The question Trump's border wall speech didn't answer: Why now?

Source: Washington Examiner | January 8, 2019 | Philip Klein

President Trump on Tuesday night used his border wall speech to make the case that the flood of illegal immigrants from Mexico was such an overwhelming problem that it necessitates the building of a border wall. But what his speech didn’t answer is: Why now?

We heard a lot tonight about illegal immigrants committing crimes and about the necessity of locking down the border. But that’s a case that he’s basically been making since he launched his presidential campaign three and a half years ago.

He’s been president for nearly two years, and up until last week, Republicans controlled both chambers of Congress. At any point during that two years, Republicans could have passed a bill to fund the border wall, and he could have gotten at least $5.6 billion.

Republicans were ready to use the reconciliation process, allowing the Senate to pass legislation with a simple majority, to repeal and replace Obamacare. They successfully used the procedure to pass a massive tax cut. They certainly could have found a way to use it to put some money into building a border wall had Trump actually fought for it earlier in his administration.

In 2017, Trump had just won the presidency and building a wall was a significant part of his platform. At the time, he had significant political capital among Republicans, who would have been reticent to defy him on such a central issue.

Instead, he waited until now to make a firm stand, at a time when his party just lost control of the House and he has zero leverage over Democrats, whose base expects maximum resistance.

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  •  Consistent #27245

     Consistent #27246


    In fact, I think it made things worse for him in the long run. Because he will end up reverting to the narrative he prefers. Who doubts that he will end up changing the messaging in the next twelve, 24, or 48 hours from now? But how can he plausibly invoke a national-security crisis a week from now, if he didn’t make that case from the Oval Office? He shifted almost entirely from terrorism to drugs and crime. He’ll shift back.

    Last, he failed to make the case for why right now is different. He has run the GOP-controlled government for two years. And yet he waited for this moment to do this. He offered no reason for why he needed to wait, for why this moment is worse than when he could have dealt with this “crisis,” or for why the government needs to be shut down to force a fix he could have dealt with sooner.

     Consistent #27247

     EVERYDAY #27255

    Trump and the Republican Party had the “trifecta” for two years — presidency plus both houses of congress. Yet, they all sat on their rears and did nothing — not just about illegal immigration, but nearly everything else they promised. About the only promise they touched upon was tax reform, but what they ultimately produced was little more than a tax tweak which may have benefitted some, but for most people it did nothing and for some it could mean this year they will owe. There was no real reform.

    Trump blames congress, including members of his own party, but where was he in the last two years? As president, he is more or less leader of his party. He supposedly is a successful businessman, which should mean he knows how to be boss. So why didn’t he exercise his alleged leadership skills, get together with Republican leaders in both houses and, if necessary, kick a few lazy behinds to get things done? He did none of that. Now that he has lost the House and with the next presidential election coming up in 2 years, he decides to come alive and do something. He is incompetent.

    The worst thing is he is only pushing for his precious wall, which if it’s ever completed will cost around $90 billion — money we don’t have, but I hear little or nothing about actual enforcement of immigration law, deporting illegals, ending programs like Dreamers, ending sanctuary cities and cutting off all the benefits illegals currently receive. What good will this expensive wall do if we continue to allow illegals in by granting asylum to anyone who applies, letting illegals already here stay and continue to receive taxpayer-funded benefits and so on. If we aren’t going to fight the invasion, a wall is going to do no good.

    Trump is the star of his reality tv presidency. It’s high time the show is canceled.

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