I have a radical ides. I know, like this is a news flash, right? Just do me one favor. Read the whole damn thing, don’t just read the next paragraph, say “What an idiot!”, and then steam off to the comments section. Read it, look at what I say in political and practical terms instead of ideological terms, think about it for a minute, and then steam off to the comments section and dump a load of shit over my head.
You want to beat Donald Trump in 2020? Then “Build that wall! Build that wall!” When the Democrats get back to Washington on Tuesday, the first thing that Pelosi and Schumer should do is to get a hold of McConnell and Trump, tell McConnell, :Bring the House bills to the floor and pass them,: tell Trump, :Sign those bills and end the shutdown,” and then tell them, “If the bill that McConnell brings to the floor mirrors Trump’s proposals on Saturday, we will vote to pass it.” The first part is critical, since it means that the Democrats are no longer negotiating with the hostage taker.
What? Are you crazy?!? Yeah baby, crazy like a fox. But what does that get us? Well, if we play our cards right, it gets Trump out of the White House in 2020, holds if not expands the House majority, and increases our chance of flipping the Senate. Read on, keep an open mind, and let’s look at the situation practically instead of emotionally. OK, deep breath.
The Democrats Downside
What are the myriad downsides for the Democrats in this radical idea? There are only two. Trump gets his wall. And the Democrats disappoint their base by caving on the wall. I’ll deal with the base in the next section. So, the Democrats cave on the wall. Oh No! Except he doesn’t. I wish everybody would get it through their heads, there is never going to be a fucking wall! There isn’t going to be a wall because Trump doesn’t want a wall. Trump wants the talisman of a wall, he wants to blame the Democrats for opposing it, he wants to hear chants about it, he wants to fund raise off of it. That’s it, nothing more.
There is plenty of logic to back this assertion up. First, remember, we’re dealing with The-Gang-That-Couldn’t-Think-Straight here. Trump still hasn’t even spent 25% of the $1.6 billion he got the last go around to start his stupid wall. Early last year, Trump had the promise of $25.6 billion for his wall in return for permanent protection of DACA recipients, and he scotched the deal. In December he had $1.6 billion for the wall to keep the government open, and he eighty-sixed that plan too when the right wing party noise makers went off. Trump doesn’t actually want the wall, he wants the issue.
And we know this because he’s already proven it. Trump campaigned on the wall. He’s screamed and hollered for it like a colicky 2 year old for 2 years now. But not one site has been surveyed for wall construction compatibility. Not one bid has been solicited from wall component manufacturers, or construction companies either. Some of his already existing $1.6 billion could have been sent on those logistics. If you want to build a wall, you’re going to need to build roads to get the material and equipment to the border. No plans for road construction are forthcoming either. Construction of any wall would have to take place purely on federally held land, since it would take 5-10 years of wrangling in the courts to get privately and tribal held lands through eminent domain. No offers to landowners are forthcoming, and I haven’t heard of any studies being authorized in regards to land valuation. Not only would Trump almost certainly be out of office, it is quite likely that he would be pushing up daisies before the first mile of foundation was ever poured for his moronic wall.
The Democrats Upside
There are several upsides for the Democrats in this scenario, and they’re all win-win. First of all, the Democrats buy 3 years of legislative relief for DACA and TPS recipients. Both of these are driving issues for portions of the base. This is especially important because 3 years is a long time, particularly with an election coming up in 21 months, with the prospects of Democrats gaining the kind of control that would allow them to make those fixes permanent.
Second, the Democrats neutralize Trump’s two favorite campaign talking points. Number one is the wall itself. Trump has used Democratic opposition to his 2,000 mile wall to blow the concept completely out of proportion. If the democrats give him the $5.7 billion for the wall, he loses that talking point. It sounds kind of stupid to sit there and chant “Build that wall! Build that wall!” when you have your $5.7 billion. That’s like a parent chanting “Clean that room! Clean that room!” when a teenager is coming out the door with a dustpan and broom. And I find it highly likely that Trump will abandon all talk of a wall when his supporters, both in the media and on the ground, start pressing him for photos and progress reports, cuz there ain’t gonna be any.
And forget the $5.6 billion for a minute. By agreeing to the deal, the Democrats can, and forcefully should argue that by voting to add oodles of new border agents, 75 new immigration judge teams, beefed up security and technology for border crossings, and rehab or replacement of existing barriers, they are every bit as devoted to immigration control and border security as the Republicans. Gone will be the days when Trump can bellow that the Democrats are “ewak on the border!”
Now, about that $5.6 billion thingy. Once Trump is locked in, the Democrats can always remind their base that appropriations are not the stone tablets that Moses brought down from the Mount. Should a Democrat be elected in 2020, of course future appropriations bills could eliminate the costly boondoggle of a border wall that hasn’t even broken ground yet. After all, we ran on exactly the same thing regarding the Trump tax cuts for the top 0.1^.
Strangely enough, there’s only one downside for Trump if the Democrats call his bluff. And that downside is that he’s totally fucked. Six ways to Sunday. because, just like with every other rash, ill advised action Trump has taken, he’s left himself with no clear or actionable exit strategy.
Trump hadn’t even loosened his tie after making his “grand compromise” offer on Saturday, and already Coultergeist was screeching like a banshee about it. She called Trump a traitor to the cause, by offering the dreaded A-word, amnesty for illegal aliens, for a measly $.6 billion. I find it inconceivable that The Oxycontin Kid won’t do the same thing from his lofty perch tomorrow. Personally,I think that the withered Trump rose has long fallen from the Coulter-Limbaugh vine. As Trump’s popularity has fallen, and he has become more and more erratic, it has become harder to support and defend him. But the right wing blabbersphere has invested too much time and support for him. But if Trump himself offers them a viable excuse to dump him, then they can not only throw him overboard, they can toss a hand grenade in the lifeboat after him, all while assuring their listeners, and Trump’s most ardent supporters, that they only have their best interests at heart. Sadly, Trump turned out to be nothing more than a failed lab experiment.
If Trump starts to feel the blast furnace heat from Coulter, Limbaugh et al,and his poll numbers plummet, he will have no other option but to bail from the deal. But, how does he do that? This isn’t a Pelosi House led bill, it isn’t a bipartisan bill, it isn’t even a misguided Senate GOP bill, this is his baby. He proposed it, he pushed for it, he endorsed it, and all late on a Saturday afternoon, in front of the whole nation. How does he bail from his own bill,or demand poison pill changes?
Because, if this thing passes, he loses the Senate for the rest of his term. Their seats are at risk here. They followed the bouncing ball. If Trump bails on the bill, McConnell will have no leverage. The federal employees will be back to work until September 30th, and even McConnell isn’t weak enough to go along with a government shutdown going into an election year. Nobody in the Senate would have any reason to support anything that Trump proposes, for fear of being left holding the bag again. And they’ll have every reason to support popular legislation that the Pelosi House passes, to show their constituents that they too can solve problems and move the country forward. If McConnell resists, I honestly believe he has a mutiny, and resulting leadership struggle on his hands.
So, there you have it. Go ahead and have at me in the comments. If there are gaping holes in my logic, I’d really like to hear them. But the object in a dogfight isn’t to score style points, it’s to win. Once again Trump has shown a complete inability to assess proper risk management before making rash decisions. and this is one time we can hang him out to dry for it.
Follow me on Twitter at @RealMurfster3
One more thing, and that’s Trump claiming victory for getting his wall funding. Fuggedaboudit. The right wing media already hates this whole idea. Instead of getting heaped with praise for it, he’s going to be defending his perfidy.