Saturday, January 19, 2019

Nothing To Offer

As we head into the 29th day of the Trump Shutdown, Nancy Pelosi has recognized President Trump's demands as a "non-starter." As NPR explains, there are several components of the "proposal." However, the main ones are $5.7 billion for a wall which- because he was speaking to the nation beyond his supporters- he did not call a "wall." In return, there would be
Three years of legislative relief for some 700,000 recipients of the Obama-era initiative known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, which protects some immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children from deportation. The Trump administration had moved to end DACA, but the decision was challenged in court and is currently held up in legal proceedings. Trump's proposal would give an extension of legal status;

A three-year extension of Temporary Protected Status for some 300,000 facing expiration;

Given that it was President Trump himself who took away protections for DACA and ended the Temporary Protection Status, this was no offer at all.  "Here," the President stated, "I'll give you back the television and the camera I stole from you, as long as you give me your new car."  A better analogy comes from Connecticut senator Chris Murphy, who tweets “Imagine a dude drove his truck into your house on purpose and then told you he’d fix the hole for $5 billion."

Nonetheless, in a move as surprising as the New England Patriots making the NFL's AFC playoffs, Trump's ploy was supported by Freedom Caucus chairperson Mark Meadows:

That's not negotiation, not when the GOP-controlled Senate (with Democratic support) voted on December 19 for a short-term spending bill, without money for any wall or fence. But in a radio interview the following day

Ann Coulter, a conservative who has criticized the lack progress on the wall, declared she won't vote for Trump in 2020 if the wall isn't built.

"They're about to have a country where no Republican will ever be elected president again," Coulter told the station WMAL. "Trump will just have been a joke presidency who scammed the American people, amused the populists for a while, but he'll have no legacy whatsoever."

Trump backed down. When the new Congress convened in January with Democrats in charge of the lower chamber, the same bill was approved by the House of Representatives. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, husband of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, has flatly refused to bring the bill to the Senate floor. It would pass easily- possibly with a veto-proof majority- but the President would veto it.

Though Meadow blames the Democratic Party and the mainstream media calls on both sides to "compromise,"Donald Trump wanted this shutdown.  In his famous Oval Office meeting (eight days before the Senate vote) in which he was owned by the Democratic leaders, the President boasted "I am proud to shut down the government for border security. ... I will take the mantle of shutting it down."

The President wants a shutdown or has convinced himself he does, because he's not willing to tell Ann Coulter or Rush Limbaugh "no." The Senate Majority Leader lacks the backbone to do anything other than what President Trump, taking his orders from right-wing talkers and authors, wants. The head of the Freedom Caucus, from which House leadership has been taking its marching orders the past few years, mistakes urges Democrats to capitulate.

This is one reprehensible bunch of men.

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