Just a symptom

A couple of ultra-right-wing senators came to the defense of President Trump over the weekend following news that the commander-in-chief used vulgar language to describe El Salvador, Haiti and African nations.

For those who are loath to stay in tune with the circus that is the White House, the short version is that POTUS referred to those places as either “shithole” or “shithouse” countries during closed-door talks about immigration reform that would include protections for people from those regions.

Sen. Dick Durbin, a Democrat, contends the former term was used, and he’s backed up by a couple of Republicans who were present. Meanwhile, Sens. Tom Cotton and David Perdue used the discrepancy to shield Trump (he denies using the term) and discredit Durbin’s account. That is, because Cotton and Perdue heard Trump say “shithouse,” they said the president didn’t use the offensive word heard by Durbin. Mind you, this came after those Trump sycophants initially lied—saying they couldn’t recall what Trump said.

We’d argue there’s little difference between those vile words, but there are bigger issues to consider.

Let’s not forget what is at the center of this controversy—immigrants. Last week, Trump announced the end to the Temporary Protective Status program that has shielded tens of thousands of immigrants from several countries (El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan)—and plans to do so for others. Meanwhile, an estimated 800,000 Dreamers, young undocumented immigrants who came the United States as children, are increasingly under threat of deportation following his order to also end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (aka DACA).

The bipartisan plan Durbin and Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham presented to Trump was a compromise between the parties that contained both immigrant protections and billions for increased border control, including the ridiculous wall the president promised would be paid for by Mexico.

Though he’s repeatedly conveyed sentiments to deal with the Dreamers with “love,” the president bent to the will of his far-right toadies and their anti-immigrant base. Behind closed doors, he showed exactly who he is: a racist, xenophobic liar with no impulse control. The curse word—whichever of the two he spoke—is just a symptom of the underlying disease.