The wall is Trump’s no new taxes pledge. It’s infinitely frustrating to see that he is apparently only now fully grasping that reality. Hell, rank amateurs have been pointing this out from the beginning:
Just as Trump’s candidacy was a referendum on a wall, so will his ability–or lack thereof–to get that wall built be a referendum on his presidency.
The Derb is concerned that Trump, cognizant of how his reelection campaign hinges on the wall or lack thereof, will give away the store to make it happen:
I’m starting to worry that Trump’s need for a Wall — and he really does need it, if he’s not to be thrown out of office in 2020 to jeers of derision and hoots of contempt — I’m worrying that this Wall obsession is crowding out real patriotic immigration reform.
Last week I expressed my fear that the enemy — I mean, the open-borders nation-killers in Congress, the courts, and the media — might calculate that it would be worth giving Trump a wall, and maybe even four more years in the White House, if, in return, they got a total amnesty for twenty or thirty million illegal aliens, perhaps with expedited citizenship, and big expansions of guest-worker programs, chain migration, refugee settlement, and so on.
I want to see a wall, but not at that price. In fact, looking through the other end of the telescope, I’m asking myself what price I personally would accept for dropping all talk of a wall.
John is a reasonable man living in an increasingly unreasonable age. The Democrat-controlled House will not sign off on anything that can be spun as providing funding for the wall. One of the reasons immigration restrictionist rhetoric is now so electorally effective for Republicans is because Democrats refuse to give an inch on anything concrete (heh). Nothing that denies amnesty to the DACA invaders, provides wall funding, taxes remittances, mandates E-Verify, or that calls for anything more than a vague intention to increase enforcement sometime in the indefinite future will get through, no matter what the Democrats get in return. No one with a (D) next to her name wants to get Pelosied. As a consequence, Republicans largely own the issue rhetorically, but it also means that they can continue to get away with not making good on any of that rhetoric.
This means if Trump wants the wall, he’s going to have to find a way to do it via his authority as chief executive. Had construction began in the first two years of his presidency, when he had real congressional budgetary support, erecting the thing would have been hard (heh!) enough. If he flies into a frenetic frenzy to try and get it done now, the prospect of severe civil unrest with the intent to retard its progress is virtually guaranteed. Think Antifa and the resurrected Minute Men throwing down in the desert.
Relatedly, the president’s most popular tweet in the last couple of months is a celebration of the electoral success of a campaign based on no more invading the world and no more inviting the world:
I won an election, said to be one of the greatest of all time, based on getting out of endless & costly foreign wars & also based on Strong Borders which will keep our Country safe. We fight for the borders of other countries, but we won’t fight for the borders of our own!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 22, 2018
Steve Sailer is the most underappreciated intellectual of our age.