“What he should keep doing is what he’s been doing,” says Ann Coulter, who may be the first person to say that about the Trump campaign since the conventions. But look. As much as people are goofing on her for rolling out a book titled “In Trump We Trust” the very week he’s climbing down on his grand mass-deportation promise, give her credit at least for actually criticizing him for his flip. That’s a pitifully low bar, I know, but she’s the only big-name Trump-fan border hawk in politics thus far who’s been willing to do so.
Et tu, Joe Arpaio?
Costello: Good morning, sir. Mr. Trump said, quote, we’re going to follow the law, we have very very strong laws in this country. You are in favor of toughening our immigration laws. Are you disappointed in Mr. Trump’s remarks?
Arpaio: No, I’m not disappointed. You know, I supported him from day one, about the law, cracking down on illegal immigration, I still do. Uh, the laws are complicated, he’s going to I’m sure study that law, and he’s going to follow the law, and see where that takes us, uh, on enforcing the illegal immigration problem that we have…
Coulter grumbles a bit about Trump listening to “consultants” here, which is SOP for the Lewandowski “let Trump be Trump” wing of his base, but what gets overlooked is that Coulter ally Steve Bannon is now nominally in charge of the campaign. That remains the big mystery in all of this. Why would the head of Breitbart, which has spent the last few years bludgeoning Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, and other pro-amnesty Republicans for chirping about legalization, bless this new Trump immigration mess? A Twitter pal floated the theory this morning that maybe Bannon was brought in as insurance in anticipation of Trump’s “softening” on immigration, just to make sure that Breitbart and other nationalist media think twice if they’re tempted to attack Trump over it. I think that fear is overblown — it’s hard to imagine Breitbart turning on Trump 75 days before the election whether Bannon’s there or not — but that’s the explanation that best fits the facts right now. Bannon’s seemingly the populist fig leaf for a big pander to the middle, not the general who’s going to lead Trump’s march further into right-wing populism. What I continue not to understand is why Bannon would make himself available for that role if he doesn’t support Trump’s policy shift. Does he support it, at least in the interest of victory? (It’d be quite a concession for a nationalist to say that mass deportation is electoral poison.) Or is this a simple matter of “if Trump asks you to get onboard the Trump train, you get on and go wherever he takes you”?
Rank-and-file Trump fans are all aboard, of course:
“It’s just realistic,” said Tammie Raulston, 47 — who was sporting a sparkly red, white, and blue cowboy hat at the rally. She said that she was a “big fan” of Trump’s immigration policy because, “as a Texan, I’m constantly up to my eyeballs in illegals,” but she understood that deporting every immigrant in the country illegally was just not possible…
Many supporters said they preferred the term “evolution” to change in regards to Trump’s policy. One young man, who declined to give his name, said any “evolution” we might be viewing in Trump’s immigration platform is not “flip-flopping, as the liberal media calls it,” but what naturally happens as a non-politician becomes more familiar with government…
One supporter who spoke to BuzzFeed News said she believed that Trump’s new policy was not only “realistic,” but that she now approved of his plan even more.
“It doesn’t bother me that they’re here if they don’t commit crimes,” Rose Wells, 62, said. “Let’s make them legal! That should’ve been the plan from the beginning.”
Not only is Trump’s flip on mass deportation not a vicious stab in the back of his hardcore fans, it’s a sign of maturity. Who knows what other “mature” revelations he’ll have on his signature policies as he becomes “more familiar with government.” Which raises the question: Exactly how much trouble are Republicans in if their nominee is discovering basic political reality and adjusting major proposals on the fly because of it less than three months before a national election? You still think President Trump’s going to send a very conservative Supreme Court nominee to a Senate run by Chuck Schumer?
Two videos here, one of Coulter and the other of some man-on-the-street interviews with Trump fans about his deportation switch. Watch out for the guy who retreats into the old canard about needing illegals to do the jobs Americans won’t do. Although, to be fair to him, Trump has made that claim himself.
Trump's now suggesting there's room to soften his immigration stance. How will his supporters react?https://t.co/FXmyDP4fQk
— The Last Word (@TheLastWord) August 24, 2016