Everyone is setting expectations for the State of the Union address this evening and the Washington Post editorial board is no exception. After more than a year of relentlessly attacking the President (even prior to his inauguration), the Post offers what seems to be an olive branch to Donald Trump today. Of course, they can’t stop themselves from getting in a few shots in the opening paragraphs, reminding him of all his shortcomings, but they offer a bit of sugar to make the medicine go down this time. It all comes down to DACA and the fate of the Dreamers, you see. And if the President can just see his way clear to stop acting like such a jerk all the time and make this deal happen, maybe… just maybe, they’ll be open to at least admitting that he’s actually the President of the United States.
IN HIS first 12 months in office, President Trump has rarely lost an opportunity to divide the nation. In his State of the Union address Tuesday, he has a chance to recast his presidency in terms of harmony rather than disunion. The perfect unifying theme awaits, if only he will embrace it: “dreamers.”…
Imagine if, in his address to Congress on Tuesday, he clearly proposed a simple, straightforward deal: major new funding for border security, including hundreds of miles of new and upgraded wall on the Mexican border, in return for permanent protections for the dreamers…
A deal is within reach. The question is whether Mr. Trump possesses the skill and statesmanship to seal it, and thereby lay claim to a label that has so far eluded him: Unifier.
Well, that sounds lovely, doesn’t it? The Washington Post is ready to label the President a “unifier” if he manages to pull off this miraculous feat of immigration reform. But now it’s time for some real talk. Does anyone think for one minute that the Washington Post editorial board would change their tune about Trump if this deal goes through? It would last, at most, a single day. In short, this olive branch is actually a club in disguise.
Remember that just a couple of days ago we were already dissecting the actual deal that the WaPo editors are looking for. It’s not just “some things Republicans want” in exchange for permanent legal status for the DACA recipients. They’re very clearly talking about full citizenship for more than 11 million illegal aliens. All of them. And they’re not looking for Democrats to offer thing in return except for some wall funding. Nothing else. Do you suppose that the editors will still be praising Trump and calling him a “unifier” when none of the rest of that stuff happens?
Also, keep in mind that this is completely new territory for the WaPo editors. Before the President started talking seriously about a DACA deal, the Post was asking what could be done about Trump short of impeachment? When badgered with questions about why more than 90% of their newspaper’s coverage of the President was negative, they responded in print by saying we’re asking the wrong question.
Remember too that this is the same WaPo editorial board who, barely two weeks ago, was telling Congress to “ignore Trump” and make a deal on their own. That came the same week that this potential unifier and savior of the Dreamers who they are allegedly preparing to praise was described as being “toxic” beyond their ability to describe in the headlines. And when they get bored with slamming the President, they take a day off and go after the First Lady for no apparent reason.
This isn’t the source anyone should be looking to when figuring out what the President needs to say or do about DACA or anything else tonight. I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating. Any time the Washington Post editorial board starts making noises along the lines of “encouraging” the President and suggesting that they might find him to be okay, we should be looking for the mousetrap actuator under the cheese. If there’s going to be a deal, Trump needs to work it out with McConnell and Ryan, not the peanut gallery at the WaPo.