Catering to extremists won't help Dreamers
Announcing an end to the Obama administration's amnesty for young people brought into the country illegally by their parents, President Trump signaled this week that he wants a comprehensive restructuring of immigration law. Trump emphasized that it should provide for the young illegals, most of whom know no country but the United States.
In response most leading Democrats, including Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, signaled that they don't want any deal on immigration − that they want only to denounce Trump to rile up their political base, just as the president often strives to rile up his.
The governor called the president a "coward" for making the announcement through Attorney General Jeff Sessions, though Trump himself quickly made comments sympathetic to the young illegals, insisting that Congress legislate in their favor. After all, the constitutionality of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, an executive branch alteration of immigration law, is fairly in question.
Yes, the president may be discreditable in many respects, but if immigration policy is to be more name calling than political compromise, name calling can work both ways. For example, what could you call a candidate for governor who during his campaign pledged not to raise taxes but did so anyway once he was in office? A liar?
What could you call Democrats who, like the governor, enthusiastically supported Hillary Clinton for their party's presidential nomination, imagining federal patronage for themselves, when she was plainly the only Democrat capable of losing the election to someone like Trump? Deluded opportunists?
What could you call a governor who complains about the General Assembly's failure to adopt a state budget when the unprecedented delay results from his inability to persuade his own party's legislative majorities to support his or any budget proposal? Ineffectual?
What could you call a governor who refuses to confront corruption in the state police? As much a coward as Trump supposedly is?
Even the Washington Post acknowledges that on immigration policy leading Democrats now pander to the extreme elements of their party, who want no immigration law enforcement at all, just as leading Republicans have been pandering to the extreme elements of their party, who are hostile to most immigration.
Such extremism will not rescue the young illegals; it will leave them without the ability to work legally and subject to deportation at any time. So their true friends will not be calling names and thereby alienating those whose votes are needed to rescue them. Their true friends will restrain their hateful impulses and instead pursue the president's invitation to compromise.
Lembo's revelation: Back in April, upon establishing an "exploratory committee," state Comptroller Kevin Lembo said he wanted to be the Democratic nominee for governor next year because "the same old answers aren't going to cut it" and "we've got to shake up the system." But a week ago Lembo said he has changed his mind and wants to remain comptroller.
"Governors have very broad portfolios of work," Lembo told Connecticut Public Radio. "There are no choices about that portfolio. You have to work on it all. I have a very specific set of issues that I'm passionate about."
Did Lembo learn about the governor's broad portfolio only since April? Or since April has he sensed that his party's ineptness with the state budget is devastating Democratic prospects in the next election and that people are starting to think that any chance of "shaking up the system" will require a Republican governor and legislature?
Chris Powell is managing editor of the Journal Inquirer in Manchester.
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