Welcome to VDARE RADIO, I’m your host Virginia Dare.
When Donald Trump spoke at the first Republican debate during his presidential run, he introduced himself as the author of “The Art of the Deal.” Deals, he wrote in the book, were his art form, his equivalent to someone creating paintings or sculptures. Putting him in the White House meant America would be led by a master negotiator. “Deal from strength or get crushed every time,” as some of his supporters sang at one rally. [This guy wrote Donald Trump’s ‘USA Freedom Kids’ Song, by Melissa Chan, Time, January 14, 2016]
But deals are all about leverage. And President Trump is giving all his leverage away by using the DACA amnesty as a bargaining chip in negotiations with the Democrats over immigration. Weakened by the defeat of Roy Moore in Alabama and facing the likes of Jeff Flake and Lindsey Graham within his own party, President Trump doesn’t have the means to pressure the Democrats into making a good deal.
It didn’t have to be this way. As Pat Buchanan recalled about President Richard Nixon, a new president should move quickly when he first gets into office. Instead, President Trump tried to push through the Republican agenda on Obamacare and taxes. But President Trump was elected precisely because he was a different kind of Republican – not because he was Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio.
Pushing the program of the party he had just conquered was a tactical error, not just because the corporate Republican agenda is unpopular, but because it ceded the president’s leverage over his opponents. The Republican Establishment needed Donald Trump to try to push corporate tax cuts and an Obamacare repeal. But now that the president has expended his political capital pushing these policies, they don’t need him anymore.
They are free to betray him or to vote against him on issues like immigration. Immigration should have been President Trump’s first priority, not just because it is the most important issue and the one that got him elected, but because he still had leverage over the Republicans.
This also applies to the Democrats. The whole point of the Trump campaign was that he was threatening the Democratic base, shattering the Blue Wall by winning the Rust Belt and appealing to white working class voters. Immigration, infrastructure and protection of social programs were the way forward. Instead, other than baiting celebrities and journalists on Twitter, President Trump is governing the way any other Republican would have governed as president.
Now, going into these negotiations over immigration, President Trump has far fewer cards to play than he had even a few months ago. Indeed, it’s unclear whether he even has a real negotiating position. In his extraordinary public session with congressional Democrats on Tuesday, President Trump admitted he would sign whatever people in the room came up with. Given that there are no real immigration patriots among the Republican congressional leadership and certainly none among the Democrats, he was abandoning even the threat of a veto.
As he so often does, President Trump backtracked to his prior position on Twitter following the negotiations.
As I made very clear today, our country needs the security of the Wall on the Southern Border, which must be part of any DACA approval.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 10, 2018
But why should Democrats go along with this? They have no interest in the security of the country. If they are afraid of anything politically, they’re afraid of a primary challenge if they vote for any bill which has funding for the wall. The Democrats main priority in this whole situation is to ensure there are no limits on any kind of immigration, as their party is “electing a new people,” replacing the Americans who won’t vote for them with Third Worlders who will.
Their own documents admit this. A recently released memo from the Center for American Progress admits Dreamers are “critical” for the Left’s future electoral success [Leaked Memo: DREAMers are ‘critical’ to Dems ‘Future Electoral Success,’ by Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, January 8, 2018]. Permanent political victory is at hand for them.
In contrast, President Trump is playing not to lose. He seems to think he can dampen the Left’s fanaticism by showing “heart” on the immigration issue. But they will crusade against him no matter what he does at this point. President Trump is hated not because of anything he’s done, but because of who he is, what he represents. He was an expression of the historic American nation’s will to fight, to continue to exist, not to be overwhelmed by mass immigration and subsidize its own dispossession.
It was because Trump became a symbol that he had real power. Now, he seems to be giving that power away. All that’s left in place of his power is a conventional Republican president, no different than a George W. Bush. Those kinds of Republicans have been losing for decades now. That’s not what Americans thought they were electing. And this kind of weakness is not what was promised when Donald Trump stated he would bring the “Art of the Deal” to Washington.
Deal from strength, or get crushed every time. It’s as true in business as it is in politics.
We’ll talk again soon.