Thursday, February 1, 2018

President Trump is Winning

Well, it's been a terrible week for Democrats, and it's going to be a lot worse for them if the memo comes out tomorrow, and that's looking likely. I loved the State of the Union. President Trump was a master, a great communicator if there ever was one, and he trolled the Democrats hard. The Nancy Pelosi memes alone were priceless.

More on that in a bit. Meanwhile, from Thomas Edsall, at the New York Times, "Trump Has Got Democrats Right Where He Wants Them" (also at Memeorandum):

President Trump’s immigration proposal has put Democrats in a bind; they know it and he knows it.

Trump’s immigration “framework” — first outlined on Jan. 25 — represents an unusually sophisticated strategy. He proposes to more than double the number of Dreamers granted a path to citizenship, a significant concession to Democrats.

In return, he seeks approval of a set of policies strongly opposed by the left, each of which is designed to stem what Trump sees as a threatening increase in the nonwhite population of the United States.

What kind of numbers are we talking about? According to the Pew Research Center:
In 2014, immigrant women accounted for about 901,000 U.S. births, which marked a threefold increase from 1970 when immigrant women accounted for about 274,000 births. Meanwhile, the annual number of births to U.S.-born women dropped by 11 percent during that same time period, from 3.46 million in 1970 to 3.10 million in 2014.
There are now an estimated 690,000 registered Dreamers in the United States, all of whom were brought to this country as children before 2007. Trump’s offer would increase the number offered a path to citizenship to 1.8 million by adding those who are eligible for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), but who never registered.

For a Democratic Party whose electoral strength depends on Hispanic support (64 percent of Latinos identified with or leaned toward the Democratic Party in 2016) preventing the deportation of the Dreamers and providing them with legal status has become a matter of political necessity.

Trump, acutely aware of the importance of DACA to Democrats, deliberately turned the status of Dreamers into a crisis on Sept. 5 when he ended the Dreamers program.

Since then, DACA has been the subject of constant debate and negotiation. Democrats have continued to threaten to shut down the government, when the Treasury runs out of money on Feb. 8, if no favorable agreement can be reached.

Trump’s proposal more than meets Democratic demands on DACA. But in return Trump wants Democrats to swallow three proposals of varying unpalatability.

First, the creation of a $25 billion fund for construction of a southern border wall to prevent illegal entry to the United States, primarily by undocumented Hispanics.

Second, a shift in immigration priorities from family reunification to a merit system granting entry to workers with relatively high skills. This would require limiting reunification preferences to minor children and spouses, while eliminating them for parents, siblings and adult children, what critics call “chain migration.” These steps would reduce immigration from developing countries: The two top countries of origin benefiting from family reunification policies are Mexico and the Dominican Republic.

Third, an end to the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program. The countries providing the largest numbers of immigrants under the lottery visa program, according to the State Department, are Cameroon, Congo, Liberia, Egypt, Iran, Nepal, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

The greatest unknown is how immigration reform will influence the voting behavior of the white working class.

In a Jan. 29 Vox essay, “The math is clear: Democrats need to win more working-class white votes,” Ruy Teixeira, a senior fellow at the liberal Center for American Progress, writes that Democrats seeking to regain control of Congress may be forced to mute their opposition to Trump immigration provisions they find offensive.

Teixeira argues that:
The view that Democrats can get along without working-class white voters is simply wrong. It reflects wishful thinking and a rigid set of political priors — namely, that Democrats’ political problems always stem from insufficient motivation of base voters — more than a cold, hard look at what the electoral and demographic data say.
The problem for Democrats is that not only do they need to improve margins among white working-class voters but they cannot allow a repetition of the minority voting patterns in 2016. That year, black turnout fell to 59.6 percent from 66.6 percent in 2012; and Clinton won 66 percent of the Latino vote, five percentage points less than President Barack Obama in 2012.

Doug Jones’s December victory in the Alabama Senate race demonstrated how crucial black voters are to Democrats: In that close contest, African-Americans, 92 percent of whom voted for Jones, made up 29 percent of the electorate. They are 26 percent of the voting age population.

The conflicts the Trump proposals present for Democrats are most painful to Hispanic and black elected officials.
Brilliant. Freakin' brilliant. I love this president. I really do.