What Jimmy Kimmel gets exactly right about Trump's DACA decision

Late night hosts mock Trump's DACA decision
Late night hosts mock Trump's DACA decision

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    Late night hosts mock Trump's DACA decision

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Late night hosts mock Trump's DACA decision 00:51

(CNN)There's been lots and lots of speculation about why President Trump decided to rescind the DACA program -- via Attorney General Jeff Sessions -- on Tuesday.

He is slavishly devoted to his base, which views the program that allows undocumented immigrants brought to the US before the age of 16 to attend school and seek work in the country, as unlawful. He feels as though he needs to make good on a promise he made during the campaign. He truly believes that DACA is against the law and needs to be eliminated.
All of which likely have some element of the truth to them. But, for my money, Jimmy Kimmel nailed the major reason why Trump decided -- after much debate and a publicly acknowledged struggle as to what do -- to rescind DACA: Because President Obama created it.
"This is what Trump wants to do away with -- mostly because President Obama is the one who ordered it," Kimmel said on his "Jimmy Kimmel Live" late-night show on Tuesday. "It seems like his main agenda is just to undo everything Obama did. I hope he doesn't bring bin Laden back to life."
    I think that's absolutely right.
    The entirety of Trump's 2016 candidacy was premised on a simple idea: Barack Obama doesn't get what makes America great. I do. Elect me and I will undo all of the un-American things he has done.
    Read Trump's announcement speech way back in June 2015. It is entirely focused on Obama and the America he has created -- and how Trump would un-make all of it. Immediately.
    "The US has become a dumping ground for everybody else's problems," Trump said that day.
    Trump's main focus as a candidate was on getting rid of the law that, colloquially, bears the former president's name. "We have a disaster called the big lie: Obamacare," Trump said in his announcement speech.
    Obamacare, for Trump, served as a sort of symbolic centerpiece of his broader indictment of the Obama vision for the country and the world. Time and time again on the campaign trail, Trump painted the US under Obama as a faltering world power -- too afraid of the Politically Correct police to do what needed to be done abroad and too dumb to understand the economic policies needed to put Americans back to work stateside. Trump also cast Obama as an out-of-control executive, circumventing the legislative process with a slew of illegal executive orders.
    Trump was, in his telling, the antidote to all of that. Elect him and he would get rid of all of Obama's executive orders. He would reassert America's muscle in the world. He would bring in real business people who actually understood how the economy worked.
    And, since being elected, the decisions Trump has made have, largely, been driven by that disdain for Obama-ism. The so-called "travel" ban ran directly counter to Obama's views on how best to handle the terrorist threat. Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris climate accords is an about-face from the policies Obama backed. Trump's deregulation push is an effort to reverse the regulatory environment under Obama.
    Trump positioned his entire candidacy as counter-Obama. As someone who always does best when he has an opponent to fight against, Trump stood up Obama as indicative of everything wrong with politics and the country. If Obama said "x," Trump, by default, advocated "y." As president, he has done much the same.
    All of which explains the DACA decision -- and proves Kimmel right. If Trump was on the fence about what to do, the program's ties to Obama likely tipped the scales.