Late Tuesday night, well after the presidential bedtime, Donald Trump was still obsessed with some of the biggest news of the day — namely, that Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer has withdrawn his offer of funding for the president’s ridiculous border wall.
The offer — made during a summit between the top Democrat and the president during a one-on-one meeting Friday over lunch — was predicated on Trump offering up a concrete DACA solution in the budget resolution that would ultimately be signed in order to keep the government funded, or to re-start the government once it was shut down.
But that solution never materialized, resulting instead in simply a “promise” from Mitch McConnell to give DACA a straight up-or-down vote in the Senate, which had no guarantee of being taken up by the House. Even if that had been taken up by the lower chamber, Trump could simply have reneged on the offer and never signed it. So Schumer did what anyone sensible would have: he rescinded his own offer.
After Trump had already crowed on Twitter about the “big win” for Republicans on the continuing budget resolution, saying that Democrats had “caved” in the deal, he couldn’t possibly bring himself to admit that Schumer and the Democrats still have the upper hand in ongoing negotiations. But a judge’s ruling just two weeks ago put an injunction on Trump’s repeal of DACA, bringing the fate of DREAMers into limbo once again — possibly indefinitely.
Many legal scholars believe that the court fight could last years, beyond even a “first” term for Trump. The Trump administration, scrambling to once again use the young immigrants he once told to “rest easy” over their immigration status as hostages to extract billions from Democrats to fund the border wall he founded his racist, fear-mongering campaign on, immediately fought the judge’s decision.
And tonight, believing that he once again has the upper hand, Trump tweeted:
Cryin’ Chuck Schumer fully understands, especially after his humiliating defeat, that if there is no Wall, there is no DACA. We must have safety and security, together with a strong Military, for our great people!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 24, 2018
If there’s no DACA, there’s no wall, and if there’s no wall, there’s no DACA. Get it? It’s a literal Mexican standoff.
Unfortunately for the president, one of those two things already exists: DACA. And until a long-term solution is found, or until the judge’s injunction is lifted — which doesn’t look likely — DACA will continue to exist, in its exact current form. That may not be a path to citizenship, but it at least avoids deportation for the young immigrants and allows them to continue renewing their protected status.
That means Democrats are, once again, holding all the cards. Will the Republicans shut the government down again to try and appease the president’s border wall demands? Or will they finally sit down with Democrats and work out a long-term solution to both the budget and DACA?
Leave it to Donald Trump to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
Featured image via Win McNamee/Getty Images