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After Shutdown Retreat, Trump Has Three Weeks to Save His Presidency. Maybe He Will.
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Donald Trump has three weeks to save his presidency. Maybe he will.

The President announced on Friday he had agreed to a short-term spending bill that will re-open the government for three weeks, until February 15. The bill didn’t include any money for the wall.

In his speech, Trump stressed why America needs a wall, citing an assortment of gruesome crimes committed by migrant gangs and human traffickers. He concluded his speech with the hope that Democrats will come to an agreement with him on a more lasting spending bill that gives money for the wall.

That is unlikely to happen. But Trump did leave the possibility open that he will declare a national emergency (or take other Executive action) to secure the border.

Of course, he should have declared the national emergency today…yet here we are.

What are we to make of this new development? Many patriots were appalled by this move and saw it as the end of Trump’s presidency. That’s premature. It certainly wasn’t ideal for Trump to pass the buck, but he still has the opportunity, and possibly the intention, to do the right thing. As of tonight, he’s certainly encouraging that idea:

But Trump is on the hook to arrange a settlement that would serve his base. Every Main Stream Media outlet covered Friday’s announcement as a submission to the Democrats. [Trump caves on shutdown, endorses reopening government for 3 weeks, by Lin Zhou, Vox, January 25, 2019] He cannot wait three weeks and then cave again. Trump must secure funding for the wall by any means necessary. His presidency depends on it, and he will likely be doomed in 2020 if he fails to do so.

The only real option for Trump is to sign a bill, presumably including the proposed nominal amount for border security, and then take executive action, perhaps a national emergency (or use of Public Law 85-804 ) which could get as much as $7 billion for a wall. [White House preparing draft national emergency order, has identified $7 billion for wall, by Priscilla Alvarez and Tammy Kupperman, CNN, January 24, 2019]

The optimistic view: the White House needs more time to draft a legally sound, impeccable declaration that can survive a brutal court battle, as well as more support for congressional Republicans to take the next logical move.

Trump has seen many of his actions thwarted by Leftist federal judges who apparently believe there is a constitutional right to immigrate to the United States and that any impediment of that is racist. The past failure of the travel ban shows why his administration needs to make sure this declaration can survive in court. The first attempt at the travel ban was a messy affair and rushed, which is why it was defeated in court and had to be revised multiple times. [Trump travel ban: What does this ruling mean?, BBC, June 26, 2018]. But it did ultimately prevail.

Getting the declaration draft right could be the case here, and that would be good news for immigration patriots.

The other hopeful possibility: that Trump intends to use the time to drum up support for the emergency declaration from Republicans. The president needs the majority of his party on his side for the battle that will unfold once that step is taken. There wasn’t much momentum this week from Republican lawmakers for the declaration. Trump needs to have people like Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz, Kevin McCarthy and other popular figures to publicly say they support the emergency declaration. (Graham has done so.) [Lindsey Graham wants Trump to declare national emergency if no border wall after three-week extension, by Katelyn Caralle, Washington Examiner, January 25, 2019] It would create the impression the party is behind this idea and they are ready to go to war with Democrats to see it gets implemented.

It would be nice if Trump could go at this alone, but he can’t. A significant number of Republicans joining Democrats in opposing the declaration would hinder its implementation, and immigration patriots need this plan to work.

Reports indicate that the Republicans in Congress are still divided on this issue. [Republicans divided on whether Trump should declare national emergency to get border wall funds, by Veronica Stracqualursi, Clare Foran and Manu Raju, CNN, January 11, 2019]. Trump needs to use the three weeks he has to whip up support for the only serious option he has for building the wall. If Trump can show to the country that he has the mandate from his party to declare a national emergency or take other executive action, it will give the needed impetus to do so.

But there are more pessimistic interpretations of why Trump punted on doing what is necessary this week. One possibility: he can’t yet summon the will to do such an action. Maybe he’s been listening to advisers who warn him that the declaration will be a threat to our constitutional order and be abused by Democratic presidents in the future. Maybe Trump thinks his party will abandon him if he does what’s necessary. Or, what’s most likely, he’s listened to Jared Kushner’s false promises that a deal can be reached with Democrats.

The worst possibility is not that Trump will wait three weeks and sign a bill that includes an insufficient amount of money for border security. The worst possibility is that he will sign an Amnesty to get a pittance of what he needs for the wall,

Remember, Amnesty is certainly what we would have gotten from John McCain, Mitt Romney or Jeb Bush. A George H.W. Bush-type Read-My-Lips type Amnesty cave-in would be a return to classic GOP Establishment politics.

As The Watcher previously reported, Jared Kushner is currently pushing for the president to offer green cards to DACA recipients in exchange for only $5.7 billion for the wall. No full funding, no cuts to chain migration, and no mandatory e-Verify. Just a portion of what Trump needs for the wall in a deal that gives nearly a million illegal aliens a pathway to citizenship—and ultimately many more immigrants through “family reunification.”.

That would be absolutely disastrous and would seal the fate of Trump’s presidency.

Fortunately, it appears patriots on Capitol Hill oppose the idea, with a few even saying it would be “insanity. [A “go big” idea to end the shutdown, by Jonathan Swan, Axios, January 23, 2019]

There’s also the high likelihood that Democrats will refuse to give Trump any substantial amount of money for the wall in exchange for a large-scale Amnesty anyway. They quickly rejected his earlier proposal for extended protections for DACA recipients and thousands of migrants living here on Temporary Protected Status. There isn’t any real indication they would change their minds if green cards for illegals was put forward.

Democrats have their eyes on 2020 and they know their activists would be livid with them if they made any grand bargain with Trump, especially one that gave him funds to (partially) build the wall. They may even worry that this sell-out may make Trump look moderate to the much-touted suburban voters in comparison to whoever Democrats nominate in 2020.

It is better for Democrats to conduct a race-baiting campaign with no such deal. They have been confident that they can get a straight spending bill with no serious concessions from Trump, and it looks like they are sticking with that position.

Whatever the case may be, Trump will almost certainly end up with no choice but to take executive action to get the wall. It’s up to him to find the legal justification, the support, and the will to do it.

Trump has been reported to be on the point abandoning immigration patriotism many times before (see here and here and here.) But he’s always come back.

He better had this time too. America is counting on him—and (whatever Jared Kushner is telling him) it’s his only chance at re-election.

(Republished from VDare by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Democratic Party, Donald Trump, Immigration 
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  1. peterAUS says:

    ….he still has the opportunity, and possibly the intention, to do the right thing.

    Definition of Eternal Optimist.

    ….It’s up to him to find the legal justification, the support, and the will to do it.

    Sounds as a tall order. The last in particular.

    America is counting on him….

    The optimists among “deplorables” are counting on him because there is nobody else to count on. Doesn’t feel as winning strategy for them.

    All this re White House is becoming comical, US internal politics in particular. Well, as long as it doesn’t get tragicomic all good.
    Especially with foreign policy.

  2. anonymous[340] • Disclaimer says:

    How many times have various Beltway-focused pundits published here told us that this or that month’s orchestrated hullabaloo is the last chance for President Trump to blah, blah, blah? After two years, shouldn’t Washington Watcher consider an even more “pessimistic interpretation”?

    “In 2008, Obama was touted as a political outsider who will hose away all of the rot and bloody criminality of the Bush years. He turned out to be a deft move by our ruling class. Though fools still refuse to see it, Obama is a perfect servant of our military banking complex. Now, Trump is being trumpeted as another political outsider.

    A Trump presidency will temporarily appease restless, lower class whites, while serving as a magnet for liberal anger. This will buy our ruling class time as they continue to wage war abroad while impoverishing Americans back home. Like Obama, Trump won’t fulfill any of his election promises, and this, too, will be blamed on bipartisan politics.”

    Linh Dinh, “Orlando Shooting Means Trump for President” (Unz Review, June 12, 2016)

    • Replies: @Issac
  3. I am ever mindful of the presidents words. And I am going to take him at his word. I will stop thinking that he caved and this action is on behalf of those in need of a paycheck. But it’s the past history of compromise.

    Don’t get hoodwinked into staying in Syria.

    But I would that he would just build the wall and skip the drama.

    He has plenty of support for both as for the legal minuets . . . a distraction.

  4. KenH says:

    The worst possibility is that he will sign an Amnesty to get a pittance of what he needs for the wall,

    My fear is that Trump will issue green cards and pathway to citizenship for every citizen in Mexico and Central America for the paltry 5.7 billion dollars. It should make immigration patriots very nervous that he’s got Jared Kushner leading the negotiations along with Pence. Jared is a Jewish leftist and cucky Christian Pence was pro-amnesty while in Congress during the Dubya administration, so these two aren’t exactly immigration hardliners.

    State of emergencies have been declared before and I don’t think any of them have been challenged in court. To suddenly do so now would be pure politics and any federal district court judge attempting to issue an injunction would be guilty of issuing a political ruling guilty of substituting his/her judgment for the POTUS’s which prior SCOTUS rulings have stated they cannot do regarding enforcement of immigration laws and protecting the nation’s borders.

  5. APilgrim says:

    Donald Trump is the Caveman.

  6. APilgrim says:

    It was pitiful watching the most powerful man in the history of the earth, begging & pleading with the two American Gothic sad-sacks Chuck & Nancy.

    That disgusting display made me puke on Day-1.

    And we have 20 more days of Trump GROVELING to go.

  7. APilgrim says:

    Donald Trump folded a Straight Royal Flush to a pair of effing Jokers.

  8. APilgrim says:

    So what will President Chump do for an encore?

    Surrender to Venezuela?

    Leave NAFTA in place?

    Reinstate ACA?

    • Replies: @EliteComminc.
  9. He never intended to build the wall. In order to build the wall, he would have to confiscate a lot of land from bigtime Republican landowners. That ain’t gonna happen.

    The whole idea was just to tar the Democrats as obstructionists. Which they are. Mission accomplished.

    You don’t understand much about politics.

    • Replies: @APilgrim
  10. APilgrim says:

    Donald Chump suffers from a mortal, self-inflicted wound.

    His political condition is GRAVE, due to dereliction of duty, and betraying his base.

    His political fate, will match those of: Gerald Ford, GHW Bush, George W. Bush, and wannabes John McCain, Bob Dole, and Mittens Romney. The wind is rushing OUT of the Trump Tent, in a giant WHOOSH!

  11. Of course, he should have declared the national emergency today…yet here we are.

    Bullshit! If Trump tries to build the wall without congress he will be stopped by a court order. If he defies the court he will be impeached. Maybe the Supreme Court would bail him out. Maybe not. Maybe in a timely manner. Maybe not.

    The idea that his presidency depends on building a wall is more bullshit. Ann Coulter saying is does not make it so. This meme serves only Trump’s enemies. The looming depression, the probability of a disastrous war with Russia, China and Iran, and the considerable efforts of St. Mueller are as great or greater dangers for Trump.

    The President is not God. He is an overseer for the Oligarchy. And his office does not create legislation. It only enforces the law. Reforming immigration is a job for congress and congress wants no part of it.

    • Replies: @MBlanc46
  12. @APilgrim

    I don’t think he should have given an inch. he should let the TSA workers go. Sent in the US m ilitrary to handle security checks in plain clothes if need be.

    I have to express my agreement with the frustration expressed.

    • Replies: @APilgrim
  13. Issac says:

    Dihn appears to have been prophetic. Trump has marginal accomplishments vis a vi foreign policy and trade, but on the whole has been little more than a lightning rod for white hope and minority hate.

  14. APilgrim says:

    Donald Chump should have federalized the US Coast Guard, a regular practice in times of war.

    Perhaps Texas, & other Republican States should have supported WORKING TSA officers with interest-free ‘payday-loans’. The legitimate need for airport security is global, for the foreseeable future. I am not a big fan of TSA tactics, but don’t generally blame the guys in the trenches.

  15. APilgrim says:

    President Chump,

    We read your SIGNATURE on the bottom of acts:

    To pay furloughed federal employees.

    To reopen government, without a DIME for The Wall.

    Talk is CHEAP!

  16. MBlanc46 says:

    He cannot wait three weeks and cave again. Want to bet?

  17. MBlanc46 says:

    “It only enforces the law”. What planet do you live on?

  18. Loner says:

    Trump is surely smart enough to know he is heading for a grave or a jail cell… or he can go full bore dictator. He has no other choices. The question is if he makes the plunge into Civil War how many backers will he have? That will certainly separate the wheat from the chaff. One more important question; will the Republican party support him? Personally I doubt the folks in the GOP even have a clue that Trump is their last and only hope. For those that do know, that is a pretty scary prospect.

  19. @Loner

    ” Heading for a jail cell”

    Yeah for the crime of being elected against all odds, and against the total DS cabal of real criminals.

    You leftist assholes, are so full of shit and stupidity, that any kind of rational discussion is with you is out of the question.

    Just take your medicine and start counting the days til Jan 2025, and then maybe your party of purple-haired nut-cases will get back in the WH and can then resume their drive to transform the US into a “workers-paradise” such as Venezuela. You make me want to puke.

    Authenticjazzman “Mensa” qualified since 1973, airborne trained uS army vet, and pro jazz artist.

  20. Loner says:

    Really? A true mensa genuis using an ad hominem attack? Is your logic train missing a few cars? Is your mensa crystal ball in the shop? You have no idea who I am yet you jump right in and call me leftist? Not to mention a vulgar anatomy term. I am shocked! Shocked I tell you. I simply stated the obvious, well obvious to we mere non mensa mortals. Actually more of a hope. Trump I hope realizes that the progs of this country (and others) want him 6 feet under or in a jail cell and are working dilligently and nonstop to that end. America is no longer a friendly place where folks can exchange ideas and live peacefully together (if it ever was). We are at one of those junctures in history where hard choices must be made…like civil war. Trump has a choice to make; he either goes all the way or he is toast. The left will settle for nothing less.

    Life is, as all should know, not fair. Many people are in jail who are innocent. Many (Roger Stone comes to mind) are drug to jail by armed govt thugs in the middle of the night for no good reason other than visual warnings to others. Many good people die undeservedly (26 year old conservative journalist Bre Payton) without warning, and under mysterious circumstances. Our President, whom I voted for btw, hopefully sees the warning lights and hears the klaxons going off all around him.

    FYI: I am not a leftist though I am most assuredly a liberal minded person. Much like other people you may have heard of; Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Adam Smith, and most probably 99.9% of all mensa certified folks. Like you I also play music. Though my preference is more pentatonic based, mostly in 4/4 time, and my solos tend to stay in the 12 to 24 bar range. Of course when climbing stairways to heaven they may go on a bit longer but you get my drift.

    • Replies: @peterAUS
  21. peterAUS says:

    Agree with:

    Trump I hope realizes that the progs of this country (and others) want him 6 feet under or in a jail cell and are working dilligently and nonstop to that end. America is no longer a friendly place where folks can exchange ideas and live peacefully together (if it ever was).
    The left will settle for nothing less.

    Not quite sure what that “civil war” of yours is and even less would it help Trump.

    I have a gut feeling that if he shows just a bit of tough ruthlessness the opponents will back down.
    The same feeling is telling me he is not the type, though.

    Miracles do happen, so….we’ll see.

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