Trump and DACA: Betraying his base?
“Uh-oh,” said Bret Stephens in The New York Times. “I’m starting to enjoy Donald Trump’s presidency.” It was so entertaining last week to see the anguished wailing of his rabid, antiimmigrant supporters when their idol “struck a tentative deal” with the hated Democratic congressional leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi to enshrine into law protections for the 800,000 or so “Dreamers”—undocumented immigrants who were brought into the U.S. as children. Trump, who recently ordered an end to the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, received from his pals “Chuck and Nancy” a promise that in exchange for granting permanent legal status to the Dreamers, congressional Democrats would agree to more funding for immigration enforcement— but not a cent for his beloved border wall. Trump’s fans responded by posting pictures of themselves burning “Make America Great Again” caps. Right-wing firebrand Ann Coulter asked, “At this point, who DOESN’T want Trump impeached?”
Actually, Trump’s base won’t abandon him over this, said Eric Levitz in NYMag.com. Most of the “nativists” who supported him weren’t concerned about policy specifics—they merely wanted a white nationalist figurehead willing to affirm their conception of “American identity.” Besides, Trump still makes liberals “super mad,” and that’s reason enough for many conservatives to stick with him. On this issue, it’s actually smart politics for the president to compromise with Democrats, said The Wall Street Journal in an editorial. Only 15 percent of voters want Dreamers deported. A deal would “codify in law” a policy President Obama “imposed illegally by executive fiat” and solve a “politically emotive immigration problem.” Best of all, Trump would prove he can “get things done.”
What he’d prove, actually, is that no one can trust him, said Rick Wilson in TheDailyBeast.com. Trump voters always knew their man was a “flamboyant liar” and a “raging narcissist,” but they figured he “was their bastard.” The truth, as we “Never Trump” conservatives warned, is that Trump is a “con man” who’s out for himself, and only himself. He’s proven over 40 years of personal and business behavior that to get his own way—or in this case, some positive press coverage— he’ll “break any promise, shaft any ally, and abandon any position.” It was immigration this time; next time it could be health care, or tax reform, or something else. That’s what happens when you elect a “Conman-in-Chief.” ■