Im­mi­gra­tion hawks lick­ing wounds

The Morning Journal (Lorain, OH) - - OPINION -

“At this point, who DOESN’T want Trump im­peached?” — Ann Coul­ter tweet, 7:05 a.m., Septem­ber 14, 2017

“If re­ports true 100%. I blame R’s. They caused this. They wanted him to fail and now pushed him into arms of po­lit­i­cal sui­cide — IF TRUE.” — Sean Han­nity tweet, 12:11 a.m., Septem­ber 14, 2017.

“Floun­der, you can’t spend your whole life wor­ry­ing about your mis­takes! You (fouled) up... you trusted us! Hey, make the best of it!” — Eric “Ot­ter” Strat­ton, “An­i­mal House,” 1978.

Be­fore I con­tinue, let me an­swer Ann Coul­ter’s ques­tion: Me. I don’t want Trump im­peached, at least not un­til he does some­thing clearly im­peach­able. Im­peach­ing him for poli­cies you don’t like or even for po­lit­i­cal mal­prac­tice would sim­ply be a time-wast­ing tantrum. And I say that as a con­sis­tent critic of Don­ald Trump, go­ing back to his flir­ta­tion with run­ning on the Re­form Party ticket in 2000.

That said, Coul­ter’s re­ac­tion is un­der­stand­able and even a lit­tle praise­wor­thy. Af­ter all, she wrote a book — a whole book! — in 2016 called “In Trump We Trust: E Pluribus Awe­some!” But un­like a lot of her com­pa­tri­ots in the Trump Army, Coul­ter was driven by a pol­icy po­si­tion, not an in­fat­u­a­tion. Or per­haps she was in­fat­u­ated, but her com­mit­ment to the pol­icy was greater than her com­mit­ment to the man.

The pol­icy in ques­tion: im­mi­gra­tion. To wit, Coul­ter thinks we’ve had enough of it. That goes for the chil­dren brought here by il­le­gal im­mi­grants, com­monly re­ferred to as “Dream­ers.”

Pres­i­dent Obama cre­ated a program, De­ferred Ac­tion for Child­hood Ar­rivals, or DACA, that un­con­sti­tu­tion­ally (ac­cord­ing to most con­ser­va­tives, in­clud­ing the at­tor­ney gen­eral) granted a kind of de facto amnesty to the Dream­ers, giv­ing them work per­mits and le­gal res­i­dence.

On Wed­nes­day night, Trump had din­ner with the Demo­cratic lead­ers in the House and Se­nate, Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer.

These two fa­mously par­ti­san Democrats came out of the din­ner an­nounc­ing that they had struck a deal with the pres­i­dent to make DACA per­ma­nent without pro­vid­ing any fund­ing for Trump’s cher­ished bor­der wall.

Trump, wit­ness­ing the blow­back, which in­cluded the new nick­name “Amnesty Don” in a head­line at Bre­it­bart News (which un­til re­cently had been the Pravda of MAGA­land), in­sisted in a tweet that no deal had yet been made.

But then he went on to sing the praises of DACA in a se­ries of tweets, mak­ing it clear to all that he wants the Dream­ers to be le­gal­ized and the DACA program made per­ma­nent.

In other words, he threw his biggest sup­port­ers un­der the Trump train.

Now I should say, I think Trump is right on the pol­icy. It would be stupid and cruel to de­port a bunch of peo­ple who came here as lit­tle kids and have since as­sim­i­lated into the only coun­try they’ve ever known.

A large ma­jor­ity of Amer­i­cans, in­clud­ing a ma­jor­ity of Trump vot­ers, agree with Trump (and Schumer and Pe- losi) on the pol­icy. A poll this week found that only 12 per­cent of reg­is­tered vot­ers want these peo­ple de­ported. Coul­ter and for­mer Trump ad­viser (and cur­rent Bre­it­bart pub­lisher) Steve Ban­non speak for that 12 per­cent.

The ma­jor­ity of im­mi­gra­tion hawks, how­ever, con­sid­ered DACA to be the pres­i­dent’s most valu­able ne­go­ti­at­ing chip. He could have got­ten fund­ing for the wall — or per­haps E-Ver­ify, or por­tions of Sen. Tom Cot­ton’s im­mi­gra­tion re­form leg­is­la­tion, the RAISE Act — passed in ex­change for mak­ing DACA per­ma­nent. In­stead, the author of “The Art of the Deal” es­sen­tially tossed his best chip into the pot as if it were the ante.

This poses a cri­sis for two dif­fer­ent kinds of Trump true be­liev­ers. The “na­tion­al­ists” hon­estly be­lieved he was one of them.

Mean­while, the su­per-fans hon­estly be­lieved Trump was the great­est ne­go­tia­tor and strate­gist the world had ever seen.

Both of these no­tions were delu­sions. Oh, I’m sure Trump be­lieves much of his Amer­ica First talk, but that’s talk. What re­ally mat­ters to him is praise. It was only a matter of time be­fore the moth flew to glow of public opin­ion.

The sad thing is that both delu­sions were ob­vi­ous from the mo­ment he de­scended his golden es­ca­la­tor at Trump Tower.

It will be in­ter­est­ing to see how the true be­liev­ers fol­low Ot­ter’s ad­vice and make the best of their foul-up.

Jonah Goldberg is an ed­i­torat-large of Na­tional Re­view Online. Con­tact him at Jon­ah­sCol­

Jonah Goldberg The Na­tional Re­view

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