In the wake of President Trump’s televised Immigration meeting:
plenty of individuals on the right have fallen prey to suspect media reports and misleading headlines about what the President said or didn’t say, and what he was willing to do. MOTUS has it right:
it’s fairly easy to understand why the President decided to go live with his reality show.
Let’s have a little of that transparency that Obama spoke so highly of but never implemented. Let’s hear the Democrats defend their insistence that our borders remain open to all comers and chain migration continue in order to ensure generations of future Dem voters. Let’s hear them insist, again, that if you give them whatthey want now they’ll work with you later on what you want.
Let’s hear the Democrats tell us they want a “clean DACA” bill – meaning amnesty for the Dreamers with no strings attached. Let’s hear Trump amiably agree that he too wants a clean DACA bill, by which he means funding of The Wall and an end to chain migration and the visa lottery. Note to Ann Coulter and Tucker Carlson: it’s too soon to talk about Trump being a traitor. Remember the President is fresh from a meeting with Republican leaders at Camp David last weekend. When he says “I’ll sign whatever you send me” I suspect he has an agreement with the House and Senate leaders regarding acceptable parameters. So why would they send him anything else? And I’m betting the bill includes wall funding and the end of chain migration and the visa lottery. Yes, I assume it will also include some type of legality – short of automatic citizenship – for any of the Dreamers who’ve managed to keep a clean rap sheet. But frankly I’ve always assumed that would be the case. It’s the art of the deal.
“You can’t con people, at least not for long. You can create excitement, you can do wonderful promotion and get all kinds of press, and you can throw in a little hyperbole. But if you don’t deliver the goods, people will eventually catch on.” Donald Trump, The Art of the Deal
As for Ann Coulter, bless her, but she’s overreacting:
Nothing Michael Wolff could say about @realDonaldTrump has hurt him as much as the DACA lovefest right now.
— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) January 9, 2018
Yes, Trump did say he wanted a “Clean DACA” bill, which he explicitly defined as including “border security” (the wall), and at another point he had added “and other things” (presumably ending chain migration and ending the diversity visa lottery) to his definition of a deal.
Yes, Trump did compromise on what the wall meant – by saying it wasn’t going to be a continuous 2000 mile structure because of mountains and rivers – something he’s always said.
Between Trump’s normal hyperbole and usual extemporaneous manner of speaking, the idea that he’s making concessions or caving in are a bit overblown. So he used Jeb-like language in talking about a “bill of love.” But he also used Trump-like language in reminding the audience that walls work – ask Israel, and repeatedly making a wall (and other goodies) a non-negotiable aspect of any deal.
And if you’re still not convinced, there was a moment during Trump’s ramblings in which he mentioned that Representative Bob Goodlatte from Virginia would get things going in the House with the introduction of a bill. Goodlatte co-wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal outlining it. Here are some of the highlights:
- $30 billion wall funding
- 5,000 Border Patrol agents and 5,000 Customs and Border Protection officers
- Allows the DACA folks to remain with three-year renewable legal status – with no path to citizenship
- Biometric entry-exit system
- Ends chain migration and the diversity visa lottery
- Gives the DOJ scope to keep money from sanctuary cities
That’s the deal. Which is why he kept saying things like ‘once we do DACA we’ll be most of the way to getting comprehensive done.’ His namedropping of Goodlatte (at 14:25 in the video) is pretty important.
Congress is the reason DACA has to be a part of the deal. That might be a bitter pill for some to swallow, but the fact of the matter is that congress, as it is currently constituted, wants DACA. As a result, our current options are as follows:
- Let DACA expire, let chain migration and diversity lottery live on, and hope midterms bring us enough Trump Republicans in both chambers to actually enact legislation without shenanigans and negotiatons
- Concede DACA legitimization (no citizenship), and get the wall, get no chain migration, get no more diversity lottery
#2 is far more likely and is imminent, thanks to the leverage Trump created back in September when he allowed DACA to expire, and thus Trump is going for that. It’s a simple calculation that an 80% chance of getting 70% of what you want is better than a 5% chance of getting 100% of what you want. Trump could have got rid of DACA on day one like he promised, but then he would have had no leverage to get all of the other goodies he’s after. Remember, congress doesn’t really want a wall or ending chain migration, or ending diversity visa lotteries. They are only getting on board because they have to to keep their precious DACA going.
And by doing it this way, Trump is creating a situation in which he can get things codified through legislation, as opposed to via Executive Order, which could just be undone by the next SJW president who takes over. Ironically, Obama’s desire to ride roughshod over the legislate process for the benefit for illegal immigrant will turn out to be the very thing that stems the tide in the other direction. None of this is 4D chess – just good politics.
At the end of the day though, the meeting was probably done to highlight the fact that, no, the president is not a mentally unstable, semi-illiterate buffoon who watches 20 hours of cable news per day, as the media has been saying over the last week or so. In their clamor over the Wolff book, they set such a low bar for the President to hurdle that all he has to do is show the American public a rare glimpse of the sausage being made, with him confidently and assuredly leading the discussion. All while flanked by the very Democrats who are supposed to lead the charge of impeachment-by-mental instability; the imaging of them sat at Trump’s right and left engaging with him in serious discussion alone neuters the Wolff fan fiction to anyone with an inkling of common sense, making a mockery of said media hysteria to boot.
It was superb politics.