Last Saturday, The New York Times recounted the aftermath of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer striking a deal with President Trump on the timing of a vote on the debt ceiling.
“I got a call early this morning,” Mr. Schumer said. “He said, ‘This was so great!’ Here’s what he said: ‘Do you watch Fox News?’ I said, ‘Not really.’ ‘They’re praising you!’ Meaning me. But he said, ‘And your stations’ — I guess meaning MSNBC and CNN — ‘are praising me! This is great!’”
Great indeed. For a president who won with the campaign slogan “Make America Great Again,” Mr. Trump seems to have a very malleable definition of his favorite superlative.
The greatness he seeks has little to do with the policy and political implications of a legislative solution to codify DACA into law.
This is problematic, even for Trump’s most ardent boosters.
“At this point, who doesn’t want Trump impeached?” Ann Coulter tweeted after the deal was announced. Sean Hannity was equally crestfallen, albeit not yet willing to call for Trump’s removal.
Even Breitbart.com, online locus of all Trump cheerleading, has taken to calling Trump “Amnesty Don,” which is a nickname that has recently fired Chief Trumpeteer Steve Bannon’s fingerprints all over it. None of these guys think the DACA deal is even close to great, but Trump is still giddy with his own greatness.
Given Trump’s distaste for bad press, it seems likely that the near future hold some gesture in an ideological rightward direction to up his greatness quotient.
Of course, that will likely mean that Schumer’s stations won’t be as effusive, which will require him to then lurch leftward to get his greatness fix. Like any addict, he’ll keep chasing a high that he can never permanently sustain, and he doesn’t seem to care how many supporters he has to throw under the Greatness Bus to do it.
All this overlooks the actual merits of any deal that might include action on the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals, which, independent of the messiness of Trump’s methods, actually looks like it could be a good thing.
The problem with DACA is that it was instituted by executive fiat and has long represented a shameful abdication of congressional responsibility. What’s unfortunate about Trump’s end run around his own party is that Paul Ryan and others were on board in finding a long-term legislative solution, but they’ve been left on the sidelines by their own president.
Early on, Republicans were suspicious of Trump’s conservative credentials. Jeb Bush seems like a name from a long bygone era, but it was only two years ago that he was telling his supporters that “el hombre no es conservador.”
Trump complained that his primary opponent was somehow unAmerican by using Spanish to question his conservatism. But now Trump seems to have shed his aversion to Spanish and leftism in a single act of partisan betrayal.
Isn’t that great?