I'm no longer astonished by the short-sighted and vitriolic reactions, from both sides of the political aisle, to yesterday's announcement by President Trump that the current government shutdown will be suspended for a few weeks, to allow further negotiation and (hopefully) a compromise solution. If that doesn't happen, the President has made it clear that he'll proceed with other measures to build the wall - measures that are sure to be challenged in court.
The tragedy is, this entire episode has further entrenched the "great divide" in this country between left and right, urban and rural dwellers and interests, liberal and conservative . . . need I go on? The President has been excoriated by those who've previously supported him, claiming he's "caved" or "given in" or "surrendered". Those doing so forget that he's the head of the executive branch of the US government - only one of its three branches. He can't get the support he needs from the legislative branch, which makes and passes budgets and laws. He couldn't get it before, when his own party controlled both houses of Congress, and he sure as hell can't get it now, with divided control. He also can't get it - at least, not in the short term - from the judicial system, the third branch of government in this country. Many lower courts, particularly those with liberal-leaning judges, have demonstrated their political bias by ruling against the President's policies on the basis of factors other than the law. On appeal, many of their rulings have been overturned . . . but the President can't do anything until they have been overturned.
President Trump's hands are effectively tied when it comes to immediate, short-term action. He's not a dictator, able to rule by decree; and he's not a magician, able to make things happen by waving a magic wand. Why criticize President Trump when his own party wouldn't vote him the funds necessary to build the wall? He asked for them. He wasn't given them. Is that his fault, or the fault of RINO Republicans, who lost their majority in the House as a result of their pusillanimity? Why criticize him when his policies are delayed, and sometimes derailed, by hostile court rulings? He's not to blame for them.
Daniel Greenfield points out that the struggle over the Wall is actually a struggle to define what is true, both physically and morally.
A breakdown in border security is not only a physical breakdown, it’s a moral collapse. We aren’t lacking in the physical resources that are needed to construct a wall and to secure the border ... What we lack are the moral resources to secure the border. The struggle over the shutdown is not a battle over resources, but a struggle over morals.
. . .
The radicals claim that the concept of a wall is divisive, but it’s actually unifying. Walls encompass what is within and thereby create unity. Without a wall, there can never be unity, only endless divisions. Where there is no wall that we can agree on, it is inevitable that we will build our own walls. And when there is no single principle worth fighting for, we will fight over everything.
. . .
The battle over a wall is at its heart a battle over truth in both the general and the specific senses ... Walls and objective truths are inherently alienating because they are fixed moral structures ... That is why the wall became the country’s dividing line. It is a line that not only divides borders, but concepts. It separates truth from lies and fact from fiction. It embodies the larger struggle not only over what legally makes one an American, but what morally makes one an American.
There's more at the link. Good reading.
Some believe that President Trump has "caved" to the liberal opposition. Ann Coulter has called him a "wimp", and Karl Denninger believes he "gave up". I respectfully suggest neither is true. President Trump is fighting virtually alone, backed up to only a limited extent by a squishy Republican caucus whose support can't be guaranteed. He's battling entrenched opposition in both the legislative and judiciary branches of the US government, which effectively hobbles his freedom of action. He's doing the best he can against monumental odds . . . and, based on his track record so far, I think he may have several tricks in reserve. He's demonstrated time and again, both in the commercial world and in politics, that he can pull a rabbit out of a hat at the appropriate moment. Who's to say he may not do so this time? He may not. He may, indeed, have "caved". However, right now, that's far from clear.
As Aesop points out:
The Democrats have promised all along to "negotiate in good faith" once the government was reopened.
That bluff has been called.
If they don't do exactly that now, they have no leg to stand on if Trump simply declares an emergency next month, noting they got everything they asked for and still refused to deal, and starts building the wall they said they wanted time and time again, before he was president, by going right over their heads, when they turn out to be the same lying sacks of **** they've always been.
. . .
But what if, contrary to all historical evidence, Trump ultimately folds?
(And if he does, he does; I won't be the last guy looking for the pony under the mountain of horse****. I've noted multiple times the President Trump is "not my guy". He's just governed more conservatively than anyone since Coolidge, and played harder hardball than anyone since Andrew Jackson shot a guy for insulting him.)
This was his "Read my lips..." moment, and you can start planning for him to get ousted in the primaries, if he doesn't simply resign and hand the whole ****ball to Pence sooner. Or get impeached, tossed out, followed by cuffed and stuffed by the FBI Obama Holdout Brigade. Because I don't see them letting him pull a Nixon and retiring to a quiet life of writing books and playing golf. They want his head on a pole.
Which means you have, at best, about 700 days before President Shrillary/Biden/Kamala Harris gets sworn in, to get all your crap in one bag.
Either way, by the end of February, you should know beyond any doubt whether **** just got real.
Again, more at the link.
What scares me is to see the border wall imbroglio in the light of the arrest of Roger Stone, which was a blatant, in-your-face publicity stunt rather than a law enforcement proceeding, and the demonization of the Covington schoolkids in true Alinsky fashion. Do please follow both those links and read their contents in full. They're very important. What we're seeing in all these events is a growing radicalization - a Stalinization, if you wish - of the left in this country. The Border Wall is only one aspect of that, along with many others.
Borepatch observes that we may be turning into the Soviet Union.
I don't see how this doesn't spin out of control. The Democratic Party has no interest at all in reining in the street muscle, and the Deep State - especially the FBI/NSA/FISA Secret Police - has no interest in backing off the official oppression. I wish I were more optimistic, but now I'm wondering if maybe this will be the year that people start shooting back.
For the first time, I fear he may be right. This may, indeed, be the year that people start shooting back . . . because they're being pushed beyond endurance by those who hate America as she was and is. They won't rest until she becomes the left-wing, progressive dictatorship they revere. Trouble is, there are many who will simply not tolerate that. "To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction" . . . and in US politics right now, that reaction is growing stronger.
Can the United States survive in its present form? Your guess is as good as mine.