On Monday, Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York slammed President Joe Biden on Twitter.
“Over 800 pounds of fentanyl were seized at our Southern Border in October,” wrote Stefanik. “This is Biden’s Border Crisis.”
But, like, kind of a weird flex, right?
After all, Stefanik is talking about 800 pounds of fentanyl that WERE seized at the border, right? Meaning, presumably the border patrol under the Biden administration did the seizing?
While I couldn’t find the specific 800 pound number that Stefanik references in her tweet, there is no question that lots and lots of fentanyl has been seized in 2021 at our southern border.
In May, CNN reported that “so far this fiscal year, which runs October to September, [U.S. Customs and Border Protection] said it seized 6,494 pounds of the synthetic opioid, surpassing the 4,776 pounds seized in fiscal year 2020.”
And last month, the Drug Enforcement Agency announced that it had seized more than 1.8 million pills laced with fentanyl as well as 1,570 pounds of fentanyl powder as part of a two-month sting designed to reduce the amount of the drug in the country.
“During the past eight weeks, DEA has targeted the criminal drug networks flooding the U.S. with deadly, fentanyl-laced fake pills,” said Anne Milgram, the head of the DEA. “DEA remains steadfast in its commitment reduce drug-related violence and overdose deaths by dismantling the violent, criminal drug distribution networks across the United States.”
What’s weird is that Stefanik’s attack is not a lone event.
Earlier this month, Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel tweeted this: “899 lbs of fentanyl and 15,631 lbs of methamphetamine were seized at the southern border in October alone.”
And a couple weeks before that, Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley tweeted: “Welcome 2 Pres Biden’s America where 10,000 pounds of fentanyl hv been seized by Customs & Border patrol so far this fiscal yr which is enough to kill over 2 billion ppl or more than 1/4 of the world’s population.”
Which, again, would McDaniel and Grassley have preferred the alternative?
And then there was this from Indiana Sen. Mike Braun on Monday as well:
”.@CBP seized enough fentanyl to kill the entire U.S. population 7 times over at the border THIS YEAR. When will Biden prioritize the safety of Americans? We need to #BuildTheWall That much fentanyl is the equivalent of 204 MILLION lethal doses. We need border security!”
Braun linked to an op-ed piece on Fox News that, in addition to laying out the number of fentanyl deaths in the United States, argued that “the Mexican drug cartels get their fentanyl, or the ingredients to make it, from the People’s Republic of China.”
If you’re looking for logic here, well, don’t hurt yourself by straining too hard. I suppose the argument is that fentanyl is a crisis in America and one way to judge that is by the amount coming across the border that authorities seize – and, naturally, the idea that they don’t get anywhere close to all of it.
But, it’s a significant logical stretch to cite seizures of drugs as proof that the Biden administration is somehow failing. Because if drug seizures are failures then what does success look like?