On Saturday, President Donald Trump broke a “broke a fundamental rule” of American politics by offering a compromise that splintered his own party, an NBC News analyst argues in a new column.
Trump offered Democrats a deal to end the budget impasse, offering a temporary reprieve to some undocumented migrants who currently have protection from courts in exchange for billions to build the border wall he promised voters Mexico would pay for during the 2016 election.
Many conservatives were outraged by Trump’s “amnesty” offer, including Ann Coulter, who many credit with spurring the shutdown by taunting Trump over his inability to fund the wall.
Meanwhile, Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is planning to bring Trump’s offer to the floor as fast as he can.
“The obvious problem for Trump is that he managed to divide his own ranks without much chance of breaking the wall of Democratic opposition to his border barrier,” writes Jonathan Allen. “The big political question is whether Trump’s latest gambit will give traction to his ongoing argument that Democrats have been intransigent and should now shoulder the blame for the longest government shutdown in history.”
Trump appears to be making a bid to make his own positions seem moderate, despite the fact that about 60 percent of voters oppose his proposed wall.
“Whether his new plan earns him more support from independents in the fight over the shutdown and the wall remains to be seen,” he writes. “But it is highly unlikely to move many Democratic voters or their elected representatives, who have been united in their demand that he open the shuttered federal agencies without money for the barrier.”
Trump’s tactics have “always been unorthodox,” Allen writes, but it’s still hard to see how this will work out in his favor.
“Often, deal-making requires a president to disappoint a segment of his own base to attract support from a portion of the other party,” he writes. “But in this case, Trump has created a split within his own party without finding a way to divide Democrats. That’s certainly a non-traditional approach to politics, but it may not be a winning one.”
Read the full piece here.