September 15th, 2017

Burning their MAGA hats: right, left, and DREAMERS

It’s been reported that a great many Trump supporters, angered by his supposed DACA deal, have taken to burning their “Make America Great Again” hats.

No doubt the MSM are happy as clams over this.

I have noticed several types of Trump reportage from the press. The first type is designed to hurt Trump with both the right and the left, and it’s of the “Trump is stupid” or “Trump is crazy” or “the Trump administration is a chaotic mess” variety. The second type reports on something Trump has done or is about to do that favors the right and is designed to drive the left crazy. The third type does the opposite—reports on something the right (and particularly Trump supporters) has wanted and that Trump supposedly is preparing to jettison.

Some of these stories turn out to be true. But some are false. Whichever variety they are, the stories are relentless—-many piled on many more, day after day after day. It’s not easy to sort out the false from the true. But I would caution everyone to not react prematurely to stories that are mere rumors, such as the DACA-deal one.

Of course, if Trump supporters want to send Trump a message about DACA, that’s fine with me. But I don’t know why they’d trust the press on this.

There’s another aspect of the Trump/DACA story that puzzles me. My own recollection is that during Trump’s campaign he promised many things, including many things about DREAMERS (the people affected by DACA). Sometimes he was sympathetic to them and sometimes not so sympathetic. But I don’t recall him ever saying he was going to deport them. Nor have I seen any recent article that goes back and finds a quote from him to that effect. And yet a lot of people keep alluding to the fact that he went back on a promise of that sort.

I say, show me the promise. Maybe it was there and I just missed it. But I haven’t been able to find it so far.

What I have found are old articles in which the MSM said that Trump would be likely to deport DREAMERS. But his own words don’t seem to indicate that. For example, his most major campaign speech on the subject of immigration, given in Sept of 2016 in Phoenix and widely billed as a statement of the more Draconian measures he’d been advocating, didn’t say it. Here are some excerpts from that speech:

We will treat everyone living or residing in our country with dignity. We will be fair, just and compassionate to all. But our greatest compassion must be for American citizens.

President Obama and Hillary Clinton have engaged in gross dereliction of duty by surrendering the safety of the American people to open borders. President Obama and Hillary Clinton support Sanctuary Cities, they support catch-and-release on the border, they support visa overstays, they support the release of dangerous criminals from detention – and they support unconstitutional executive amnesty…

On day one, we will begin working on an impenetrable physical wall on the southern border…

Under my Administration, anyone who illegally crosses the border will be detained until they are removed out of our country…

Trump then talks for quite some time about various ways he plans to crack down on criminal illegal aliens, and touches on the issue of ending sanctuary cities. He then addresses DACA and DREAMERS (although he doesn’t use those terms):

We will immediately terminate President Obama’s two illegal executive amnesties, in which he defied federal law and the constitution to give amnesty to approximately 5 million illegal immigrants…

In a Trump Administration, all immigration laws will be enforced. As with any law enforcement activity, we will set priorities. But, unlike this Administration, no one will be immune or exempt from enforcement – and ICE and Border Patrol officers will be allowed to do their jobs. Anyone who has entered the United States illegally is subject to deportation – that is what it means to have laws and to have a country.

Our enforcement priorities will include removing criminals, gang members, security threats, visa overstays, public charges – that is, those relying on public welfare or straining the safety net, along with millions of recent illegal arrivals and overstays who’ve come here under the current Administration.

Now, maybe somewhere else Trump said something different from that. But as I read that—and remember, this was a speech widely regarded as a statement of his most forceful and complete anti-immigrant policy—he is saying that he will cancel Obama’s DACA order because it was unconstitutional, and everyone else will be treated case by case, with criminals and gang members the top priorities for deportation.

There’s more in the speech, but none of it is especially relevant to DACA. Nor does he mention what Congress might be doing about DREAMERS.

Recently Trump did exactly what he said he would do—rescind Obama’s DACA order because it was unconstitutional. Saying that every illegal immigrant is now subject to deportation does not even come close to saying every illegal immigrant will be deported or should be deported, and his priorities for deportation (criminals) have long been very very clear. In addition, Trump’s saying he will terminate Obama’s unconstitutional DACA order (and doing it) is not the same as saying that he will never ask Congress to help some of the DREAMERS, or that he would block Congress if they were to do so.

In fact, on other occasions Trump has expressed a fair amount of sympathy for DREAMERS. During the campaign, I certainly got the distinct impression that Trump would be at least somewhat conciliatory towards DREAMERS if he ever became president, although a lot of people on both sides acted as though they believed he would be very harsh towards them.

I find myself once again in the odd (to me) position of defending Trump, or sort of defending him. I don’t have any interest in either defending or attacking him, though; my interest is in trying to get at the truth. It’s not easy and I certainly don’t always achieve it, but that’s my goal. And the truth as I see it is that Trump never was planning (and never said he was planning) to be as hard on the DREAMERS as his supporters on the right thought and hoped he was (or as the MSM said he was). And Trump never was planning to be as hard on the DREAMERS as his enemies on the left feared he was.

39 Responses to “Burning their MAGA hats: right, left, and DREAMERS”

  1. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    That’s my perception as well.

  2. expat Says:

    I wish Ann Coulter could read as well as you, Neo. But she probably makes a lot of dough from her books.

  3. neo-neocon Says:


    Oh, I bet Coulter can read just fine.

    With Trump, she was all in on the immigration issue, and heard what she wanted to hear, and believed what she wanted to believe. Now she hates his guts. Love turns to hate. It’s an old old story.

  4. Sam L. Says:

    I don’t believe anything the enemedia puts out.

  5. neo-neocon Says:

    Sam L:

    I wouldn’t go that far. Some of what they write turns out to be true. The trick is telling the true from false prospectively, not just ex post facto.

    If you trust nothing they write, you become prey to every conspiracy theory that comes down the pike, the vast majority of which are garbage.

  6. huxley Says:

    When you retweeted the “Put a fork in Trump—he’s dead” line from the Breitbart commenter, do you agree with that?

    Coulter: I often pass along cooking tips.

  7. vanderleun Says:

    More mush from the wimps.

  8. vanderleun Says:


  9. huxley Says:

    If Trump doesn’t get tangible quid pro quo from Schumer and Pelosi, he’s going to lose some of his base.

    Trump was elected largely on his hard immigration line or at least what his base heard that way.

    So far Mr. Art of the Deal didn’t get anything for turning to the Dems other than some good lib press and throwing the Rep Congress under the bus.

    Some may find that satisfying, but it’s not a long-term strategy.

  10. huxley Says:

    vanderleun: Perhaps I stand corrected.

    But I’m waiting to count the chickens.

  11. Tatterdemalian Says:

    “I don’t have any interest in either defending or attacking him, though; my interest is in trying to get at the truth. It’s not easy and I certainly don’t always achieve it, but that’s my goal.”

    That’s the best goal to have right now, as the media gets more serious about trying to deal the USA a death blow, before their window of opportunity closes for another three years.

  12. Cap'n Rusty Says:

    There have been a number of articles recently pointing out that the Democrat party seems to be moving even more strongly to the Left. Not every Demcrat wants to go there. That opens up the middle . . . for a more moderate Republican.

    Additional evidence of the Overton window possibly shifting is that some Lefties are taking the “red pill.”

    My choice would be to contract with BurlingtonNorthern for boxcars to solve the immigration problem, but of all the issues, the “Dreamers” have the greatest tug on my heart strings (black though it may be). If Trump can negotiate strict and enforceable rules as to who gets to stay, with no chain immigration, and he doesn’t sign anything until The Wall is fully funded, and all the necessary building permits and certificates and environmental studies are signed or waived, I’m down with him on this one.

  13. Ann Says:


    That border wall provision in the bill needs Senate approval, which may not happen:

    It’s the second time the House has sent the border funding language to the Senate. When the defense and homeland security portion of the bill passed in July, it was sent to the Senate. Now, that language will be sent again as part of the combined measure.

    “We’re knocking on the door twice,” said one GOP aide.

    The Senate, however, is expected to run into problems taking on the giant spending bill. Democrats are known to oppose language on border funding, and the defense portion of the bill spends $72 billion more than what’s allowed under existing budget caps.

    Democrats made clear again their opposition to the border wall, after reaching an understanding with President Trump about how to legislation a solution for so-called Dreamers who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children. Democrats said they would support a bill protecting the Dreamers that includes language boosting border security, but said that bill could not include language that builds a border wall.

    Trump himself said GOP leaders in the House and Senate are “on board” with that kind of agreement.

  14. Bill Says:

    Neo, I think this is a reverse case of “seriously not literally”, with Trump followers hearing what they wanted to hear.

    It seems to me that most of his base is still in a “Trump, right or wtong”, and will support whatever he does.

  15. Oldflyer Says:

    I have no problem if he puts the “Dreamers” who are here at present on the back burner, as long as he terminates the program. There are other promises about which there can be no doubt–the wall being the most visible.

    I am most bothered by the fact that he very visibly decided to deal unilaterally with Schumer and Pelosi.
    The notion that he can legitimately deal with those two is one of the great fantasies of the day. At a time when he should be working to unify the Republican party, he is undercutting it in my opinion.

    I know that there is some talk that he will form a third party and bypass the GOP. I think that is a losing proposition for everyone but the Democrat Party.

  16. Harry the Extremist Says:

    Ben Shapiro points out a study that says most ever Trumpers would move left with the Donald more than they would if he moved more to the right and that Trump loosing support of people like Ann Coulter does not indicate Trump loosing his base, which is why ideas and the character of the person espousing them ARE important. I wonder if Ann Coulter cringes now at the title of her own book “In Trump We Trust: E Pluribus Awesome!”
    Like Shapiro points out: Follow ideas, not people.

  17. Bill Says:

    Oldflyer: “I know that there is some talk that he will form a third party and bypass the GOP. I think that is a losing proposition for everyone but the Democrat Party.”

    Yes and well said. I think that the current very wide schism in the GOP between the Trump-wing and the GOPe already, in a way, represents the emergence of a de-facto third party. The fact that Trump is actively working to primary disloyal GOP senators (this is a first, I think?) is another sign.

    I too agree – that will help the Democrats more than anyone. The only hope the GOP has is the fact that the Democrats are in their own disarray.

  18. blert Says:

    Trump is on record — his tweats — to terminate chain migration.

    All of the balls are still up in the air.

    That’s ALWAYS been Donald’s style.

    This is what you get with an extreme pragmatist.

    Ryan and McConnell undercut Trump… not the other way around.

    BTW, both LOVE Dreamers.

    The REAL battle is Chain Migration. It has to be terminated.

    The wall has to go up.

    Demographic replacement has to end.

    Or this polity is finished — Northern Brazil to take its place.

  19. Artfldgr Says:

    Defending accuracy ms Diogenes doesn’t mean your defending anyone… nor would withholding the correction be considered square and on the level

  20. The Other Chuck Says:

    no one will be immune or exempt from enforcement –

    What isn’t clear in that statement? The Dreamers are here illegally. They are not citizens. While Trump qualified enforcement by signaling priorities, he never excluded the Dreamers. If you didn’t hear him specifically exclude them, they are part of the no on will be immune or exempt from enforcement category.

  21. Dave Says:

    If no one should be punished for their parents’ crimes then neither should anyone be rewarded for their parents’ crimes. It is that simple. when the main motivation and incentive for these illegal immigrant parents to commit crime of entering America illegally is to give their children a better future then these children are no longer mere victims, they were the main beneficiaries of these crimes, granting them amnesty is rewarding criminals because you are giving them exactly what the criminals were committing their crimes for. That is why I hated breaking bad’s ending. The dying main character committed all those atrocities to leave behind money for his family, you should not reward bad guys by letting his family keep millions.

  22. Dave Says:

    That is why most liberals are millennials because liberalism thinking is the most primal and amateurish way to understand life. Take abortion for example, the most amateurish way to look at the issue is in fact that a woman should be able to do whatever she want to with her body. However if you look at theissue a little deeper then you would realise the problem is not as simple as that. A woman can not get pregnant by herself, a pregnancy involves a sperm, what is the right of the owner of the sperm who got this woman pregnant? If this man doesn’t have any rights regarding whether this baby should be kept, then why does he have the responsibilities to raise this baby after he is born. The questions are infinite, but the liberals will only clench on the most naive concept, a woman should be able to do whatever she wants with her body and abortion laws is just a way for men to oppress women.

  23. Dave Says:

    Liberalism is full of contradictions, instead of reexamining their beliefs, they simply choose to use violence to silence anyone who raises questions that exploit their contradictions.

  24. Bill Says:

    Neo, you might want to look at this:

    Trump gave this speech (I think it’s a decent speech) about immigration. He didn’t mention DACA buy name, but here is the money quote

    For those here today illegally who are seeking legal status, they will have one route and only one route: to return home and apply for re-entry under the rules of the new legal immigration system that I have outlined above. Those who have left to seek entry under this new system will not be awarded surplus visas, but will have to enter under the immigration caps or limits that will be established.

    We will break the cycle of amnesty and illegal immigration. There will be no amnesty.

    Our message to the world will be this: you cannot obtain legal status, or become a citizen of the United States, by illegally entering our country.

    This declaration alone will help stop the crisis of illegal crossings and illegal overstays.

    People will know that you can’t just smuggle in, hunker down, and wait to be legalized. Those days are over.

    This was a prepared policy speech, not Trump off the cuff.

    He does talk earlier about priorities in enforcement. But it would seem in his latest statements he’s asking Congress to provide some kind of legal status for Dreamers, while simultaneously reassuring Dreamers that they’ll be OK.

    I think that is the right policy, and it needs to be done by Congress, not EO. But I can also understand why someone who believed and supported Trump’s detailed, stated policy from the speech above would see this has a departure from same.

  25. neo-neocon Says:


    Do you realize that you’re quoting the same speech I quoted? You are highlighting some more general remarks, but I quoted the part that was more specifically about DACA.

  26. Bill Says:

    Oh drat. I had a feeling I would do that. My apologies Neo. I need to re-read the OP.

    Commenting too fast for my own good.

  27. Tatterdemalian Says:

    Nobody without psychic superpowers is immune to being lied to. It’s sad that so many people reject this simple fact, just because their belief system can’t handle being wrong about anything.

  28. The Other Chuck Says:

    In a Trump Administration, all immigration laws will be enforced. As with any law enforcement activity, we will set priorities. But, unlike this Administration, no one will be immune or exempt from enforcement – and ICE and Border Patrol officers will be allowed to do their jobs. Anyone who has entered the United States illegally is subject to deportation – that is what it means to have laws and to have a country.

    Ah yes, he didn’t specifically say he intended to deport illegal Dreamers, he only said no one will be immune or exempt from enforcement, that the Border Patrol will be allowed to do their jobs, and anyone who entered illegally is subject to deportation. Are we parse the meaning of subject? How about the meaning of no one? Better yet, how about the meaning of is?

    The only people who can make this statement mean Trump chooses to exempt Dreamers are lawyers who can parse and finagle anything into almost its exact opposite. But then the host of this blog is was trained as an attorney. Quoi de neuf.

  29. neo-neocon Says:

    The Other Chuck:

    It’s not only word-parsing lawyers who would understand that the idea that someone will not be immune or exempt from enforcement and will be subject to deportation, is not equivalent to “will be deported” or “will not be allowed to stay here.”

    The first is saying that deportation is not forbidden. The second is saying it is necessary and will happen.

    To be a Dreamer, even now, you can’t be a criminal nor can you be a security threat, and there are a whole bunch of other requirements. So the Dreamers would be unlikely to fall into the categories earmarked for deportation anyway.

  30. Brian E Says:

    I think this is the best tough on illegal immigration stance that Trump can take.
    My daughter and son-in-law taught in a school district with a high portion of children of illegals and have personal sympathy for their circumstances.
    My solution would add a distinct immigration status- a yellow card– legal status with no path to citizenship for the parents of these students.
    Using the soccer metaphor would be very understandable. A serious infraction and it becomes a red card and deportation.

    The Washington political class on both sides of the aisle supports open borders for very different reasons, but the results are the same, so I think President Trump is sincere in his empathy for these young people, and taking a hard line would be good politics– many people that want a stop to illegal immigration are also sympathetic to “children”.

    Does Trump lose significant support by taking this position? Probably not.

    More worrying is the corrosive effect of the “swamp” on Trump’s positions. Rather than draining the swamp, there is a very real possibility that the swamp’s slimy undercurrent has caught Trump.

    Being a person with a large ego, it’s understandable that it would also be difficult to be the outsider with no friends.

    In addition, while not talked about, I wonder if Trump’s enemies are using every opportunity to damage his businesses. By the time Trump leaves the presidency, while most president’s have enhanced their net worth, is it possible that Trump will leave office poorer than when he took office?

    I’ve said repeatedly that I expect Trump to accomplish three or four significant goals and I will consider his terms a success. While I’m not disappointed by this position on the children of illegals, the devil is still in the details, and as has been already stated, cutting off the chain immigration effect is critical.

  31. Irv Says:

    Trump has the opportunity for a great middle path that will please everyone to some degree but also force a compromise to some degree.

    1. First, stop illegal immigration by whatever means are practical. If that’s a wall, fine, but a fence, more agents, employee ID checks etc…will be just fine with me. Solving the illegal immigration problem is important; how it’s done is less so.

    2. I really like Brian E.’s solution of a yellow card for dreamers. It allows them to stay and to work but no path to citizenship except to apply in line like everyone else. It would mean no voting, no welfare and no chain migration. It would also mean that one felony conviction, violent misdemeanor or confirmed gang membership would lead to instant revocation of yellow card and deportation. I would stamp these conditions on their yellow card to be sure they understood them. While I’m sympathetic to their plight, I don’t like being taken advantage of.

  32. Irv Says:

    I just read an article by Roger Simon that talks about no voting for dreamers among other things. I don’t know who originated the idea but I highly recommend the article.

  33. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Wasn’t Trum supposed to be fighting the Left and making deals in DC or something…

  34. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Trum blocking off Islamic terrorists sneaking into the country, whether it is DACA post aftermath care or something else like Syrian refugees, is in line with his promises.

    The administration has to do something like that, to open their hands to actually handle Internal Security. Which means all the terrorists that have been training America’s FBI for years now on Counter Terror…

  35. Ymar Sakar Says:

    It would mean no voting, no welfare and no chain migration

    I recommended a similar solution for Demoncrats, aside from enforced exile.

  36. AesopFan Says:

    Irv Says:
    September 17th, 2017 at 4:29 pm
    … While I’m sympathetic to their plight, I don’t like being taken advantage of.
    * * *
    I think this explains the “tipping point” from the POV of the majority of the voting populace. So long as illegal aliens (not immigrants: that’s a position of legality) were, essentially, keeping their heads down and staying out of trouble, Americans mostly were okay with the situation. Not happy, mind you, but okay.
    Once the news became filled with stories of what looked like rank ingratitude for the benefits they were receiving from America (because for the activists making the news, it WAS ingratitude), a sense of entitlement became noticeable, and criminals faced none of the consequences that seemed rationally deserved (and which would be visited on citizens), the situation changed.
    MORAL: don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

  37. Ymar Sakar Says:

    MORAL: don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

    Demoncrats feed them, and Americans are reliant upon Demoncrat largesse.

  38. AesopFan Says:

    to wit

    Most of the money for refugee resettlement comes from the taxpayers. Interestingly, much of it goes to religious contractors.
    Of course, when a church wants to apply for a piddly grant to resurface a playground, that’s an egregious violation of the Establishment Clause — until the Supreme Court said it wasn’t — but giving millions to churches to facilitate multicultural diversity is perfectly fine.

    BTW, I’m not faulting the church members in this, because like the couple of foster parents in the UK, they think they are being generous and charitable; but the consequences are dire.

  39. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Most of the money for refugee resettlement comes from the taxpayers. Interestingly, much of it goes to religious contractors.

    Not all that surprising, since volunteer orgs are much more efficient at this than the gov. The gov just plants them down and lets the local communities deal with the fall out. Sort of like an invasion ala Germany.

    but giving millions to churches to facilitate multicultural diversity is perfectly fine.

    Of course. The saying in DC is that the palm that gets greased needs to stay greased, otherwise blackmail and white mail will happen.

    They can’t get control over you if you don’t take their money. Same in Hollywood. If you want the money and the fame, the girls better do what they are told to do by Polanski etc.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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