The Democrats Intend to Break Trump On the Wall. He Must Not Let Them.

Democrats don't just oppose the wall, they want to hurt Trump's relationship with his base.

In February, Democrats agreed to fund the wall in exchange for a DACA compromise. The President initially agreed, but then walked it back. Just three weeks ago, the President decided to continue funding the government without wall funding until conservative backlash forced him to retreat and threaten to veto the legislation.

The President insisted on at least $5 billion for the wall. Vice President Pence offered Chuck Schumer a compromise of $2.5 billion. Schumer not only rejected it but threw it back in the President's face at the White House yesterday getting the President to agree it had to be $5 billion minimum.

Since then, the Democrats have taken back control of the House of Representatives and a majority of the Democrat caucus is opposed to any wall. They are also opposed to giving the President anything about which he can brag to his base. As a result, Democrats have hit on a strategy of denying the President the wall and forcing him to yield. They presume that in so doing the President's base will begin to turn on him and they know they will get a huge PR win for forcing the President to give up the wall around which he built his entire campaign.

I think the Democrats are wrong to think the President's base will blame him or reject him. They will instead blame congressional Republicans for not having his back, and they'll blame Democrats for refusing to compromise.

But Democrats do have the upper hand right now.

Most Republicans in Congress do not want the wall or think the wall will do any good. Colorado Senator Cory Gardiner, perhaps the most endangered Republican in the Senate in 2020, is already calling for the government to be reopened without wall funding. Republican leaders in the House may publicly be supporting the President, but privately they have no love for the wall.

On top of all this, there are a good many Republicans in Congress who privately want to see the President defeated on this issue. They want the humiliation for the President because they think he has humiliated them. It is payback time. The Democrats know this. They know they have time on their side. They know the President is not the negotiator he claims to be and will cut a deal and spin it to his base.

That's also why the Democrats have the upper hand. The President most likely will cut a deal, and his chief promoters will tell everyone that whatever the deal is, so long as it is something however small, that it is a massive win for the President.

Democrats know this too, which is why they are deeply opposed to offering any compromise that involves any funding for the wall. If they are forced to compromise by a change in public opinion, they'll provide a promise for future funding or something mostly meaningless. That change in public opinion might come as reporters push the GOP argument that some funding for the wall is a compromise and no funding is the Democrats keeping the government shutdown.

There is a new dynamic in Washington now, and it really is not concerned with overall public opinion. Where Republicans had to get the Freedom Caucus to agree to get things passed, Nancy Pelosi must get the aggressive progressive caucus to agree. Pelosi only secured the Speaker's chair with a few votes, and she will need every Democrat to agree to the plan. That aggressive progressive caucus is in no mood to compromise with Trump and sure is in no mood to compromise on the wall. That caucus's base of voters will not fault them for keeping the government closed as a way to hurt the President politically.

Democrats want to break the President and hope to damage his relationship with his base and then watch the Mueller report drop. If the President compromises on the wall and yields to the Democrats instead of dragging this out until Pelosi and Schumer cave, he will be creating real political problems for himself in 2020.

Comments
No. 1-9
Oregun
Oregun

They broke Trump in the election, with no ideas of their own. Trumps criminal history, blow hard ignorance and costic personality gave them a win they never earned on an issue they had no chance of winning on until the only person ever known to bankrupt casinos that are gold mines to everyone else took over the issue.

DavidMKern
DavidMKern

My comment about the East German border wall was intended to demonstrate that it was both long and non-porous (which wall skeptics claim is an impossible goal). The Soviet Bloc was capable of building the fortifications and sealing off the border even though stocking store shelves with basic consumer goods was too difficult a task for it to accomplish. The people who tried to escape East Germany were willing to face land mines and machine gun bullets, which is arguably more motivation than the illegal immigrants that pour over the US southern border have. The reason the Soviet Bloc could maintain a non-porous border is that it had the desire to do so. The reason the US southern border is porous is that very many politicians have no desire to seal the border, regardless of any show votes and/or public comments.

I have read comments about how walls can simply be overcome with a ladder. But if the US side of the wall is laced with barbed wire (as various photos have shown), I don't believe getting down on the US side would be something ordinary people would attempt. I do believe there is enough money in drugs that cartels would attempt whatever it takes to overcome any barrier. But if the US laws were changed to eliminate catch and release and the border wall was equipped with sensing devices and night-vision cameras, I think it would be hard to penetrate without detection. If the US is serious about stopping the flow of drugs (which I think is a very worthy goal), it is hard to believe that we are incapable of building and staffing border control stations that would allow quick apprehension of illegal border crossers.

While Trump critics tend to focus on the wall, Trump has repeatedly said that a border wall is only part of the solution he wants for true border control. Trump has expressed his support for mandatory E-Verify, ending Catch-and-Release, reducing Chain-Migration, and changing the policy on Anchor-Babies. It would be nice if wall critics would clearly identify what border control mechanisms would be worth shutting down the government for. Factual statistics clearly demonstrate that catch-and-release has functioned like a get-out-of-jail-free cart, that a lack of E-Verify has produced massive tax-fraud, and that large-scale illegal immigration adds significantly to welfare, health, and school costs.

I am not opposed to increasing legal immigration limits and that is a far better solution than letting drugs and gang members unchecked into the US. If companies are willing to sponsor immigrants with jobs paying minimum wage and payroll taxes, then I think putting in place a plan for temporary work permits for immigrants is an excellent solution. I would suggest that any such plan should also require companies to supply English classes, which would increase the productive capability of immigrants. But allowing an unchecked flow of illegal immigrants to serve as a low-wage black market labor force is not something anybody who believes in the rule of law should support.

NoSteppy
NoSteppy

Other than the tax cuts, which are temporary for individuals, please tell me what significant piece of legislation Republicans have passed for their constituents in the last 12 years? Nothing comes to mind.

This is the real crux of the issue why Trump must win this battle. If a large enough portion of our citizenry are stripped of their right to be heard and have their concerns addressed, which is effectively where we are, then we have big big problems.

This is what most of the limp-wristed commenters in this section, the establishment politicians, and the media don't see. Just keep going this direction and see where it leads us.

DavidMKern
DavidMKern

@Dave_A If a border barrier would be as ineffective as you claim, why would the border patrol support it? If you support E-verify and deporting aliens for financial fraud (as your comment suggests), should the Republicans hold the line on the government shutdown until that feature is included in any budget deal? As near as I can tell, the border barriers were pretty effective in stopping the recent large scale caravans in contrast to the claim in your comments – do you dispute this?

The Romans built Hadrian's Wall which was roughly 80 miles long. It wasn't meant to stop large scale military attacks, but to funnel trade and access to controlled check points. It had milepost bases along with 2 watch towers in between each base. The effectiveness of mileposts and watchtowers on monitoring and stopping penetrations is dependent on them being proper staffed and not on how long the border barrier is.

According to Wikipedia:

The East Germans had a border that was 1,393 kilometres (866 mi) long, that was patrolled by 50K East German guards (as opposed to 20K US border agents). On the eastern side, it was made one of the world's most heavily fortified frontiers, defined by a continuous line of high metal fences and walls, barbed wire, alarms, anti-vehicle ditches, watchtowers, automatic booby traps, and minefields.

Modern electronic equipment should allow visibility of a fairly long section of a border barrier from controlled outposts (although binoculars would probably be effective for a long distance in open areas). If it would be a felony to cross a clearly marked border wall, and if catch and release didn’t exist to effectively issue automatic parole for felony violators, then stopping illegal access would amount to detection and apprehension. Do you support ending catch and release as part of any budget deal?

It is pretty clear that an invading caravan can’t transport motorized vehicles over a border barrier of any reasonable height and structure. This would mean any felons who breached the wall would be on foot. It is hard for me to believe that border patrol agents staffed at reasonable interval couldn’t trace down illegal penetrators using some kind of rugged motorized vehicles. If aiding and abetting border wall felons was also made a felony, then it would certainly discourage smugglers from picking up invaders on the US side of the border barrier.

I would also assume that if a section of the border is too rugged for border agents to patrol using motorized vehicles, then it would also be too rugged for large numbers of illegal invaders to cross on foot. The idea of a border wall would be to make asylum applicants wait in an orderly process at controlled check points. This is not an impossible goal to achieve. The reason for the Democratic opposition to a border barrier is that it would be effective at stopping massive amounts of illegal immigration, which they want to continue. I suspect you have the same motivation.

TomBrown
TomBrown

Trump emphatically promised over and over and over and over again that Mexico would pay for the wall. After he took office he didn't even try. DIDNT EVEN TRY!! He failed on this KEY PROMISE in a spectacularly pathetic fashion!!!

So after that massive, spectacular pathetic failure he's now turning to the US taxpayers with his hand out, NOT EVEN BEING HONEST about his pathetic failure to even try to accomplish (let alone deliver on!) his central campaign promise, and tells us that NOW the wall is a "crisis" and a "national emergency." Yes, it is a crisis, but I suspect only for his ego.

IF THIS WERE REALLY A CRISIS / NATIONAL EMERGENCY WHY DIDN'T MITCH MCCONNELL ELIMINATE THE FILIBUSTER AND GET IT THROUGH?????????... That's what Trump said was Mitch's "duty to the nation" to do just a week or so ago!!! They had TWO YEARS!!!

The answer, of course, is this is NOT an emergency and Mitch McConnell knows it. It's a giant, steaming pile of bovine feces, and you'd have to be brain dead not to realize it.