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Douglas Turner: It wasn't Schumer who was humiliated during shutdown

Douglas Turner

WASHINGTON — The hours following the three-day shutdown of the federal government have revealed how much congressional Democrats, particularly in the Senate, have been pulled to the liberal left.

The national media, too. Sen. Charles E. Schumer of New York, the Democratic minority leader, was bent on preventing the public from blaming his party for defunding the government. This blame could cost the Democrats dearly in their hopes of recapturing a working majority in the next Senate. So in the last moments prior to the shutdown, Schumer made an offer to give President Trump $25 billion to pay for his proposed wall along the Mexican border.

Even so, the votes were not there to keep the government open. Among those who balked at the settlement were Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., who is running for re-election this year. She is more than a prohibitive favorite in part because, as we have said, there is effectively no Republican Party left in New York State.

Her opposition to ending the shutdown was not opportunistic. She had been crusading for months for a final settlement to the DACA crisis, which Trump himself needlessly started. DACA stands for a ruling of President Obama's: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, affecting upwards of 800,000 illegal immigrants who came here with their parents or other family. Obama's regulation said they could stay.

Trump last year arbitrarily canceled Obama's ruling, giving DACA immigrants – the "Dreamers" – only until March 5 to find a permanent solution, either through legislation or a ruling by Trump undoing what he himself started. Lacking that, any or all of them could be deported, bag and baggage.

Gillibrand's refusal to fund the government was joined by leaders of the Democrats' smoldering radical left, including Sen. Bernie Sanders, I- Vt.; freshman Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif.; and Sen. Elizabeth Warren., D-Mass., a 2020 presidential hopeful.

Schumer's focus was on a target closer at hand – electing enough Democrats this year to have a majority.

Virtually all the national media blamed Schumer for, to coin their collective phrase, for "caving" into Trump. A later vote funded the government but only until Feb. 5. That will get him through the State of the Union Message on Wednesday night, and then it starts all over again a week later.

As a group, much of the national media plus various advocacy groups conveniently forgot that it was Trump himself who created this standoff by repealing DACA. Schumer, tired of being a punching bag by the Senate's left and the radical media, pulled his $25 billion "wall" offer off the bargaining table.

Trump, in one of his tweets, called Schumer "cryin' Chuck Schumer" and said the senator was "humiliated" in the bargaining. Trump was wrong.

The American people and good order were humiliated.

Realizing that much of the national media's memory lasts only 48 hours, or less, Trump is now using his very own DACA crisis as a new plaything. Before leaving for the international economics meeting in Davos, Switzerland, Trump told a press gaggle at the White House that he was going to offer 1.8 million illegal immigrants a "pathway to citizenship" in exchange for some kind of $25 billion "trust fund" for a border wall and other immigration safeguards.

This is more ruthless toying with the hearts of millions of the undocumented. Frankly, it's sickening. The headlines all crowed "Trump Offers 1.8 million Illegals Citizenship." But with everything Trump does, one must carefully read the fine print. Yes, read on: He said as far as citizenship is concerned, "we're going to have to morph into it ... It's going to happen at some point in the future." Trump was thinking of a timeline of 10 to 12 years, he said.

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