Saturday, January 19, 2019

A Temporary Fix Is No Fix At All


The Washington Post's editorial board says that Democrats should accept Donald Trump's offer to grant a three year extension of protection for Dreamers, which would also include TPS (temporary protected status) immigrants, in exchange for giving him $5.7 billion for his border wall. They write,
These are the dreamers, hundreds of thousands of young people who have played by the rules, studied, worked, made lives in this country. They are American in every way but in the eyes of the law, having been brought here as children — as first-graders, on average. Thanks to a dispensation from President Barack Obama, many of them have come out of the legal shadows and are contributing to this country. If no deal is reached, the Supreme Court is likely at some point to end that dispensation, as Mr. Trump has demanded, and they will be sent back into the shadows, or to countries of which they have no memory.
Much as I agree with that sentiment - who couldn't? - giving this president a permanent monument to his bigotry for what amounts to a temporary fix to a problem that has plagued the country for decades is not a solution. It only delays by three years the plight these people have had to live with since their parents brought them here as children. In the ghastly event of Trump winning a second term, we will simply be right back where we started come 2022. What concessions then will he try to extort from Democrats to do the civilized thing?

But rather than flat out reject the offer, I believe the smart play for Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer is to up the ante on Trump. You want your funding? Fine, we'll give you $2.5 billion - not $5.7 - in exchange for a permanent DACA and TPS fix. And the government is reopened, not for two months, but for the balance of the fiscal year. Oh, and throw in raising the debt ceiling through the rest of the year.

Tell Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh to go, well, whatever it is those two do to each other when the rest of us aren't looking. If Trump doesn't agree, the government stays shut and he alone gets the blame, along with this month's MIA candidate, Mitch McConnell. Even old turtle face will have a difficult time backing this president on his suicide mission.

David Frum of The Atlantic, I think, had the best take on Trump's "offer."
The shutdown was a demand for unconditional surrender. Unfortunately for him, the president lacks the political realism to recognize that he doesn’t have the clout to impose that surrender. He’s the one who will now have to climb down, and very soon, probably within days.
Negotiation is always prudent, but in order to negotiate there needs to be two willing partners. So far, we have a president who thinks the federal government is an extension of his organization and a newly Democratic House majority which begs to differ.

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