The Trump Shutdown will have a wonderful ring to it.
Sometimes a message bears repeating, albeit in paraphrase: Mr. President,If you seek homeland security from the scourges of uncontrolled opioids, human trafficking in women and childen, influx of MS-13 animals and aspiring terrorists, come here to this gate, Mr. Trump. Close down this gate. Mr. Trump. Mr.Trump, Build up this wall!
For a moment, after this article’s first iteration (an oxymoron!) appeared, it soon after seemed that the President nevertheless had caved in, capitulating to the Democrats and RINOs, and had agreed to sign a continuing resolution series of spending allocations that would fund everything in the world except for a Wall. Not a cent for the Wall. Not even a brick. Not even mortar.
This reported capitulation took the steam out of all the President’s base and even skeptical solid conservatives outside his base. Rush Limbaugh blasted him. Ann Coulter absolutely crushed him. Ben Shapiro went after him. The entire truly conservative base was disgusted. The Freedom Caucus. My article in The American Spectator. Hundreds of Readers’ Comments. Not to mention the most loyal readers of this writer at TAS including Captain Mann, Acidulous, Kitty Meyers, Pecos + Pete, Rob Hamer, Geniac, Dustoff, SUBVET, Beverly Gunn, and the always interesting PolishKnightUSA. If any doubt remained, the predictable fuming of my three usual trolls confirmed the analysis: Mr. President, just shut down the darned Government and let American history record it as yours. It is an honor when a President is remembered eponymically for fighting single-handedly against both parties for the nation’s border security, an eponym validated by history like the Monroe Doctrine, Seward’s Folly, and Reaganomics. (For contrast and giggles: Obamacare.)
After a rough and tumble day on Capitol Hill — first he was going to sign it, then he said he will not sign it, then Paul Ryan suddenly became a border hawk and said the bill cannot pass without Wall funding — it seems as of this writing as though Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is about to be replayed live and in black-and-white. It ain’t It’s a Wonderful Life, but it’s still Jimmy Stewart. I am sure my many Christian friends and readers will not mind any Christmas Season revival that evokes a lone Jimmy Stewart standing up against everyone. So, Mr. President, I have a suggestion: Don’t even call it a “Shutdown.” You are an expert in marketing. Be creative with language, the way your opponents do. Therefore, instead, if Schumer can do it, and if Rand Paul can do it, and if Ted Cruz can do it, and if Jimmy Stewart as Mr. Smith can do it — Mr. President, call it: “The Donald J. Trump Homeland Security Filibuster.”
That’s right, Mr. President. Is Schumer threatening you won’t get 60 votes to stop a filibuster? To purgatory with him! This time, you do the filibuster. If the House will pass the bill with the $5 billion for the Wall, then you go ahead and filibuster Schumer’s filibuster (an oxymoron!), and do what every filibuster does. (Hint: It shuts down the Government). You have started working on the vagaries of the Wall. So now: Fill ’er, buster! As I was saying in pertinent part just the other day…
Let’s call a spade a spade: Donald J. Trump, private public citizen (oxymoron?), descended on an escalator (an oxymoron that!), and he said that Mexico is sending us their worst, not their best. Was he right? Did he speak elegantly? That is open to fair debate, but one thing is clear: From the moment he began his quixotic campaign for the Presidency, his signature issue was that he would regain control over our broken immigration system.
And so the campaign went: “I am going to build a big beautiful Wall, and Mexico is going to pay for it.” It honestly became as much his meme as Obama’s “If you like your plan, you will keep your plan. If you like your doctor, you will keep your doctor.”
Obama was a liar. He always was a liar. That is why, whenever the Republicans face a tough election and have run out of strategies, their final “nuclear option” is to convince the opponent to bring Obama to campaign for the Democrats. It worked for the GOP in 2010, in 2014, and just the other day in Georgia. Meantime, Trump has fulfilled more campaign promises since almost any other American political figure in the past century or two, and his percentage of fulfilled promises is stratospheric. By contrast, his haters in the Left Media consume themselves with counting “Pinocchios.”
But Trump has not yet fulfilled on immigration. He — which also means “we” — will never get the Wall unless, like everything else these past two years, he basically just does it himself. We knew from Day One — and two years now have proven — that President Trump is a Constitutionalist and not the authoritarian dictator that the CNN/MSNBC crowd describe. He had a Republican House that never will pass immigration reform because they believe CNN polls more than their own voters, thus fear antagonizing people who never will vote for them anyway while driving their own actual supporters to stay home — as they now will, too. He does have a Senate majority, but he cannot get anything through the Senate (except for judicial and other nominations) without some 7 of 47 Democrats — in order to attain the 60-vote minimum — and he never ever will get any of them except for Doug Jones of Alabama during the three weeks before the 2020 elections.
He promised to change the broken immigration system and build a Wall for which Mexico would pay. CNN/MSNBC took him literally — that he will get Mexico literally to hand over pesos or nachos. By contrast, Trump’s supporters understood that there are more sophisticated ways for making Mexico pay — and Mexico will pay, just in a manner of asset-transfers that no one but the inside players realizes. Nevertheless, so far no Wall. With the 2018 midterms past, it now is time for Trump to shift into “Larry the Cable Guy” and just “Git-R-Done.”
Pelosi will not give it to him — and, in her defense, she cannot possibly do so. If she gives him that money, her Left flank will bail out on her, and she will not get elected House Speaker. She has to say no. And Schumer cannot seem weaker than Nancy for several reasons. First of all, even though Democrats talk the Identity Politics/Fluid Gender talk, we all know they do not believe one word of that stuff — otherwise, their two leading candidates for President would not be the two oldest White Men in politics, now that Strom Thurmond has passed away at age 101. Moreover, Democrats expect Schumer to swagger with at least as much macho as Nancy does. Third, Schumer just lost seats in the Senate in a year that all other Democrats had some gains. So Schumer can’t budge.
At this point, two years into his Presidency, there is no political downside to Trump shutting down the Government. Airport security will remain the same, and air traffic controllers will stay on duty. The Post Office will remain open, and letter carriers will keep delivering; indeed, the USPS is funded through a different mechanism. Social Security checks still will arrive as scheduled. The IRS will remain open. The prisons will remain open. (Another oxymoron!) ICE still will be at the border and raiding the homes of Illegals in Oakland. The military is funded, and our service men and women will be paid. Fully seventy percent of the Government will remain operating. That means — and this is dismaying — that you cannot shut down more than a fraction of the federal government even when you want to do it. Yes, federal employees will be sent home without pay checks, and CNN/MSNBC/WaPo/NYT will run stories about Scrooges and Grinches and Tiny Tim with no smartphone and Santa forced to sell reindeer on E-Bay. But meantime, as always happens with federal workers, they end up with the cushiest deal of all: sent home for the holidays, no work through Christmas and New Year’s, yet a complete recompensing salary check as soon as the stalemate ends, paying them every single unearned cent they otherwise properly would not have earned had they come to “work” as usual.
Sure, some federal agencies will close for a while. The Energy Department, for example. When was the last time you filled your car at an Energy Department office? The Education Department, for another. If you have kids in school, when was the last time you went to the Education Department for Parent-Teachers Night? Half those agencies should remain shut. Use their budgets and employees to build the Wall.
So, big deal! Close down the Government. People can reschedule their visits to national parks until the weather gets warmer. Go visit Beale Street in Memphis, Jackson Square in N’awlins, the National Cowboy Museum in Oklahoma City, Opryland and Graceland, the bank that Jesse James held up in Russellville, Kentucky; a Quilt Museum in Paducah, or the Oscar Goetz Museum of Whiskey in Bardstown. Take a tour of the “Breaking Bad” sites in Albuquerque or a family-friendly casino (oxymoron!) in Las Vegas or the gorgeous red rocks of Sedona, Arizona, or a ranch in Laramie, Wyoming.
Close the Government and keep it closed demonstratively for a long time, until Congress budges and blinks on immigration after forty years of immigration anarchy. There is no political downside. First of all, it is two years until the next national elections. Even now we know that 35% will vote against Trump and the Republicans in 2020, no matter what — and 35% then will vote for him and them, no matter what. Another 15% will not vote in 2020 anyway, because they voted already in 1996. It all will come down, two years from now, to the 15% whose hearts and minds must be won by everyone from the Ballot Harvesters to the Soros-Bloomberg-Steyer Money Machines — and those 15% have a spotless record, dating back at least a century, consistently manifesting a memory that maxes out at 60 days. That is why most campaign advertising begins after Labor Day — because the people who decide our country’s course in November have to try to remember the day in September. Even now, you say “Christine Ford,” and they now think it is the name of a new truck. You say “Omarosa,” and they think that is where Ben Cartwright, Little Joe, and Hoss were ranchers. This is the perfect time to shut down the Government — all the more so if there is a reason.
So shut the cockamamie thing down. For a week. For three months. For a year. Democrats will cave; they cannot breathe without Ubiquitous Government. And voters in 2020 will reward the President who stared down Pelosi and Schumer, and said ““We have to have a wall.… I will take the mantle of shutting it down.…I am proud to shut down the Government over border security.” They will re-elect that guy so that he can face four more years of Mueller, impeachment, and Jim Acosta while proving his mettle, his strength, and leaving the rest of NATO, along with Putin and the North Korean Doughboy gazing in awe that this guy means business when he means business.