About this time last year, Breitbart News eulogized the World Economic Forum. The annual gathering of global elites in Davos, Switzerland would be a “somber occasion,” the far-right outlet wrote, because “their influence on the global stage is waning rapidly” in the wake of Brexit and Donald Trump’s election victory.
That reckoning just came home to roost. Stephen K. Bannon — who last year was busy setting up a forward operating base in Trump’s inner sanctum for Breitbart’s brand of economic nationalism — suffered further debasement Tuesday from his feud with the president by losing his job running Breitbart itself. Meanwhile, the White House confirmed that President Trump will be heading to Davos in two weeks, the first U.S. president to attend the conference since Bill Clinton.
And if the thought of Trump rubbing shoulders with world leaders, financial giants and media mandarins in the literally rarefied air of the Swiss Alps wasn’t enough to turn the stomachs of the MAGA crowd, the White House offered them another emetic on Tuesday.
The president presided over a 90-minute meeting, more than half of it before television cameras, with lawmakers from both parties during which he pledged to pursue a comprehensive immigration breakthrough, saying he wants a “bill of love.” There wasn’t much chest-thumping about building a border wall. “I think my positions are going to be what the people in this room come up with,” Trump said. “I am very much reliant on the people in this room.”
Congress is full of people from both parties who believe that the point of our immigration policy is to provide cheap labor to their donors and to atone for America’s imaginary sins against the world. They couldn’t care less about immigration’s effect on you or your family–these are the same people the president now says he trusts to write the immigration bill, the one he will sign no matter what it says. So what was the point of running for president?
Being a Trump voter isn’t always easy, it’s like rooting for the underdog in baseball, the old Chicago Cubs. On one level there is pride, the pride that comes from doing something that fashionable people consider insane, and that’s a good feeling. But there’s also some disappointment along the way and honestly, there is some embarrassment. But you silently bear it because you know that when they finally win the World Series it will be worth everything you went through. Every sarcastic dig from your brother-in-law at Thanksgiving will seem small by comparison. In the Trump presidency, the World Series is this immigration bill. It’s the big payoff, the whole point of the exercise, and they’re not allowed to blow it.
It’s almost like George Orwell has been Michael Wolffing his way around the White House lately:
He had only one criticism, he said, to make of Mr. Pilkington’s excellent and neighbourly speech. Mr. Pilkington had referred throughout to “Animal Farm.” He could not of course know-for he, Napoleon, was only now for the first time announcing it-that the name “Animal Farm” had been abolished. Henceforward the farm was to be known as “The Manor Farm”-which, he believed, was its correct and original name.
“Gentlemen,” concluded Napoleon, “I will give you the same toast as before, but in a different form. Fill your glasses to the brim. Gentlemen, here is my toast: To the prosperity of The Manor Farm! ”
There was the same hearty cheering as before, and the mugs were emptied to the dregs. But as the animals outside gazed at the scene, it seemed to them that some strange thing was happening. What was it that had altered in the faces of the pigs? Clover’s old dim eyes flitted from one face to another. Some of them had five chins, some had four, some had three. But what was it that seemed to be melting and changing? Then, the applause having come to an end, the company took up their cards and continued the game that had been interrupted, and the animals crept silently away.
But they had not gone twenty yards when they stopped short. An uproar of voices was coming from the farmhouse. They rushed back and looked through the window again. Yes, a violent quarrel was in progress. There were shoutings, bangings on the table, sharp suspicious glances, furious denials. The source of the trouble appeared to be that Napoleon and Mr. Pilkington had each played an ace of spades simultaneously.
Twelve voices were shouting in anger, and they were all alike. No question, now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.