In his run to the White House, he was repeatedly and unexpectedly rescued.
And engaged in an alley fight of his own making on immigration, the new president was handed a reprieve for his beleaguered executive-order rollout.
With his competence in question over confusion at America’s borders, Trump pulled off a Supreme Court coup that at least briefly silenced much of the domestic debate about immigrants.
Polls from the presidential election said 70 percent of Trump voters claimed his vow to name an originalist/constitutionalist to the Supreme Court was a very important reason they supported him.
In a city that thrives on leaks, the Trump team managed to keep his nominee secret until the president introduced Neil Gorsuch on primetime TV on Tuesday at the White House. Suddenly the concerns from his base about competence miraculously dissipated while his many critics were outfoxed – again.
Despite Gorsuch’s sterling reputation, resistance to the 49-year-old quickly emerged from the progressives who’ve captured the Democratic Party with their alternative-universe logic.
On CNN, Democratic house leader Nancy Pelosi allowed that Gorsuch might be a nice guy, but “it’s a hostile appointment … as far as your family is concerned. If you breathe air, drink water, take medicine or in any other way interact with the courts … this is a bad decision. He’s well outside the mainstream of American legal opinion.”
It’s likely Gorsuch will succeed in the Supreme Court.
But the immigration schism in America (and Canada) will not heal anytime soon.
Trump won the presidency in large part because he was the only one among the Republicans candidates willing to defy the settled immigration orthodoxy. By the time his party opponents – and Hillary Clinton – realized the importance of the issue, Trump had ridden the populist wave about immigration to the White House. His executive order delaying refugees from seven nations represents his promised approach to balancing secure borders while continuing a compassionate policy for newcomers.
Pelosi and company continue to whine, shouting “Racism!”
They pointed to the Jews turned away by the U.S. and Canada as they tried to escape the Nazis in the late 1930s and ’40s. They took strength from foreign governments flummoxed by the Trump-Brexit-Le Pen ascension. And they acted just goofy: one activist announced America has no moral rights to dictate immigration policy because of slavery.
Fox TV host Tucker Carlson interviewed Mark Hetfield, CEO for the federally-funded resettlement organization HIAS. Hetfield had said the Trump executive order is contrary to American values. Asked what those values are – because polling shows Americans oppose large-scale Syrian resettlement by wide margins – Hetfield said refugees are never popular and he doesn’t go by polling.
Carlson asked what percentage of the 60-to-100-million refugees worldwide America has a moral obligation to admit? Hetfield declined to be specific, saying he just doesn’t want a replay of the Jews in the 1930s.
Asked if Americans should be concerned after the tumult in Europe following admission of 1.5 million refugees, Hetfield cited what he calls the stringent immigration process facing immigrants already. Did he ever ask immigrants about their stand on sharia, genital mutilation and religious violence? Hetfield replied, in effect, not my job.
So if it’s a moral obligation for America and Canada to pick up the immigration slack in a time of crisis, how do they triage the tens of millions of refugees worldwide to decide who’s in and who’s out? Who decides what person running from hostile forces has a higher degree of danger? Should the vetting process be shortened to get them out of danger?
They all have heartbreaking stories. Do you take children first? Families? People who might assimilate better? Do you give preference to those who illegally cross your border to find safety? Or those who follow the legal protocols for immigrants?
Likewise, what rights do citizens have to safety from immigrants who bring terror?
Before Trump, those in power declared these issues to be settled.
Trump has shattered those expectations.
As usual, liberals wanted people to know they have big hearts and bigger plans. And, when they find someone to pay for their virtue, something might actually get done.
While they postured, Trump filled that void. Deal with it.
Troy Media columnist Bruce Dowbiggin career includes successful stints in television, radio and print. A two-time winner of the Gemini Award as Canada’s top television sports broadcaster, he is also the publisher of Not The Public Broadcaster.