Illinois Senator Dick Durbin is smart enough to know when he doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of winning a political argument. That is why he picked a fight with President Trump only hours after negotiations over the fate of DACA recipients and immigration reform began.
Durbin and his fellow Dems want a clean DACA bill. That would leave the president with only Durbin and other Democrats’ word that they’ll take up immigration reform and border security at some future date. Trump, a master negotiator knows history informs us that Dems can’t be trusted to make good on their promises.
In 1986 Ronald Reagan signed an amnesty agreement relying on the word of Democrats’ that immigration reform would follow. More than three decades later they have failed to deliver on that promise and it is likely that the lack of border controls spawned 15 million new Democrat voters.
Trump is no dummy. He saw the board and has simply outflanked all of those seasoned politicians standing in opposition to him on this issue.
His opening move was made a couple of months ago when he took DACA off of his desk and placed its fate in the hands of Congress where it belonged from the start. At that time he announced his desire to sign a DACA extension, even an amnesty, but that the overwhelming majority of Americans according to polls want border security first.
Trump has signaled his compassion and humanity but that according to the Constitution Congress had to act first.
This put the onus on Congressional Democrats to come to him with a bill they crafted while leaving the president with the power to veto the bill if he didn’t get the border security provisions he wants – including building the wall that was a key element in his election.
Essentially, President Trump called the Dems’ bluff. Trump is forcing a test as to how badly the Dems want DACA protections extended. Durbin realizes that Trump has put the Dems’ in a severely weakened position and is prepared to walk away from his commitment to the DACA kids rather than give up our existing open borders policies.
Either way Durbin and the Dems will end up losers. Here’s why.
A memo, co-authored by former Hillary Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri, and circulated to the Center For American Progress Action Fund was sent to allies calling on Democrats to “refuse to offer any votes for Republican spending bills that do not offer a fix for Dreamers and instead appropriate funds to deport them.”
Contained in the memo is the reason why this is the hill they are prepared to die on:
“If Democrats don’t try to do everything in their power to defend Dreamers, that will jeopardize Democrats’ electoral chances in 2018 and beyond. In short, the next few weeks will tell us a lot about the Democratic Party and its long-term electoral prospects.”
Trump is leveraging the Dems commitment to 800,000 young immigrants living in limbo due the Obama policy, that they’ve adopted as their own, to finally get the protections that hundreds of millions of Americans want.
It now is beginning to look like the Dems are preparing to walk away from that commitment. There’s no other way to explain why seasoned negotiator would walk away from the negotiating table only hours after sitting down to disparage the person he’s bargaining with.
After all, wasn’t it Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that said Donald Trump had unrealistic expectations about how quickly things move in Washington?
Durbin knows that Trump’s election and his policies that have spawned an economic rebirth across the country, but especially among manufacturing in the Midwest, means that those states are not likely to return to Democrat control anytime soon.
Trump has put Durbin in the position of choosing what the American voter wants and what immigrants – legal or otherwise – want.
The optics of this favor Trump, as well. And, in politics optics are often the most important thing. Trump comes off as a tough SOB – the kind of negotiator everyone wants on my side. Durbin looks like a crybaby who needs to grow a pair before taking another shot at Trump.