, 15 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
So Trump has caved, agreeing to Congressional Democrats' demand to fund government agencies for (evidently) three weeks while negotiations on border or immigration measures proceed. One story on this from @burgessev @AndrewRestuccia & @JakeSherman politico.com/story/2019/01/…
2. That was 35 days of hardship for federal employees and contractors; 35 days of disruption to government functions, from criminal investigations to international diplomacy to air traffic control; and 35 days of reckless rhetoric about invasions & emergencies, all for nothing.
3. Yet Trump's ignominious surrender is not necessarily a victory for the Democrats or the country. The deal to reopen government agencies is only for three weeks. We could be right back where we were last night when that time is up.
4. Or, Trump could declare his national emergency, allowing him to look like the dictator he has always wanted to be, if only for a few minutes. Or, Congress could appropriate hundreds of millions of borrowed dollars for "border security" to allow the President to save face.
5. The three-week timeframe plays into the polite fiction that this entire dispute has been about "border security." It has not been that, and is not now. Trump's shutdown has been about nonwhite immigration into the United States.
6. Trump's wall was always, from the very start of his Presidential campaign, an expression of hostility to nonwhite immigration and nonwhite immigrants. So was the family separation policy, & the Muslim travel ban, & the cut in asylum admissions, & ending DACA. And much else.
7. Arguments that the wall "would not work" to reduce illegal entries have filled the media over the last month. There has even been reporting, as noted by @JamesFallows here, that close to the Mexican border there is no crisis. Well, no, there isn't.
8. The crisis, from Trump's point of view, is nonwhite people entering the United States. Not all of his supporters share this view, but a significant component of his supporters in Congress and in conservative media hold it even more viscerally than Trump does.
9. This entire #shutdown episode started when Trump's zealous admirers in FoxWorld and AM radio criticized and mocked him for signaling he'd sign already overdue appropriations with funding for that stupid wall. The criticism was coming from a roll call of white-right media:...
10. Limbaugh and Coulter and Ingraham and that Doocy person from Fox & Friends. This crowd isn't interested in order at the border; "border security" to them means keeping "those people" -- nonwhite, Spanish-speaking immigrants -- out, and maybe kicking them around a little.
11. I think @SpeakerPelosi & @SenSchumer & the rest understand this perfectly well. Still, they exert themselves to demonstrate they are 100% for "border security," a pre-emptive defense against Trump's charge that they're for open borders (& drugs, & crime, & all the rest).
12. All this exertion is for nothing. The "open borders" charge has been a lie from Day One, but hardcore Trumpers will never believe that. In the meantime, the central issue isn't being addressed: how hostile does the United States want to be to nonwhite immigration?
13. Trump's position is clear: America should be very hostile to nonwhite immigration, excepting people here temporarily to work at Trump properties, Asians with lots of money, & Cubans. Republicans in Congress will support whatever their Leader, & FoxWorld, tell them to.
14. Democrats' position is less clear. Most are not hostile at all to immigration, wanting admissions to be regulated but liberal. Specific positions could be worked out had the government been reopened through the end of the fiscal year. Three weeks is not enough time.
15. So the apparent end of this Trump #shutdown cannot be called a victory. It is only a reprieve. This episode been such a PR disaster for the Republicans they probably won't want to shut the government down again in February. But the central issue remains. [end]
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