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The Irony of Andrew Puzder

Trump’s pick for Secretary of Labor, Andrew Puzder, has taken himself out of the running for the job. And while embattled Senate Democrats will try to get credit for claiming their only cabinet-level scalp, the truth is, as NBC News reports, that “it was Republicans who toppled Puzder. On the day before his confirmation hearing was expected to take place, more and more Republicans withheld support, saying that they’d like to wait until they hear from him in the hearing.”

It appears that Puzder’s support for the 2013 Gang of Eight immigration bill and his comments suggesting a preference for immigrant over native labor contributed to conservative doubts about his fitness for the position. The Washington Post reports:

On Wednesday, Puzder’s nomination was dealt another blow when the conservative National Review announced its opposition. The publication cited Puzder’s past support for increased levels of legal immigration for high-skilled or seasonal workers — a position at odds with Trump’s calls for limited legal immigration.

“The case for his confirmation has diminished to the point of disappearing,” the publication wrote in an editorial. “Not only is Puzder a representative of the worst reflex of corporate America on one of Trump’s signature issues, he is now significantly weakened.”

We noted in December that shooting down the fast-food CEO would normally be second nature for Democrats; they could “paint him as a plutocrat who prioritizes profits over people and prefers workers who are pliant and disposable.” But because the Democrats’ views on less-skilled immigration have more or less merged with those of the fast-food industry—that is, the more immigration, the better—this became a harder sell.

So Trump’s one nominee to go down was not brought down by Democratic “resistance,” and he was not brought down because his labor policies were too nationalist and populist. He was brought down by Republicans, and at least in part because his views weren’t nationalist and populist enough. If you need any more evidence that Donald Trump has fundamentally reoriented our political parties, this is it.

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