October 11, 2017

Matthew Dowd Falsely Claims Trump Travel Ban ‘Does Nothing on Security’

Tuesday, after over eight months of lower-court legal maneuvering, the Supreme Court “dismissed a major challenge to President Trump’s travel ban on majority-Muslim countries … because it has been replaced by a new version, sending the controversy back to the starting block.” Perhaps the weakest argument by someone in the media against what the Supreme Court ultimately did — that Trump’s related order “does nothing on security” — was made in a Sunday tweet by Matthew Dowd, someone who should know better.

There was a time when Matthew Dowd could at least have been described as an establishment Republican. That time is long gone.

Dowd switched to the GOP after being a longtime Democrat in 1999, and worked his way up to being the chief strategist for the successful Bush 43-Dick Cheney reelection campaign in 2004. In 2007, the year he first began appearing as an analyst on ABC News programs such as This Week, Dowd became an “independent.” The word is in quotes because in most instances, his policy positions now echo those of the left.

Donald Trump’s “travel ban” has been one of the establishment press’s and the left’s obsessions once the nation’s 45th president took office in January, because they falsely claimed it was a thinly disguised “Muslim ban,” which is nonsense.

Before the Supreme Court in essence demanded a do-over, two federal circuit courts pretended to have the authority to declare Trump’s original attempts to temporarily ban travel from certain countries null and void earlier this year despite the Constitution’s clear placement of authority over such matters in the Executive Branch.

On Sunday, while proving that his conversion to far-leftism is for all practical purposes complete, Dowd insisted that such a ban or any kind of similar replacement would accomplish nothing to keep the country safer:

MatthewDowdTravelBanAndGuns100817

Commentator Tomi Lahren begged to differ, and took issue with Dowd’s inane gun-control tangent:

TomiLahrenTravelBanAndGuns100817

Dowd clearly didn’t like being challenged and proceeded with a response that he, of all people, should have known was an obvious whopper:

DowdOnVegasVsIslamDeaths100817

For the record, as many Twitter commenters observed, the then-current and still-current death toll in Las Vegas at the time of Dowd’s post is 59. The radical Islam-motivated Pulse Nightclub attack in Orlando in 2016 killed 49, and the radical Islam-motivated attack in San Bernardino, California in 2016 killed 14. To that sum, which is already greater than the Vegas death toll, one can add an additional 65 radical Islam-motivated murders and “honor killings” since the beginning of 2008, as compiled at TheReligionOfPeace.com. That brings the total to 128 (49 plus 14 plus 65). Even ignoring the “honor killings,” the total is still well over 100.

Dowd’s false death toll argument is the latest in a long line of bogus claims made by leftists and their sympathizers who insist that Americans who own guns are collectively a bigger threat to public safety than Islamic radicals who interpret their religion as demanding that they kill people considered “infidels.” The most extreme among those making similar arguments wish to banish the use of any form of the word terrorist in news accounts. Unfortunately for the would-be wordsmiths, if an attack is genuinely an act of terrorism, it is a very safe default assumption that one or more radical Islamists committed it. Thinking that way is correct the overwhelming majority of the time especially when looking at terrorist attacks worldwide, with nearly 32,000 radical Islam-driven attacks since 9/11 isn’t “Islamophobic.” It’s “realistic.”

When caught purveying his false comparison, Dowd, as is so typical of alleged adults in U.S. society any more, didn’t apologize or even genuinely acknowledge that he was wrong. He only admitted to using one incorrect word:

Here is what i should have said to be clear: more Americans were casualties in Vegas than Americans were casualties by Islam in last 10 yrs.

But Dowd is still wrong:

  • Per TheReligionOfPeace.com, there have been 128 deaths and 453 injuries in Islamic attacks since the beginning of 2008, for a total of 581 casualties. (The Boston Marathon bombing alone in 2013 had 3 deaths and 264 injuries.)
  • At this point, the Las Vegas massacre has seen 59 people killed and 489 injured, for a total of 548 casualties.

As to Dowd’s claim that the Trump travel ban “does nothing on security,” finding contrary evidence is difficult, because the establishment press doesn’t want to admit that there are tangible benefits to the Trump order as currently designed.

Fortunately, a Wednesday morning editorial in the Reading (Pa.) Eagle laid out the facts that the rest of the press won’t report quite nicely, and in layman’s terms:

Administration improves travel ban

… The best argument for the latest Trump restriction is its focus on security. The Trump administration said it gave security officials in nations around the world a set of standards – including being able to verify identity and communicate passport information electronically – they must meet to avoid travel restrictions on their citizens. Syria and North Korea were cited as not cooperating, and their citizens are banned. People from Iran, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Chad and Iraq face restrictions for their government’s inability to meet some or all of the standards developed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The fact that people from two non-Muslim nations – Venezuelan officials and anyone from North Korea – face travel restrictions is an argument neither for or against the new policy. Critics are not convinced, and neither they nor the courts need to be swayed by the fact that the new order affects non-Muslims. But the order also should not be allowed to fall because of the president’s clumsy campaign rhetoric.

International terrorism remains a real threat, with seven attacks across Europe killing 67 people so far this year. Congress has given the nation’s chief executive broad authority to head off such threats. And the president’s latest order appears to be based on security-minded vetting standards. Unless the new standards can be shown to be unlikely to be effective and a convincing case can be made – beyond pointing to the president’s rhetoric – that they were developed merely to exclude Muslims, it would be unwise to strike them down.

The same leftists who are not at all bothered by the fact that Trump’s predecessor lied in “campaign rhetoric” about Americans’ ability to keep their health care plan and medical providers if Obamacare passed have, against all logic and precedent, convinced pliant judges to apply Trump’s heated “Muslim ban” campaign rhetoric to the clear wording of an executive order which does no such thing. The Eagle editorial demonstrates empty that logic is, while also refuting Dowd’s “does nothing on security” claim.

Gosh, if only we had an establishment press which was genuinely interested in explaining these matters to their readers and viewers instead of hyperventilating over them.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

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