I have to admit that it was difficult pulling myself away from Twitter to write this. Things are busting loose since Trump’s meeting with Pelosi and Schumer last night, and the ensuing conflict about the terms of their agreement about the DREAM act. Part of what is so entertaining is to watch both Trump and his spokespeople try to explain the reality that the president has no idea what he’s talking about.
WH spox: Trump 'will not be discussing amnesty' but will discuss 'legal citizenship over a period of time'
— Dan Merica (@danmericaCNN) September 14, 2017
“We’re not looking at citizenship. We’re not looking at amnesty. We’re looking at allowing people to stay here." Trump to reporters in Fla.
— Robert Costa (@costareports) September 14, 2017
Trump today: "I'm very capable of changing to anything I want to change to." Oh great.
— Brit Hume (@brithume) February 11, 2016
The other angle is watching the reaction from some of Trump’s most loyal supporters.
— Steve King (@SteveKingIA) September 14, 2017
Let's play Jeopardy. ANSWER: An Easter egg. QUESTION: What's
the only thing easier to roll than Donald J. Trump?
— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) September 14, 2017
A headline at Breitbart reads: “Dems Declare Victory as Trump Caves.” But it’s not just politicians and right wing media that are reacting. The hashtag #AmnestyDon has been trending on twitter. To get a sense of what voters are saying, Robert Costa collected some comments from the Breitbart article.
“Put a fork in Trump. He is done.”
“What a HUGE let down.”
“I can reconcile Trump caving on virtually any issue, Amnesty and not building the wall are not one of them.”
That last one is the kicker. For months now we’ve all be coming to terms with the fact that when Trump said he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and his supporters would stick with him, it was perhaps the most honest thing he’s said in the last year and a half. One after another, the president has broken his promises on everything from his “Contract With the American Voter” to who was going to pay for the wall. So it is important to note that the idea of giving legal status to Dreamers is the one that seems to have finally tipped the scale. Interestingly enough, it appears that Steve Bannon might have known the president’s base voters better than Trump. He just predicted this on 60 Minutes.
Days earlier, Bannon said on CBS’s “60 Minutes” that he was “worried about losing the House now because of this, because of DACA,” arguing that Republican voters would lack enthusiasm for Trump and the party if they felt it was drifting to the center on immigration.
“If this goes all the way down to its logical conclusion, in February and March it will be a civil war inside the Republican Party that will be every bit as vitriolic as 2013,” Bannon said, referencing the stalled fight that year over a comprehensive immigration bill.
It is impossible to argue that Trump’s base of voters were primarily motivated by “economic anxiety” when this is the one promise he’s not allowed to break to retain their support.