Thursday, December 8, 2016

How times change; Rahm now our ally in upcoming political fight w/ Trump

I can remember a time not all that long ago when Rahm Emanuel was an enemigo of Latino activists with an interest in reforming the nation’s immigration policy.
EMANUEL: Face-to-face w/ Trump!

Back then, Emanuel was the chief of staff for President Barack Obama, and the perception was that a significant part of why Obama was so slow on the draw to do anything to push for reform was that Rahm was holding him back.

EMANUEL SAW A long, drawn-out political fight and didn’t want to expand capital to take the partisan actions that would have been required to actually win such a fight. He didn’t want to make the enemies that would arise at the very mention of creating a sensible, rather than nativist, policy for immigration.

Yet now, it seems that Emanuel is being put into a position where he has to take the lead in trying to push for sensible policy. Or more actually, to not have blatantly xenophobic policies take over.

Emanuel of Chicago was one of several mayors from across the nation who sent a letter to President-elect Donald J. Trump asking him to not revoke the executive order that Obama signed off on a couple of years ago that created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy.

That is the one that says people who came to this country as children without a valid visa would not face deportation.

IT IS AN order that was never popular with the conservative ideologues of our nation, particularly those who define immigration reform as an increase in deportations of people they find less than desirable.

And for some people, particularly many of those who were inclined to support Trump’s presidential campaign, it is Priority Number One that the executive order be revoked.

If possible, as Trump’s first act as president on the very day that he takes office next month.
TRUMP: Will he care what Rahm thinks?

Asking Trump to leave the executive order in place is most definitely asking him for something he won’t want to give. Particularly since it would be seen by his backers as a violation of everything they wanted to believe “the Donald” stood for!

IT WON’T MAKE any difference that all Emanuel and the mayors want is for the order to be left in place until Congress itself can enact something resembling a long-term reform policy of immigration laws.

Considering that the incoming Congress will be solidly Republican in leaning and filled with people who are looking to Trump to reinforce their own standing in Washington, it’s not like any long-term policy is going to be favorable to the many people who have spent years dreaming of the day when we have a sensible policy dictating who, and how, people from other countries can choose to have lives here.

The letter was signed by mayors from across the country, including Bill diBlasio of New York, where Trump lives. Yet it was Emanuel who on Wednesday made the trip to Manhattan and had roughly a 45-minute-long meeting to discuss various issues – including immigration.

Now I don’t know if Trump will pay one bit of attention to anything that Rahm said. After all, there are many people of petty and offensive moral leanings (a.k.a., the deplorables) who are counting on him to tell Rahm and others like him where they can stuff it.

BUT AS ONE who has long had a particular interest in the immigration issue, I find it ironic that the very activists who have long decried Rahm Emanuel are now in a position where they’re going to have to put their faith in him as someone tough enough to stand up to Donald Trump. Our amigos have the ability to change at a moment's notice.
OBAMA: What will be left of his policies?

The one thing I can say is that I’m fairly sure Emanuel isn’t intimidated by Trump; largely because they’re both capable of matching each other when it comes to egotistical blowhard behavior

It will be interesting to see if our city’s mayor can have any influence on this issue – because perhaps Rahm is just one of those guys who was meant for the national scene and not the municipal level of dealing with parking meters and trash cans.

“In Rahm, We Trust.” A thought that many of us people of a certain progressive sensibility are going to have to adopt – no matter how much the very thought makes us shudder.


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