Who[m] would Jesus deport? That was the question in a pulverizing pileup of powerhouse pundits Thursday as Fox News panjandrums Tucker Carlson and Kirsten Powers went toe-to-toe over the crisis of unaccompanied Central American minor illegal immigrants.
In a heated exchange on Outnumbered, veteran journalist and Daily Caller co-founder Carlson, filling the #OneLuckyGuy position, debated the nature of America, the duties of the church militant, the function of political asylum and even the Jewish Question with Powers, a columnist and former Clinton-administration staffer.
Powers opened by calling the Republican position on immigration “the opposite of humanitarian” and Americans’ popular opposition to receiving immigrants fleeing distressed countries “un-American.”
When Carlson objected, Powers hit back by citing the Statue of Liberty (which was made in France) and suggesting that helping out undocumented immigrants is a Christian duty. Carlson noted that the world is full of countries with much worse problems than Honduras and Nicaragua, from which many of the unaccompanied children have been arriving at the United States border.
“So I have an obligation to share my earnings and my country with people I’ve never met because they are suffering?” Carlson asked.
“Yes,” Powers responded. “You absolutely do. Are you a Christian? Have you read the Bible? Because the Bible is crystal clear.”
“This is not a theocracy,” said Carlson. “The country is not run on Christian precepts.”
The shouting match ranged into the distinction between voluntary Christian charity and the public duties of government, with Powers invoking Ronald Reagan’s citation of John Winthrop’s phrase “City On a Hill” (modified to “Shining City On a Hill”) and Carlson criticizing Christian activists for encouraging immigrants to go on the public dole.
Though Powers brought up The Jews, she avoided Godwin’s law by comparing Honduran immigrants to shtetl Jews of Eastern Europe rather than the victims of the Nazi Holocaust.
“You don’t think Jewish people fleeing pogroms should have been allowed into this country?” she said.
“Oh come on now,” Carlson responded. “That’s completely silly.”
Liberal commentator Powers has won the hearts of many conservatives with her rueful countenance and sharp criticisms of the Obama administration (last year she announced that her own insurance had been canceled due to Obamacare), while Carlson is widely acknowledged to have the best hair in Washington (male division).
Outnumbered co-hosts Kimberly Guilfoyle and Jedediah Bila took Carlson’s side, arguing that U.S. rule of law should prevail and that the government’s first duty should be to American citizens.