What does an MNSBC show have in common with one of Spanish-language media’s most popular daily newspapers? Currently, a great mockery for Texas Governor Rick Perry and his decision to pull a political stunt at the border by sending in 1,000 troops, even though there’s nothing they can do for the situation and no one asked for them to be there.
The National Guard will be armed, which will be incongruous enough given that they will be encountering children, some of whom are less than six years old. They won’t exactly be there to apprehend the children, since many are seeking out Border Patrol and turning themselves in. And they won’t be able to detain children or inquire about their status, i.e. they’ll have the “authority to shoot children but not ask for their papers,” as Chris Matthews said during his MSNBC segment.
“Perry’s decision may have the look and feel of a bold stroke,” Matthews added, but there’s “little evidence that the National Guard troops can actually do anything to alleviate the real problem…I get the feeling Perry is less interested in impressing Central American children than voters out in Iowa.”
The segment also quoted a recent Washington Post piece in which the head of the National Guard under George W. Bush told Greg Sargent that he didn’t see the point, saying that ““Until mission requirements are clearly defined, it can’t be determined whether this is an appropriate use of the Guard in this particular case.”
A La Opinión article today was even more scathing, writing that “it is not clear what [the National Guard’s] function will be, beyond being part of Perry’s presidential candidacy strategy for 2016.” They continued:
Perry’s attitude is embarrassing. His exploitation of the crisis, along with the Republican chorus that backs him, bet on fear, confusion and ignorance to gain political brownie points.
This was an opportunity for the Texas governor to show his leadership when faced with the arrival of minors and his ability to maturely handle this type of challenge. That could have been an attractive strategy to reach the White House. Nevertheless, he decided to react as poorly as possible—like an ambitious politician who is capable of exploiting the tragedy of the children and militarizing the border to ingratiate himself with the most ultraconservative sector on immigration.
It’s like what Rep. Luis Gutierrez said today in a press statement about the children fleeing violence and Congress’ response to them: “The Democrats have children to protect, and the Republicans have a crisis to exploit.” Rick Perry is clearly looking for maximum opportunities to exploit for his next presidential run.
View the full Chris Matthews segment here, or below: