Kevin Drum has put it so succinctly and well that I will simply reproduce without further comment his post today:

Donald Trump has made plain what’s long lurked barely below the surface of American politics: it’s not so much a contest between liberal and conservative as it is between kindness and meanness. God knows, not every liberal is kind and not every conservative is mean. But that’s sure the way to bet these days.

Republicans are mean and getting meaner. It’s now the foundation of their party, and Trump has decided to make it a selling point, not something to be ashamed of. They’re just plain mean and they’re proud of it.”



On second thought, I think that Drum’s post does require some comment by me, since I think he is just a bit unfair to the Republicans.  (He is reacting to the absence of significant Republican opposition to their president’s latest outrages at the border.)  Yes, there is plenty of meanness in the GOP, but I suspect that there are a lot of GOP lawmakers who are disturbed if not disgusted by the separations, but will still not criticize Trump for fear of the political costs to them.  So, Republican silence reflects both meanness and spinelessness.


  1. Jeffrey Herrmann June 18, 2018 at 12:36 pm

    The news about separation of immigrant children from their parents who have illegally crossed our borders is sickening.

    tRump and his henchmen — Miller, Kelly, et al. — have admitted that the purpose of the policy is deterrence of others — i.e., inflict grievous psychological harm on innocent children who have been brought across the border in order to deter unidentified adults who may be contemplating bringing their children along when they attempt at some time in the future to cross the border themselves.

    How is this morally any more defensible than when the Nazis would take 20 or 50 residents of a town out of their homes and shoot them in order to deter future attacks by the resistance movements in occupied territories?

    Injuring innocent children to deter the parents of other children is beyond mean. It is wicked.

  2. Donald Campell June 22, 2018 at 2:56 pm

    Perhaps republican lawmakers are mean, but I think it is unfair to characterize Trump voters as mean. The Neo-liberal order has inflicted untold meanness on millions of Americans, especially, but not limited to the working people. Most democrats cast a cold shoulder on suffering Americans, though they claim to care!

    It may be a stretch, but with-in the last week a Defense(?) appropriation bill of over 700 billion passed the congress with majority democratic support. Isn’t massive American military spending somewhat synonymous with the neo-liberal order and resulting in the meanness referenced above?

    As unethical and sad as the migrant situation is, isn’t it really a distraction for massive defense(?) spending including a more than 60 billion dollar increase?!

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