Rich Tucker

If you are going to use a cliché, at least use an apt one, please.

Discussing the swine flu during his “I’ve been in office 100 days” news conference (really? we hadn’t noticed), President Barack Obama announced he’d been in “day-to-day,” even “hour-to-hour” conversations with health experts.

“They have not recommended a border closing,” the president announced. “From their perspective, it would be akin to closing the barn door after the horses are out, because we already have cases here in the United States.” Well, that’s certainly making a virtue out of a vice.

But perhaps the point is better made by the story of the fox that couldn’t reach some grapes. “Those grapes,” it decided, “must be sour.” The sad fact is, our federal government isn’t going to close the Mexican border, whether it wants to or not, because it cannot close the Mexican border.

In recent years our government has hired more border patrol agents, deployed the National Guard and debated “comprehensive immigration reform.” Yet as a border observer pointed out via e-mail recently, in Arizona, trail cameras show “drug caravan escorts with military assault weapons, and pictures of commercial-sized trucks motoring through the desert back roads with 40-60 illegals hanging off the trucks in broad daylight miles from any town.”

Meanwhile, on, Chris Burgard writes that in Texas, “Brooks County Inspector Daniel Davila says that 75 percent of the crime that they respond to is related to illegal alien and narcotics trafficking.”

The federal government is constitutionally required to protect our borders. And it can’t.

Still, some never lose their faith.

Recently on CBS’ Face the Nation, Arlen Specter, the senator representing himself, declared he’d left the Republican Party in part because of a dispute over health care. “If we had pursued what President Nixon declared in 1970 as the war on cancer, we would have cured many strains,” Specter intoned.

Considering how poorly the government fares in its “wars,” that’s difficult to believe.

Look no further than the “war on poverty” declared by President Lyndon Johnson. In the years since, the government has spent trillions of dollars on welfare programs, but barely made a dent in poverty. The Census Bureau says there are 37 million poor people in the United States, down from about 40 million in 1960.

Rather than curing poverty, all that spending has managed to prolong it by destroying the traditional family. “When the War on Poverty began in the 1960s, 7 percent of U.S. children were born outside of marriage,” writes Robert Rector of The Heritage Foundation. “Today, the number is 38 percent. Among blacks, it is 69 percent.”

Rich Tucker

Rich Tucker is a communications professional and a columnist for