Chuck Todd gave another lecture Wednesday afternoon on "Democrats in Disarray," this time focused on DACA and how we aren't compromise-y enough. No, really:
CHUCK TODD: There is a giant dilemma facing the Democratic Party and if they don't figure it out, could it lead to civil war in their ranks. Democrats booed and hissed and groaned, and one walked out of the State of the Union and if last night proved anything it is that the Democratic Party is fed up. And their facial expressions spoke volumes, and Louis Guiterrez said "I was hoping to get through my life without experiencing an outwardly racist American and my luck ran out." And he needs to cut a deal with the president on DACA. And today they weren't shy about it.
...They've called him everything. A liar, a sexist, a racist and they want him censured or impeached, but he is the president. Democrats do have to deal with him. They've made promises to their base he has to sign. Big promises. Like saving DACA recipients.
Saving them from WHAT, Chuck? Because when you OMIT that it was Donald Trump who created this crisis. Donald Trump who canceled DACA, Donald Trump who set a deadline for Congress, and Donald Trump who agreed with bipartisan DEAL members of Congress brought to him on Monday and then disagreed and blew up the whole process three days later, you are covering for Donald Trump. And that is the problem.
CHUCK TODD: But are they willing to make a deal with him particularly with the man they heard last night? Are Democrats really willing to make this president the president who saved the DREAMers? That is the dilemma for Democrats. If they compromise, the base won't like it and if they don't compromise, they won't like that either. And this was the same dilemma for Republicans under President Obama. And guess what that led to? Pretty bad GOP civil war.
So a band of "Freedom Caucus" Republicans shutting down the government rather than fund healthcare for Americans out of partisan spite, is exactly the same as some liberals pointing out that Donald Trump isn't trustworthy. And this is a problem, not for Donald Trump, not for the Republican Party, but for Democrats.
I was pleasantly surprised at Joe Crowley (D-NY). He's the leader of the Democratic House Caucus and he remained far calmer and more polite than I would have been. But he also flattened Chuck Todd's argument that this is a Democratic problem, rather than a Trump/Ryan problem.
This is a Trump/Ryan problem. And Chuck Todd's need for "both sides" to be at fault leads Chuck to create an imaginary group of "heated activists" who would rather see the DREAMers deported than "work" with Donald Trump.
Crowley makes it clear that Trump is a fricking liar and if Congress is going to fix what HE BROKE, they will do it by working AROUND Trump, not with him.
-- Transcript --
TODD: Let me ask a simple question. You've got a caucus in many ways they can't stand this president and they don't like him. I know, last night they made it clear but there is only one guy that could save DACA. So what do you do?
REP JOE CROWLEY (D-NY): Well, I'm not sure there is only one guy that could save DACA. If the president stays out of the negotiations and lets the House and Senate work, if the Senate could find a way forward, I think that could help put some pressure on the House to move forward as well. And then maybe the president could step in and encourage those members of the freedom caucus or the more conservative wing of the Republican caucus as part -- to help with the DACA bill, but it is not just one person. It will take all of us to make that happen.
TODD: I've heard from some activists who don't want this, they don't trust this president and they don't want him to be the one that they have to go to beg to save the DREAMers. What do you tell heated activists at the town hall that you see, that said they don't trust him at all?
CROWLEY: I think the president continues to take additional hostages. It was the 800,000 dreamers or DACA recipients and commanded to 1.8 million people eligible for DACA --
TODD: Are you calling -- the fact that -- you're calling the fact that he increased the number of people he would make eligible for -- more hostages.
TODD: That is rough.
CROWLEY: And those in TPS, "temporary protective status." He didn't have to do this. He's adding these folks to the equation. And all in an attempt to end certain aspects of legal immigration into the United States. So the president is taking a willful and knowing action to increase the amount of people that he will either allow to stay in the United States through legislation, or forcibly deport through legislation or lack thereof.
TODD: What is a reasonable family reunification policy?
CROWLEY: I believe the nuclear family is defined. There are mothers and fathers, daughters and sons, and grandparents. This is under the law. So the president was inaccurate and wrong and not being honest or diplomatic saying anybody could get into the country this way. Is simply isn't true and it is demagoguing on the issue. As to the point, to allude to "maybe all immigrants are members of gangs, MS-13 or criminals committing crimes" which you know.
TODD: Do you think he made it harder to make a deal?
CROWLEY: I think it made it harder for him with his own base. I think I will know the deal when I see it. I haven't seen it as of yet. I think there are people of good will both in the House and the Senate on both parties who want to see legislation pass, they know there were 27 Republicans who signed onto a bipartisan bill here in the House. If Speaker Ryan would give that bill the light of day, that bill would pass immediately. So I do think there is a path forward. It is a question of whether people of good will step forward and take this bull by the horns.
TODD: Look, there is a Republican majority in the Senate. It is a Republican in the White House and a Republican majority in the House. I thought Marco Rubio made a fair analysis when he said, hey, the Gang of Eight, that Gang of Eight Bill, that was when there was a Democrat in the White House and done from a Democratic point of view. His argument is hey, the elections have consequences so this compromise is coming from the Republican point of view on this issue. If you're getting 70% of what you want on this, 60% or whatever percentage you want to say it is, you're going to have activists that say you didn't compromise and they are going to hold you accountable. What do you think of that?
CROWLEY: I will know the deal when I see it. But if I believe that the deal is a fair deal, that it will accomplish what I'm most -- what I'm trying to accomplish, let's give that the light of the day. And give it a good look and support that and tell the people that we've done the best we can under these circumstances. But I will also say to you referring to the Hastert rule, former speaker Dennis Hastert said you have to have the majority of the majority in order to bring a bill to the floor. We'll answer that and Nancy Pelosi said we also have that rule. You need the majority and the minority to support something as well. So it needs to be reflective of the values of the Democratic caucus. I think that is what we're looking for in terms of supporting legislation moving forward.
TODD: Well Speaker Ryan has said actually that he'll put any bill that the president will sign on the floor. So he hasn't amended that but he did say the president has to be willing to sign it before he brings it to the floor. That is not an -- is that an unfair demand?
CROWLEY: The president is saying he would -- he would sign a clean Dream Act! He said that in that one-hour meeting!
TODD: He did. He says a lot of things. I was going to say -- what do you take at his word and what don't you.
CROWLEY: And that is the problem. I don't trust the president's word. He's demonstrated over and over again, he lies just about every day. He says falsehoods all of the time. It is this new thing going on Washington, Washington-speak that goes on in a daily basis now, and so it does make it difficult to negotiate with someone who keeps moving the goalpost and keeps changing what the bottom line is. The issue of family reunification and the issue of diversity visas were never on the table until the president placed them on the table. Those were issues dealt in a broader bill that dealt with over 11 million people in this country. Not the 800,000 and now the 1.8 million the president is talking about and growing.
TODD: Very quickly, would you trade wall for DACA?
CROWLEY: I have said that I do not support a wall. What I could -- we could talk about are enhancements at the border itself. We could talk about virtual walls --
TODD: I understand you don't want to be for it. But if that is the White House demand, Chuck Schumer is --
CROWLEY: I think it is incredible --
TODD: He said if it was offered --
CROWLEY: I think this is it is a waste of our resources. If it is between $25 and $40 million and you can't drive on it and it is a useless piece of infrastructure that does nothing but divide our southern border, divide us from our southern neighbors.
TODD: Well he did say something about solar panels...
-- end transcript --
If you don't have time to watch the whole sad thing, here's the moment where Joe Crowley forces Chuck Todd to concede that you can't trust Trump for one news cycle. Really.