable about this plunge into barbarism is that it’s not a response to any actual problem. The mass influx of murderers and rapists that Trump talks about, the wave of crime committed by immigrants here (and, in his mind, refugees in Germany), are things that simply aren’t happening. They’re just sick fantasies being used to justify real atrocities.

This observation isn’t new, and Krugman isn’t the first to point it out. Trump started his campaign by talking about Mexican rapists. His acceptance speech at the Republican Convention warned that “illegal immigrant families … are being released by the tens of thousands into our communities with no regard for the impact on public safety or resources.” His inaugural address painted a picture of “American carnage” which he promised “stops right here and stops right now”. Yesterday he tweeted: “Strong Borders, No Crime!”, as if America had no indigenous criminals, but suffered only from rampaging gangsters that cross our borders.

And from the beginning, it’s all been bullshit. Violent crime is on a long-term downward trend in America, and very little of the remaining murder and mayhem is carried out by undocumented immigrants. If the US isn’t safe enough for you yet, neither the Muslim Ban nor the mistreatment of refugees from Central America going to make you safer. And if you ignore the nationwide stats and focus on a border town like Brownsville, Texas? “We’re doing fine,” says the mayor.

[Commenters have been confused by the “per 100,000 population”, so I’ll clarify. The question is: Is that per 100K of the state’s entire population, or per 100K of the named group? If it were the former, then the apparent pro-immigrant point is lost; there are more native-born people than immigrants, so of course they commit more crimes. But if you click through to the WaPo article I got the chart from, and then keep clicking until you get to their source, you wind up at a report from the Cato Institute, where the charts are labelled less ambiguously: “per 100,000 in each subpopulation”. So the chart is saying that immigrants commit fewer crimes per capita than native-born Americans.]

Lots of writers have making comparisons to the Nazis as they see the mindless cruelty of the family-separation policy, or the concentration camps that will be needed to hold all those waiting for immigration hearings, if they have to be held. (They don’t have to be held.) But Krugman points back to an even earlier era of anti-Semitism: the centuries of random riots and organized pogroms incited by the Blood Libel — the myth that secret Jewish Passover rituals required the sacrifice of Christian children. All it took was for a child to go missing at the wrong time, and mobs would descend on the local Jewish ghetto, seeking revenge for an imaginary horror.

Picture for a moment the helplessness you would feel if you were either a Jew or a sympathetic Christian hoping to prevent the upcoming Passover from ending in tragedy. You can’t get the Jews to stop sacrificing Christian children, because they were never doing that in the first place. The underlying cause of the looming riot is in a mythological realm you can’t access.

Same thing here. Both Presidents Bush and Obama imagined that they might be able to compromise with anti-immigration hardliners by strengthening enforcement. And so over the last 20 years we’ve had more and more fence built, more and more agents manning the border, more and more deportations. And what they’ve gotten in exchange is exactly nothing, because the border that matters, the one that murderers and rapists and drug mules are streaming across at will, isn’t in the real world at all. When the problem that motivates someone is imaginary, there’s nothing anybody else can do about it.

Some people, Andrew Sullivan for example, appear not to have learned this lesson. Just one more real-world effort, they think, and Trump’s irrationally fearful supporters will be satisfied:

So give him his fucking wall. He won the election. He is owed this. It may never be completed; it may not work, as hoped. But it is now the only way to reassure a critical mass of Americans that mass immigration is under control, and the only way to make any progress under this president. And until the white working and middle classes are reassured, we will get nowhere.

But why will they be reassured by a wall that doesn’t get completed and won’t work? Why will they be reassured by anything that happens in the real world? Won’t there still be examples of whites who get killed by undocumented immigrants? Won’t there still be unemployed whites who blame Hispanics with jobs? Won’t demagogues still tell them that subhuman vermin are streaming by the millions across our open borders? Build the wall, open concentration camps, start shooting illegal immigrants on sight — what changes?

You can’t compromise with bullshit. It isn’t just that it’s not smart; it simply doesn’t work.

This is an across-the-board problem with the Trump administration. Take Canada, for example. How is it going to shrink its trade surplus with the US when it doesn’t have a trade surplus with the US? What could possibly be done to end discrimination against Christians in America when there is no discrimination against Christians in America? How do we end the War on Coal when there is no War on Coal?

When claims are based on nothing, they can go on being based on nothing, no matter what you do to mollify the people who make those claims.

You can sympathize with people, even if they vote against you. And when they point to actual problems in the real world, you can offer them solutions, or at least concessions.

But the Jews of Prague and Warsaw had nothing to offer Christian parents who worried about their children being sacrificed and their blood baked into matzah. Their fear was quite real, but their problem lived in a mythic realm beyond any Jew’s influence.

Similarly, there is nothing we can offer those who worry about “American carnage” or the persecution of Christians or unfair Canadian trade.

Real-world solutions can’t touch imaginary problems. You can’t compromise with bullshit.

Have a Happy Fourth of July. Consider the good things this country has achieved…and what is now at risk.

Keep to the high ground,


CMR’s Immigration Duplicity

Dear Group,

As I pointed out in detail yesterday (and Shawn Vestal pointed out earlier), there is no legal immigration emergency. The only real emergency is what the Republicans, under the leadership of Trump, Miller, and Sessions are doing to the Dreamers, by rescinding the DACA program, and to families, by instituting the “zero tolerance” family separation program, an echo of concentration camps. 

How is McMorris Rodgers responding to all this? She has sympathy for the plight of the Dreamers, at least some of the Dreamers. She tears up hearing their stories. She makes a statement criticizing the family separation policy. It may surprise you to read this from me, but I believe she is sincere in her sympathy… but, as a legislative matter, her sympathy only extends to those with whom she can personally identify. The forum she attended at which she teared up featured DACA students, middle to upper middle class young folk who speak English as well as McMorris Rodgers, diligent students threatened with deportation through no fault of their own. McMorris Rodgers’ limited circle of sympathy for the Dreamers is on display in the legislation she crafts and supports. 

At Green Bluff on May 29th McMorris Rodgers said she “is working hard” to produce legislation to “protect” the Dreamers. The bill she crafted, H.R.6136: Border Security and Immigration Reform Act of 2018, provides a very narrow opening through which a few select Dreamers might squeeze themselves to “legal status,” a new kind of limbo. “Citizenship” is never mentioned. The legislative story and McMorris Rodgers’ duplicitous involvement is detailed below. If time is short or attention limited, skip to the Take Home three paragraphs from the bottom.

McMorris Rodgers wants it both ways. She wants everyone to believe she wants the best for the Dreamers and for immigrant families. Simultaneously, she wants her Fox News watching, Trump supporting base to understand she is working hard to cut down on all forms of immigration, legal and illegal. Her base has bought the myth of the “immigration crisis,” the supposed hoards of rapists and gang members approaching our border in a conga line.

Her first act on returning to D.C. was an act of omission: She refused to sign the Discharge Petition on immigration that might have forced a vote on a standalone Dream Act. None of the Republicans really want to have to go on record as openly voting against the Dreamers. No, that would be too obvious.

What followed then was political theater. McMorris Rodgers and the Republican bloc know passage of immigration reform through the House is unlikely, and passage through the Senate is impossible without Democratic votes. They must keep a solution for the Dreamer’s plight as a bargaining chip, so there will be no up and down vote on the Dream Act.

On June 21st McMorris Rodgers voted against H.R. 4760: Securing America’s Future Act of 2018. This was an awful, draconian bill pushed by the Freedom Caucus. It offered almost nothing to the Dreamers (a three year “renewable” status) in exchange for a full re-do of immigration law. McMorris Rodgers voted against H.R. 4760. It failed 193 to 231 with every Democrat and forty-one Republicans voting against it. Along the way, though, McMorris Rodgers also voted with every other Republican against an amendment offered by Democrats. That proposal would have amended H.R. 4670 to afford a clear permanent legal status and a path to citizenship for the Dreamers. It failed on a totally party-line vote, 191-234. What was McMorris Rodgers thinking? Where were her teary eyes over the Dreamers’ stories? She sold out her sympathy (sympathy that was always very limited) in exchange for the Republican Party line. 

Having voted against the nastier of the Republican bills (H.R. 4760), McMorris Rodgers and the Republican leadership focused the next week on the “compromise” bill she had “worked hard” on, H.R.6136: Border Security and Immigration Reform Act of 2018. (Keep remembering, though, she had to know these were all symbolic votes: the chance of being taken up and passed by the Senate were zero to none.) Her bill, H.R. 6136, offers little more to the Dreamers than did H.R. 4670, the bill she voted against. McMorris Rodgers’ preferred bill offers a six year “contingent nonimmigrant status” for a narrowly defined subset of Dreamers either enrolled in or graduated from U.S. schools,  Dreamers who also can manage to scrape together $1000 for a “border security fee.” You can read the legalize of H.R. 4670’s DIVISION B—IMMIGRATION REFORM, TITLE I—LAWFUL STATUS FOR CERTAIN CHILDHOOD ARRIVALS here, It suspends a few qualified Dreamers in a fresh new limbo without a clear path to citizenship and leaves most of them subject to deportation. 

McMorris Rodgers, understandably, voted “Aye” for her bill, H.R. 6136. Even so, it failed miserably, 121-301 with 112 Republicans voting “No.” (Only 41 Republicans voted “No” on H.R. 4760, the even nastier version.) 

Take Home: McMorris Rodgers may be sincerely sympathetic to some of the Dreamer’s stories. She recognizes among them some who are enough like her so she can identify with their plight. As an upper middle class mom, she tries to sell that sympathy to her constituents as though it were one of her core values and as though that value extended to Dreamers in general. Then she goes to Washington, crafts a narrow and partial solution for those few Dreamers and says she’s “working hard.” Almost no one notices that McMorris Rodgers’ bill would keep the few Dreamers it helped as a bargaining chip for another day. The Dreamers cannot be allowed to become citizens. No matter how deserving they must be kept in metaphoric legal cages to be trotted out another day. Such is McMorris Rodgers’ sympathy.

Meanwhile, she buys the Republican line that immigration is a huge and growing problem that justifies a total re-write of immigration law. Does she even know that, according to federal data, immigration is already at the lowest level it has been since 1971?

If the electorate is awake enough to pay some attention, McMorris Rodgers’ sellout of the human values she wants us to believe she possesses, a sellout demonstrated by the legislation she crafted and the votes she cast, ought to cost her seat.

Get the word out. 

Keep to the high ground,


P.S. The Spokesman refers to the proposed Amendment to the first bill, H.R. 4670, as the “Democratic ‘Dreamer’s’ Bill“. It was not a bill, but a amendment put forward by Democrats to provide real relief for the Dreamers.

Trumpian/Republican Immigration Overreach

Dear Group,

What just happened with DACA, immigration, and family separation? 

Trump campaigned on a platform of nationalism and xenophobia: Mexican rapists, drug dealers, Salvadoran gang members, MS-13 violence, “radical Islamic terrorism,” waves of dark skinned immigrants paying homage to suspect religions and threatening the jobs and values of Christian Americans, images of immigration disaster and unrest in Europe. You know the photos, the videos, and the stories Trump, Fox News, and the rest of the Republican/Libertarian propaganda machine used to push this narrative.

According to Trump and his handlers (Steven Miller and the provocateur, Steve Bannon) immigration is a “crisis.” The words “immigration crisis” are even parroted at times by otherwise respectable media. It is an exhortation for action, a call for drastic measures. 

But this immigration narrative is a lie. As Shawn Vestal points out there is no “immigration emergency.” Border Patrol staffing in the Spokane sector went from 34 to 230 from 2000 to 2017, while apprehensions went from 1324 to 208. The national figures are similar. Read Mr. Vestal’s article and ponder propaganda we’ve been fed, propaganda entirely designed to make us fearful of the “Other,” to justify Trump’s stupid wall and, more tellingly, to justify a huge overhaul of national policy around legal immigration. 

Here’s where we need some clear thinking. Trump and the propaganda machine of the Republican Party wants us to think of all immigrants as illegal and menacing, nasty people, the better to hate and fear them, the better to convince us to close our borders and scrap our values.

Trump, Bannon, Miller, and Jeff Sessions keep pushing their bogus narrative. But there is a glimmer of hope. The personal animus these men harbor for immigrants and all they see as foreign, may have driven them to overreach in the court of public opinion. First, Trump arbitrarily set a deadline disbanding DACA and threatened to deport the Dreamers if Congress didn’t “solve” the “problem” (on the flimsy excuse that Obama’s DACA was executive overreach). Then, with their “zero tolerance” policy, they crossed the line of human decency in their quest, children and even babies from their mothers, evoking images of concentration camps, ghastly images we retain in spite of seventy years separation and efforts by some to deny they happened.

Sadly, most people don’t form opinions based on the cold statistics like those Shawn Vestal put in front of us. Most of us form opinions from the constant drip, drip, drip of stories and images that assail us in the media and share among our friends and acquaintances. The faces of the Dreamers in the U.S. since before they can remember, faces speaking perfect English, facing of people striving to better themselves and contribute to society, the anguished faces of mothers separated from their children, all these faces are starting to lay bare the soulless inhumanity of what has become of the Republican Party  under Trump. 

We know the truth of this when Franklin Graham (the son of Billy Graham) finally speaks out against the family separation policy of Trump and Jeff Sessions. Franklin Graham, in order to further his concept of the “Christian” agenda, was willing to ignore or forgive all of what Trump is, but even Franklin Graham cannot stomach family separation. (His disapproval even aired on the Christian Broadcast Network.) 

Trump, Miller, Sessions, and Bannon want to slam shut the door on legal immigration. They are trying to accomplish their goal by pushing a false narrative of fear and emergency in the hope of cornering public opinion. Trump, with his hateful, disgusting, divisive rhetoric, has enlisted the opinions of some, but the family separation, “zero tolerance” policy has crossed the line of human decency. In the backlash we need to call out the lie that is their argument. 

Where does McMorris Rodgers fit in all of this? To be continued.

Keep to the high ground,


P.S. I am not big on conspiracy theories. I believe formation of our opinions is a very, very messy process. Assigning nefarious, underhanded motives to other people’s statements and actions is dangerous business. That said, I have to note shutting down the borders (and the fear, xenophobia, and (quite possibly) racism that underlies it) has a distinctly self-serving, Party-serving quality. After all, in general, immigrants, especially young immigrants, don’t vote Republican. Making any path to citizenship for the Dreamers as hard as possible and limiting legal immigration serves the same Republican purpose as purging voter roles and gerrymandering. 

Do I think this is at the top of Trump’s, Session’s, Miller’s, and Bannon’s minds in their push to overturn a half a century of immigration policy? I doubt it. At least Trump and Sessions have demonstrated enough xenophobic and racist tendencies over their lives to convince me those are their primary motivators. They do not need to be conscious of Party demographics to push for immigration policies to preserve the Republican base. Somewhere, though, some committed Republican demographer/strategist is rooting for an immigration policy revolution that will insulate the Party against demographic erosion of its base.