Analysis: A worrisome poll number for Trump
The Washington Examiner’s Paul Waldman writes how the nation is drifting away from the Republican Party
By Paul Waldman
For more than 50 years, presidents have sought to make a point with the American people when they have had to declare a national emergency. In the 1960s, president Kennedy tried to push through a declaration to secure the U.S. space program; in the 1970s, Reagan used it to attack the Soviet Union; and now, under President Barack Obama, the American people are being asked to accept a declaration on immigration.
This time it’s different: the Democrats are not looking to exploit the crisis of the border to score political points. The Democratic Party is looking for political gain from a crisis on the border that it can use to push its own immigration agenda.
For two decades, the Democrats have tried to use immigration as a cudgel to pressure Republicans into agreeing with their positions on social issues. That is what happened with abortion, when the two-time presidential nominee was able to portray herself as a pro-choice feminist, a champion of women’s issues and immigration activist, a role playing both the pro-life and pro-choice stances.
The Democrats lost that strategy in 2004, but now they have decided to take it back up. The Obama White House’s immigration website is a campaign of promises, no matter how vague, on a range of policy issues, including the border crisis.
The Democrats have also decided to take their campaign on the road. In the weeks leading up to the release of the border crisis news, the Obama administration has deployed its first-ever presidential bus tour, featuring four of the administration’s immigration officials. This has served two purposes.
Firstly, it makes the case to the American people that the administration is doing something about the border crisis. Secondly, it is a way to highlight the administration’s efforts to bring some sanity back to the debate over immigration.
It is a strategy that is a sign of just how far the Obama administration has drifted from traditional conservative principles. There has been a significant shift in the attitude of the president himself. This is a president who has become increasingly willing to say whatever he needs to in order to get elected into the highest office in the land.
We have come to accept that Barack Obama isn