Something there is that doesn’t love a wall, as the poet Robert Frost wrote, but President Donald Trump remains intent on building one across the entire Mexican-American border. He’s now longer vowing that Mexico will pay for it, and instead is using American taxpayer money earmarked to build schools for military families, but he’s still insisting the wall will be big and beautiful and impenetrable.
Which makes it rather embarrassing that Mexican smugglers are already cutting out large holes from the few miles of new wall that have been built, using reciprocating saws that be purchased for about $100 at most hardware stores.
Most Americans were skeptical all along that a big and beautiful wall was the solution to America’s undeniable illegal immigration problems, but the crowds that packed Trump’s campaign rallies loved the idea. “Build that wall” was one of the chants that riled up the rally-goers, along with a thus-far unfulfilled promise to arrest Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and “lock her up,” so Trump is now stuck with the idea. The die-hard fans apparently never took the part about Mexico paying for it seriously, and have already forgiven him for dropping that, but he worries he’d look foolish in the fans’ eyes if he didn’t build something along the entire southern border.
Getting it done is likely to be more trouble than it’s worth to Trump. A Democratic House of Representatives is even less likely than Mexico to pay for a border wall, meaning Trump will have to continue to dip into the swollen defense budget that he loves to brag about, further damaging his relationship with the military and his party’s hawkish wing. He’ll have to win a whole lot of expensive eminent domain lawsuits against some very sympathetic landholders and their property rights, which will offend the few remaining free market and constitutionalist conservatives left in the Republican party.
When the wall inevitably fails to solve America’s illegal immigration problems, even the die hard fans will wonder why they chanted for it.
The good news for Trump is that the border wall is rarely mentioned in the news these days. The bad news is that an impeachment inquiry is dominating the political conversation, and the damning testimony will now be televised.
— Bud Norman