Sensible Democrats need to make difference

Once again, Democrat leaders in Congress have made it plain their chief goal is attacking President Donald Trump, not dealing with illegal immigration. Unless reasonable Democrats retake control of their party, that attitude will continue to block progress.

During the weekend, President Donald Trump offered an olive branch he hopes can end the month-long shutdown of part of the federal government. It has persisted because House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer view illegal immigration as a hammer with which to attack the president politically — not a critical issue that needs to be resolved.

Trump explained that he is willing to take some actions Democrat leaders have sought in exchange for their agreement to provide $5.7 billion to help erect physical barriers along particularly troublesome sections of our southern border. Specifically, the president said he will extend protections for immigrants brought here illegally as children, and for some who came here as a result of violence or natural disasters in their own countries. Trump suggested such a compromise is “a way forward.”

Even before he revealed his plan publicly, Pelosi, D-Calif., and Schumer, D-N.Y., rejected it.

Not everyone in their party was so quick to man the political barricades. Some suggested Trump’s idea ought to be considered.

“I’m hopeful the president’s statement … will allow us to immediately reopen govt. … and start negotiating long-term immigration reform,” Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., tweeted after Trump’s televised speech.

He was not alone. A few other Democrat lawmakers agreed the proposal should not be rejected out of hand.

They are right. Pelosi, Schumer and party leaders are preoccupied with playing a game of political “chicken” with Trump. That solves nothing.