THE WEEK IN TRUMP
DACA Saved? This week, in a departure from tradition, Trump sparked more intense outrage on the right than on the left. Although the president is wont to change his mind, as of press time he had said he supports a deal with Democrats in Congress that would preserve DACA—thus saving “Dreamers” from deportation—and that would not include funding for a border wall. Important parts of Trump’s base reacted with shock and dismay. “Families of Illegal Alien Murder Victims Confused, Angered by Possible DACA Deal,” said a Breitbart headline. “At this point, who DOESN’T want Trump impeached?” asked Ann Coulter. Liberal-turned-Trump supporter Mickey Kaus endorsed burning MAGA hats and posting the photos on Twitter.
Title IX Controversy: Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced that the government would roll back Obama-era changes in how colleges treat accusations of sexual assault—changes that were recently critiqued in The Atlantic.
What Happened Happened: Hillary Clinton returned to the national stage to promote her memoir of the 2016 campaign, reopening old wounds within the Democratic coalition and giving Trump the excuse to once again tweet about “Crooked Hillary.”
THE WEEK IN TRUMP
DACA Decision: Trump rescinded protections that had been granted to young undocumented immigrants by Obama in 2012. But he seemed to distance himself from his policy by having Attorney General Sessions announce it—and by postponing its implementation for six months, during which Congress could render it moot by passing legislation that would protect DREAMers. At the urging of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Trump tweeted “For all of those (DACA) that are concerned about your status during the 6 month period, you have nothing to worry about – No action!”
Debt Ceiling Deal: Speaking of Nancy Pelosi—Trump shocked Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell by striking a deal with Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on funding for hurricane relief and suspending the debt ceiling until December. This led to positive cable news coverage that Trump seemed to like.
North Korean Nukes: North Korea tested its sixth nuclear weapon, and this one may have been a hydrogen bomb. In a departure from tradition, no Trump national security aides played good cop by adopting a strikingly less incendiary tone than his. Trump’s famously belligerent words (“fire and fury”) from last month were reinforced by Defense Secretary Mattis (who warned of a “massive military response” to any North Korean threat to the US or its allies and said that aggression by North Korea could lead to its “total annihilation”) and U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley (Kim Jong Un was “begging for war”).
Irma’s Epistemological Challenge: The approach of yet another epic storm raised again the issue of climate change, which President Trump has been dismissive of. It also raised again a rhetorical problem for people concerned about climate change: though experts say climate change increases the likelihood of powerful storms, no single storm can ever be confidently attributed to it.