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Donald Trump—the Grownup in the Room on Immigration

Donald Trump gets called crazy a lot. Or infantile. Or senile. More than a bit of projection may be operative in these allegations, however. Watching Tuesday's televised discussion of immigration (video here) with Democratic and Republican congressional leaders, which the president opened to the media, it was hard not to come to an opposite conclusion.

Donald Trump was the real grownup in the room.

Yes, he made occasional jokes, but that's what grownups do to relax tense situations. To get politicians from both sides of the aisle talking to each other cordially in the current hyper-partisan atmosphere is no easy feat.  But Trump did that.  He showed himself to be what many of us have thought him to be from the outset, whatever the attendant melodrama -- a pragmatic businessman with moderately conservative views, even, dare I say it, sometimes weirdly wise. Above all, he is a man who likes to make progress, who wants to move things forward to a better day while recognizing that there is no perfect. How adult is that.

And, yes, it's possible this event was arranged to counteract the bad publicity from Michael Wolff's bilious, factually challenged book, but so what?  Basically, Trump (with the help of the cameras) shamed his fellow and gal politicians into civility and evidently cajoled them into at least a partial solution,  later, in closed session, to that most intractable of problems - immigration.  If Trump were anything like his detractors say he is, he couldn't have done either.  He even urged them on to a more global solution on immigration, reminding the politicians at the table they were closer to that goal than they realized. If that's crazy, maybe we need more of it.

But what of this partial solution?  By its very nature, ideologues of the left and right will not be satisfied. (Are they ever?)  Lefties want to solve DACA first and then, once the "Dreamers" have their "pathway to citizenship," the left promises to deal with border security and such things as chain migration and the trendily named Diversity Visa Lottery later.  Of course, that's nonsense. They have no intention of doing anything to mitigate the latter two and to the former they will only pay lip service.

Every politician in the room knew that and so, of course, did Trump.  He made sure it didn't happen.

On the right, Anne Coulter and others of her ilk will doubtless be disappointed, to put it mildly, that an impregnable border wall will not immediately be erected across the entire Southern border and all eleven million illegal aliens summarily ejected from our country. They will claim Trump promised this during the campaign, and he did at moments, but if you were listening carefully, you knew where he was ultimately going -- he hinted at it and more many times -- compromise.