I hope it happens. After all the lectures Never Trumpers endured last year about the “Flight 93 election” and the utter moral urgency of defeating the Democrats, nothing would be funnier than watching MAGA nation hand the presidency to Kamala Harris or Elizabeth Warren in 2020 by voting for Steve Bannon or whoever in order to punish Trump for amnestizing DREAMers.
Yesterday I complained that Trump is a terrible negotiator and heard some grumbles that a blogger rando would know nothing about that compared to the man who wrote “The Art of the Deal.” Okay. If you don’t trust me, do you trust Coulter?
In a Thursday-afternoon interview on WBAL radio in Baltimore, Coulter told host Derek Hunter, a contributing editor at the Daily Caller, that Trump is “the worst negotiator I’ve ever seen.”
“In Trump do you still trust?” Hunter asked Coulter.
“Um, I trust in Trumpism,” Coulter replied. “I think it may be too late. … It may be too late for the country, which is why I am sad for the country. We did everything we could do.”
I haven’t read “The Art of the Deal,” admittedly. Is there something in there that explains why it makes sense to agree to the opposition’s core demand right up front, which Trump did in trumpeting his support for legalizing DREAMers, while also immediately taking your own core demand — the wall — off the table?
Also, if Trump is playing eight-dimensional negotiation chess here, someone should tell Stephen Miller. He’s reportedly worried too:
By Thursday morning, sources say, Miller was in discussions with Hill offices in an effort to ensure conservative policy gains in any prospective deal his boss might cut. He had also begun mulling ways to nudge Trump toward reversing course on enshrining DACA protections…
“We got used to the new normal of chaos. Maybe [the] new new normal is betrayal for really no reason,” one Republican close to Trump told The Daily Beast on Wednesday night, just hours after Democrats announced that they had hashed out an initial framework for a “deal” with Trump.
With Bannon gone, there’s no one in the West Wing more tapped into Trump’s base on immigration than Miller. Yet according to the Daily Beast, Miller wasn’t one of the eight senior aides who sat in on Trump’s meeting with Democrats to talk DACA and DREAM. Why not? If the president remains a border hawk at heart, notwithstanding his interest in legalizing DREAMers, it stands to reason that he’d want his most hawkish advisor next to him with a bunch of amnesty fans in the room.
Maybe … he’s not much of a border hawk at heart. Here’s an amazing anecdote from Politico’s piece this morning about Republicans feeling betrayed by POTUS on immigration. We already knew that Trump had chatted with Joe Manchin months ago about some sort of comprehensive immigration bill, but exactly what had been said, and the extent of Trump’s interest, were murky. Politico, which has also heard of Miller’s “displeasure” about the DREAM deal, claims to have more details about that earlier exchange between Trump and Manchin:
In February, at a meeting with bipartisan senators, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) raised the idea of immigration reform and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) floated the idea of a 2013 Gang of Eight bill. As Trump expressed interest, opponents of the comprehensive immigration reform bill such as Republicans Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Cornyn steered the president back on course, reminding him of his campaign promises.
“Cornyn’s like: ‘No, no, no, you campaigned against that bill,” recalled a senator in attendance. “And Grassley’s like: ‘No.’”
Trump had to be reminded that the Gang of Eight bill was a loser, huh? Coulter’s take in the clip below is that she knew all along that Trump was deeply flawed as both a person and a politician *but* that he was the only one in the field last year with the balls to stand up to the open-borders RINOs and demand that America get immigration under control. If the Manchin story is true, though, it was the RINOs who had to steer him away from revisiting the Gang of Eight bill a month after he took office. Huh.
Axios argues today that the reason Trump is suddenly more interested in Schumer’s perspective on immigration than Stephen Miller’s is because John Kelly is now in charge of what the president reads and who he talks to, which means far less Bannon and Breitbart and far more centrist Republicanism on immigration. *If* that’s true, consider the implications. A man who was hawkish enough on the border during the campaign to make Ann Coulter fall in love is now wheeling and dealing on DREAM amnesty with Nancy Pelosi mainly because he’s gotten a different diet of information for … about six weeks. I think Axios’s theory is too simplistic — remember, Trump was saying nice things about DREAMers long before Kelly became chief of staff — but to the extent there’s truth to it, it shows you how wobbly POTUS’s immigration convictions might be.
Exit question from a Twitter pal: If Coulter knew all along that there was a good chance Trump would betray border hawks, why did she write a book called “In Trump We Trust”?