(CNN)It is President Trump’s habit, when he makes policy announcements bound to upset Democrats or other political foes, to bathe in the backlash, crow about the hurt feelings and mock any mawkish or emotional reactions.
That’s how we got “Cryin’ Chuck Schumer,” a nickname born of the Democratic minority leader’s weepy response to the first travel ban and revived, now, for the ongoing fight over the fate of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and the people known as Dreamers.
Seeing Trump come alive at the smell of a fight with Democrats is hardly new. But his hardening tone, when addressing this particular issue, indicates a fundamental shift in his approach. DACA recipients are now — as they were always going to be, given Washington’s current power dynamics — a bargaining chip.
The rest is just noise.
Unlike with so many other points of political contention, Trump has long applied a softer touch when discussing DACA recipients. Perhaps it’s because they’re typically younger, or came into the country as minors with their undocumented parents, or simply because they are viewed widely as the good immigrants (a cultural distinction both problematic and pervasive), productive and law-abiding.
That the program itself is widely popular — 84% of Americans back it, with broad support among Republicans (72%), independents (82%) and Democrats (96%) — adds to the stew.
Photo: DBS / News Source: CNN