It’s on, the government is shut down. At least it was as of this writing, by the time it’s published someone may have caved or we could have devolved into a “purge” situation. In 2018, anything is possible. As we struggle to survive hours or days without a small percentage of a small percentage of federal workforce who are out enjoying the (eventual) paid time off, keep in mind that you won’t remember this when it’s over. But you’ll survive.
I’m a survivor, and so are you. We all are survivors of government shutdowns. Since 1976 there have been 20 shutdowns, full or partial, of the federal government. And I bet you don’t remember any of them. You survived, like you will survive this one, no matter how panicked the media coverage becomes, no matter how crazed Democrats become.
This time, however, the battle isn’t over something you’ll never see, like the spending battles in the past that were over numbers. This time it’s something physical, a wall.
Democrats will never, ever allow a wall to be built. They can’t. And President Trump has to build the wall, at least some of it, or he’ll have an even more difficult time getting reelected. That’s the point of everything happening in Washington right now.
The seeds for this fight were planted way back in 1988, the moment then Vice President George H.W. Bush first said, “Read my lips, no new taxes.” That promise, once he won, was in the crosshairs of Democrats in Congress. They knew that if they could get him to break it, it would demoralize a large enough portion of his base that they could win in 1992. While it wasn’t the deciding factor in Bush’s loss, it was a factor. How could you trust someone who made a pledge to you and didn’t keep it?
That’s why Democrats are now opposing a measly $5 billion to build some portions of a wall on the southern border. They feign outrage over the idea of spending the money, but the federal government spends more than $12 billion every single day, and Democrats are pushing to blow trillions on socialized medicine, so spending money is not something with which they have a problem. What they can’t afford is for Donald Trump to fulfill even a couple of hundred strategically placed miles of his signature campaign promise.
That is exactly why Trump has to stick to his guns here.
Republicans are just over a week away from losing control of the House of Representatives. There is nothing on the planet that will get Nancy Pelosi to authorize a penny for border security. Democrats say they’re in favor of border security, they just don’t specify what that means. They do, however, specify what it does not mean, and that is a wall.
Personally, I applaud President Trump’s last-minute “line in the sand” drawing. After last week’s showdown in the Oval Office with Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, the White House indicated they’d be willing to kick the can, again. While I applaud the current stance, I don’t know how much I trust it.
The President had to be reminded, to put it politely, that without doing everything possible to secure funding for a wall he would lose a lot support. Actually, I kind of had a hand in getting us to this point. I interviewed my friend Ann Coulter for my podcast on Wednesday where she said she wouldn’t vote for him in 2020 without a wall. She told me that without it, “Trump will just have been a joke presidency who scammed the American people, amused the populists for a while, but he’ll have no legacy whatsoever.”
The interview went viral, was picked up and reported by all the cable networks and nearly every print outlet within a few hours. Soon after, others became more vocal in their criticism of the President and the White House flipped back to a hard line on the wall and we ended up here. So, you’re welcome, America.
While it’s tempting to look at this stance as a victory, it is not. It’s nice, it’s a good thing, but victory is funding for the wall. Make no mistake, anything short of that is a loss. Politicians don’t get credit for saying the right things, they get credit for doing the right things. Republicans in Congress could have made this push at any point in the last 2 years, the did not. The President could have insisted on it at any point in those 2 years, he did not. It’s as important to be skeptical of people who don’t do something they insist they want to as it is of people who suddenly don’t want what they used to say they did.
Nearly every Republicans and more than a few Democrats have been on record, at some point in recent history, supporting a wall. It shouldn’t be this hard, it shouldn’t be a war. But it is. And we’ll soon find out if the country wins, or we lose. Stay tuned…
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