by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Lots of people are wondering just why Democrats rejected President Trump’s plan to reopen government agencies even before he announced the plan. House speaker Nancy Pelosi called it a “non-starter,” and Senate Democratic whip Dick Durbin rejected it even though, as the Daily Caller noted, Trump’s proposal to protect immigrant “Dreamers” from being deported “included everything” that Durbin had asked for “just over two years ago.”
The Washington Post editorial page, normally one of Trump’s harshest critics, was puzzled by the Democratic intransigence:
“To refuse even to talk until the government reopens does no favors to sidelined federal workers and contractors. . . . A measure of statesmanship for a member of Congress now is the ability to accept some disappointments, and shrug off the inevitable attacks from purists, if it means rescuing the lives of thousands of deserving people living among us.”
So why are Democrats so dug in? GOP congressman Peter King, who is frequently critical of Trump, says it’s because the issue of a border wall is secondary to their hatred of Trump. “The fear is, among the Democratic leadership, if they make any agreement with President Trump, it’s like compromising with the devil,” he told New York radio station AM970.
In other words, when Democrats now hear talk of “border security,” they think only of Trump and want to make sure that their base won’t see them as surrendering to him in any way. Forget the fact that Democrats have voted for a border barrier in the past and that the $5.7 billion Trump wants is meant only for stretches that U.S. Border Patrol officials have identified as needing barriers to interdict illegal entrants and drugs.