The Atlantic

Dittoheads for Cutting Deals With Democrats

Rush Limbaugh and his listeners are taking Donald Trump’s new relationship with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer in stride.
Source: Jim Tanner / Reuters

What to make of Donald Trump’s willingness to work with Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer on the debt ceiling, over the objections of Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, and Trump’s subsequent negotiations on immigration policy, including an alleged deal to grant legal status or even the possibility of citizenship to young, law-abiding people brought to the United States by their parents?

Thomas Edsall marshals political-science research and survey data to argue that “Many Republican voters, including self-identified strong conservatives, are ready and willing to shift to the left if they’re told that that’s the direction Trump is moving … partisan identification is more a tribal affiliation than an ideological commitment.”

The writer and cable-news host Chris Hayes aired the provocative hypothesis that Trump could sign “comprehensive immigration reform,” including a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants already in the U.S. and tougher workplace enforcement of immigration law, “with minimal losses among his base,” because the thing that they care about most is a member of their tribe being president, rather than a member of the other tribe—particularly a black man like Barack Obama, who ended centuries of rule by white men—and that has already been accomplished.

In this telling, policies that Trump’s base perceived as a grave threat during the last administration suddenly “don't have the same existential sting for his most ardent voters.”

W. James Antle III among the restrictionist right.

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