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Unity? Hell, no!



You know that DACA ruling from Trump last week, the one where he suspended it, then put off enforcing that for six months so that Congress can deal with it? My own reaction is pretty straightforward: His murder of DACA was an offensive and hateful act towards (mainly) Mexicans, a group that Trump’s white supremacist supporters despise. With his disastrous poll numbers, he felt he had to throw them a bone, and he did.

His action triggered the following letter to the editor in yesterday’s San Francisco Chronicle (I’ve shortened it for clarity). The writer surmises that, since Trump sort of gave Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer what they wanted—a six-month extension of DACA during which the Dreamers will be safe while Congress figures out what to do—the Democrats are now going to have to give Trump something in return.

“But what will Democrats do?” the writer asks. “President Trump wants something from Democrats…but we are not sure what it is.” Then the writer warns Democrats about the potential downside of being too resistant to Trump. “Play hardball with the president and Republicans on DACA and the children become the big losers.”

The letter writer is so wrong, so misguided, that I can’t let his conclusions go unchallenged. First of all, Trump did what he did for his own reasons; we can’t know exactly what they are, but it doesn’t matter: the deal is done, the Dreamers have six months, and I for one expect Congress to fix this problem permanently. So, no, “the children” will not be “big losers.” As for Trump wanting something from Democrats, whatever it is:  No. Democrats owe him nothing. Democrats shouldn’t lift a pinky to cater to his increasingly erratic, confused behavior. The Resistance continues; the various investigations into RussiaGate continue. Democrats continue to organize for next year’s elections, and when and if they take control of the House, Pelosi should immediately begin impeachment hearings.

So much for owing Trump anything!

Look, ever since this catastrophic president has been in office, the American public’s support for him—never high to begin with—has continued to plunge, as more and more decent people who voted for him realize their mistake. Democrats have the political ball in their court, the headwinds at their backs: Trump is struggling uphill, with Mueller looming over his orange head. Trump caved on DACA—why, we’ll never know. Maybe it was as simple (and reckless) as him being mad at Ryan and McConnell. But it certainly wasn’t 14-dimensional chess. So Democrats should accept this “gift” from him (if that’s the right word) and run with it: put enormous pressure on Republicans in Congress to fix the Dreamers’ situation and, possibly, even enact comprehensive immigration reform.

Even if nothing comprehensive emerges out of this, we can still help the Dreamers—and that’s the important thing right now. That goal is doable, within reach. Everybody hates what Trump did to DACA, except for the racists with their dreary little MAGA caps and shotguns in their trucks. Employers hate it; liberals hate it; clergymen hate it; in fact, by a 58% majority, Americans think Dreamers should be allowed to stay here.

So what do Democrats owe Trump? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. He has no loyalty to anything or anyone, except for his money and his family (and we’ll see how far his loyalty to the latter extends when Donald Jr. is indicted). Democrats in turn ought to have no loyalty towards Trump. Let him twist, slowly in the wind. Accept whatever crumbs he lets Democrats have, and then continue to resist. For all anyone knows, his pivot to “Chuck and Nancy” was for no reason other than to distract attention from RussiaGate and—in his fantasy—score some points with independents. Won’t work. And yesterday, on the anniversary of Sept. 11, he’s calling for “unity”? Tell you what, tomorrow morning I’ll publish the speech he should give if he’s serious about “unity.” He never will, because it would be the truth—and truth and Donald Trump don’t co-exist in the same universe.


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