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Abbreviated pundit roundup: DeSantis stunt backfires

Chris Lehmann at The Nation places the latest moves in the broader context of right-wing immigration policy:

Right-wing immigration policy has been depraved from the moment Donald Trump instituted the Muslim travel ban as one of his first acts in office. From there, it has spiraled into increasingly brutal and inhumane policy shifts, from family separation and child cages at the border to pledges to enact mass deportation on flimsy procedural grounds. One proposed initiative from the Trump White House’s suite of xenophobic backlash policies that proved a bridge too far, however, was a plan from ghoulish immigration policy adviser Stephen Miller to flood designated asylum cities with undocumented immigrants in a bid to overstretch their social safety nets and exact petty political revenge for dissenting from the right’s new policy consensus. 

It makes a grim sort of sense, in the saga of the American right’s general descent into overt fascist cruelty, that a measure too unthinkable even for the Trump White House is now a plaything of aspiring Trump successors. 

Ross Barkan at The Atlantic:

…Democrats have an opportunity here. Rather than lament yet another disingenuous culture war that Republicans are thirsty to wage, Democrats of all ideological stripes should use this moment to celebrate the very places that could become permanent homes for migrants fleeing violence and economic calamity. Since the pandemic-induced crime spike, Trump Republicans have inveighed against big cities, taking up an incendiary and racially coded 20th-century playbook to throw Democrats on the defensive. Few prominent Democrats have offered an adequate counterargument. Now political leaders who care about immigrants should declare, affirmatively and loudly, Yes, send them here.

Meanwhile, Jon Swaine and Emma Brown report at The Washington Post that video evidence shows Trump loyalists accessing voting machines in southern Georgia:

On Jan. 7, 2021, a group of forensics experts working for lawyers allied with President Donald Trump spent eight hours at a county elections office in southern Georgia, copying sensitive software and data from its voting machines.

Under questioning last month for a civil lawsuit, a former Georgia Republican Party official named Cathy Latham said in sworn testimony that she briefly stopped by the office in Coffee County that afternoon. She said she stayed in the foyer and spoke with a junior official about an unrelated matter at the front desk. “I didn’t go into the office,” Latham said, according to a transcript of her deposition filed in court. […]

Surveillance video footage reviewed by The Washington Post shows that Latham visited the elections office twice that day, staying for more than four hours in total. […]

A Post examination found that elements of the account Latham gave in her deposition on the events of Jan. 6 and 7, 2021, appear to diverge from the footage and other evidence, including depositions and text messages.

Dana Milbank at The Washington Post examines how Trump is letting his QAnon flag fly: 

Trump, even before the QAnon melody and salute at his rally Saturday, treated his fans to a full range of delusionary conspiracy notions.

“The FBI colluded with Russia.”

“We have a president who is cognitively impaired.”

“We won the election by a lot.”

“They spy on my campaign.”

Positively everybody was conspiring in the “persecution of the MAGA movement.” The “deep state.” “Racist” (that is, Black) prosecutors. “Menacing forces.” The “enemy-of-the-people” media. FBI agents who “break into” his home.

“A vile group of corrupt, power-hungry globalists, socialists and liberal extremists in Washington has been waging war on the hardworking people of Ohio,” Trump told them. “… Our biggest threat remains the sick, sinister and evil people from within our country.”

QAnon, he’s playing your song.

And on a final note, here is analysis by Matt Lewis at The Daily Beast on this dangerous moment in American history:

I didn’t think it was possible, but Donald Trump is more dangerous than ever.

Last week, he warned America that if he’s indicted, we would face “problems… the likes of which perhaps we’ve never seen.” For a man who already incited one violent riot over his defeat in the 2020 election, a veiled threat of violence (nice democracy there—if you can keep it!) cannot be dismissed as a mere toothless bluff. […]

Trump feels threatened—by potential political rivals and by law enforcement. And during his time of need, an army of Q supporters gives him both emotional support and leverage (in the form of potential ground troops).

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