Has Donald Trump cut a deal with “Chuck and Nancy”? Another deal? A deal on immigration? If so, he promised as much, during the 2016 primaries. I brought this up in yesterday’s Impromptus.
It was one of his selling points against Ted Cruz: I can work with Democrats, he can’t. I can make deals with them, he can’t. Trump said, “I think I’m going to be able to get along with Pelosi — I’ve had a good relationship with Nancy Pelosi.” He also said, “I always had a great relationship with Harry Reid.” And so on.
Cruz? According to Trump, “he is a guy that nobody likes and nobody trusts.”
Ordinarily, conservatives are wary of GOP politicians who promise to reach across the aisle and make deals. Some of that wariness went out the window, I think, when it came to Donald Trump.
The patience of the Right, or much of it, with Donald Trump is extraordinary. During the primaries, he said that he had no choice but to hire illegals at his Florida club — because there are jobs that Americans simply won’t do. Ordinarily, conservatives despise such talk. They gave Trump a pass (or many did).
Trump bragged about how smart he was and how he had gone to an Ivy League college. Nothing can tick the Right off more. But with Trump …
For eight years, people blasted Obama for playing so much golf. And now? For eight years, people blasted the Obama family for spending so much on travel: Martha’s Vineyard, Hawaii, the Costa del Sol, etc. Then it was reported that Trump was set to spend more in one year than the Obamas had in all eight.
There was a conservative pastime: We used to count the number of times Obama said “I” or “me” in a speech. How would Trump’s numbers stack up?
Challenging Trump on the Russian leader, Bill O’Reilly said, “Putin’s a killer.” Trump responded, “There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What, you think our country’s so innocent?”
What if Obama had said this? Or Hillary, or McCain, or Romney? Would the Right not be screaming moral equivalence and bloody murder?
What if another president disclosed an allied intelligence asset in an Oval Office meeting with two representatives of Putin? And so on.
During the primaries, Trump bragged that he could walk out in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot someone and not lose any of his political support. I refer to this as “the Fifth Avenue Principle.” On immigration, this principle will be tested, and I would not bet against it. The loyalty that Donald Trump generates in millions of people is a phenomenon, one that will be the subject of books for years to come.