FRIDAY, MAY 20, 2022
Carlson tackles replacement: Last Tuesday night, Tucker Carlson offered his take on the so-called "great replacement theory." At one point, he said this:
CARLSON (5/17/22): You've heard a lot about the great replacement theory recently. It's everywhere in the last two days and we're still not sure exactly what it is.
Here's what we do know for a fact. There is a strong political component to the Democratic Party's immigration policy. We're not guessing this. We know this, and we know it because they have said so.
They've said it again and again and again. They've written books on it and monographs and magazine articles. They have bragged about it endlessly. They talk about it on cable news constantly, and they say out loud, "We are doing this because it helps us to win elections."
That's not something that is said once. It's something they've gloated about again and again and again and we think that's wrong and in case you doubt us, here they are.
To read the transcript or watch the tape, you can just click here.
Are the highlighted statements true? Is there, or has there ever been, some sort of "strong political component to the Democratic Party's immigration policy?"
If so, what is that political component? And when have "they"—presumably, Democratic officials and office holders—actually said so out loud? Who has written the books and the articles bragging about this (alleged) component of policy?
We don't doubt that there may have been some such political component to Democratic policy thinking, but it's Carlson who's making the claim. He said that Democrats "have gloated about it again and again and again."
After that, he played videotape of four alleged examples.
He played tape of Stacey Abrams, of Julian Castro, of Dick Durbin and even Joe Biden (on C-Span in 2015). At this point in the monologue, Biden was offered to viewers as Carlson's fourth and final example. Here's the way it went down:
BIDEN (videotape): An unrelenting stream of immigration, nonstop, nonstop. Folks like me, who are Caucasian, of European descent, for the first time in 2017 will be in an absolute minority in the United States of America, absolute minority.
Fewer than 50% of the people in America from then on will be white European stock. That's not a bad thing. That's a source of our strength.
CARLSON (laughing): So you play clips of them saying it, and you're the deranged conspiracy nut!
You aren't required to agree with or to like what Biden said. But where did he say, let alone "brag," that Democratic immigration policy was somehow being affected by some demographics-based political assessment?
Answer: Biden didn't say any such thing in that videotaped statement! Did Carlson believe that he did?
We don't know how to answer that question, but you can feel fairly sure that some of Carlson's viewers believed that they had just seen Biden making some such statement. At times like these, we're all inclined to hear the things we came in wanting to hear, or to hear the things our tribal leaders tell us that we just heard.
In fact, none of those four Democratic officials actually said, in the tape Carlson played, that their party's immigration policy was being affected by the desire to change the political balance of the electorate.
That doesn't mean that Carlson's original claim might not be true in some respect. It means that, when Carlson gave four (4) examples of Democrats allegedly saying that and bragging about it, none of the Democrats actually said any such thing.
Later in his monologue, Carlson cited several magazine articles from 2013 in which journalists seemed to say that the immigration reform package of the day was going to make Democrats unbeatable in future elections.
One of these essays came from Politico. The other came from the Center for American Progress, a Democratic-aligned think tank.
Those writers did seem to say that the proposed immigration reform of that day would be a massive political boon for future Democrats. But those writers weren't Democratic officials, and even they weren't directly saying that Democratic policy had been shaped by the desire to affect future elections.
Is there now, or has there ever been, a political component to Democratic Party immigration policy? We'd be surprised if the answer was no, just as we'd be surprised to learn that there has never been a "low wages for business owners" component to Republican immigration policy.
Having said that, we'll also say this:
We've reached the point where any purported bit of evidence will be "close enough for Storyline work" for tribal true believers. We wish that practice only obtained among the reds, but we increasingly see that sort of behavior all over blue cable too.
Nothing that's said won't be good enough. If it's said by our tribunes, it's true!