I Knew Ramses II. Ramses II was a Friend of Mind. And you, Donald, are no Ramses II

Abu Simbel

Three questions intersect.

Question 1—and, yes, it’s an oldie: How much of Trump’s never-ending stream of bullshit represents a conscious intent to lie, and how much arises from delusion and seriously confused thinking?

Question 2: What kind of a DACA deal is politically feasible?

Question 3: What will happen if and when any DACA bill falls through?

Question 1—Conscious Lying Versus Confusion, Illusion, and Delusion

This afternoon Matt Yglesias took another pass at the question, and laid out a very strong and detailed case that, while there appears to be some conscious lying, it’s mostly serious mental confusion. His headline, Trump’s latest interview shows he’s not really the president, pretty well sums it up.

“Trump doesn’t know he canceled DACA,” Yglesias writes. And, as to the purported “White House negotiating position” concocted by General Kelly and Stephen Miller,

Democrats are, for better or worse, prepared to cough up a lot of border security money in exchange for DACA protections. The sticking point is that Trump’s White House keeps putting forward a lot of other demands — including, notably, a 50 percent cut in legal immigration.

But Trump, amazingly, does not mention these demands at any point in the [CNBC interview in Davos]. The president is completely out to sea on the main policy debate of the moment, even though he’s also completely central to it.

Question 2: What kind of a DACA deal is politically feasible?

The Kelly-Miller deal is dead on arrival. Trump doesn’t understand it (see Yglesias article above). Democrats pronounced it dead on arrival. The Senate will never pass it. And, most importantly,

  • a segment of the population hates the idea of accepting dreamers,
  • Breitbart hates it
  • Ann Coulter has denounced it (“combines political incompetence, malpractice, greed, betrayal, and self-mutilation,” she said, with her customary restraint)
  • right-wing nutjub candidates are denouncing it.

Like Ramses II, Trump yearns to construct a giant monument on his southern border to frighten and piss off his neighbors to the south. But, Donald, I knew Ramses II. Ramses II was a friend of mine. And you, Donald Trump, are no Ramses II.

Schumer already offered the wall in exchange for the Dreamers. Many Democrats would do the same. Such a deal would probably pass the Senate. It might or might not pass the House. Trump might want to sign it.

But if Breitbart and Ann Coulter and the hardest of hard-core elements of American society hate the Kelly-Miller approach, what the hell would they say and do about a simpler wall-for-Dreamers deal?

You know the answer. They would go ballistic. They would desert Trump in droves.

Just at the time when the Russian/obstruction shit hits the fan.

And the combined effect of ballistic right wingers, now deserting Trump, at the same time as the Russian/obstruction situation goes really out of control would mean that the purportedly respectable Republicans—no longer fearing Trump’s erstwhile supporters, no longer with anything much to gain by supporting Trump, and with everything to lose by being tarred with the brush of criminality and treason—would rise as one to proclaim, “All hail President Pence.”

Question 3: When the Deal Falls Through

One thing, and only one thing, will save Trump’s bacon: establishment Republican fear of his base.

But, to placate the worst of the worst—to hang on to his cult of personality—Trump will not get to trade the Dreamers for the wall.

Like a wounded animal, he will betray the Dreamers to save his own skin.

And Ozymandias will not get his monument or his wall.