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Wed Jul 15, 2020, 11:32 AM

Trump is playing defense -- and doing a rotten job of it

President Trump and his campaign seem to spend their days on constant defense. Cornered and wounded, Trump lashes out, but he appears — sorry to say — “low energy.”

Tuesday was no different. First, the administration announced a rare retreat on the issuance of its mind-boggling, self-destructive order to kick out foreign college students whose schooling goes online. Whether this was a cudgel to punish universities and colleges (a favorite target of the right) or simply another mean attack against immigrants care of White House adviser Stephen Miller, the notion that we should kick out the best and brightest students from around the world — who could stay and be productive here after graduation — was nonsensical even for this administration. (Ideally, we would slap a green card on every foreign student’s diploma.) It also provoked a tsunami of legal actions from higher education institutions and states.

The Post reports: “The abrupt reversal, disclosed in federal court in Boston, came a little more than a week after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement issued an edict that stunned U.S. higher education leaders and students worldwide.” It was also easily evaded as colleges planned to set up single-unit “seminars” in-person to evade the edict.

It is not clear who thought this up, why no one anticipated the outcry and why the administration turned tail. It was emblematic of the administration’s lack of coherent purpose and constructive ideas. What is it trying to accomplish in office, exactly? Well, the administration apparently wants to bully parents to send their kids back to school, just as it bullied governors to reopen businesses with disastrous results.


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