Over DACA, an acute case of Trump panic syn­drome

Walker County Messenger - - Front Page - By­ron York The Washington Ex­am­iner

The en­tire politico-media com­plex had a ner­vous break­down last week over Pres­i­dent Trump’s po­si­tion on DACA.

Law­mak­ers, jour­nal­ists and ac­tivists jumped to all sorts of con­clu­sions when Se­nate Mi­nor­ity Leader Charles Schumer and House Mi­nor­ity Leader Nancy Pelosi an­nounced that over din­ner at the White House on Sept. 13 they reached an “agree­ment” with the pres­i­dent over the fu­ture of 700,000 il­le­gal im­mi­grants in the De­ferred Ac­tion for Child­hood Ar­rivals pro­gram.

There was rea­son to be skep­ti­cal -- af­ter all, the story was com­ing from just one side. But skep­ti­cism was in short sup­ply, and even some of those who re­al­ized the in­for­ma­tion was sketchy couldn’t keep them­selves from speak­ing up. Some Trump sup­port­ers in­stantly as­sumed the pres­i­dent had sold them out. Some Trump op­po­nents in­stantly mocked Trump sup­port­ers for ever be­liev­ing his prom­ises. Democrats won­dered what Schumer and Pelosi were do­ing with the hated pres­i­dent.

Many spoke without enough knowl­edge to draw any con­clu­sions, or even early con­clu­sions.

The two par­ties most to blame were Schumer/Pelosi and the Associated Press. Af­ter the White House din­ner, the Demo­cratic lead­ers re­leased a state­ment say­ing of their meet­ing with the pres­i­dent, “We agreed to en­shrine the pro­tec­tions of DACA into law quickly, and to work out a pack­age of bor­der se­cu­rity, ex­clud­ing the wall, that’s ac­cept­able to both sides.”

A rea­son­able reader would con­clude that the two sides had reached a deal on DACA, with just the bor­der se­cu­rity mea­sures to be worked out later. But the AP took things a step fur­ther, sug­gest­ing a done deal. At 9:55 p.m. Sept. 13, the news agency tweeted: “BREAK­ING: Schumer, Pelosi an­nounce deal with Trump to pro­tect young im­mi­grants; will in­clude bor­der se­cu­rity, but no wall.”

That was ahead of where things ac­tu­ally stood, but, com­ing from the AP, it was in­stantly ac­cepted as fact. All hell broke loose.

Writ­ing on the ba­sis of the AP tweet, Repub­li­can Rep. Steve King, an im­mi­gra­tion hawk, tweeted, “If AP is cor­rect, Trump base is blown up, de­stroyed, ir­repara­ble, and dis­il­lu­sioned be­yond re­pair. No prom­ise is cred­i­ble.” By 11:00 p.m., Bre­it­bart News ran the head­line “AMNESTY DON” above “RE­PORT: Trump caves on DACA.”

Sean Han­nity was skep­ti­cal, but still jumped in. Re­spond­ing to a Twit­ter fol­lower who said Trump is “re­ally piss­ing off his base right now,” Han­nity rushed to point the fin­ger at the Repub­li­can Party. “If re­ports true 100%,” Han­nity tweeted. “I blame R’s. They caused this. They wanted him to fail and now pushed him into arms of po­lit­i­cal sui­cide--IF TRUE.”

Mean­while, as Twit­ter lit up, Pelosi sent a rel­a­tively sub­dued note to her House Demo­cratic col­leagues. At the White House meet­ing, she said, “We agreed to a plan to work out an agree­ment to pro­tect our na­tion’s DREAM­ERs from de­por­ta­tion.”

“Agreed to a plan to work out an agree­ment.” That’s a classic Washington way of say­ing the par­ties haven’t agreed on any­thing but agree to keep talk­ing in hopes of even­tu­ally reach­ing an agree­ment. Be­yond that weak for­mu­la­tion, Pelosi, in her note, did not claim the two sides had agreed on any­thing.

That didn’t stop the ruckus. Nor did much change when, the next morn­ing, Trump made an at­tempt to quiet things down. “No deal was made last night on DACA,” he tweeted. “Mas­sive bor­der se­cu­rity would have to be agreed to in ex­change for con­sent. Would be sub­ject to vote.”

Seek­ing to mol­lify sup­port­ers who saw him cav­ing to Schumer and Pelosi, Trump added: “The WALL ... will con­tinue to be built.”

At the same time, Trump sounded pos­i­tively Schumer-es­que with an­other tweet ask­ing, “Does any­body re­ally want to throw out good, ed­u­cated and ac­com­plished young peo­ple who have jobs, some serv­ing in the mil­i­tary? Re­ally!” But even then, Trump said “BIG bor­der se­cu­rity” would have to ac­com­pany le­gal­iza­tion.

Later, more mem­bers of Congress chimed in with re­minders that a DACA deal, if there is to be one, will be made by law­mak­ers, and not just the pres­i­dent. What Schumer and Pelosi and Trump laid out were po­si­tions in a ne­go­ti­a­tion that will

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