Monday, February 13, 2017

OPINION - Shields and Brooks 2/10/2017

"Shields and Brooks on immigration ban court defeat, Democrats' confirmation hearing opposition" PBS NewsHour 2/10/2017


SUMMARY:  Syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks join Judy Woodruff to discuss the week's news, including the decision by a federal appeals court to deny the Trump administration's request to reinstate an immigration ban, President Trump's comments attacking judges and the contentious battles in the Senate over Cabinet nominees.

JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  Now to the analysis of Shields and Brooks.  That's syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks, who joins us tonight from Chicago.

And we welcome both of you.

So, before we talk about the immigration — the president's immigration order, Mark, which the court, appeals court, rejected the administration argument on last night, we have a short clip of what President Trump has just said a little while ago on Air Force One as he was flying from Washington down to South Florida to Mar-a-Lago.

Reporters were asking him what he plans to do now.

Here's that clip.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP:  We will win that battle.  But we also have a lot of other options, including just filing a brand-new order.


PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP:  Could very well be.  But I like to keep you — I would like to surprise you.  We need speed for reasons of security.  So, it could very well be that we do.

JUDY WOODRUFF:  So, Mark, he says, “I like to surprise you.”

How big a setback is this for the president?

MARK SHIELDS, syndicated columnist:  It's a significant setback, Judy, in large part because it was self-inflicted.

They made mistakes, including green card holders, which weakened their argument completely, and made them vulnerable to the court's decision.  And it reflected, more than anything else, a sense of chaos and a sense of incompleteness and a sense of lack of thoughtfulness in the administration on an enormously serious issue.

JUDY WOODRUFF:  David, how do you see it?

DAVID BROOKS, New York Times:  Well, first, on that last clip of Trump on the plane, his staff is briefing reporters in somewhat of a chaotic manner in just the last few minutes.  People are saying, oh, they are going to just take it to the Supreme Court, they're going to rewrite it.

And the two different briefings are contradicting each other.  And that's something The Times reporters have been talking and tweeting about publicly, which is some of the White House staff is in a high state of misery because of the general lack of — chaos.

On the larger issue of the travel ban, our friend Charles Krauthammer of The Washington Post I think put it pretty well.  I'm not sure it's illegal, but it's extremely stupid.

I'm a little uncomfortable with the idea of judges overruling Presidents on national security matters.  Nonetheless, so whether it's unconstitutional or not, I leave to others.  But it certainly has sucked the wind out of two or three weeks of this administration for no good reason.

There has never been evidence that people from these countries are disproportionately likely to commit terrorist acts.  We have sent chaos to the airports.  We have offended the world.  We have derailed the administration.  We have done it in such an incompetent way, the administration has, that people with perfectly legal residence have been widely inconvenienced.

And so it's just been a screw-up from beginning to end, and so it's just been a running derailment.

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