If Trump really is making moves to work with Democrats on key policy issues, this administration could take a stranger turn than I expected.
After agreeing to everything Democrats wanted in a spending package last week, Trump (though he denies it on Twitter) has reportedly agreed in principle to codify protections for DREAMers into law.
This doesn’t mean that Trump is going to be holding hands and singing “Kumbaya” with immigrants anytime soon. He and white supremacist Stephen Miller are actively plotting to curtail the number of refugees entering the country and he supports a crackdown on legal immigration as well.
With that said, I do think Trump is catching on to a potential legislative calculus that could allow him to obtain some policy wins. Concessions to Democrats worked well enough with the spending situation that the clear majority of both parties came along for the ride when it went up for a vote. A push for DACA protections (or tax reform and infrastructure for that matter) could prove that bipartisanship, with meaningful give and take to address policy issues that actually help people, is a good model for effective governance.
Over the past 8 years, through the administrations of both Obama and now Trump, nobody has been a bigger roadblock to that than Mitch McConnell. To neuter the Obama legacy, he brought the gears of government to a grinding halt and flat out refused to work in a bipartisan manner. He tried the same single minded partisanship approach for the first few months of the Trump administration and it again failed miserably, so miserably that even the staunchest partisan hacks can’t deny it.
Now that Trump is dipping his toes in the waters of crossing the aisle, said partisans are freaking out that Trump might make a deal with “the enemy” particularly one that involves their racist heads exploding.
Trump will always be a traitor, a con man who conspired with the Russians to ride the American legacy of hatred and wealth worship into the White House. But in working with Pelosi and Schumer, who despite their faults, managed to pass positive legislation in the Obama years, he (and the country) have a chance to do some good.
If partisan legislation taking health care away from millions of people failed, why not consider giving it to everyone instead?