Glad I was in the car much of the day, while all the theatrics were going on with unshutting down the government, which never really had been shut to begin with.

The overwhelming after-assessment among the punditry is that Schumer was humiliated, had little to show for either the fight or the capitulation, and that Trump won. I think that assessment is generally correct.

But it ain’t over until it’s over, and it’s not over. We are going to be back for another continuing funding resolution in three weeks.

It’s not to late for Democrats to snatch some measure of victory from this clear defeat, if by raising the centrality of DACA they manage to get more from Trump in the next go-round than expected.

That could come in the form of a path to citizenship for DACA recipients, or some broader immigration reform that grants amnesty to however many millions or tens of millions of people are in the country illegally. That is what every single Democrat wants, and plenty of Republicans like Lindsey Graham. It will be up to the House leadership and Senators like Tom Cotton to make sure that doesn’t happen in Congress.

More deeply, the Democratic Party is split between the pragmatists and the base. The base is furious at what just happened, they feel betrayed, and they want to fight. A reporter for the Washington Examiner tweeted today:

I was at Netroots Nation in August. My biggest takeaway from the conference was that people underestimate how far Left the base has tacked …. Relevant today.

This base has representatives in the Senate; after all, 16 Democrats voted No on the funding bill, including likely 2020 presidential candidates Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Kamala Harris. They are the future of the Democratic Party, at least through 2020, and they represent the far left base. They know that’s where the energy in the party is, where the activist foot soldiers are, and where the social media dominance resides.

In the House, 144 Democrats voted No, a majority of the Democrat caucus.

DACA has become so central to the Democratic base that it risks fracturing the party unless Schumer and others get some substantial concession from Trump. If they don’t, and Democrats accept a water-down DACA deal that doesn’t create a million new citizens, plus preserve chain migration so that million becomes several million, the Democrat base will flip out.

Trump could fracture the Democrat Party by permitting DACA recipients to stay in the country — something he has said he wants to allow — but insisting on such other terms and limitations as to present Democrats in Congress with an impossible choice between no DACA deal and a “bad” DACA deal.

That assumes, of course, that Trump holds the line. If Trump does hold the line, the result could be a Democrat Party torn apart with recriminations.


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.