Should Schumer be Allowed to Negotiate With GOP W/O Progressive Input and Oversight?
The optics of immigrant activists, supported by angry Progressives protesting outside of Chuck Schumer’s home, should set off alarms for Democratic Party elites. Shouting, “If you won’t let Dreamers dream, we won’t let you sleep”. They also chanted “Clean Dream Act Now”, and “Not One More Deportation.” Yes, a significant portion of the Democrat’s base is pissed and they’re unlikely to tolerate Schumer’s willingness to settle for promises made by those least to be trusted. From the perspective of Progressives, as well as an untold number of Independents, Schumer blinked. And that perspective is growing for the following reasons.
Schumer’s Response: “We’re very pleased with how things came out. We’re a lot better off today when it comes to the cause of Dreamers than we were four or five days ago”. “We have renewed momentum. The Dreamer issue … is much more highlighted, so we’re very pleased with how it worked out”. “I think we advanced the ball for the Dreamers. We’re proud of the role we played”. If Schumer’s remarks have a ring of cluelessness to you, you’re not alone. While Schumer may be proud of his negotiating skills, those most affected were less than impressed. Many feel the Dreamers may be worse off than ever before. And they are.
Just because Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell promised to bring the DACA issue to the Senate floor for debate and a vote before Feb. 8th, there’s no guarantee any Bill will pass that’ll provide a path to citizenship or even some form of legal status. And even if such a Bill did get through the Senate, there’s no guarantee the DACA issue will even be taken up by the GOP controlled House, let alone pass a Bill that smells of that dreaded word. Amnesty. The GOP’s House of Representatives is the home of the political carnivore. This is where the base is fed a steady diet of Red Meat. And consumers of this diet have little appetite for the idea of Dreamers staying in this country under any circumstances.
However, simply for the sake of argument, let us say a bipartisan bill offering some form of protection to Dreamers did miraculously survive the Senate and the House of Representatives. That legislation would still be subjected to the unpredictable whims of Donald Trump. After all, Trump has the final say. He could veto that legislation and we’d all be right back where we started. Only this time the clock would’ve run out. Remember, the drop-dead date for DACA is March 5th. From that point on, arrest, detainment and eventual deportation become a reality for Dreamers all over the United States.
With Donald Trump holding firm on immigration issues like ending “chain migration” (aka, you can stay, maybe, but your mother has to go), making the lives of DACA recipients even more desperate for a humane solution, Dreamers will need stronger, strategic and aggressive voices to be a part of the negotiating process. They’ll need the voices of Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris to be consulted before any deals are offered. These voices need not be reminded of what Democratic values and principles are because Progressives are more in touch and in sync with the Democratic base.
Bottom line: The chorus of voices calling for a change of leadership in the Democratic Party is growing every day. And Chuck Schumer’s pathetic effort to negotiate a humanitarian compromise without giving up core values and principles will only amplify those calls for his departure. But until that happens, Chuck Schumer, like Donald Trump should never be allowed to negotiate without a handler or overseer in the room to remind him what he should be standing for. Otherwise, the 2018 midterms might not produce the wave election many Democrats are dreaming of. Podcast below.