T.A. Frank writes: Let’s forget, for the moment, about whether a border wall between the United States and Mexico would be good or bad. Politically, Donald Trump needs it. No promise gained him more enthusiasm during the primaries. Three quarters of Republicans support it. And his base demands it. In a column written immediately after Trump’s election in November, Ann Coulter laid out a hundred-line daily schedule for Trump’s first hundred days that read, “Day 1: Start building the wall. Day 2: Continue building the wall. Day 3: Continue building the wall. Day 4: Continue building the wall,” and continued in this vein until Day 100, which read, “Report to American people about progress of wall. Keep building the wall.”
By the same token, considering politics alone, Democrats must stop the wall. Thwart Trump and he looks weak. You force him to break his signature promise. His agenda stalls. The Hispanic vote moves even more solidly to the left. The Democratic base gets energized, and Trump’s base gets demoralized and stays home in the next couple of elections. It’s cost-free. That’s why Chuck Schumer has spoken of “shutting down the government” if Trump tries to get the wall going.
But the war has been postponed. After initially vowing to insert a request for funding of the wall into a stopgap bill that has to pass this April to avoid a government shutdown, Trump has now backed off. Sean Spicer says Trump’s “priorities have not changed,” but the wall does not seem to be among them for the time being. People are now suggesting Trump has given up on the wall in all but rhetoric. And this would be momentous. If Trump’s wall is dead, then Trump’s presidency is dead. Has it come to this? [Continue reading…]