I can’t decide if Mike Pence looks more like an overseer inspecting the plantation or Heinrich Himmler visiting Buchenwald, but I am sure of this: Today’s images from the overcrowded detention facilities in Texas, with a miasma of human stench and misery so thick and palpable that it hung and shimmered in the heat, are a new chapter in American history.
Here’s 1:18 of video from NBC News showing Pence, looking like Cro Magnan man in a blazer, chatting with a prison guard about the “watchtower.”
This image will go down in history. New video shows shows Mike Pence callously observing and turning his back on severe overcrowding of men in cages at a detainment facility in Texas.
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) July 13, 2019
This facility in McAllen, Texas is paid $775 a day to feed, house and provide adequate sanitation facilities for detainees. Despite that hefty figure, the facility is so crowded that frequently the men cannot find a spot to lie down, and when they do, they lack adequate bedding. They also have no access to toothbrushes or showers, for as long as twenty days at a time. Oh, and GOP Rep. Marsha Blackburn, who was part of Pence’s retinue, received $66,150 in donations from for-profit prisons similar to this one in 2017 and 2018. Isn’t that interesting? Marsha killed two birds with one stone, doing a Pence photo op and visiting her retirement nestegg.
Now here’s the part you’re going to love. Pence is blaming this on the Democrats. Washington Post:
Pence said the rough conditions are why the administration recently requested and Congress approved $4.6 billion in aid for the border, and he accused Democrats of not supporting more funding for additional beds at facilities for migrants. […]
“I was not surprised by what I saw,” Pence said later at a news conference. “I knew we’d see a system that was overwhelmed.” […]
“That’s the overcrowding President Trump has been talking about. That’s the overwhelming of the system that some in Congress have said was a manufactured crisis,” Pence said during a news conference after visiting the second facility. “But now I think the American people can see this crisis is real.”
Pence’s comments were at odds with recent statements from Republicans, as well as Trump, who have accused Democrats who have visited similar facilities of exaggerating the poor conditions. Trump earlier Friday called recent media reports and comments from Democrats about poor conditions “phony.”
And earlier this month, the president downplayed concerns about how migrants are being treated at the facilities.
“Many of these illegals aliens are living far better now than where they came from, and in far safer conditions,” Trump wrote in a July 3 tweet.
Is your jaw on the floor? “Living far better?” Not showering for almost a month is Shangri-La? And “far safer?” Does this facility look like it would pass a health or fire inspection to you?
And never lose sight of the fact for a moment that Mike Pence is a Christian leader. That’s key to all of this. Except the precepts of Matthew 25:43-46 have somehow slipped Pence’s mind.
43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
This is the nadir of the republic — we hope. The problem with this mis-administration is that whatever bottom is reached is always temporary and relative. There is always an even more sickening lurch downward to follow.