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Assault on America, Day 43: GOP leaders’ wimp out on border wall leaves few options for Trump

Trump not happy
What happens when you go to a restaurant on successive occasions and receive awful food and horrible service?

Answer: You don’t go there anymore.

Many would argue if you go someplace once and it’s reprehensible it isn’t worth risking a second visit…and given a choice most folks won’t get bit twice. But what if you’re the president of the United States and are saddled with party leadership that is not only ineffectual, they consistently undermine your most vital priorities and goals?

Such is certainly the case for President Donald Trump these days. The lifelong real estate developer and celebrity ran for president on a platform of Making America Great Again, prominently promising since day one to vigorously enforce this country’s immigration laws in order to safeguard its people and economic wellbeing. Voters took to the straightforward message and Trump won the election, only to encounter stiff resistance from opposition Democrats but also the pathetically timid “leadership” of his own Republican party once he set up camp in the White House.

Conservatives who’ve battled the entrenched Washington swamp for decades figured it’d be an uphill slog for Trump, but did anyone think it’d be this bad? This week’s immigration/budget “deal” between congressional Republicans and Democrats was a travesty and the president’s now stuck between a political rock and a hard place.

If he signs the compromise Trump essentially concedes defeat on the wall issue (this year at least) and accepts money for only 55 miles of Bollard-style border fencing; if he vetoes the bill, the government will shut down again, the media will squawk like turkeys heading to slaughter and his own party leadership will whimper about the public relations damage they’re absorbing.

Sources indicate Trump will lend his signature to the legislation and move on. The president won’t say so publicly but he must be feeling betrayed by his “friends” in Congress again. This is one establishment he shouldn’t repeatedly patronize.

On the other side of the aisle Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s riding high from another apparent showdown victory. Compared to Republican leaders who always appear feeble and cowardly, Pelosi’s got the heart of lioness. Mike Lillis reported at The Hill, “In recent weeks, Pelosi has heartened rank-and-file Democrats by steering her party through a potentially perilous government shutdown, calming divisions over climate change policy and reproaching a liberal freshman for comments condemned as anti-Semitic.

“Pelosi’s tactics have varied from case to case — alternating between private meetings and public statements, off-hand critiques and direct rebukes — but the combination has kept her troops in line and helped send her approval rating to its highest level in a dozen years...

“[Democrat] differences have not been as pronounced as the discord that faced GOP leaders — largely emanating from their party’s conservative flank — when Republicans controlled the lower chamber. But for Democrats, the coming weeks are promising to feature a series of issues that will likely expose deeper splits in their diverse and spirited caucus — and test Pelosi’s faculty for keeping the party together heading into the pivotal 2020 elections.”

Lillis’ article indicated Democrats diverge somewhat over the efficacy of the rabid left’s (led by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) promotion of the American lifestyle bludgeoning “Green New Deal.” They also disagree a bit on campaign finance provisions and how Pelosi handles dissenters like Rep. Ilhan Omar, a gadfly who’s never shied away from sharing her deeply held anti-Israel/anti-Semitic views.

It’s true there is some disparity among Democrats as to aspects of their overall socialism-based agenda, but one thing that unites all of them is poking their fingers in President Trump’s eyes while trying to make him appear to be an incompetent dunce to his most devoted supporters.

In this fight Democrats discovered an unwitting ally -- the feckless Republican establishment. When Republican senators (led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell) stepped to the microphone on Tuesday to tout the “good news” of reaching a deal to avoid another government shutdown, they looked like a collection of spineless waifs attempting to attach a sweet smelling aroma to a freshly compiled crap sandwich.

Senator Richard Shelby even called the piddly token money ($1.375 billion) slated for the 55 miles of wall “a down payment.” Down payment…on what? It’s far too late to view this as the beginning of a process -- erecting a wall should’ve started 27 (or more) years ago when “pitchfork” Pat Buchanan challenged George H.W. Bush in the GOP presidential primaries warning of the dangers of open borders and unfettered illegal immigration.

Buchanan was prophetic back then. If only people listened to him we’d be in much better shape today -- and we wouldn’t be talking about needing walls or government shutdowns any longer.

It’s time Congress made good on its assurances to secure the border with a physical barrier (where necessary) while providing more detention capacity (beds), more electronic detection, more border patrol agents, more adjudication courts and some renewed emphasis on making it incredibly arduous (but also maintain a humanitarian sense) to risk coming here. When does common sense prevail? Would a car dealership accept someone walking in with a trifling “down payment” and a halfhearted promise to pay off the car sometime in the indefinite future?

Judging by the joyous reaction of Senate Minority Leader “Chucky” Schumer the other day, Democrats feel they got the vastly better tasting end of the loaf. Schumer urged Trump to take the deal, something “Chucky” would never do if he believed there was an ounce of “win” for the president contained within its provisions. Democrats know they got pretty much what they hoped for -- basically, no wall -- and here were Republicans crowing about “this is the best we could do, take it or leave it.”

Illegal aliens will keep streaming over the border with no deterrent waiting for them. The status quo is their friend and that’s exactly what happened here. Democrats loved it.

Trump’s openly criticized GOP leaders in the past and the grassroots welcomed his willingness to name names and call a bad deal what it is. Trump’s State of the Union address last week left no wiggle room on where he stands on the issues -- including promising, again, that a wall will be built.

The people responded to Trump’s steadfastness, too; as a result, his approval rating creeped up close to its all-time high. Paul Bedard reported at The Washington Examiner, “President Trump has received an early Valentine’s Day kiss from America’s biggest pollster with an approval rating just one point below his ‘personal best.’

“According to Gallup, Trump bounced off his lowest rating of 37 percent to a high of 44 percent approval since he decided to reopen the government.

“The survey even suggested that all those pundits were wrong when they judged that the president lost the first government shutdown fight with Congress. The Gallup poll suggests a different verdict. He had his biggest shift from low to high after he opened the government, and also gave his annual State of the Union address.”

Ever poll-conscious, Trump absolutely will note the dramatic shift. The same survey showed Congress’s approval rating held steady at 21 percent, less than half Trump’s grade. It’s likely a sign Americans are warming to Trump as the nation’s leader -- and continuing to see Congress as a bunch of do-nothing failures. All along the media claimed Trump “lost” the shutdown narrative; the voters didn’t agree.

Short on options, it’s said Trump will sign the bad deal sent him by his party leaders on Capitol Hill. If the president hopes to get a barrier constructed, he’ll need to do so by other means. It just goes to show, once again, the GOP leadership simply can’t be trusted. Don’t go there anymore.

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