Less than 24 hours ago, we suggested that Donald Trump would be committing political suicide by ending DACA.
Let’s just step back from the moral depravity for a second and think about this from a purely strategic perspective.
Yes, there’s a kinda, sorta deadline for this decision thanks to 10 states that have threatened to sue the government if it doesn’t stop protecting people brought into the country illegally as children (note: Tennessee pulled out of that effort on Friday, apparently aware of the bad optics). But obviously Trump isn’t obliged to heed that threat. He could take that risk in the interest of not igniting another racially-charged, political firestorm just weeks after he threw gasoline on the blaze his bungled response to Charlottesville created by pardoning Joe Arpaio.
It’s no longer clear that pandering to the base with controversial decisions is a good strategy. Trump’s plunging approval rating suggests that the electorate is quickly losing its patience and ending DACA will just be one more straw on the back of a camel that’s looking pretty weak in the knees.
Well as you’re aware, Jeff Sessions just announced the beginning of the end for the program although really, he simply punted to Congress. The administration will honor the existing work permits but won’t renew them or create new ones. And we already knew this because Trump accidentally frontran his own announcement on Twitter this morning as if he were giving us a sneak peak at the next episode of The Apprentice:
Congress, get ready to do your job – DACA!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 5, 2017
And just as we warned, the condemnation is near universal. Just have a look at this headline barrage, all from the past 30 minutes or so:
- BUSINESS ROUNDTABLE `STRONGLY OPPOSES’ TERMINATION OF DACA
- HEAD OF U.S. HISPANIC CHAMBER OF COMMERCE QUITS TRUMP PANEL
- SCHUMER: DEMOCRATS WILL DO EVERYTHING TO OPPOSE TRUMP DACA END
- PELOSI: TRUMP DACA DECISION ‘DEEPLY SHAMEFUL ACT’ OF COWARDICE
- CHAMBER: DEPORTING DREAMERS CONTRARY TO AMERICAN PRINCIPLES
- TRUMP DACA DECISION IS `CRUEL AND WRONG,’ AFL-CIO’S TRUMKA SAYS
And Tammy Duckworth (read more about Tammy here):
Make no mistake—this decision is not about "rule of law," as AG Sessions claims. This is a gut-wrenching betrayal of American values https://t.co/4wP6xvqjA1
— Tammy Duckworth (@SenDuckworth) September 5, 2017
Oh, and McCain:
McCain releases statement on decision to rescind DACA: “President Trump’s decision to eliminate DACA is the wrong approach to immigration" pic.twitter.com/hM7xFTQ1kt
— NBC Politics (@NBCPolitics) September 5, 2017
It just goes on, and on, and on.
Paul Ryan is doing his best to toe the line, but as you can clearly see from the following statement, he thinks this was ill-advised irrespective of whether you agree with DACA (if he thought this was a good idea, he wouldn’t have added all the caveats at the end):
However well- intentioned, President Obama’s DACA program was a clear abuse of executive authority, an attempt to create law out of thin air.
It is my hope that the House and Senate, with the president’s leadership, will be able to find consensus on a permanent legislative solution that includes ensuring that those who have done nothing wrong can still contribute as a valued part of this great country.
Bottom line (again) is that whether you think this was the right decision or not, the timing is terrible and now, the President has opened the door for this debate to work its way into the debt-ceiling/CR conversation.
But as we put it on Monday, Trump is a man who has made a habit out of doing his best Plaxico Burress impression.
Finally, here is Trump’s official statement:
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) September 5, 2017