Last week, President Trump said he's ending DACA (think: Obama’s program to protect the 800,000 undocumented immigrant kids from deportation) unless Congress fixes it within 6 months. Company halt! Now Democrats are saying that they've made a deal with Trump to protect those same people again, and also to ramp up border security, but this deal doesn’t include Trump’s border wall. About face! So what are Republicans saying about all this bipartisan deal making? Nada – they weren’t invited to dinner with the Dems. This is the second time in 2 weeks that Trump has sided with the Dems without warning and ignored the GOP. However since Republicans still control Congress, Trump will have to hop to it and do some pretty fast talking to get them on board, which he will inevitably have to do if he ever wants to pass any legislation on his agenda. Quick march!
Last week the president gave the thumbs up to the Democrats (aka “Chuck and Nancy”) for a deal that provides disaster relief funding for hurricane-hit Texas and a 3 month extension of both the debt ceiling and the daily funding of the government (the GOP was pushing for 18 months). This deal will let the administration help disaster victims immediately, avoid a government shutdown and clear the Congressional schedule to allow Trump to push through some tax reform before Christmas – all wins for dealmaker president to tweet about. Why does Trump need the Dems, you ask? Because infighting and divisions within the GOP are making it necessary to start wooing the other side’s votes. Meanwhile Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi are surely congratulating themselves on the art of the steal, while forcing Trump to come back to them for their support in December and giving them leverage to make demands and advance their own agenda.
So why is President Trump suddenly so chummy with the other side? Rumors and conspiracies include: Trump is not such a great negotiator after all and was outmaneuvered by the Dems; Trump is a political outsider and his unorthodox strategy is forcing Republicans to unite in the face of irrelevance; he’s punishing the GOP, and its political establishment leaders, for failing to repeal Obamacare; he’s desperate for some wins (and some positive media coverage) after a chaotic summer. And while it’s certainly a novel sight to see Dems and Republicans working together in Washington, angry and baffled Republicans shouldn’t see this event as a bad omen – the one thing that’s predictable about the president is that he’s unpredictable, and this Donald-Chuck-Nancy romance is unlikely to last more than a couple of weeks. Instead, they should treat it like the political equivalent of an eclipse; over-hyped, short-lived and not worth staring at directly.
Feel like you and your colleagues are on opposing sides of the same team? Movie for your mood: Captain America: Civil War