No one, it seems, outside the Oval Office or the Office of the Vice President likes the deal that Donald Trump has proposed to end the shutdown.
The broad strokes, as I understand them, are: Trump grants DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients a three-year reprieve from arrest and/or deportation in return for $5.7 billion to build The Wall.
DACA enforcement is already on hold because of federal court actions.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi called the proposal “a non-starter,” meaning it will never see the Floor of the House. That was not a surprise. As we discussed last week, Pelosi cannot afford to begin her Speakership being seen as caving into a Trump proposal like this.
The basic negotiating position of the Ds is that Trump has to re-open the government first, that is have the Senate pass and the President sign the seven appropriations bills that would provide money to reopen the unfunded Departments and agencies and then they’ll engage in negotiating “comprehensive immigration reform.”
That’s not likely any time soon, but Pelosi isn’t the biggest problem for Trump. His DACA-for-a-Wall proposal was blasted by Trump’s supporters on the Right who immediately began characterizing Trump’s plan as “amnesty.”
As you know, there is a version of the English language in which “amnesty” is a four-letter word.
Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch and Roy Beck of NumbersUSA both used the “A” word, as did RJ Houman of the Federation for American Immigration Reform,
Ann Coulter, according to Politico.com Tweeted:
“100 miles of border wall in exchange for amnestying millions of illegals. So if we grant citizenship to a BILLION foreigners, maybe we can finally get a full border wall.”
I didn’t believe “amnestying” was a real word, but it is. It is defined as the “gerund or present participle of amnesty.”
I looked up “gerund” which is defined as “a form that is derived from a verb but that functions as a noun, in English ending in -ing, e.g., asking as in do you mind my asking you?
Gerunds always end in -ing.
Even with that gerund, not quite sure she had made her point, Coulter then Tweeted:
“Trump proposes amnesty. We voted for Trump and got Jeb!”
Ok. Got it. Putting Ann Coulter down as “undecided.”
Vice President Mike Pence got sent out to the Sunday shows to try and make Trump’s case, but Pence has been undercut so many times in this situation, I’m surprised he doesn’t appear on TV wearing a quarterback’s football helmet with a direct link to Trump, in his bedroom eating leftover Big Macs, calling the plays.
Appearing on CBS’ “Face the Nation” Pence balanced atop a very narrow fence by appearing to compare Trump with Martin Luther King, citing “one of my favorite quotes from” Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, “Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy.”
If I’d been whispering in moderator Margaret Brennan’s ear I would have said: “Ask him if he has a second favorite quote from that speech.”
I know this isn’t funny for the 800,000 federal workers and contractors who are either sitting at home or, worse yet, doing their jobs without getting paid for it. It’s not funny to mom-and-pop shops, stores, delicatessens and the like that depend on federal workers, literally, for their daily bread.
It is also not funny to large organizations like the DC/VA/MD transportation system which claims the shutdown is costing $400,000 per day in lost revenues.
Like his predecessor, Barak Obama, Trump is turning out to be a terrible negotiator. If he can’t roll over his adversary with Michael Cohen verbally threatening them, or withholding payment, or declaring bankruptcy, or just pretending he never agreed to anything in the first place then he’s proven he is powerless.
Donald Trump promised he would bring his extraordinary deal-making skills to the Presidency to the point that we’d “get tired of winning.”
Not too exhausted, yet.
On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: Links to the Wikipedia entry for DACA and to the Politico.com article on conservative opposition to the Trump plan.