Some Democrats, perhaps misled by biased press coverage, are willing to risk a government shutdown rather than compromise on DACA. Some want to flay Trump as a racist in the hope that he’ll cave. Some Republicans oppose the reforms Trump purportedly seeks. It’s a negotiation with many moving parts, on which the press is an unreliable narrator and in which the president often seems to be practicing something other than the art of the deal.
Meanwhile, offstage, negotiations are ongoing with Canada and Mexico on revising NAFTA. The chief danger here is that overweening American demands could affect Mexico’s July presidential election. Currently leading the polls is the left-wing Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who tied up Mexico City’s streets for months with demonstrators protesting his narrow loss in the 2006 election.
AMLO, as he is called, is a particularly formidable candidate because as mayor of Mexico City, he showed a rare capacity to deliver on promises, and seeing as there’s no runoff, he needs only a plurality in this multi-candidate race to win. If elected, he’d probably be more hostile to the U.S. than any Mexican president over the past 70 years. That’s not a desirable outcome — and it’s one the Trump administration should take some pains to avoid.