Everyone knows politicians are congenital pathological liars. The only reason they even condescend to give their real names out is because they have to in order to get onto the ballot; otherwise they’d lie about that.
Some are smooth and plausible: think of Barack Obama smiling that charming smile and saying, “Why, I only just heard about…” (fill in the blank: Fast and Furious, Benghazi, the IRS scandal, and on and on) “…the other day on the news.” Think about, “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.” Who could not believe him? Hell, I did too, at first.
Some are so clumsy and so obvious it beggars description: think of Donald Trump: “It’ll be big! It’ll be stupendous! It’ll be beautiful! And Mexico will pay for it.” Think of some of the nonsense he tweets. Or think of virtually anything Harry Reid ever said, up to and including his taking the oath of office.
But, as with everything, there are always a few exceptions, a tiny handful of men and women who actually try to serve their constituents and the Constitution without breaking the law to line their own pockets or advance their personal agendas. And I always thought our Vice President, Mike Pence was one of those: a reasonably honest straight-shooter who plays the game more or less by the rules.
So, picture my dismay and my anger when I read the following quote from Mike Pence, made during a speech he gave in Missouri:
“Last year alone, I’m proud to report to you that ICE agents removed more than 226,000 illegal immigrants from our country. In fact, they arrested more than 127,000 illegal immigrants with criminal convictions or facing charges of breaking our nation’s laws, including ICE removed nearly 5,000 gang members from our streets.”
I mean, come on, Mr. Pence! If you’re going to swell the ranks of the dark side of politicians, at least try to tell some whoppers that are semi-plausible. Use numbers that might, at the very least, fool some of the dimmer-watt bulbs that make up all of us smelly deplorables. Don’t take a page out Trump’s book and get egregious!
I was so outraged I decided to write about the paucity of probity in Washington, and in order to properly rebuke our Vice President, I decided to quickly do the research and find out what the actual numbers of criminal deportees were (leaving aside the fact that illegal immigration is itself a crime).
It turns out Mike Pence was telling the gospel truth. Actually, the numbers I found on official sites and fact-checking sites were slightly higher than Mr. Pence’s, but his are close enough for government work, you should pardon the expression.
In the interests of simplicity, I’ll give you Politifact’s (https://www.politifact.com) take on Mr. Pence’s statement:
“Readers asked us to verify Pence’s data. We found that he accurately cited ICE numbers. But data also showed that the most common charges and convictions were for traffic offenses, immigration, and ‘dangerous drugs.’ Pence’s wording could leave the wrong impression that those criminal convictions were for more serious offenses.”
I could make a good argument that being in the country illegally is all one needs to qualify as a criminal, and I could make a far stronger argument that drug charges are indeed serious, but I’ll let it go.
Consequently, I would like to suggest that instead of “abolishing ICE,” as so many of our more progressive lunatic fringe are demanding, we would be well-served to keep or even expand ICE and disband some of the more flagrantly and obviously criminal bureaucratic agencies that have so arrogantly, and for so long, considered themselves above the rest of us, and, worst of all, considered themselves above the law and the Constitution they swore to protect and defend. I’m referring to the FBI, the DOJ, and the IRS. Get rid of them, at least the senior officers smugly calling the shots in plush offices in Washington, DC, and let’s start over with a clean slate.