Try not to be this shocked at the flip.
In Louisiana, like in much of the American South, there exists a breed of Democrat that saw the writing on the wall and switched their affiliation to “Republican” in order to keep their seats. While some of these Democrats did have Republican tendencies on certain issues, they were still Democrats, and sometimes their blue shows.
Because of this affliction in Louisiana, having observed our legislature for years, I typically react to any Republican who used to be a Democrat with a healthy dose of skepticism and distrust. Hence, my frequent critiques of President Donald Trump.
So, color me unsurprised when he holds a summit with Democrats on immigration and comes across as far more liberal on the issue than his frothing fan base would like to believe. In fact, those teeming domestic masses are none too pleased with the President, and their best spin in trying to make this seem like a win is apparently that he spoke like an adult and in complete sentences.
They do not like the content of the meeting, however. He’s trading, swapping one policy for another. His supporters expected and voted for a hostile takeover. Instead, they get a swap meet, trading away their immigration hard line for a wall instead of going for both.
Still, this should not come as a shock. Trump has frequently said he is willing to work with Democrats and has met multiple times with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. He compliments both of them more than he compliments practically any Republican in the House or Senate. And despite the “man with a plan” rhetoric from both the campaign trail and his ongoing hype rallies around the nation, it’s clear it was always his intent to go soft on policies like DACA and the wall.
In fact, it was obvious he would become more liberal on the subject because he always was liberal on the subject. Many straight-up Democratic beliefs (citizenship for immigrants, stricter gun control, right to abort a child) were ones he openly espoused prior to deciding he wanted to run for President (and even inadvertently from time to time since.) A man solely obsessed with his brand, he adjusted it to meet the needs of the people he believed he needed in order to get elected.
In a meeting with liberal Democrats, he listens to what they want and agrees with much of it. Not that some of the things they want are necessarily bad – broken clocks and all that – but it’s his base he is betraying every time he agrees with the Democrats.
It’s not like they weren’t warned, either. Here at RedState and elsewhere, voters were told to lower their expectations. There’s no way he’s going to even pursue many of the things he talked about. He’s out there saying all the right things and stirring up all the right folks in order to generate excitement. But, each and every time we said something to that effect, we were pronounced liberals and ignored.
You should not be surprised that Trump is poised to walk back some campaign promises. Sure, he told the press yesterday that he would not accept anything that didn’t include funding for the wall, but that was only after the backlash online (which we know his people pay attention to – and I suspect he does, too) that he reiterated that point.
Besides, whatever spin they put out about him holding the line on the wall, he was supposed to build the wall, make Mexico pay for it, and maintain a hard line on all other immigration policy. He was supposed to do all of it. His supporters were bragging that he would right up until he changed the song.
It’s a big part of the dealmaker’s playbook. He moves the goalposts and then claims victory.
Don’t be played for a fool. Yes, the administration has had a good year, policy-wise, and certainly a better one than some of us predicted or expected. Not perfect (cough GOP healthcare plan cough), but better than expected. Judges appointed, per deals cut during the primary and outside assistance from think tanks, and the GOP tax bill that could easily be called the Ryan plan. A better year than it looked like we would have.
But don’t get too comfy. Don’t allow yourself to think for a moment that those successes mean he’ll be a perfect President. And the reason it’s important for us to say that, and to keep reminding each other, is because we did have a good first year. Just imagine how much worse it would be without the GOP critics out here never letting him slide.
He’s going to let you down, probably through negotiation with the Democrats. How badly depends on how willing you are to let him get away with it.