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President Trump’s first SOTU speech was one for the ages. At times, it was heart-wrenching. At other times, it was jubilant. At still other times, it was sensible. At all times, it was the Democrats’ worst nightmare. The speech lasted 81 minutes. It drew 110 rounds of applause. Optically, it was a terrible night for Democrats.

Early in the speech, President Trump talked about Hispanic and African-American unemployment, saying “Unemployment claims have hit a 45-year low. African-American unemployment stands at the lowest rate ever recorded, and Hispanic American unemployment has also reached the lowest levels in history.” The Congressional Black Caucus not only didn’t applaud. The CBC didn’t register a response:

When people started chanting “USA, USA, USA”, here’s how Rep. Luis Gutierrez reacted:

When President Trump spoke about noncontroversial things like working hard and unifying the nation, here’s how Nancy Pelosi responded:

Mixed into the 110 rounds of applause were lines like this:

So to every citizen watching at home tonight — no matter where you have been, or where you come from, this is your time. If you work hard, if you believe in yourself, if you believe in America, then you can dream anything, you can be anything, and together, we can achieve anything.

Meanwhile, Democrats virtually spent the entire night sitting on their hands. The optics really told the story Tuesday night. Republicans applauded President Trump’s accomplishments. They were the optimistic people in the room. Democrats looked like they’d eaten a bag of lemons. They looked like sourpusses the entire night:

The most heart-wrenching part of the speech came when President Trump spoke about 2 couples whose daughters were friends. Here’s that story:

Here tonight are two fathers and two mothers: Evelyn Rodriguez, Freddy Cuevas, Elizabeth Alvarado, and Robert Mickens. Their two teenage daughters — Kayla Cuevas and Nisa Mickens — were close friends on Long Island. But in September 2016, on the eve of Nisa’s 16th Birthday, neither of them came home. These two precious girls were brutally murdered while walking together in their hometown. Six members of the savage gang MS-13 have been charged with Kayla and Nisa’s murders. Many of these gang members took advantage of glaring loopholes in our laws to enter the country as unaccompanied alien minors ?- and wound up in Kayla and Nisa’s high school.

Evelyn, Elizabeth, Freddy, and Robert: Tonight, everyone in this chamber is praying for you. Everyone in America is grieving for you. And 320 million hearts are breaking for you. We cannot imagine the depth of your sorrow, but we can make sure that other families never have to endure this pain.

Trump is right. This shouldn’t ever happen in the United States. Period. Trump is also right in saying that, across the nation, parents’ hearts were breaking with those parents.

This was especially powerful in pushing Democrats into a ‘can’t-win corner’ on immigration. How can Democrats say no to building the wall or ending chain migration or the visa lottery at this point? I suspect that Democrats will try resisting. That’s what they’ve been about since Trump took office.

Potentially, President Trump’s SOTU speech is a game-changer:

According to that survey, the results of which were announced on-air on CNN, 48 percent of respondents said they had a “very positive” reaction to the speech — Trump’s first since taking office. Only 22 percent said they had a “somewhat positive” reaction to the speech, while 29 percent reacted negatively.

The results of that poll came less than two hours after Trump finished delivering his speech, in which he touted the tax cuts and regulatory rollbacks of his first year in office and outlined his ambitions to revitalize the nation’s infrastructure and take on immigration reform.

Sixty-two percent of respondents said that the policies outlined by the president on Tuesday would move the country in the right direction, according to the CNN/SSRS poll. By comparison, 35 percent said they would move it in the wrong direction.

Those aren’t good numbers for Democrats. They’re terrible statistics for Democrats. This won’t cheer up Democrats, either:

This poll isn’t good news, either:

Prior to Tuesday night, Republicans had gained a bunch of momentum. After Tuesday night, Republicans had a ton of momentum going into this new year. If Democrats think they can steamroll the Republicans, they’d better rethink their strategy. Fast.

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Make no mistake about this: President Trump is establishing the parameters for a DACA deal. In fact, he’s drawing a bright line in the sand on this, saying “Cryin’ Chuck Schumer fully understands, especially after his humiliating defeat, that if there is no Wall, there is no DACA. We must have safety and security, together with a strong Military, for our great people!”

This is also a sharp rebuke to Jeff Flake and Lindsey Graham. They’ve both advocated for a clean DACA bill for all intents and purposes. Technically, their bill isn’t clean but it’s a far cry from ending chain migration or building the wall.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders also rebuked Flake and Graham, saying “In a bipartisan meeting here at the White House two weeks ago we outlined a path forward on four issues: serious border security, an end to chain migration, the cancellation of the outdated and unsafe visa lottery and a permanent solution to DACA. Unfortunately, the Flake-Graham-Durbin agreement does not meet these bench marks.”

By saying this, Sanders has essentially told Democrats that they won’t take legislation negotiated by Flake and Graham seriously so they shouldn’t waste time with that legislation. That isn’t to say Republicans would be totally opposed to Graham-negotiated immigration reform. There are other squishes in the Senate. What I’m saying is that President Trump has made it perfectly clear that he won’t accept anything that Bob Goodlatte, Tom Cotton and Martha McSally haven’t approved.


Sen. Schumer has opened with a hardball position:

“There is no deal that Sen. Cotton or Rep. [Bob] Goodlatte could forge that could earn the majority of either the House or the Senate,” Schumer said, adding, “If Sen. Cotton and Rep. Goodlatte have veto power over an agreement, everyone knows there won’t be an agreement.” He said the same thing directly to the president, Politico reported.

The Goodlatte bill would pass the House because President Trump has endorsed it and because it’s what the American people want. These negotiations aren’t dividing Republicans. They’re uniting them:

So far the attacks appear to be stiffening the White House’s resolve. Sanders defended Miller from what she characterized as a “sad and desperate attempt by a few people trying to tarnish a staffer.” One of her deputies, Hogan Gidley, shot back that Graham was the outlier on immigration, not Miller, and said the South Carolina Republican had been in “lockstep” with Democrats for “decades” on “amnesty” and “open borders.”

Democrats argue that this kind of GOP infighting demonstrates precisely why immigration hawks are disruptive of any attempt to arrive at a deal. If one is not reached by Feb. 8, they believe they are owed a vote on a clean DACA bill as a condition of ending the first shutdown fight, a strategic decision that did not wow liberal activists but may have been necessitated by the position of the ten Democratic senators up for re-election this year in states that Trump won as well as polling unfavorable to an immigration-driven shutdown.

If this reporting is accurate, then Democrats have an uphill fight on DACA. It isn’t that DACA isn’t popular. It’s that large majorities of people also want family-based, aka chain, migration and the diversity visa lottery ended and the wall built. If Democrats dig in their heels on that, they’ll lose this fight.

After reading Rich Lowry’s column, especially the closing, it’s apparent that DC Republicans don’t understand what just happened.

When Lowry says “There’s still a good chance that Democrats can force a bad DACA deal, given that the GOP is divided on immigration and Trump might be tempted to sign up for anything as long as there’s notional funding for a Wall.” With all due respect, the chances of Trump settling for token funding for a wall ignores what Sen. Schumer already offered in negotiations this weekend. Once something’s offered, it’s virtually impossible to retract that offer.

Further, we’ve seen proof that President Trump is perfectly willing to criticize Republicans. (Think Lindsey Graham.) Lowry should think of President Trump as a hockey goalie. Lowry should think of President Trump as the Republicans’ last line of defense.

With all due respect to Lowry, nothing Trump’s done indicates he’s anything but an immigration hardliner. I can’t deny the fact that, at times, he’s impulsive. Still, he’s got enough people around him (think John Kelly, Stephen Miller and Tom Cotton) who won’t let him sign a bad deal.

Ben Shapiro made a compelling argument that Trump and Republicans would win the next round, too:

The shutdown was pretty lopsided. Sen. Schumer got crushed. President Trump won handily. When it comes to border security, the American people agree with President Trump. The average American wants DACA recipients protected but they also want to be protected from MS-13. They don’t want drug cartels and human traffickers leisurely waltzing across the border. They want cartel-related crimes stopped. Those dynamics favor Republicans overwhelmingly.

Finally, does anyone think Democrats have a fighting chance of prevailing on not increasing military spending? Democrats will have to cave quickly on that.

It’s time for Republicans to learn how to be victorious. People thought President Trump shouldn’t be taken seriously when he predicted that Americans would get tired of winning. After winning bigtime on the Trump/GOP tax cuts, then winning bigtime on the shutdown, it’s time for Republicans to realize the people aren’t with the Democrats.

Last night on Special Report, Jonathan Swan and Jonah Goldberg said something that caught my attention. First, Swan said that Sen. Schumer’s capitulation (my words, not his) was a short-term victory for Democrats. Then he opined that it was a long-term victory for Democrats. Shortly after that, Goldberg said that he agreed with Swan. Frankly, I think they’re both wrong. In fact, I think they’re missing something huge that’s playing in the Republicans’ favor in terms of winning the budget fight.

Both men said that Republicans had given away a major bargaining chip by giving in on CHIP. It’s indisputable that Republicans sweetened the pot for Democrats with CHIP so it’s foolish arguing that point. The point that they’re both missing is that the next deadline will require lifting the caps on the military budget. Only a tiny fraction of military units have the spare parts required to be fully ready. Training of National Guard troops is lacking, too.

If Democrats think Republicans won’t beat them over the head with that during the next round of budget talks, they’re kidding themselves. Lindsey Graham is a dove on border security but he’s a hawk on defense spending. If Democrats think that they can shut down the government again without increasing defense spending, they aren’t in touch with reality. That’s a budget fight Democrats will lose if they choose to engage. After Sen. Schumer’s Monday capitulation, there’s little reason to think he’d want to drag the Democrats into another unwinnable fight.

As for building the wall and ending chain migration and the visa lottery, Democrats have already signaled that they’re caving on the wall. Luis Gutierrez, the most passionate open borders advocate on Capitol Hill, told CNN that he’d help build the wall if it meant protecting DACA recipients:

Add onto that the fact that Sen. Schumer told President Trump that he’d be willing to fund the wall during their negotiating session this weekend. Once something is offered in negotiations, it’s impossible to be taken off the table later.

It’s worth noting that the American people are overwhelmingly with President Trump on ending chain migration. Mark Krikorian made an insightful statement when he said “The result is chain migration, in which yesterday’s immigrants decide who tomorrow’s immigrants will be.” Democrats will have a difficult time fighting that image.

Finally, Republicans have an edge in negotiations because President Trump is a skilled negotiator, the American people are with him and he’s got the biggest megaphone on the planet. The Democrats’ losing is just beginning.

It isn’t an overstatement to that that the government reopened when Sen. Schumer blinked. The final vote for cloture was 81 yeas, 18 nays. That’s the vote that ended debate and allows a final vote on the CR to fund the government. UPDATE: That bill has now passed the Senate. The House will soon vote on the bill. President Trump will likely be able to sign it late this afternoon.

Appearing on Outnumbered as today’s #OneLuckyGuy, Pete Hegseth put it best when he told the ladies of Outnumbered that “Schumer blinked.” That’s exactly what happened. Sen. Schumer essentially told his far-left immigration advocates that maintaining this fight was a loser for Democrats. He essentially talked the Democrats’ special interest groups off the ledge.

In exchange for caving, Sen. Schumer got promised that the Senate would vote on DACA and immigration-related issues within the next month. He didn’t get a promise that President Trump wouldn’t still push for ending chain migration and the visa lottery. President Trump will insist on those things being part of DACA-related legislation.

This is how the shutdown ended:

The Senate on Monday voted 81-18 to break a Democratic filibuster on a government spending bill, clearing the way for Congress to approve the stopgap measure and end the three-day government shutdown. Democrats effectively backed off their opposition, after being given assurances from majority Republicans.

Before the vote, Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer made clear that Senate Democrats would supply the GOP-controlled Senate with the votes needed, but only in exchange for “fair” and immediate efforts to consider legislation that would protect illegal immigrants brought to the United States as children.

Republicans, especially President Trump, now has the upper hand in these negotiations. What’s settled is that the vast majority of people want DACA recipients protected. What will get settled is that they want the wall built and chain migration ended ASAP.

Now that Democrats have separated DACA from the budget, they can’t ‘re-link’ those things again.

Another thing that’s got to get resolved is military spending. If Democrats are stubborn about that, they’ll lose that fight just like they lost the shutdown fight.

Let’s be honest about what the Democrats are attempting to do. Sen. Schumer’s shutdown isn’t about DACA recipients. It’s about amnesty for DACA recipients’ parents. It’s about preserving chain migration. Let’s see Democrats defend their attempt to protect future generations of lawbreakers.

Sen. Schumer and all those Democrats that voted to shut the government down, what frightens you about building the wall? What frightens you about putting a stop to families getting a free pass into the United States thanks to chain migration?

How does chain migration strengthen the economy? Why worry about whether the Mexican government will be upset if we build a wall that protects US citizens? If Mexico is upset, then tell them it’s a dangerous world and that our first responsibility is to protect our citizens, not theirs. If that offends them, tell them to put their big boy britches on. Tell them that it’s time for them to grow up.

This is chilling:

Ever since the passage of the late Senator Ted Kennedy’s immigration reform of 1965, legal immigrants have been able to petition for parents, adult brothers and sisters, and adult sons and daughters to come to the U.S. All of those groups can bring their own spouses and children. In turn, when they become citizens, they can sponsor their own relatives, and the cycle continues. Mark Krikorian of the Center for American Studies wrote: “The result is chain migration, in which yesterday’s immigrants decide who tomorrow’s immigrants will be.”

This must end ASAP. Immigration policy must be set by Congress and the executive branch, not by Mexicans who want to reunite with their families. If that sounds cold, so what? We The People have the right to determine what our country looks like.