President Donald Trump had made it clear, many times, he would do a government shutdown over the border.
A timeline of Trump’s government shutdown threats as follows:
5/18/18: “We’re going to get the wall, even if we have to think about closing up the country for a little while.”
7/30/18: “If we don’t get border security after many, many years of talk within the United States, I would have no problem doing a shutdown.”
12/11/18: “And I’ll tell you what, I am proud to shut down the government for border security, Chuck, because the people of this country don’t want criminals and people that have lots of problems, and drugs pouring into our country.
So I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down. I’m not going to blame you for it. The last time you shut it down it didn’t work. I will take the mantle of shutting down, and I’m going to shut it down for border security.”
Each and everytime President Trump promised this, my radio audience told me he was sticking it to Democrats. Each time, I told them the same thing: “I hope you are right, but he will cave.”
And each and every time he caved.
Last week, I spoke to a Republican congressman and he told me not to expect much cheerleading because no one on Capitol Hill expects him to stand by this threat.
Each time the president caves, I am told that the president is playing a masterful game with Democrats and the media.
“He’s making them show their hands before the election.”
“He’s going to use the money from the NAFTA replacement.”
“He’s going to use the military funding to build the wall.”
Let’s say I am skeptical, but I voted for President Donald Trump for three reasons:
- Tax cuts
- Border security
On judges, he gets an A, with an assist by Mitch McConnell. On tax cuts, he gets an A. On the border he gets an F.
He talks a big game, but the net effect of all of this is increasing illegal immigration, as well as a court system and a Congress that seem to support people south of our border more than inside our borders.
You can complain about Congress on this if you want, and that is a tired trope for a reason. It’s their fault, but this is what he was elected for: to make Congress do what it has long promised.
Things don’t get better on this issue from here on out and that’s Trump’s fault, too. He is the main reason Republicans lost 40 seats in the House of Representatives. Tout the Senate if you need to, but the map was drawn for Republican success and that is not what you saw. Florida is the only real victory of note. Purple states in Arizona and Nevada were lost, but ruby red “gimmies” in North Dakota, Indiana and Missouri expanded the GOP lead there.
When Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) mocked the president to his face saying, “When the president brags that he won North Dakota and Indiana, he’s in real trouble.” He was right.
2018 was exactly what prognosticators said it would be: a blue wave. But conservatives pretended it was going to be something else. This shutdown talk is exactly the same.
The president has one card remaining in his deck for 2018, which is shutting down a tiny portion of the government to force Democrats and Republicans to hammer out a solution to give him his border wall or shut it down.
There is nothing left for this president to lose. His approval rating is still in the low 40s and he is plagued by scandals (some made up and some not). It is time for the president of the United States to be the fighter his supporters believe he is because this could be his last chance for a border wall in this presidency.
During the election, my callers would tell me he is the only one who fights back and I would tell them that Trump is nothing more than a silver spoon pansy who could talk tough because he would never have to back it up.
I hope they are right.