I’m not clairvoyant, but when I watched Dianne Feinstein make her “clean bill” case about DACA to President Trump at yesterday’s White House open-meeting, I fully understood Donald Trump’s reply, “Why sure, that’s what we all want.” My heart didn’t sink, in fact, I hoped Senator Feinstein and even Senator Lindsey Graham would lean back self-satisfiedly and savor the belief that they had finally snookered the Old Boy into giving away the store.
But Kevin McCarthy quickly leaped in to correct the record about the long-standing security issues that Trump has always tied to clean legislation legalizing DACA status. Of course he assumed the Wall, chain migration and lottery program were all included in his agreement with Senator Feinstein’s call for a “clean bill”.
Personally, I’d have liked the scam to play itself out a day or two, because a hanging curve ball left up there by a notorious fast-ball pitcher always leaves the opposing team, even after they swing and miss, doubting themselves about their estimations of the pitcher’s skill. For a political novice such as Donald Trump, who knows nothing about human nature as the political class defines it, “Keeping ’em guessing” can ruin the opposition’s idea that they hold the high ground quickly.
No matter, slip of the tongue or well laid trap, the Democrats (and several Republicans) left the room disappointed once their heart rate had fallen back to normal. No harm, no foul. But apparently not everyone in media had watched the story play out to the end, perhaps storming away prematurely. Ann Coulter is still bereft 2 later, largely about promises Trump had never made in the first place, perhaps maybe even becoming pen pals with Bill Kristol. Laura Ingraham issued a sonorous Tweet of woe, which seemed straight from “Wuthering Heights”, lost love and Catherine and Heathcliff’s two ships forever passing each other in the night. Last, Tucker Carlson, (my son’s age) led off his 8 PM show with a 5-minute near-obituary of the love affair between conservatives and Donald Trump, only to be rescued a few minutes later with the appearance of Brit Hume (my age) squaring the record for the audience (and Tucker) that no, Trump had not gone back on his original pledge. No change in fact.
(Watching Brit Hume come around from being very skeptical of Trump to one of his loudest cheerleaders has been one of the joys of watching the #NeverTrump mania morph. No one can scold Bill Kristol with as much authority than Brit. Not just a defender, Brit is a brilliant explainer of Trump, which only people of our generation can do. Maturity, been there, done that, turns into wisdom, which the youngsters will simple have to wait their time to acquire.)
The fundamental truth of Donald Trump has never changed since we first pointed out in the pre-election, pre-Mueller days of explaining that he does not “own” his voting base, but they “own” him. His appreciation and gratitude to crowds this first year in office proves his gratitude, and he goes there, not so much in campaign mode, as many allow, as to escape the skullduggery of the Swamp and be among his own.
I taught Business Law to Russian emigres in a small college in Cincinnati in the 90s. They were all professionals in the old USSR; doctors, engineers, and professors, just looking for an associates degree so they could earn $8/hr clerking in an engineering firm or a medical clinic. Good people. But they had a deuce of a time in understanding the concept of the contract, which in Russia was a piece of paper, but in America was so very much more. I finally came around to using the handshake, man-to-man, heart-to-heart, friend-to-friend to define a contract, the writing merely a written expression of their promise to one another. Then it was easy.
Brit Hume would understand this. Like me, he’s seen a thing or two.
Of all the promises before God that Donald Trump has taken in his life, the oath he took on behalf of those 60-plus million people in 2017 is the most powerful and unshakeable, mainly because it was sealed with a handshake he made with them throughout 2015 and 2016, one town, often one hand, at a time.
Never “misunderestimate” the power of such a promise. They are real. But those reared inside the Swamp often never know such things exist. It’s more ignorance than cynicism. Brit Hume’s generation (and Donald Trump’s, my own) may be the last generation to really know this. Ann Coulter’s cynicism is sad, while Laura Ingraham a little bewildering, and Tucker Carlson’s, well, generational. But my first instinct was always that there are pledges Donald Trump would not break if you stuck a gun to his head. This is one of them.
I can suggest to President Trump how to fix DACA so that only those who truly want “to be American” will stay, while those arrogant, ungrateful, entitled, better-educated fixtures already kissing the flag of the Democrat Party instead of our own, will end up working in a bank in Tegucigalpa. Not all should go, not all should stay, and there are ways to decide. Simple written tests and interviews are involved.
He only promised to keep new waves out, to build the Wall, to end the endless lines of relatives who follow behind and to end the lottery system. DACA is his bargaining chip and quite frankly I don’t believe he will allow a federal judge, or a nest of federal judges, get in his way. They may be drawing paycheck on borrowed time as it is, just as several members of the FBI seem to be.
Donald Trump has grabbed the high ground of permanent residency, (without a guaranteed track to citizenship) away from the Democrats. All the things they have squawked about, the compassion and fairness issues, are now in Donald Trump’s pocket. So, he’s staked out a hill on which he’ll make his stand, with the political advantage of forcing the Democrats to shut the government down, thus insuring the deportation of 700,000 DACA kids in March who will then be the victims of Democrat Party indifference. If they want those “kids” to stay, all they have to do is sign off on the Wall, lotteries, and chain migration, all of which the American people overwhelmingly want.
In short, if the Democrats want to shut the government down, they can, with or without RINO help, but it could be a fatal dice roll. And they know it.
But in doing so, both parties know what the driving issue of the 2018 midterms will be, placing every candidate in thrall to the monied interests of cheap-labor cartelists at risk.
2018, not 2020, is turning out to be the Year of Decision, as the great historian Bernard DeVoto once named the year 1846. It will define not just this Presidency, but the Democratic and Republican Parties, as currently constructed, and the History of the United States, going forward.
If Donald Trump stays true to his pledge and the American voters stay true to him, (and there will be more to join, for a variety of reasons), and the mom and pops of America remain the intellectual driving force to restore the original blueprint of the Founders, lost in the Swamp over 150 years ago, but only recently, in my lifetime, in fly-over country, where mom and pop have always lived, then we will prevail.
And Ann Coulter can go take a cold shower.