Las Vegas Sun

November 21, 2017

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Where I Stand:

Bravo President Trump — maybe

OK. Wait for it.

President Donald Trump acted, well, presidential last week. That shouldn’t be big news in this space, but it is. And it is welcome news.

Regardless of his reasons for cutting a deal with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, the fact remains that the president acted like the president of the entire United States of America when he agreed to provide $15 billion in relief to the Hurricane Harvey victims in Houston — they will need a lot more — and to extending the ability for the United States to borrow money and pay its debts for three more months.

Depending upon whom you talk to, what President Trump did was either brilliant or a sell out of his fellow Republican in the Senate and the House. Or a hundred other descriptors in between.

I say hogwash. The president, for whatever reasons, acted in the best interests of all the people in this country. We are all sick and tired of listening to the same — what’s another word for B.S.? — interparty verbal sparring when it comes to the simple question of whether the United States of America would pay its debts.

Most Americans know that answer intuitively but have had to endure the ideological indecency every year of some elected officials who believe that it is OK to mess with our good credit in the name of some political point scoring.

President Trump must have also been sick and tired of the silly games-playing and cut right to the chase. There will be no risking the Full Faith and Credit of the United States, there will be no holding up of vital relief for the storm victims and there will be no quid pro quo for people finally doing the job they swore an oath to do. At least for now.

And perhaps that is good enough because, as we all know too well, there are other storms battering the United States and others building off shore. There will be other natural disasters that need to be managed and money needed from the federal government to help the victims, their businesses and the states where they live to recover.

And there is no room for political horse trading when the real-life, physical security and mental well-being of Americans hang in the balance. Credit President Trump for understanding all of that.

OK, you knew I couldn’t make it through an entire column without being critical of our president, so here it goes.

Just like I said that I didn’t care what motivated the president to make a deal to start taking care of the storm victims and protect the good credit of the United States, so, too, am I not concerned with the motivation behind his decision to put the lives of 800,000 young Dreamers on ice, in limbo and under a constant state of stress while Congress dithers about what to do with young people who are and continue to be a credit to this country.

His decision to revoke the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals protection from these people who were brought to the United States as children — which means they know no other home — and who must now rely on a dysfunctional Congress to solve their dilemma is cruel and quite unusual for any president — especially a president who as a candidate led us all to believe that no harm would come to them.

Well, harm has come because their futures, the futures for which they went to school, contributed to the work force and paid their taxes, are now in jeopardy.

There were probably 100 ways President Trump could have forced congressional action regarding the Dreamers without causing these young and worthy people undue stress and harm. And there was just one way to do it in a wrong and callous manner without regard for human suffering.

Guess which way Donald Trump chose to go?

In a week which could have gone down in the history books as one — perhaps the first — in which the president actually acted presidential, he chose to burden a group of young people who didn’t deserve the burden.

It was a most unpresidential thing to do. It makes me want to take back what I said at the beginning.

Brian Greenspun is editor, publisher and owner of the Sun.

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