Driving a Wedge, or, DACA and the Coming Three-Party System


This morning David Atkins asks a good question:

In the ninth month of his presidency, it seems clear that Donald Trump is motivated by little more than bigotry, narcissism, dominance posturing, and the desire to anger anyone with a sense of basic decency. Today’s reported decision to end the DACA program with only a six-month delay fits all of those criteria. But at what point does a policy of vindictive, malignant belligerence sow the seeds of its own destruction?

As I said, it’s a good rhetorical question, but it has an answer: at the point where the policy of malignant belligerence finally drives a wedge between the plutocrats and the rubes they have been deceiving for so many decades.

The deplorables—the rubes and the bigots—make up about one quarter to one third of the electorate. It is said that many of them are growing tired of Trump’s act. If that is so, it’s about damn time.

But, regrettably, having grown tired of Trump’s act, the rubes and the bigots will nevertheless remain rubes and bigots. With or without Trump, they will need their own political party, and they will surely have their own political party. And that’s good: better that they have their own political party than that they should riot in the streets.

But what of the country club Republicans and the Wall Street globalist Republicans? Methinks their long game of deceiving the rubes with shiny objects has at least played out. Trump’s  DACA decision should advance the ball by creating new and painful dilemmas for the party of the plutocrats. Atkins writes,

Rather than simply end DACA outright or continue it outright, [Trump] is giving a six-month window to end it. This functionally means kicking the can to Congress, which will be forced to decide the issue of DACA’s renewal. This will not please Republicans in the House and Senate, most of whom know that the party’s post-Trump future with Hispanic voters depends on them distancing themselves from the barbaric cruelty of Trump and his red state attorneys general, but who also cannot afford to upset Trump’s white nationalist base. Congressional Republicans will also be dealing with a full scale revolt not just from the expected left-leaning advocacy groups and mass protests, but from corporate America as well. Just today Apple CEO Tim Cook made it clear that his company stands with the Dreamers. Expect most of the rest of corporate America to follow suit in the coming months.

But it’s even worse than that. Trump’s calculus is likely to use DACA kids as a hostage, a bargaining chip to hold against Congress in exchange for Trump’s other unpopular priorities including his border wall and tax cuts for the rich. This puts Republicans in Congress in a double bind: either support funding for a pointless and unpopular wall, or take the blame from the President and from Democrats for killing DACA.

It is an untenable position. As the song says, something’s gotta give.

The corporatist/globalist/plutocrats need their own political party, and I think they will soon be forced to create it. Deprived of their beloved strategy of dangling shiny objects in front of poor white people, the plutocratic party will have to look for support in the other direction—from the kind of people who love Chuck Shumer, the kind of people who don’t see anything exceptional when Hillary or Bill gives a half million speech to Goldman Sachs.

And that will leave a new, or newly invigorated, progressive party on the left.

And we will all be in a much happier place.