Trump seeks second term with no progress on first-term campaign promise

President Trump yesterday announced that he will seek re-election to a second term, nearly three full years before the end of his first term.  It's sad to see him make such an announcement, given that he has so far totally failed to deliver on the main promise that got him elected president: to build a border wall with Mexico.

In fact, President Trump promised not only to build a wall, but to have Mexico pay for it.  Now, more than a year after having been elected, Mexico has not paid at all.  There haven't even been any plans announced to have Mexico pay for the wall.  There is no way Mexico can be compelled to pay for a border wall, short of invading Mexico and confiscating its treasury.

But even worse, there is no border wall.  There is no beginning of any border wall.  Not a single inch of border wall construction has begun.  Not an inch of border wall construction has been authorized or funded by Congress.

President Trump blames Congress for not funding the border wall, but there is a lot of blame to fall on President Trump.  First, President Trump repeatedly said Mexico would pay for the border wall – so why were any appropriations even needed?

Secondly, President Trump never tried to go over the heads of Congress directly to the American people to make the case for the border wall.  When Ronald Reagan wanted to deliver the largest tax cut in history, the Democrats who controlled the House of Representatives were not interested.  But Reagan spoke out repeatedly and campaigned for it so hard that public pressure mounted, and the Democrats were forced to give in.  President Trump has not taken his case for the wall to the public at all – unless you count a few lazy tweets.

Thirdly, President Trump willingly signed a spending bill right after he came into office that had no money for his border wall.  Then, a few weeks ago, he signed a two-year spending bill that also had no money for his border wall.  If President Trump really wanted money for the border wall, he could have vetoed the spending bill.  House Republicans would have backed him up and prevented his veto from being overridden.  But Trump, afraid of confrontation, meekly signed the spending bill, without even fighting for his highest priority.

Then Trump tried to offer amnesty for 1.8 million illegal aliens in return for border wall funding.  Democrats pocketed his concession but, instead of agreeing to fund the wall, demanded citizenship for even more illegals.

And that is where things stand today.  Trump has so far totally failed to carry out his number-one campaign pledge but believes that his failure entitles him to a second term.  Declaring this early is quite uncommon for an incumbent president.  Does Trump, who never campaigned on the promise of giving amnesty to millions of illegals, worry about a primary challenge from the right?  That's the only explanation I can come up with.

President Trump has done some good things in office – judicial appointments, reducing regulation, substantially reducing corporate tax rates, and moderately reducing personal income tax rates.  But his failure to make any progress on his main campaign pledge makes a re-election bid look impotent and insecure.

Ed Straker is the senior writer at Newsmachete.com.

Monica Showalter adds: I'm here in San Diego, and as I read this, yesterday's front-page above-the-fold story in the San Diego Union-Tribune was about President Trump making his first trip to California in mid-March explicitly to visit the border; visit the border wall prototypes that have already been built here and will be going up; and, obviously, to give encouragement to Border Patrol agents who have operated in toxic conditions due to the Mexican sewage overflow here, and to assure that their efforts are being supported.  Whether it will be substantial or merely symbolic is yet to be seen, but the former can't be ruled out until he makes his visit.  Meanwhile, McClatchy is reporting that active talks are underway to tax illegal aliens' remittances and perhaps find a way to extract revenue from Mexico's trade surplus with the U.S. as a means of at least partially making Mexico pay for the border wall that is coming.  And yesterday, the Washington Examiner reported that the Heritage Foundation says Trump has fulfilled 64% of his campaign promises. I don't buy the argument that Trump is doing nothing.

Image: Gage Skidmore via Flickr.

President Trump yesterday announced that he will seek re-election to a second term, nearly three full years before the end of his first term.  It's sad to see him make such an announcement, given that he has so far totally failed to deliver on the main promise that got him elected president: to build a border wall with Mexico.

In fact, President Trump promised not only to build a wall, but to have Mexico pay for it.  Now, more than a year after having been elected, Mexico has not paid at all.  There haven't even been any plans announced to have Mexico pay for the wall.  There is no way Mexico can be compelled to pay for a border wall, short of invading Mexico and confiscating its treasury.

But even worse, there is no border wall.  There is no beginning of any border wall.  Not a single inch of border wall construction has begun.  Not an inch of border wall construction has been authorized or funded by Congress.

President Trump blames Congress for not funding the border wall, but there is a lot of blame to fall on President Trump.  First, President Trump repeatedly said Mexico would pay for the border wall – so why were any appropriations even needed?

Secondly, President Trump never tried to go over the heads of Congress directly to the American people to make the case for the border wall.  When Ronald Reagan wanted to deliver the largest tax cut in history, the Democrats who controlled the House of Representatives were not interested.  But Reagan spoke out repeatedly and campaigned for it so hard that public pressure mounted, and the Democrats were forced to give in.  President Trump has not taken his case for the wall to the public at all – unless you count a few lazy tweets.

Thirdly, President Trump willingly signed a spending bill right after he came into office that had no money for his border wall.  Then, a few weeks ago, he signed a two-year spending bill that also had no money for his border wall.  If President Trump really wanted money for the border wall, he could have vetoed the spending bill.  House Republicans would have backed him up and prevented his veto from being overridden.  But Trump, afraid of confrontation, meekly signed the spending bill, without even fighting for his highest priority.

Then Trump tried to offer amnesty for 1.8 million illegal aliens in return for border wall funding.  Democrats pocketed his concession but, instead of agreeing to fund the wall, demanded citizenship for even more illegals.

And that is where things stand today.  Trump has so far totally failed to carry out his number-one campaign pledge but believes that his failure entitles him to a second term.  Declaring this early is quite uncommon for an incumbent president.  Does Trump, who never campaigned on the promise of giving amnesty to millions of illegals, worry about a primary challenge from the right?  That's the only explanation I can come up with.

President Trump has done some good things in office – judicial appointments, reducing regulation, substantially reducing corporate tax rates, and moderately reducing personal income tax rates.  But his failure to make any progress on his main campaign pledge makes a re-election bid look impotent and insecure.

Ed Straker is the senior writer at Newsmachete.com.

Monica Showalter adds: I'm here in San Diego, and as I read this, yesterday's front-page above-the-fold story in the San Diego Union-Tribune was about President Trump making his first trip to California in mid-March explicitly to visit the border; visit the border wall prototypes that have already been built here and will be going up; and, obviously, to give encouragement to Border Patrol agents who have operated in toxic conditions due to the Mexican sewage overflow here, and to assure that their efforts are being supported.  Whether it will be substantial or merely symbolic is yet to be seen, but the former can't be ruled out until he makes his visit.  Meanwhile, McClatchy is reporting that active talks are underway to tax illegal aliens' remittances and perhaps find a way to extract revenue from Mexico's trade surplus with the U.S. as a means of at least partially making Mexico pay for the border wall that is coming.  And yesterday, the Washington Examiner reported that the Heritage Foundation says Trump has fulfilled 64% of his campaign promises. I don't buy the argument that Trump is doing nothing.

Image: Gage Skidmore via Flickr.