We will finally find out if the memes are real. In President Trump’s magisterial August 31, 2016 campaign speech on immigration in Arizona, he vowed he would “immediately terminate President Obama’s two illegal executive Amnesties.” Today, President Trump says he is offering Democrats a “wonderful deal” on DACA, including a pathway to citizenship. The Donald Trump of the campaign would undoubtedly have called it Amnesty. But could there be a more complicated agenda?
I have offered DACA a wonderful deal, including a doubling in the number of recipients & a twelve year pathway to citizenship, for two reasons: (1) Because the Republicans want to fix a long time terrible problem. (2) To show that Democrats do not want to solve DACA, only use it!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 28, 2018
This is a classic case of dealing from weakness, the opposite of what so many patriots who supported Donald Trump were hoping for. The DACA Amnesty was completely unconstitutional, something for which President Obama would have been impeached if America was still a self-respecting country, if Republicans were a real political party rather than controlled opposition, and if the “rule of law” was anything more than a punchline.
Electing Donald Trump president was a desperate attempt by the Historic American Nation to rebel against its planned dispossession, a “storming of the cockpit” to remove the sociopaths who captured the state and planned to kill off the nation. But President Trump’s decision to award concessions to DACA recipients removes the whole purpose of his campaign. If America is to be killed off, better it had come at the hands of Hillary Clinton.
A DACA Amnesty would be catastrophic, almost regardless of what “compromise” is reached. There is no upper limit on the number of illegals to be given Amnesty under President Trump’s proposal and there’s no guarantee any wall would actually be built under current legislation, just that money would be set aside.[Trump’s Draft Amnesty: Unlimited, Forever, And Before A Wall Is Built, by Neil Munro, Breitbart, January 27, 2018]
Given judges’ recent practice of simply inventing immigration law based on their feelings and/or ethnic grievances, we’d undoubtedly get a ruling from a Circuit Court telling us the Founding Fathers never intended for America’s borders to ever be defended. Besides, money for border security has been available since 2006, and Republicans such as Kay Bailey Hutchinson and John Cornyn made sure it wasn’t spent on any meaningful barriers. Who is to say the same thing wouldn’t happen again?
Yes, it’s theoretically possible to imagine certain policy gains for which it might be worth granting Amnesty for some DACA recipients— gains such as ending chain migration and Birthright Citizenship. But “funding for a wall” is not one of them. Indeed, gaining money from a border wall shouldn’t even be regarded as a concession at all. Democrats can easily and accurately mock President Trump for even asking for this money, as candidate Trump repeatedly vowed (and his supporters joyfully repeated) Mexico would be paying for the border wall.
But President Trump could still ensure this, tomorrow, using an idea his own campaign suggested. All he would need to do to completely reverse this debate is to declare once again, perhaps during the upcoming State of the Union, that a tax on remittances must be passed to pay for a border wall. Congressman Mike Rogers of Alabama has already introduced such a bill—a bill the White House knows about. [White House weighing a tax on remittances to Mexico to fund border wall, by Gabby Morrongiello, Washington Examiner, August 31, 2017]
And this is why I can’t help but wonder if President Trump is in fact playing the “4-D Chess” that his more slavish supporters tell us he is capable of.
Trump’s recent tweets did suggest his Amnesty proposal was simply a way to flush out the Democrats’ extremism, offering the Democrats almost everything they could reasonably want and watching them self-immolate [Trump: Amnesty Offer Intended To Expose Democratic Cynicism, by Neil Munro, Breitbart, January 27, 2018]. And self-immolate they have done, with the likes of Nancy Pelosi accusing President Trump of offering a white nationalist proposal—rhetoric from which Red-State Democrats had to swiftly distance themselves [Manchin: We don’t need Pelosi’s type of rhetoric on immigration, by Julia Manchester, The Hill, January 28, 2018]. Some of the Left’s more excitable pets even called it a “Legislative Burning Cross,” a claim earnestly repeated by the Main Stream Media but which can only inspire incredulous laughter among actual Americans [Immigration Activist Calls Trump Immigration Plan A ‘Legislative Burning Cross,’ by Justin Caruso, Daily Caller, January 26, 2018].
The Left does seem to be losing its ability to create a united narrative to confront President Trump, and it is still reeling from its recent defeat in the showdown over the government shutdown. The “Trump is an insane moron” narrative, which received additional momentum from Michael Wolff’s “Fire and Fury,” has taken a hit because of that tome’s rapidly declining credibility, which now has culminated in the absurd charge Nikki Haley is having an affair with the president [An affair with Trump? Nikki Haley on ‘disgusting’ rumors and her rise to a top foreign policy role, by Eliana Johnson, Politico, January 26, 2018]. Now, the Left seems to be switching back to the “Trump is a devious tyrant” narrative, as CNN and other organs of the Opposition Party are attempting to say Trump somehow “obstructed justice” by NOT firing Robert Mueller [The Answer To Whether Trump Obstructed Justice Now Seems Clear, by Jeffrey Toobin, The New Yorker, January 26, 2018]. In the Left’s world, Trump thoughtcrime is now sufficient to impeach the president.
Of course, impeachment is ultimately a political, not a criminal procedure. President Trump will be impeached if the Democrats retake Congress, if only because the Leftist base will demand it. For that reason, if President Trump is indeed playing “4-D Chess” just by flushing out Democratic extremism, he’s being too clever by half.
It’s not enough to show the Democrats are “extreme,” when Leftist politicians can reliably count on the MSM to paint them as sensible moderates and Republicans as Nazis. President Trump actually has to flip the Narrative on policy grounds, advancing popular proposals that Democrats have to make a concrete response to. And he can’t demoralize his own base when the most difficult struggles of his presidency still lay ahead.
For immigration patriots, there is a clear signal as to whether President Trump is playing “4-D Chess” or whether he is being taken for a ride. The signal: whether the remittance tax makes an appearance in the near future. Such a proposal would instantly force the Democrats on the defensive and change the whole debate over border funding and the negotiations over DACA. But if President Trump does not make this proposal, he’s trapped in a negotiating process he truly cannot win.
President Trump could indeed shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and not lose supporters. He can attack the NFL. He can have an affair with a porn star. For all I care, he can go the full Oliver Cromwell during the State of the Union and have half of Congress arrested—those who refuse to honor their constitutional oath to defend American laws deserve far worse.
But if President Trump grants Amnesty, he’s a one-term president.
James Kirkpatrick [Email him] is a Beltway veteran and a refugee from Conservatism Inc.