Brow Beat

Kimmel: Trump Believes Dreamers Should Become Americans the Right Way: Marrying Donald Trump

America’s had a lot of terrible presidents over the years—several in the age of television—but try to imagine a middle-of-the-road late night host like Jimmy Kimmel describing Nixon or Reagan this way:

This morning, our president woke up and asked his staff, “Now that this hurricane is over, what’s something horrible I can do to distract people from the Russia investigation?”

Someone said, “You know, there are 800,000 innocent kids you could deport for no good reason.”

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And he said, “Done and done!”

Even George W. Bush, who got—and deserved—harsh treatment for blundering his way into endless war, was generally presumed to be more incompetent than malicious. (Cheney was sort of a special case: gloves were off because he was Vice President, and also an actual werewolf.) But like so many things this administration does, there’s no other way to interpret the DACA decision than racially-motivated spite, and even genial comedians like Kimmel are not mincing words. Kimmel’s straight-faced parody of the transparently bogus procedural justifications for Trump’s decision is pitch perfect:

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The president’s spokesperson said it was a difficult decision, and the president’s been debating it for months. But ultimately Donald Trump believes that if these kids want to be American, they have to do it the right way: by marrying Donald Trump. And it’s as simple as that.

Even if Kimmel’s finale—a fake PSA where the Trump kids, children of immigrants, plead not to be deported—is an easy joke, indifferently executed, the segment provides yet more evidence that conventional wisdom has shifted to acknowledge that the Republican party routinely pursues dreadful policies for vile reasons. It may not be good for late night TV that even Jimmy Fallon is now giving heartfelt monologues about white supremacy (whither silliness?), but after decades of politely avoiding the topic, it’s gotta be good for the country.

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