Rush on a DREAM deal: Is Trump really this tone-deaf and ignorant?
A fun clip via the Daily Rushbo, as you can feel his uncertainty and anxiety over how to spin this. What position do you take when you need to stay on the right side of your audience and for once it’s not clear which side that audience will take on a Trump policy? Will they be angry at POTUS, a la Ann Coulter, for agreeing to an amnesty in principle? Or will they back him because he’s Trump and defending everything he does is pretty much the sum total of what it means to be a Republican anymore? Talk radio learned a hard lesson last year, that their populist-conservative listeners are far more populist than conservative. Now Trump himself is on the wrong side of a populist issue. Rush and others will need to proceed cautiously to see whether “populism” means “whatever Trump wants” to grassroots righties or something more.
For Coulter, it’s something more:
Should have tried a long field goal with Cruz instead and then won it in overtime. Ah well. Now she’s arrived here:
As for Rush, he manages to hit four of the five stages of the Kubler-Ross grief process in four minutes below. There are elements of denial (there’s no deal, only discussions), anger (tone-deaf and ignorant), bargaining (we might still get the wall), and finally acceptance (yeah, we should probably worry about those pro-amnesty Trump tweets this morning). He’d feel better if he looked at the polling and realized that even many Trump backers will tolerate a DREAM amnesty just fine, no matter how much it upsets Steve King. And in fairness to POTUS, it’s not like this is a bolt from the blue. When Marco Rubio was asked today what he thinks of Trump’s DREAM flirtation, he somehow suppressed the urge to call Trump a fraud who’d demagogued him over immigration in the primary and instead told a simple truth: “I’ve never got the feeling from the president that he was gung-ho on kicking the DREAMers out of the United States. I’ve got the opposite.” Me too. Review some of the *many* pro-DREAMer things Trump has said this year and you’ll have the same feeling. It’s weird that Rush wasn’t better prepared to spin a DREAM deal given that Trump has been telegraphing it for months.
There are ample avenues of spin available to help make a deal palatable to talk-radio fans should Trump decide to proceed with this. One is previewed by Rush himself: Nothing has been agreed to until a bill has passed Congress and Trump’s signature is on the paper. Until that moment, anything he says or does can (and will) be framed as a negotiation tactic, an eight-dimensional chess move designed to extract something extra from Dems. Another easy bit of spin will come with Democrats’ border security concessions. Whatever fig leaf Schumer and Pelosi give POTUS to make this sellable to the right will be treated as a major, major win for immigration enforcement, wall or no wall. No one, including Democrats, is proposing a unilateral amnesty with nothing for border hawks in return. Or, if you don’t like those narratives, John Ziegler makes a solid point at Mediaite today: By making an immigration deal that’s attractive to Democrats, Trump is giving them a reason to want him to continue in office. A right-wing president who does nothing but attack the left is impeachment-bait for a Democratic-controlled Congress if Bob Mueller turns up something incriminating. But a centrist president who’s willing to deal is a much more attractive proposition, especially with a firmly right-wing VP like Mike Pence set to take over if Trump is removed. The DREAM deal is impeachment insurance for Trump. He can’t sell it that way, but maybe Rush can!