It's not about the Wall -- it's about Trump

As the New Year begins, the federal government is without a budget. Not that a budget matters to Congressional spendthrifts. If we really had a budget, we wouldn’t be $20 trillion in debt. With no signs of fiscal sanity or responsibility returning to Congress anytime soon, regardless of which party is in charge.

The current standoff is due to President Trump’s desire to fund construction of a border wall, or a fence, if the term is more pleasing. But some type of physical barrier on the dividing line between the United States and Mexico.

This was one of candidate Trump’s first campaign promises when he rode down the escalator at Trump Tower in June 2015 to announce his candidacy. He must have struck a chord with voters as he jumped into the early lead and never gave it up, ultimately winning the White House a year and a half later.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer adamantly asserted wall funding will, “never pass the Senate.” Recently born-again conservative Senator Lindsey Graham is hitting back saying, “no wall money, no deal.”

The President, using Twitter to the consternation of #NeverTrumpers, backed up his new wingman Lindsey by tweeting, “We will be forced to close the Southern Border entirely if the Obstructionist Democrats do not give us the money to finish the Wall.”

With another Trumpian tweet.Is this really about the wall? Or is the standoff simply about denying the President a win on one of his signature campaign issues?

The answer is simple. Donkeys may be stubborn, but elephants never forget. Neither does the internet.

Let’s harken back a little over a decade and review the “Secure Fence Act of 2006”. This passed the House 66 to 32 percent, supported by 64 House Democrats. It passed the Senate by a wider margin, 80 to 19 percent, with 26 Democrat Senators voting yea.

Notable Democrat yea votes in the Senate included Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Chuck Schumer, Diane Feinstein, and Barack Obama (who surprisingly voted yea rather than present).

Have the “journalists” at CNN or MSNBC asked any of these individuals to explain their about face? Here’s the wording in the actual bill. (Emphasis in italics is mine.)

This Act may be cited as the Secure Fence Act of 2006.

Achieving operational control on the border

a. In general.

Not later than 18 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall take all actions the Secretary determines necessary and appropriate to achieve and maintain operational control over the entire international land and maritime borders of the United States, to include the following—

(1) systematic surveillance of the international land and maritime borders of the United States through more effective use of personnel and technology, such as unmanned aerial vehicles, ground-based sensors, satellites, radar coverage, and cameras; and

(2) physical infrastructure enhancements to prevent unlawful entry by aliens into the United States and facilitate access to the international land and maritime borders by United States Customs and Border Protection, such as additional checkpoints, all weather access roads, and vehicle barriers.

(b) Operational control defined

In this section, the term operational control means the prevention of all unlawful entries into the United States, including entries by terrorists, other unlawful aliens, instruments of terrorism, narcotics, and other contraband.

Although the word “wall” is not mentioned in the bill, this is: “2 layers of reinforced fencing.” One man’s wall is another man’s fence. The border between East and West Berlin was a wall. Between East and West Germany, it was a fence. Both were difficult to sneak across, the difference in construction dictated by the required length.

Congress only appropriated $1.4 billion of the full $50 billion, 25-year cost. No surprise. Congress has a credit card with an unlimited credit limit and no requirement that card ever be paid off, or even paid down.

Chump change of $2 billion per year, far below the cost of illegal immigration which is pegged at tens to hundreds of billions per year, depending on who is analyzing the costs.

A bargain for “operational control over the entire border”, a worthy goal then, but not now.

As 2019 begins, relatively inexpensive measures for border security are anathema to Democrats. Regardless of the burdens placed on American taxpayers, the crime and drugs, the diseases and potential terrorism, all merrily entering America without any consideration of the long-term detrimental consequences.

The 2006 bill was signed into law by an “acceptable” president by the name of Bush. A proud member of the ruling elite whose brother would have been welcomed to the uni-party establishment as president, giving America three presidents from the same family within a quarter of a century. Who knew America was a monarchy?

But the current president is an outsider, not part of the establishment club, a man of “poor character” according to Jonah Goldberg, one of many #NeverTrump critics. He was not supposed to win. The deep state and establishment went to extraordinary means to prevent his election and to then drive him from office via their “insurance policy”.

The fact that President Trump still lives in the White House after two years, and that his approval remains in the high 40s, according to Rasmussen, is driving Trump haters in both parties to insanity. It’s this visceral hatred of Trump that is driving the Democrats to oppose what they voted in favor of a few years ago.

Anything to deny a victory to Trump is worthy of Democrat pursuit. Any wedge that can be driven between Trump and his supporters, still holding firm after two years of nonstop negativity, is a Democrat priority. And the President, to the consternation of Democrats and #NeverTrumpers, is tweeting about the wall.

It’s more than the Democrats wanting open borders to replenish their voting base. That same situation existed in 2006. Now it’s about being against anything Trump favors.

Imagine if Trump reversed course and invited the 147 million adults worldwide who want to move to America to come on in, bringing their kids, cousins, parents, aunts, and uncles. Triple the U.S. population overnight and totally overwhelm the system, Cloward-Pivens style.

America as we know it would be kaput. Democrats would be leading the charge to build a border wall as their lives and well beings would also be under siege. This would never happen, but such is the level of anti-Trump hatred.

As the budget standoff and government shutdown continues, remember that this is not about border security but instead about hurting President Trump, damaging him politically, attempting to separate him from his base, in preparation for the 2020 election.

Brian C Joondeph, MD, MPS, a Denver based physician and writer. Follow him on Facebook,  LinkedIn and Twitter.