Playing With The Snake (Not Ted Cruz Edition)

« September 2017 »

Memo to "Nancy and Chuck": PLEASE, TELL ME YOU GOT THIS.

OK, it happened again. Trump met with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer and reached what seems to be, maybe, a deal on passing the DREAM Act without tying it to anything more than "more money for border security". This makes the second time in as many weeks that Donald Trump has gone behind Republican backs to make a deal with Democrats to give Democrats everything they want. This good. This is also bad. Allow me to explain.

GOOD: Democratic shit gets passed. I mean, at least sorta center-left shit that the few moderate Republicans remaining are OK with. The point is, it's a good way to mitigate damage. I mean, if we relied on kind-hearted, moderate Republicans to save 800,000 Dreamers from being deported, we might as well just mail them postcards that say "PACK NOW. SORRY." So short-term good is already coming from this.

GOOD: It seems like they're playing Trump. Hard. I mean, this is some Jedi Mind Trick bullshit, right? Taking advantage of an added man whose every move, every value, and nearly every ideology is situational? It's certainly something to take advantage of for as long as it works. Judo that racist motherfucker. See how far you can push it. Catch him in moments when he's off his leash and treat him like a competently-run casino treats his marks. He'll never see it coming because he's never run a casino competently.

GOOD: Oh, boy, does this make the right people angry. The fever swamps of the right, which now constitute 90% of modern conservative thought, have spent decades villainizing Nancy Pelosi into the functional equivalent of Lady Satan. They've spent a decade applying the term RINO to anyone who deviates from the rightmost fringe of the party. And their hero, Trump, is the biggest Republican In Name Only of all. That can't sit well with them.

BAD: The Village sees this as "bipartisanship". The Village worships "bipartisanship" and "getting things done" as if they were ends in themselves, instead of ways to pass both good and horrific policy. If Trump engages in Holy Bipartisanship, The Village will love him no matter how many times he gives the verbal equivalent of a Nazi salute. This is, of course, dangerous.

BAD: Stockholm Syndrome. I'm assuming Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi are intentionally taking advantage of Trump's weaknesses. I'm assuming that because I'm hoping that. If, on the other hand, they think they're WORKING WITH Trump, or come to decide that down the line, well, that's not acceptable. Trump's an awful person who's awful at his job and can't be trusted with, well, anything. So, yeah, play with the snake. Trick the snake into biting the vial so you can extract the venom. But if you think the snake is your friend, or on your side, remember that the snake loves Nazis and is mentally unstable. Yes, I kind of lost the thread of the snake metaphor there.

BAD: You will never pass anything progressive this way. The only way you'll pass progressive things is with a progressive Congress. A progressive Congress might actually get some stuff past Trump because, again, Trump has no ideology. Trump's the kind of guy who'd sign universal health care if his chief of staff left the room for five minutes and Trump liked the way the pen smelled. But you're going to have a tough time making a case for a Democratic Congress if you're working with Trump all over the place. You might suppress Republican turnout, but you're not going to drive turnout from the left.

So, yeah. I hope the two of you know what the fuck you're doing. Because a lot of shit rides on it.