Trump’s only option: Declare a National Emergency, build the wall, and declare victory

First, from William A. Jacobson at Legal Insurrection, lose the shutdown strategy:

Republicans cannot win government shutdown fights because no matter who caused it or who is unreasonable, the media blames Republicans. As satisfying and justified as a partial government shrinkage and slowdown may be, it’s a losing battle. [Emphasis added, as throughout]

But, but . . . a wall?

First, a wall would work. That is a real problem for those who favor either completely open borders or the current status quo of mass illegal cross-border migration. A wall wouldn’t be a cure all, but the arguments against it are mostly strawmen. It wouldn’t stop 100% of those attempting to enter illegally through the Mexican border. Fine, but it would stop most, and would allow the border patrol to focus on fewer areas. It also would serve as a deterrent. Another argument is that a border wall also would not stop visa overstays. Duh. It’s a border wall meant to keep out people who don’t have even a visa from illegally crossing the border. Let’s beef up tracking people who overstay their visas AND build a wall.

Besides, it’s Trump, stupid. He’s the ultimate target.

Second, and most important politically for Democrats and Republican NeverTrumpers, they see the failure of Trump to build the wall as a way to break Trump politically. It was a core promise. I think most Trump supporters understand that he has been undercut on the issue not only by Democrats but also by Republicans, but that won’t prevent the failure from being used as a wedge issue.

Enabling Democrats?

One argument I’m seeing a lot of from Republicans is that by using the National Emergencies Act for spending, Trump may be enabling a future Democrat president to do the same for climate change or single-payer. Such an argument demonstrates how differently different groups within the GOP see the illegal immigration issue: To establishment types, it’s just another issue; to Trump supporters and many others, it’s an existential crisis over whether we have a country. For the former, it’s a time to be cautious fearing future abuse, for the latter it’s now or never because the current trajectory is disastrous, a Flight 93 political issue. I’m with the latter.

Depends what worries you.

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