A bar­rier to the wall

Democrats threaten to shut down the govern­ment to stall con­struc­tion

The Washington Times Daily - - EDITORIAL -

The U.S. govern­ment just dodged a head­long run into a wall. Democrats threat­ened to vote against an in­terim bud­get deal if Pres­i­dent Trump in­cludes a down pay­ment on a wall on the south­ern bor­der. It’s a mark of the lengths politi­cians of the lib­eral per­sua­sion will go to de­stroy the Trump pres­i­dency. Na­tional se­cu­rity is held hostage in a high-stakes game of chicken.

Congress must meet a dead­line of mid­night Fri­day to ap­pro­pri­ate a tril­lion dol­lars (that’s tril­lion, with a ‘t’) to avoid a govern­ment shut­down. Pres­i­dent Trump has re­quested $30 bil­lion of that for the na­tion’s de­pleted mil­i­tary, but it’s the rel­a­tively minis­cule $1.4 bil­lion for the bor­der wall that set Demo­cratic hair on fire. The wall is the key to re­gain­ing con­trol of im­mi­gra­tion, and for the left, the na­tion with­out borders is cen­tral to the Amer­ica they dream of cre­at­ing.

The wall is “an in­cred­i­bly wrong ap­proach to our deal­ing with our south­ern bor­der,” says Rep. Joe Crow­ley, the chair­man of the House Demo­cratic Cau­cus. House Mi­nor­ity Leader Nancy Pelosi says such a wall is “im­moral,” which is ironic be­cause San Fran­cisco Democrats rarely have any­thing nice to say about a moral or­der. When Kate Steinle, one of Mrs. Pelosi’s con­stituents, was slain in 2015 by an il­le­gal alien from Mexico who had en­coun­tered no bar­rier on the bor­der to sanc­tu­ary in San Fran­cisco, Mrs. Pelosi had noth­ing to say about the im­moral­ity of tak­ing an in­no­cent life.

Salu­tary uses of a pro­tec­tive wall hold no ap­peal to them. “The Democrats don’t want money from bud­get go­ing to bor­der wall,” Pres­i­dent Trump tweeted, “de­spite the fact that it will stop drugs and very bad MS 13 gang mem­bers.”

A threat of a govern­ment shut­down strikes fear in the hearts of Repub­li­cans. They un­der­stand that no mat­ter who shuts down the govern­ment the me­dia will blame them for it. The govern­ment doesn’t ac­tu­ally cease to func­tion. Non-es­sen­tial em­ploy­ees are sent home and paid later for the days they were able to sleep in and eat out.

This makes the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion ea­ger to bargain. Mick Mul­vaney, the White House bud­get di­rec­tor, shows a will­ing­ness to pay for a Demo­cratic wish list, dol­lar for dol­lar in re­turn for their votes. He of­fered bil­lions to prop up fail­ing Oba­macare sub­si­dies, or even put off fund­ing the wall un­til Septem­ber. Given the toxic at­mos­phere in Washington, Democrats are not in­clined to talk com­pro­mise. Se­nate Mi­nor­ity Leader Chuck Schumer merely spins stale talking points. “The White House gam­bit to hold hostage health care for millions of Amer­i­cans, in or­der to force Amer­i­can tax­pay­ers to foot the bill for a wall that the pres­i­dent said would be paid for by Mexico, is a com­plete non-starter.”

Wall or no wall, the rush of il­le­gal mi­grants is slow­ing to a trickle sim­ply on the stark ev­i­dence that un­der the new pres­i­dent the bor­der is no longer a sieve. “The bor­der is not open,” says At­tor­ney Gen. Jeff Ses­sions to the im­mi­grant wave. “Please don’t come. You will be ap­pre­hended if you do come, and you will be de­ported promptly.” Ar­rests are down by 70 per­cent since Mr. Trump took of­fice, and op­po­nents of the wall say that proves a bar­rier is no longer nec­es­sary.

But un­less prospec­tive mi­grants don’t see a wall ris­ing in the mid­dle dis­tance, the word will spread that the new pres­i­dent is a pa­per sher­iff, just like the pres­i­dent be­fore him. The millions will re­sume their march, along with the drug mules and gang­bangers. The wall is the way to keep Amer­ica safe, and to keep the wel­come mat out for le­gal im­mi­grants.

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