By now you're aware of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's latest embarrassment, in which she's called US detention facilities at the Southern border "concentration camps." It wasn't a vague comparison. She said the government centers are "exactly" that, going on to invoke the famous post-Holocaust "never again" vow. This is ignorant and hyperbolic. Rather than step back from her comments, she's doubled and tripled down, further humiliating herself, along with elements of the Left working overtime to spin and dissemble in her defense. Let's set aside the fact that House Democrats have thus far refused to move on President Trump's $4.5 billion budget request to address the humanitarian aspects of the border crisis by improving and expanding detention conditions and streamlining the asylum claim adjudication process, which even the liberal New York Times editorial board has endorsed. Let's do the same on the reality that these facilities were in operation, albeit less overwhelmed, during the previous administration, without attracting this sort of apocalyptic posturing and faux indignation from the Left.
AOC made the assertion that detaining unlawful entrants into sovereign US territory in facilities until their asylum claims can be formally processed is "exactly" tantamount to running concentration camps, employing the aforementioned "never again" slogan, which clearly and unambiguously raises the legacy of the Holocaust. After getting called out for this illiterate statement, the freshman Congresswoman tried to draw a distinction between concentration camps and death camps, quasi-pretending that this wasn't necessarily a Holocaust reference (although she also quasi-confirmed that it was). Some of her fellow travelers contorted themselves in similar fashion, laboring to excuse and justify what she said. Most simply ignored the telltale "never again" component, which renders other efforts at tendentious and pedantic hair-splitting moot. She said what she said, and her implication was not subtle. Despite a whirlwind of "actually's" from her Twitter defense attorneys, a number of mainstream Jewish groups heard her loud and clear. For instance, she earned this pushback from a nonpartisan organization in her home state:
Then came what should be the moral coup de grace in this absurd sideshow, delivered by the team at Jerusalem's world-renowned (and extraordinary, if you've never visited) Holocaust research and memorial center. If such a commodity as Absolute Moral Authority exists, Yad Vashem possesses it on this subject. For thinking people, this verdict is debate-resolving:
.@AOC Concentration camps assured a slave labor supply to help in the Nazi war effort, even as the brutality of life inside the camps helped assure the ultimate goal of "extermination through labor."— Yad Vashem (@yadvashem) June 19, 2019
Learn about concentration camps https://t.co/oBPQsjf6FC#Holocaust #History pic.twitter.com/nmc9As2nlO
For her part, Ocasio-Cortez is frantically insisting that the US government has been routinely responsible for operating "concentration camps," attempting to clap back at Rep. Liz Cheney's thunderous denunciation (described by the press as 'pouncing,' naturally) by framing Cheney's use of an entirely accurate word as somehow problematic:
Also @Liz_Cheney, the fact that you employed the horrifying word “exterminated” here (co-opting the language of the oppressor) tells us that it’s *you* that needs to brush up on your reading.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 18, 2019
Hope you enjoy defending concentration camps. I won’t back down fighting against them. https://t.co/OOfrrfa1Ew
Nobody is "defending concentration camps." This is the blinkered, foolish formulation of a cheap and under-informed demagogue. And if AOC believes using the word 'exterminate' is ahistorical or co-opts oppressive language, perhaps the young lady from New York City should take up her bogus gripe with some of the most prominent Holocaust survivors on earth:
Meanwhile, she's still going:
Not one dime should go to DHS for building these camps as they detain children & families.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 19, 2019
Congressional appropriations season is now. That means it’s ?? time - we‘re voting to fund federal government programs.
We should not fund the caging of kids & families. Pretty simple.
Is her position that any border enforcement involving detentions of illegal immigrants is immoral on its face, to the point of justifying Nazi comparisons? It certainly seems so. She doesn't want a wall. She doesn't want illegal immigrant families separated. She doesn't want illegal immigrant families held together in custody. She presumably doesn't want illegal immigrant families promptly deported, regardless of the legitimacy of their asylum claims. She doesn't want ICE to exist. So what does the AOC wing of the Democratic Party want, if not actual open borders? I'd be curious to hear, very specifically, whether the Democrats running for president agree that detaining illegal immigrants as they await their proverbial day in court is akin to throwing them in Holocaust-style concentration camps.
And if AOC believes these detentions are worthy of such rhetoric, while also opposing funds to expedite the adjudication process and improve the conditions in these overrun centers, then what, pray tell, does she propose? While she has a think on that one -- if she ever gets around to it, in between cobbling together and firing off snarky tweets -- I'll leave you with this: "'AOC should ask Holocaust survivors and ex-GIs who liberated Dachau what that charnel House was like,' Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the SWC’s associate dean and director of global social action for the leading international Jewish Human Rights NGO, told JNS. 'She is insulting victims of genocide'...Historian Gil Troy told JNS, “There is a long tradition of members of Congress saying dumb things; nevertheless, this comment belongs in the Hall of Fame. It’s not anti-Semitic. It’s too sloppy for that.'" I suppose sloppy historical illiteracy and moral blindness is preferable to the bona fide bigotry displayed by one of AOC's besties in Congress. Finally, oof: