Friday, September 08, 2017


We all know about President Trump's outreach to congressional Democrats:
In the span of 48 hours, Trump cut a deal with Democrats to keep the government funded and raise the nation’s borrowing authority, advanced talks with the senior Senate Democrat on a permanent debt ceiling solution and followed the advice of the top House Democrat, who urged him to use Twitter to ease the fears of young undocumented immigrants.
We're being told that Trump is moving to the left. But in doing so, he's absolutely not abandoning the right. On DACA, he's in agreement with many right-leaning and libertarian business leaders, including the Koch brothers:
The political network of libertarian billionaires Charles and David Koch is poised to back a bill protecting young undocumented immigrants from deportation.

Spokespeople for the Koch network confirmed to The Daily Beast that it will press Congress for a legislative fix to the recently rescinded Obama-era program, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, that shielded undocumented immigrants who came to the country as children....

The bulk of the Koch network’s promotion of a DACA fix will take place through its entity that focuses on Latino issues, the Libre Initiative.
The libertarian Libre Initiative has been in opposition to Trump's hard line on immigration since the early days of his campaign in 2015. A lot of business leaders support DACA, and many support a more moderate stance on immigration overall. Fox News takes a hard line on immigration, but Rupert Murdoch doesn't. So while Trump is tacking to the left on DACA, he's in agreement with much of corporate America on the issue.

Oh, and Trump is not abandoning mean-spiritedness toward undocumented immigrants altogether:
President Donald Trump's Department of Homeland Security had planned nationwide raids to target 8,400 undocumented immigrants later this month, according to three law enforcement officials and an internal document that described the plan as "the largest operation of its kind in the history of ICE," an acronym for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

But after NBC News reported the plans late Thursday, the agency issued a statement saying it had cancelled nationwide enforcement actions due to Hurricane Irma and the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey.
Maybe this is more softening on Trump's part. More likely the reversal happened just because ICE lost the element of surprise.

Much of the business community also dislikes debt ceiling brinkmanship, which rattles financial markets and threatens damage to the economy. Even the Koch brothers opposed GOP debt ceiling hard-liners in 2013.
... even Americans For Prosperity (AFP), a conservative group backed by the billionaire industrialist Koch Brothers, is urging the House Republicans not to act so crazy, on the concern that this behavior will turn reasonable Americans against the party and thus reduce its ability to negotiate real spending reforms.

Stephanie Kirchgaessner of the FT reports that AFP is telling Republicans to back off on the debt ceiling and focus on spending:
“We’re saying calibrate your message. Focus on overspending instead of long-term debt,” said Tim Phillips, president of AFP. “Focusing on [the debt ceiling] makes the messaging more difficult.”
Trump is probably listening to CEOs on these issues as much as he's listening to liberals. On other issues, he's still the same Fox News wingnut we've come to know -- for instance, the administration this week sided with a baker who refused to produce a cake for a same-sex wedding.

So, yes, Trump is surprising us by being nice to Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi. But let's not get too excited.

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