The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Giving Tanks

President Trump is harnessing D.C.’s Fourth of July celebrations for his own purposes. Plus: A pediatrician describes her experience treating children at a Border Patrol facility.

Andrew Harnik / AP
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What We’re Following Today

It’s Wednesday, July 3. We’ll be off for the fourth, but back with dispatches on Friday.

(Jeremy Raff / The Atlantic)

All Eyes on the Border: There is “dangerous overcrowding” in at least five of the Customs and Border Protection facilities, with more than 3,000 migrant detainees being held longer than the 72 hours generally permitted, according to a new report from investigators at the Department of Homeland Security. (These detainees have either crossed the border illegally, or sought asylum at a port of entry.) One pediatrician named Dolly Lucio Sevier evaluated dozens of sick children at a Border Patrol facility in South Texas. This is what she saw.

+ All this suffering is evidence of an asylum system that is profoundly broken, argues David Frum: “The more clearly the U.S. articulates its rules, and the more swiftly and certainly it enforces those rules, the more lives will be saved.”

The Sheriff Defying ICE: For decades, sheriffs in the American South used the independence and power of their office to shape their community. Then, last year, North Carolina’s seven largest cities elected black sheriffs. David A. Graham describes what happened next.

Happy Fourth: President Donald Trump will deliver an evening address in front of the Lincoln Memorial tomorrow in honor of the holiday—making himself the centerpiece of what traditionally has been a civic celebration. “Past presidents mostly left the Fourth of July celebration alone,” Peter Nicholas writes. “Trump is harnessing it for his own purposes, politicizing patriotic feeling.”

Two Realities: While the president has been happily readying the tanks for his Fourth of July parade, the Democratic presidential candidates have been debating the efficacy of busing as a means of desegregating public schools, and laying out policy ideas for their first 100 days in office. It’s as though they’re operating in two different dimensions, Edward-Isaac Dovere writes: But can Democrats win if they don’t play the president’s game?


(Jim Bourg / Reuters)

A Bradley Fighting Vehicle is moved into place at the Lincoln Memorial ahead of a Fourth of July celebration in Washington.

Ideas From The Atlantic

You Should Really Read E. Jean Carroll’s Memoir (Megan Garber)
“Carroll’s ‘merry romp’ is overwhelming. It is exhausting. That is the point. This is not only a book about the failures of individual men; it is also a book, as its Swiftian title suggests, about the failures of a system that has given men the power to determine the whos and wheres and hows of women’s lives.” → Read on

Trump Wants Tanks on the National Mall. What Could Go Wrong? (Tom Nichols)
“Rather than honoring the day on which the Founders risked being hanged as traitors in order to proclaim a new republic, Trump will preside over a show of might meant to quiet the constant thunderclaps of insecurity that fill his every waking moment.”
→ Read on

A Crime by Any Name (Adam Serwer)
“This is, perhaps, the most daunting element of this entire conversation. If these facilities even vaguely resemble concentration camps, then American society has failed in ways many Americans do not want to contemplate.” → Read on

What Else We’re Reading

Buttigieg introduces a national service plan (Daniel Strauss, Politico)

Whatever happened to Breitbart? (Paul Farhi, The Washington Post) (🔒 Paywall)

Politics Is Changing: Why Aren’t the Pundits Who Cover It? (Rebecca Traister, The Cut)

It’s a question no one says they want to ask. But the women running for president keep hearing it. (Lisa Lerer, The New York Times) (🔒 Paywall)

About us: This newsletter is a daily effort from The Atlantic’s politics writer Elaine Godfrey. It’s edited by Shan Wang.

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