Political decency may triumph despite Trump's DACA decision
© Greg Nash

Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's debate showdown Arpaio files libel suit against New York Times IMF's Christine Lagarde delays trip to Middle East MORE wants you to think of him as a good guy.

Case in point: his decision to end the program which allows 800,000 young adults to remain in this country who were born somewhere else but qualified to stay here temporarily because of the executive order issued by President Obama.

You are supposed to be moved that Trump was so conflicted and pained to make this decision. This is the same person who previously said, "We're going to show great heart. DACA is a very, very difficult subject for me ... You have these incredible kids ... We are going to deal with DACA with heart ... Because you know, I love these kids."

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If those sentiments weren't enough, how about these remarks proclaimed in a 2011 Fox interview: "You have people in this country for 20 years: They've done a great job, they've done wonderfully, they've gone to school, they've gotten good marks [and] they're productive. Now we're supposed to send them out of the country? I don't believe in that."

 

But obviously, Trump did not remember his own words and allowed Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsDepartment of Justice right to go after Hezbollah Sessions defends media following disappearance of Saudi journalist Trump goes on 12-tweet Twitter tirade MORE to do the dirty work and make the announcement and justify the new policy.

Sessions, you might recall, a short time ago was in jeopardy of losing his job. Trump all but invited him to resign. He refused to say he had confidence in him and went out of his way to insult him publicly and question his professional and legal credentials.

But for this function, Trump gladly permitted the "beleaguered" attorney general to have the stage all to himself and bask in the limelight.

Sessions has long been buoyed by his former Senate aide, Stephen Miller. Miller has moved on to being a senior White House policy advisor.

Not enough has been made about Miller, truly a dark and sinister force still remaining in the West Wing. You would think that Chief of Staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE would have purged him from service as he had done with Stephen Bannon and Sebastian Gorka.

If Kelly is genuinely interested in cleaning up the White House and improving its image, Miller should be the next to go.

Back to Sessions. He took no questions after making his announcement.

This is the way he operates. One would think that a pronouncement of this consequence would merit some discussion and edification. No; Sessions prefers to act by fiat.

There is a silver lining in all this controversy and heartache. Seeing Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinGOP senators: Mnuchin should not go to Saudi Arabia Durbin opposes Saudi arms sale over missing journalist Noisy democracy, or rude people behaving like children? MORE (D-Ill.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSaudi mystery drives wedge between Trump, GOP Suspects in journalist's disappearance linked to Saudi crown prince: report Overnight Defense: Trump worries Saudi Arabia treated as 'guilty until proven innocent' | McConnell opens door to sanctions | Joint Chiefs chair to meet Saudi counterpart | Mattis says Trump backs him '100 percent' MORE (R-S.C.) holding a press conference and striving to find a "bipartisan" solution was a refreshing and welcoming development.

Graham's words were particularly meaningful and poignant: "From a Republican Party point of view, this is a defining moment. You have a chance to show the nation, as the president of all of us, where your heart's at."

Furthermore, there are House Republicans who seem to sincerely believe a solution can be found and an actual bill can be passed.

Leading moderate Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.) hopefully said, "I believe the votes are there to pass some kind of DACA program in the House."

Better yet, the House leadership seems to share this optimistic vision. The No. 3 Republican in the House, Rep. Cathy McMorris RodgersCathy McMorris RodgersTrump 'baby blimp' flies in Washington state for Pence visit The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Citi — FBI widens scope of Kavanaugh investigation | Nightmare vote for red-state Dems | Five weeks to midterms The Hill's Morning Report — Kavanaugh ordeal thrusts FBI into new political jam MORE of Washington said, "Congress must protect the Dreamers who are currently shielded from deportation."

She concluded by passionately stating, "The principle is fundamental for me."

All the years of strife, ugly words and bitter recriminations can come to an end. The most heartening words came from the one person who can actually bring up the issue for a vote and influence the outcome, Speaker of the House Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanSaudi mystery drives wedge between Trump, GOP GOP group makes late play in Iowa seat once seen as lost Adelsons donated M in September to help GOP in midterms MORE.

On Tuesday he publicly called for consensus and provided a practical and moral justification for acting in the public good. He said, "that those who have done nothing wrong can still contribute as a valued part of this great country."

Maybe the final act for this epic struggle can conclude on a high and humane note. House and Senate Republicans who have the power of the majority can finally do something right. When they do just that, they will denounce the duplicity of Trump and the smallness of Sessions.

Mark Plotkin is a contributor to the BBC on American politics and a columnist for The Georgetowner. Previously, he was the political analyst for WAMU-FM, Washington’s NPR affiliate, where he co-hosted the “D.C. Politics Hour With Mark Plotkin.” He later became the political analyst for WTOP-FM, Washington’s all-news radio station, where he hosted “The Politics Hour With Mark Plotkin.” He is a winner of the Edward R. Murrow Award for excellence in writing.


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