Confusion Reigns Over Brexit and Immigration Affects All EU Politics

Little Rock   Over and over again I would ask members, organizers, activists and others, “What’s the skinny on Brexit? What’s it going to mean to us and our people?”  The answer was almost invariably a shrug and one of those looks that says, “who the heck knows?”

That’s not to say there aren’t a lot of opinions about different directions it might go and the responses many might take.  The Scottish National Party claims that they would revive their push for independence for Scotland if Brexit isn’t to their liking.  Right now, the independence effort is off the radar.  The Labour Party is letting the governing Conservative Party wallow in their own mess.  UKIP is a threat without being a real danger.   But, still no one knows what will happen to jobs and what will happen to immigration and everything connected to both of these front-page issues.

Theresa May, the Prime Minister who is still barely holding on, because no one wants this mess on their shoes, keeps backtracking on one demand after another.  She’s now agreed to pay more than a billion in old bills.  She’s guaranteed that EU residents that are living and working in the UK will be able to stay, regardless of Brexit, though the doors will undoubtedly be closing more tightly with Brexit.

Immigration continues to be the stick stirring the drink all over Europe, and an issue that the EU talks big about everyone handling their share of the weight on refugees, but there’s no enforcement, just a lot of shame-and-blame.  Meanwhile Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and right wing or so-called populist parties in France, Italy, and elsewhere are still making mischief and division over the issue.

More people cared about Wetherspoon’s being out of food and grocery stores being out of eggs and bread, than Brexit.  This looks like a continuing mess of rare proportions.

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Is a DACA Deal for Real or Fake News?

New Orleans   Is this a dream or are the DREAMers about to be protected?

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senator Minority Leader Chuck Schumer after dinner with the President announced that they have an agreement to protect the DREAMers in exchange for some more border and security protections, not including the Trump Wall. This didn’t come from the White House, though the White House did agree that there were productive discussions. Anti-immigrant legislators are begging for details in fear that Trump may have not done enough for the border. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan reportedly in meeting with Representative Pelosi agreed that the DREAMers had to be protected as well.

Is this a trial balloon to allow the haters to organize or is this the real thing, just as other stories were filling up the papers indicating that DACA was last on the list for Congress, and there was no way they would meet the 6-month deadline? Is this President Trump confounding the pundits once again by making a deal while singing Britney Spears’ hit song, “hit me one more time?” With no details available, is this really a deal or is this fake news?

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, President Trump reaching across the aisle to make deals is the smartest thing he’s done since orchestrating his own improbable victory in winning the presidency. If he continues to demonstrate that he can produce victories with bipartisan support and wrong-footing his detractors on the left and and on the right, while allowing his secretaries to bleed Obama reforms out through the regulatory process in one department after another from the environment to education, the threat level his presidency poses goes to another level.

Will this hurt him with his 35-40% base? Heck, no! He’s proven over and over again that he can sell them manure and claim its perfume. The far right, anti-immigrant caucus, Attorney General Sessions, former Sheriff Arpaio, Steve Bannon, and the like will be unhappy and bitter, but they are marginal, and, give the devil his due, Trump knows he can make a deal on DACA, throw some crumbs their way, and keep stepping. They have no threat of exit, so they are stuck with him.

Just like we are.

We have no real alternative that has emerged thus far. There is speculation on a 3rd party emerging in a split within the Republican camp, but not among the Democratic forces. The ambitious are trying to position themselves early, but progressive are united in opposition, but not on the direction forward.

Meanwhile we are grasping at straws hoping for anything that even looks like a deal without any understanding of what it might cost us.

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