Democrats should explain why the wall is ‘immoral’ and other commentary

Conservative: Can Dems Explain Why Wall is ‘Immoral’?

Democrats, led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, practically all declare to have some ethical qualm a couple of border wall. But The Federalist’s David Harsanyi asks, if such a barrier is inherently “immoral,” then “why isn’t a border or sovereignty also immoral?” Since nobody has offered an excellent rationalization, “it’s reasonable to believe that many Democrats simply don’t want a new wall because walls stop illegal immigration.” Indeed, he suggests, “they just won’t say the words yet.” Yet the concept of a southern border wall “was once a mainstream position that most of the Democratic Party leadership supported to various extents.” But nobody asks Sen. Chuck Schumer “when and why a wall became immoral.”

Foreign desk: Call Off the Next North Korean Summit

The uproar over President Trump’s introduced withdrawal from Syria has obscured the “simultaneous collapse” of his efforts to comprise the North Korean risk, contends Commentary’s Noah Rothman. Fact is, even after Trump’s Singapore summit with Kim Jong-un, “North Korea never stopped acting in bad faith.” Nor has its place “softened at all.” Pyongyang continues to “develop nuclear fuel, expand long-range missile production facilities and build nuclear weapons.” Yet the administration “seems as willing as ever to reward Kim” with one other bilateral sit-down, probably on US soil, despite the fact that he hasn’t even begun to stay as much as his commitments. And why should he? The “isolation and stigmatization ­under which North Korea labored are lifting, even as it holds tight to its functioning nuclear arsenal.”

From the proper: GOP Is Botching the Tax Hike Issue

Given that the tax situation “created the modern GOP,” The Week’s James Pethokoukis suggests Republicans should be “still capable of mustering a cogent argument against massive tax hikes” at a time when the US financial system “is experiencing a historic downshift in its growth potential.” But “all it took was a few breezy comments” by Dem celebrity Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez proposing a 70 p.c prime marginal tax price “to show that capability has severely atrophied.” Fact is, “this should have been a gimme for conservatives” as a result of “progressives’ numbers don’t add up.” Yet Republicans as an alternative are providing a hyperbolic and “wrongheaded explanation of how the American tax code work.” Which is why a “stark deviation” from the 30-year consensus on most tax charges now appears “not so unlikely.”

Mideast watch: Turkey’s Erdogan Is No US Ally

President Trump’s “about-face” in direction of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan “is enough to give whiplash,” says Michael Rubin at The National Interest. Five months in the past, Trump was undercutting Turkey’s financial system “to bring Erdogan to his knees” over the imprisonment of Pastor Andrew Brunson. Now that Brunson’s been freed, “Erdogan is Trump’s confidant and friend.” The irony: Trump “has absolutely no idea of the disdain with which Erdogan and the Turkish press view him.” The Turkish chief has steered that Washington created ISIS “as an excuse to intervene in the region and to further Islamophobia.” That’s why, in his thoughts, defeating ISIS “means defeating the United States.” And why, behind Trump’s again, he and these closest to him ridicule the Syria pullout “as a sign of weakness.”

Culture critic: Why Not Pay Kidney Donors?

Consider, as The Washington Post’s Megan McArdle does, the dilemma of paying folks to donate their kidneys to strangers. On the one hand, it appears ethically irresponsible, “a sci-fi dystopia where the poor serve as organ farms for the wealthy.” And one that would endanger lives: “Desperate people would be tempted to lie about their medical history to qualify as a donor.” Yet tens of 1000’s are dying annually for need of a kidney. Now an editorial in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology means that “if you keep ratcheting up compensation, eventually you’ll find a price that will clear the kidney ‘market.’ ” And since transplants are half as costly as dialysis (most of it coated by Medicare), “the government could compensate donors handsomely while still saving money.”

— Compiled by Eric Fettmann

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