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Assault on America, Day 27: Catatonic GOP leaders own the next shutdown… if there is one

Border wall Trump Shutdown

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


What’s wrong with this picture?

It’s no stretch to say the establishment media loves political brawls. Liberal journalists bend facts to portray constant conflict and certain elements of the American population eats it up. The most recent iteration of the phenomenon was depicting the immigration fight as solely between President Donald Trump and Democrat congressional leaders as though there aren’t over 250 Republicans in Congress who could just as easily be sought out for their determinations on the eventual outcome of the impasse.

Noticeably silent amongst the hubbub are Republican congressional leaders (namely House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell), the ones who could easily make the contest a three-on-two quarrel instead of the much simpler two-on-one of Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader creepy “Chucky” Schumer versus the president.

Pelosi and Schumer conduct joint press conferences. Why don’t GOP congressional leaders ever join Trump to speak on how they won’t accept anything less than adequate money for the border wall? Why do the Democrats receive all the heralding for holding firm and drawing red lines?

If Republican “leaders” only did their jobs the whole narrative of the issue would change; a united GOP caucus would be practically unbeatable, especially considering the House Speaker can’t do much of anything without the go-along of the Senate and Chief Executive. Pelosi can say “no” all she wants but “yes” is a much tougher prospect.

Still the media suggests Trump’s the one in trouble in the ongoing immigration negotiations. Alexander Bolton reported at The Hill, “Lawmakers in both parties are skeptical about President Trump’s chances of securing funding for his wall on the Mexican border after a 35-day partial government shutdown that bruised the White House’s political standing.

“The deal reached last week gives Trump and Congress until Feb. 15 to reach a new deal to prevent another partial shutdown, and the president is demanding new legislation again that would fund his signature campaign issue.

“Democrats seem unlikely to budget any money for a border wall, and even if they did, lawmakers say such a deal would likely require Trump to include significant immigration reforms, such as giving immigrants known as Dreamers a pathway to citizenship or permanent residency.”

In other words, Democrats are holding the country’s security hostage so as to extend not only legal status to a class of people who dwell here illegally, they’re also insisting future political rights be granted to a demographic that overwhelmingly votes Democrat. They might as well say, “Well, GOP guys and gals, we want to make sure Democrats eliminate any long-term potential electoral viability for the Republican Party. If you do that, maybe we’ll throw you a few crumbs…as long as they’re not used to make mortar for the border wall -- we need more Democrats!”

Bolton’s report indicated Democrats could allow $5.7 billion for border security -- i.e., Trump’s asking price -- if it were designated only for non-barrier measures like a “smart wall” with electronic detection and use of drones, etc. Very clever, right? The only problem is there’s not much difficulty discovering the illegals on this side of the border right now… but we’re having a heck of a time dealing with them when they arrive. Why not keep them out totally?

The president is right: walls work…and that’s precisely why Democrats won’t budge here. Much has been written of late about numerous Democrats approving physical barrier funding in the past only to change their minds and hide behind the “walls are immoral” line of argument now. Democrats don’t give a darn about making sure the people are stopped to begin with. There’s the sticking point.

Not even Trump’s offer to extend legal status to the DREAMERS (essentially an okay to keep DACA for a period of years) sways Democrats now. They’d rather keep these people looking over their shoulders for ICE agents and circle the wagons around sanctuary city/state politicians than propose practical solutions. And Republican leaders let them get away with it.

No one talks about what can/should happen if Congress doesn’t fund the wall. If nothing moves on Capitol Hill then Trump should declare a national emergency, use spare funds appropriated to the military for national security purposes and prepare to fight it out in the courts. Meanwhile, the justice department should enforce the law equally, “DREAMER” or not.

Where are the Republican leaders in Congress bolstering the argument? Mitch McConnell’s already signaled his willingness to capitulate by appointing four wishy-washy “pragmatic” establishment moderates (Senators Shelley Moore Capito, Richard Shelby, John Hoeven and Roy Blunt) to the conference committee with the House, not exactly an intimidating group of border hawks insisting on a serious drive to build the wall.

Why not send in Senator Ted Cruz to stare down the Democrats? Or Rand Paul? Or Mike Lee? Or heck, maybe even newly converted border hawk Sen. Lindsey Graham? All have been outspoken about their support for President Trump and the need for a barrier. Where have Capito, Shelby, Hoeven and Blunt been when all the real fighting raged the past several months? I can’t say for sure but they probably were hanging out in the ruling class lounge viewing cable news reports of Trump holding firm and shaking their heads in disgust.

America needs leaders -- now -- Trump can’t do it by himself.

On the House side McCarthy’s proven to be a non-entity on the issue du jour, completely ceding the spotlight to Pelosi who doesn’t need any help to draw a friendly media horde. Granted McCarthy can’t do much to move Pelosi on funding but he can turn up the afterburners on public opinion. It’s a bad time to be a wallflower when the dance is in full swing.

For his part Trump’s indicated another government shutdown is a possibility if/when Congress fails to hash things out. Emily Birnbaum reported at The Hill, “President Trump during an interview with The Wall Street Journal on Sunday said that he is doubtful Congress can come to a deal over border wall funding, claiming that another government shutdown is ‘certainly an option’ once the three-week funding bill comes to an end.

“Trump expressed skepticism that a group of 17 lawmakers assembled to agree on a deal could achieve a bipartisan resolution.

“’I personally think it’s less than 50-50, but you have a lot of very good people on that board,’ Trump told the Journal.”

Democrats must’ve greeted this news with hoots of glee. Anytime they hear “shutdown” Democrats equate it to discovering political gold. The reaction was likely different in Republican leaders’ offices where they’re utterly terrified of anything that might force them to take a politically risky position and stand behind it. Principles don’t cut it with the ways of the swamp.

Let’s face it -- Trump’s shutdown “threat” wasn’t intended for Democrats; it was aimed at scaring McCarthy and McConnell into accomplishing something -- or at the very least to make it look like they’re fighting with some sense of urgency. Chances are Trump will ride out the three weeks and then declare a national emergency. Democrats will then forum shop for the most outrageously liberal anti-Trump federal judges and count the days until a stay is issued to stop construction.

The matter will remain until 2020. Democrats end up with nothing -- but they don’t care about progress -- or border security -- anyway. They’d rather have the courts decide it. To Democrats, the battle is all that matters. The longer it lingers, the better it is for them.

Next to the inability to fund the border wall, Republican leaders’ silence is the single most disappointing aspect of the struggle to control illegal immigration. Appearances mean things -- if McConnell and McCarthy are to join the fray it’s time to fish or cut bait. Fence-sitters lose every time.

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