SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2023
Ways to lose next year's election: Yesterday, we said we'd show you something that was said on that day's Morning Joe.
In our view, the remarks in question demonstrate something about the cluelessness of our blue tribe's high-end thought leaders. As of now, we'll plan to post those remarks next week.
For today, we'll show you a different set of blue tribe remarks.
Full disclosure! We learned about these puzzling remarks by watching Fox & Friends! We refer to Rep. Ayanna Pressley's peculiar remarks in an interview on CNN.
Rep. Pressley (D-Mass.) spoke with Jake Tapper this past Wednesday. Midway through the interview, a lengthy exchange started like this:
TAPPER (9/27/23): So Republicans' biggest criticism of the bipartisan Senate spending bill, this compromise that's being worked over on the other side of Capitol Hill, is that it does not contain additional funding for border security. Right now, the U.S. is facing a crisis at the border and this historic wave of Venezuelans migrants crossing into the U.S.
The U.S. cannot deport most of them, or any of them, because of the frosty diplomatic relations with Venezuela. More than 7.7 million people have fled, Venezuela. There's no sign this is slowing down.
Do you agree that something needs to be done about our border, that it's just not sustainable?
I mean, we see, you know, these governors—and I'm sure you disapprove the tactic. But they're sending migrants into places like Massachusetts, like New York, like California, and these cities are having trouble keeping up. The Republican governors say things like, "We're just giving you a taste of what we have to deal with."
So queried CNN's Tapper. He wanted to know if "something needs to be done about our border"—if the current state of affairs "is just not sustainable."
That was a perfectly sensible question. Perhaps understandably, Tapper seemed to be puzzled by one part of Pressley's reply:
PRESSLEY (continuing directly): Well, I certainly disagree with any people, and certainly our most vulnerable, who are fleeing a great destabilization and violence and corruption, from being used as political pawns. No doubt about it, our border is secure. And we are in the midst of a humanitarian crisis, and we have to fix a broken system and we ought to—
At that point, Tapper interrupted. Watching the CNN videotape, we get the impression that he thought he may have misunderstood, or perhaps had misheard, what Pressley had said.
What did Tapper think he may have misheard? He now asked Pressley this:
TAPPER (continuing directly): You think it is secure? You think the border is secure? Or it is not secure?
Had she said that the border is secure? Explicitly, Tapper asked. Pressley's non-answer went like this:
PRESSLEY (continuing directly): I believe that we are in the midst of a humanitarian crisis and that there needs to be federal investment to support those migrant families, and I work with a number of the community-based organizations on the ground, and they need more support, they need more federal support.
This is a humanitarian crisis, and it's the consequence of a number of long-standing broken policies that, you know, are very consequential for asylum seekers, TPS holders and DACA recipients writ large. But that is a conversation for another day.
As you can see, Rep. Pressley hadn't answered Tapper's question. So Tapper asked his question again, producing this exchange:
TAPPER (continuing directly): I don't disagree with this being a humanitarian crisis at all. But just to get some clarity on this—and sure, it's a conversation for another day. But do you think that the border is secure? I just—is that what you said?
PRESSLEY: Yes. The border is secure. And we're in the midst of a humanitarian crisis that has been created by a broken system. In the meantime, we need federal investment to support my constituents and those who call the MA-7 home writ large, which is why we need to prevent a government shutdown.
I want to center the humanity, the dignity, the safety and the needs of everyone, which is why we should not have a government shutdown. It will be deeply consequential. It will create a dire situation for families, many that are already struggling.
"Yes. The border is secure," Rep. Pressley now said. She had made her position clear, but Tapper still seemed to be puzzled:
TAPPER (continuing directly): But if you have millions of undocumented migrants coming into the country, how is the border secure?
PRESSLEY: Jake, this is not a new crisis. It does require more political will and commitment. It is a humanitarian crisis. We should treat it as such.
And, again, representing one of the most diverse constituencies in the country, and in fact, I chair the House Haiti Caucus. I represent the third largest Haitian diaspora in the country, and what I see on the ground is community-based organizations and municipalities who need federal support.
Once again, a non-answer. As the interview continued, Tapper kept asking Pressley to explain the basis on which she says that the southern border actually is secure.
Tapper kept asking his question; Pressley kept failing to give a clear answer. As you can see from the CNN transcript or from the tape, the lengthy exchange ended like this:
TAPPER: Okay. It sounds like in there you acknowledge that there are millions of people crossing the border illegally, which would mean that the border is not secure. But I mean, I don't disagree with any of the points that you made about these people are trying to seek better lives and they're escaping all sort of horrible things. But would you grant me the point that the border is not secure?
PRESSLEY: Jake, that is a conversation for another day. Right now, I'm squarely focused on preventing a government shutdown and (AUDIO GAP).
TAPPER: All right. Democratic Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, thanks so much.
As Homer reports at the end of The Iliad, "Such was the burial of Hector, breaker of horses."
We return to our earlier full disclosure:
We learned about this interview when we saw it excerpted on the gruesome "cable news" TV show, Fox & Friends. As we've noted in the past, Fox & Friends tends to be a braindead propaganda mill. But in the larger sweep of things, we'll suggest you consider this:
Fox viewers were shown what Pressley said. On our own blue tribe channel, the southern border barely exists.
For the most part, only two things exist on our (corporate, profit-seeking) blue tribe channel: Donald J. Trump and jail. Problematic topics like the border are made to disappear, even as they're aggressively stressed on Fox.
Our tribe keeps pretending that it doesn't exist! In our view, this seems like a good way to lose next year's election.
We close with an anthropological question:
Are we blue folk really as sharp as we typically say we are?