The Rushmore Report – Sen. Warren Calls Criminal Justice System ‘Racist,’ Officials Respond

During a speech at Dillard University in New Orleans earlier this month, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) said the American criminal justice system is “racist…front to back.” Police were not thrilled by those comments, to say the least. “I now cannot trust her words are real,” Yarmouth Police Chief Frank G. Frederickson told the Boston Herald  on Friday. “It appears she is telling the audience in front of her what she thinks they want to hear.”

Warren has “diminished the sincerity of her condolence efforts” and “slapped in the face” all law enforcement, Frederickson added. Dudley Police Chief Steve Wojnar also demanded an explanation from the senator. “Labeling the entire criminal justice profession as ‘racist’ spreads false and damaging information about our members,” he wrote in a letter. “We feel we do a very good job in Massachusetts of producing professional and community oriented police officers.” The dangers police face can best be calculated by the number of fallen officers year after year. Ab0ut 135 cops died in the line of duty in 2016, making it the deadliest year for police officers in at least five years.

At least 54 law enforcement officers have died while on duty since the start of 2018. In the past few years, anti-police sentiment has resulted in police being victims just because they wear the badge. Five officers were killed in Dallas during a Black Lives Matter protest on July 7, 2016. The next day, an officer in Ballwin, Missouri was shot from behind and critically injured during a traffic stop while he was walking to his patrol car.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions offered his own strong response to Warren’s verbal attack on the criminal justice system, calling her comments “a slander of every law enforcement prosecutor in American. And frankly, I think it is an insult to their families and to the crime victims they have helped to face their attacker.”

About the Author

Cortney O’Brien writes for TownHall.

The Rushmore Report – The Funniest Political Story of the Year

Question: When is a challenge to debate national defense, the economy, and immigration code for sexism? Answer: When a certain congressional candidate would rather avoid the discussion of real issues than accept a gift of $10,000 for her own campaign or favorite charity. What happened this week is the funniest political story of the year. Here’s what happened. Conservative activist Ben Shapiro called out New York Democratic congressional nominee Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

While she has made a sport of flying around the country to endorse fellow socialists – all of whom have fallen in defeat following her endorsements – Ocasio-Cortez continues to simply make up data that is the antithesis of truth. Her recent statements on the economy, jobs numbers, and the middle class have been proven false by some of the most liberal news outlets in the country. But rather than getting a grasp on the facts, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez continues to say things that are verifiably inaccurate.

In stepped Ben Shapiro with an offer she could refuse.

Shapiro tweeted this message: “Miss Ocasio-Cortez, I’m really excited that you’ve been elevated to that position and I would love to have a real conversation with you about the issues. Not only am I eager to discuss the issues with you, I’m willing to offer $10,000 to your campaign for you to come on our Sunday special. We can have an hour-long conversation about all the topics under the sun in order to really probe your belief system.”

Not only did she decline the offer; she characterized Shapiro’s offer as sexist. She said it was a form of “catcalling.”

She tweeted, “Just like catcalling, I don’t owe a response to unsolicited requests from men with bad intentions.”

Conservative Katie Pavlich weighed in. “Okay, fine. If you won’t debate Ben Shapiro because he’s a man (and because he would destroy you intellectually) how about a debate with me?”

Shapiro has added, “This is a new definition of ‘catcalling.’ If I say to a woman, ‘Hey, wanna talk about the economy?’ that is now a sexist statement.”

And to make the point that he is not just targeting women, Shapiro has now made the same offer to a man. Perhaps you’ve heard of him – Sen. Bernie Sanders. Only this time, Shapiro has offered $50,000 to discuss the issues.

Together, Ocasio-Cortex and Sanders could get their message to a new audience of Americans, and at the same time, raise $60,000 for their causes. But – as expected – they have no interest in a free and open discussion with Ben Shapiro. And who can blame them? It’s much easier to scream “Sexism!” than to defend the socialist policies that have failed wherever they have been tried.


The Rushmore Report – Are Dems Falling Short of Blue Wave Predictions?

The latest round of Election Day results has Democrats boasting of outperforming Republicans in a key congressional district in the battleground state of Ohio. While at first blush this may be seen as positive for Democrats, the news is anything but spectacular. During a midterm election year in which liberal leaders promised their base a “blue wave,” even this week that wave looks more like a trickle of water caught in the elaborate drainpipe of election recounts, newly found ballots, legal challenges and delayed certifications.

Perhaps even more important than Tuesday’s close election is the fact that generic ballot polling — often thought to be the best indicator of election day performance — tightened again this week, and it wasn’t in Democrats’ favor.

A Rasmussen Poll shows that the generic ballot now only favors Democrats by 4 points — well within the margin of error. Compare that to the generic ballot earlier this year that had Democrats ahead by a whopping 15 points. (Note: Before Democrats dismiss Rasmussen as being a Republican-leaning firm, it is important to point out that Rasmussen was one of only three polling organizations that called the 2016 presidential election accurately).

The point is that Democrats should be doing better than they are at this midpoint, given the intensity of their distaste for President Donald Trump.

Earlier this spring the Washington Post reported that a record number of Americans — 20 percent — had participated in a protest since Trump took office. The protests included the Women’s March, the March for Our Lives following the Parkland, Fla., school shooting, and other events.

Given this intensity on the left, the Democrats’ victories should be blowouts, but protests don’t necessarily equate to victories at the ballot box.

The truth is, Democrats right now are approximately where they were in the 2010 and 2014 midterm elections, both years in which Democrats suffered devastating defeats.

In the 2014 midterms, Democrats were ahead on the generic ballot by an impressive 8 points most of the year but saw their lead vanish, just as it has this year. Republicans ultimately trampled them on election day, retaking the U.S. Senate and winning the largest margin of seats in the House of Representatives in American history.

The Democrats’ position also currently rates worse than their generic ballot ranking in the 2010 midterms.

In 2010, Democrats were polling closely to Republicans in the summer months but, ultimately, Republicans ended up winning back control of the House of Representatives.

Given the fact that Democrats now have just a measly 4-point advantage in generic ballot polling, November looks to be anything but a wave.

This is not to suggest that Republicans will have it easy in the fall — they won’t.

Republicans still have the challenge of maintaining seats in districts that Hillary Clinton won in 2016, while the lightning rod that is President Trump is on the airwaves day after day. That will take a careful threading of the needle.

However, Democrats have the bigger challenge here of overcoming another new polling number: 44 percent of Americans now think the country is headed in the right direction. This figure is up 3 points in August and moving in Republicans’ favor.

Bottom line: The 2018 midterm elections are anything but settled, and if Democrats are to deliver on their promise of a massive tidal wave this November, they are going to have to perform much better than they did on Tuesday.

About the Author

Jen Kerns has served as a GOP strategist and writer for the U.S. presidential debates for FOX News.


The Rushmore Report – The Very Simple Reason Evangelicals Are Sticking with Trump

He has been married three times. He has admitted to multiple affairs. His use of crude language is indisputable. He is not an active church person. Yet, President Donald Trump enjoys record support among Americans known as evangelicals – men and woman devoted to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Christian leaders such as Franklin Graham and Jerry Falwell, Jr. acclaim him as the greatest friend Christians have ever had in the White House. Last week’s poll by YouGov found that those who self identify as “born again” support the president by a majority of 87-13 percent. Yet, only 45 percent of this group approve of the president’s personal behavior. So what gives? How come Christ followers support President Trump by greater numbers than for Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush? The answer is actually quite simple.

We have President Trump for no more than eight years. But we will have the ramifications of his policies for decades.

It is certainly understandable that many see this as the definition of hypocrisy. Here we have a sitting president who has been tied to an affair with a porn star, and his greatest defenders are evangelical leaders. What could be a greater disconnect than that?

But keep in mind, while Trump only has about a 45 percent approval rating, that trumps the media’s 24 percent trustworthy rating (CBS survey).

The CBS poll found that by an overwhelming majority, people find Trump’s behavior unbecoming of a president. But it also found that most people vote based on policy, not personality – or so they say.

So this is where most evangelicals stand. They would rather have a president with questionable character who delivers lower taxes, stronger defense, secure borders, religious freedom, a growing economy, conservative judges, low inflation, a rising stock market, and more jobs – than a president who is a great Sunday school teacher, but leads the country to a weakened national defense, higher taxes, porous borders, liberal judges, and higher unemployment.

The way evangelicals look at it is that in ten years, we won’t have Trump around. But we will have the result of his policies. And they are willing to put up with some personal issues with which they disagree for the sake of the long term good of the country.

For those who like to see ISIS on the run, North Korea discussing a reduction in its nuclear threat, Russia under economic sanctions, lower taxes, conservative judges, low unemployment, stronger national defense, secure borders, record jobs, and a soaring stock market – evangelicals make a good point.

Evangelicals are sticking with Trump. The reason is quite simple.

The Rushmore Report – Three Reasons So Many Millennials Love Socialism

It’s true that socialist Bernie Sanders is anything but a millennial. And it’s true that socialism was popular long before any millennials were born. But there’s no doubt that socialism is becoming increasingly popular among young people today. Why? According to the Daily Caller, “Young people view socialism as more attractive than older people. Of people ages 18-29, 55 percent considered socialism favorably compared to other age groups, according to a 2016 Gallup poll. Only 37 percent of people between the ages 30 and 49 viewed socialism as positive.Twenty-seven percent of people between 50 and 64 years old thought of socialism positively.”

So, millennials, especially younger millennials, have a very favorable view of socialism. But do they — or most of us — even know what it is?

Professor Jay Richards offers this helpful primer.

“Marx and his disciples claimed that ‘capitalism’ must give way to ‘socialism,’ where private property would be abolished and an all-powerful state would own everything on behalf of the people. That’s what Marx meant by the word socialism, and that’s the main dictionary definition.

“This was only supposed to be a stage, though, not the end of all our strivings. At some point, under socialism, people would lose their silly fondness for property, family, religion, and other evils. A ‘new socialist man’ would emerge and then the state would ‘wither away.’ Everyone would enjoy peace, prosperity, and the brotherhood of man. Marx and his acolytes called that final, stateless paradise ‘communism.’”

And how has that vision worked itself out in history?

Prof. Richards states: “Here’s the point: Those regimes led by mass murderers with their gulags, death camps, man-made famines and killing fields were socialist. That’s not slander. It’s what these countries called themselves. USSR stood for the ‘Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.’

“You gotta break millions of eggs with socialism to make the communist omelet. Socialism, you might say, was the necessary evil to reach the bliss where no state would be necessary.”

Yet the lure of socialism continues, getting stronger in the last few years, especially among American youth. Why?

Here are three simple reasons.

1. Young people want “equality.”

The word “equality” has become almost sacred to the younger generation, and in many ways, that’s a good thing. They want a level playing field. They want everyone treated fairly. They want to leave behind our discriminatory, racist past. All that is positive.

Help us champion truth, freedom, limited government and human dignity.

Unfortunately, there is often a passion for equality that is not based on realism (or function, as in all the talk about “marriage equality,” where sex differences are blurred).

The fact is that life is not always fair. There are winners and losers. And some people work harder than others, because of which they succeed more.

That success is well-deserved and should be appreciated. But all too often today, success through hard work is scorned.

Question: “Why should you have more than I do?”

Answer: “Because I worked hard for it.”

Response: “But that’s not fair.”

Socialism, then, is the fix!

2. Young people today have a deep sense of entitlement. defines the entitlement mentality as “a state of mind in which an individual comes to believe that privileges are instead rights, and that they are to be expected as a matter of course.”

I am owed a free lunch, and it’s got to be a good lunch too. The lunch of my choosing. I deserve it.

As explained by Dr. John Townsend in his book The Entitlement Cure, “Entitlement is the belief that I am exempt from responsibility and I am owed special treatment. Entitlement is: The man who thinks he is above all the rules. The woman who feels mistreated and needs others to make it up to her.”

This dangerous attitude is crippling a whole generation. As expressed by Kate S. Rourke in her article, “You Owe Me: Examining a Generation of Entitlement,” “Children in the most recent generation of adults born between 1982 and 1995, known as ‘Generation Y,’ were raised to believe that it is their right to have everything given to them more than any other previous generation.”

Socialism plays right into this mindset, especially the fuzzy, idealized, unrealistic socialism being put forward today: “We all get our free lunch!”

Unfortunately, that can only happen when the government owns all the lunches. Do young people understand this?

3. Young socialists haven’t done the math.

The obvious question is this: “If you’re getting a free lunch — no, if we’re all getting a free lunch — who’s paying for it?”

The immediate, thoughtless answer is: “The government!”

And that leads to the real question: “Who’s paying the government?”

The answer is as painful as it is obvious: “You are!”

As one news commentator suggested, there’s no reason to wait for the government to become socialist. Just start paying more taxes today and do your part. Right!

Do you remember the viral video clip where a young Florida woman, Peggy Joseph, was ecstatic after hearing candidate Barack Obama speak in 2008? She said, “I won’t have to worry about puttin’ gas in my car, I won’t have to worry about payin’ my mortgage.” Obama will take care of it!

Six years later, working as a nurse and the suburban mom of four kids, she was asked by filmmaker Joel Gilbert, “Did Obama pay for your mortgage and did he pay for your gas?”

She laughed and replied, “Absolutely not! Mortgage got worse and gas prices got higher. … At that time we needed a change but a change for the better not the worse.”

When I asked my assistant Dylan, himself in his early 30s and the married father of four, why he thought so many young people were into socialism, he answered, “Perhaps because of being so absorbed with social media that they’re used to soundbite answers and haven’t thought it through.”

Or, as Jay Richards stated, “Too many of us are still clueless about socialism and communism. I blame biased media and fuzzy thinking.”

The bottom line is that most young proponents of socialism simply haven’t done the math. Had they done so, they’d start working the capitalist system a little harder. They would find it far more rewarding than socialism.

About the Author

Michael Brown writes for the Christian Post.

The Rushmore Report – The Man Who Would Be Speaker

Jim Jordan wants to be your next Speaker of the House. If you watch much cable news, you are familiar with the Ohio Congressman. If you watch C-SPAN, you have seen him spar with Democrats on a weekly – if not daily – basis. If you want someone to shake things up, he might be your man. If you like a long shot, he is definitely your man. If you like political correctness, he is definitely not your man. So what do we know about this Republican Representative who would be Speaker?

1. Jim Jordan is a former college wrestler.

Jordan competed at the highest level of college wrestling, as a member of the team from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He would become a wrestling coach at Ohio State University.

2. Jordan has served in Congress for 12 years.

As of the end of this term, Jordan will have completed six two-year terms as the representative of Ohio’s 4th Congressional district. Before that, he served in the State House (1995-2000) and the State Senate (2001-2006).

3. The Congressman is a big family man.

Jordan is married to Polly. They have four children and live in a family-oriented neighborhood near Urbana, Ohio, which is between Columbus and Dayton.

4. Jordan is a staunch conservative.

As a member of the Freedom Caucus, Jordan is passionate about the Constitution and conservative values.

5. The congressman has strong views.

If elected Speaker, Jordan says he will focus on expanding influence among more members of Congress, fulfilling the Trump agenda, and correcting the dysfunction of Congress.

6. He is not the party favorite.

House Majority Leader Keven McCarthy is likely to land the support of President Trump. And even if that doesn’t derail Jordan’s chances at becoming Speaker, there’s one other detail he must confront. Republicans must hold control of the House – which most experts say is becoming increasingly unlikely.

The Rushmore Report – African American Pastor Calls Trump a ‘Pro-Black’ President

President Donald Trump met with inner-city pastors from all over the country Wednesday. He listened to each man’s story as the group discussed prison reform, among other issues. Trump stressed the importance of churches in American life. And then prominent pastor Darrell Scott did the unthinkable. The African American pastor raised eyebrows when he praised the president for his support for minority communities. Of course, that has landed Rev. Scott in hot water.

Scott said, “To be honest, this is probably going to be the – and I’m going to say this at this table – the most pro-black president we have had in our lifetime. This president actually wants to prove something to our community, our faith-based community and our ethnic community.”

Scott said of President Obama, “The last president didn’t feel like he had to. He felt like he didn’t have to prove it. He got a pass. But this president is probably going to be more proactive regarding urban revitalization and prison reform than any president in your lifetime.”

Several pastors in attendance faced criticism from within their black communities. John Gray, formerly a pastor under Joel Osteen at Houston’s Lakewood Church, said he understood that the “optics” of the meeting did not look good. But he reasoned that he could do a lot of good “for people who look like me” by attending the meeting.

Another prominent pastor, Van Moody, of Worship Center Christian Church in Birmingham, faced intense scrutiny. He praised Trump for being “compassionate and caring for all people.”

For his part, President Trump concluded the meeting by telling the black pastors that “they will always have a friend in this White House.”

These pastors are to be commended for a) attending the meeting, and b) speaking truth as they see it. The best outcome will not be that a majority of African Americans suddenly embrace President Trump and his policies. The best outcome would be that they simply give him a chance.

In 2008 it was wrong for millions of white Americans to oppose President Obama because he is black. And today, it is just as wrong for millions of black Americans to oppose President Trump just because he is white.

What we need is open dialogue. President Trump was wise to invite the black pastors to the White House, and they were wise to go. But it’s what happens next that will matter most.

The Rushmore Report – Crunch Time at the Supreme Court

Justice Kennedy has retired from the U.S. Supreme Court, creating the opportunity for President Trump to nominate a second justice for Senate confirmation to the highest court in the land. This event has triggered a political frenzy on the American political left. They are racing around with their hair on fire on all forms of media doing their best impressions of “Chicken Little,” exclaiming, “The sky is falling! The sky is falling!”Why the volcanic emotional eruption from the political and cultural left-wing establishment? The reason is simple — this vacancy furnishes President Trump with the rare opportunity to shift the Supreme Court’s delicate ideological balance in the direction of a strict-constructionist, original intent court that asks, “What was the original intent of the founding fathers?” — not what the current justices decide is best for the nation.

The chief consequence of such a shift would be a much less intrusive, interventionist, and arrogant Supreme Court and a rebirth of government “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”

For much of the latter half of the 20th century and the first quarter of the 21st century, the Supreme Court majority has viewed the U.S. Constitution as a “living document” into which the justices were free to read their own convictions, values, and beliefs and to discern previously undiscovered (some would say utterly fabricated) “rights” into the Constitution. These newly discovered “rights,” by the way, would have shocked and dumbfounded the Constitution’s original authors.

The liberal social and political establishment thoroughly enjoyed imposing their social and cultural agendas on the rest of the nation for at least two generations through a liberal judicial imperium that too often short-circuited the political process and frustrated the political will of the American people.

Polling shows that one of the major reasons cited by millions of Americans in their decision to vote for President Trump was his promise to remake the court system from top to bottom in a more strict-constructionist, originalist posture.

Now, thanks to President Trump’s ability to replace Justice Kennedy with a strict-constructionist, original intent justice, that elitist, liberal judicial hegemony is crumbling — thus the collective panic attack on the left-wing of American thought.

Seldom, if ever, has the arrogance of the imperial judiciary and its radical departure from the founders’ intent been more accurately dissected and described than in Chief Justice Roberts’ blistering, incandescent dissent in the Obergefell v. Hodges (2015) decision that by a 5-4 vote legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states by judicial edict.

Chief Justice Roberts does not mince words in his disdainful dissent to the court’s majority opinion, declaring,

“The majority’s decision is an act of will, not legal judgment. The right it announces has no basis in the Constitution or this Court’s precedent. The majority expressly disclaims judicial ‘caution’ and omits even a pretense of humility, openly relying on its desire to remake society according to its own ‘new insight’ into the ‘nature of injustice.’ . . . As a result, the Court invalidates the marriage laws of more than half the States and orders the transformation of a social institution that has formed the basis of human society for millennia. . . . Just who do we think we are? It can be tempting for judges to confuse our own preferences with the requirements of the law.”

Then the Chief Justice summarizes the issue both frankly and succinctly:

“Understand well what this dissent is about: It is not about whether, in my judgment, the institution of marriage should be changed to include same-sex couples. It is instead about whether, in our democratic republic, that decision should rest with the people acting through their elected representatives, or with five lawyers who happen to hold commissions authorizing them to resolve legal disputes according to law. The Constitution leaves no doubt about the answer.”

Roberts speaks to the dangerous usurpation of power symbolized in the Obergefell decision and the damage it does to America’s political freedoms. As Chief Justice Roberts observes, “The Court’s accumulation of power does not occur in a vacuum. It comes at the expense of the people. And they know it.”

Chief Justice Roberts also notes, “Nowhere is the majority’s extravagant conception of judicial supremacy more evident than in its description — and dismissal — of the public debate regarding same-sex marriage” and their conclusion that it “is high time for the Court to decide the meaning of marriage based on five lawyers’ ‘better informed understanding.’ …”

The conclusion of Chief Justice Roberts’ Obergefell dissent should be chiseled into a marble wall in some public place:

“In the face of all this, a much different view of the Court’s role is possible. That view is more modest and restrained. It is more skeptical that the legal abilities of judges also reflect insight into moral and philosophical issues. It is more sensitive to the fact that judges are unelected and unaccountable, and that the legitimacy of their power depends on confining it to the exercise of legal judgment. It is more attuned to the lessons of history, and what it has meant for the country and Court when Justices have exceeded their proper bounds. And it is less pretentious than to suppose that while people around the world have viewed an institution in a particular way for thousands of years, the present generation and the present Court are the ones chosen to burst the bonds of that history and tradition.”

Supporters of the strict-constructionist, original intent judicial philosophy like the present writer should take comfort in the fact that Chief Justice Roberts will now be the “swing” vote on the new, post-Kennedy court.

We will increasingly have courts that interpret the law and decide what the Constitution says, not what they would like for it to have said. That is what a judge is supposed to do. In his confirmation hearing, now Chief Justice Roberts was asked by Senator Schumer, “Are you going to be for the ‘little guy’ or the ‘big guy’?” Roberts replied that his client would be the Constitution. If the Constitution said the big guy should win, he would be for the big guy, and if the Constitution said the little guy should win, he would be for the little guy. Bravo!

My advice to activist judges who feel the Constitution or a law is wrong is simply this: if you want to change the Constitution or the law, don’t abuse your judicial office by imposing your view by judicial fiat. Instead, resign from your judicial position and run for Congress. That’s where laws are to be made, by the people’s duly elected representatives.

About the Author

Dr. Richard Land is President of the Christian Life Commission, the ethics arm of the Southern Baptist Convention.

The Rushmore Report – Sen. John Cornyn Tells Cory Booker to ‘Get a Grip’

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) warned his colleagues that a vote for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is, unequivocally, a vote for “evil.” He was not being facetious. He even quoted Scripture. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), trying his best not to laugh, asked his Democratic colleague to come back to reality during a speech on the Senate floor Wednesday. “It’s hard to take statements like that seriously,” Cornyn said of Booker’s fire and brimstone rhetoric.

“To me that’s completely unhinged and detached from any reality. My advice to some of our friends across the aisle who are engaged in this kind of superheated rhetoric, my advice is get a grip,” he added. “Get a grip.”

In his remarks, Cornyn explained that Kavanaugh is as mainstream a candidate as they come. At his confirmation for the D.C. circuit court, he was confirmed by a “substantial bipartisan vote,” Cornyn reminded Democrats.

Yet, Democrats have been using Kavanaugh’s past writings and opinions to try and prove that the nominee would fail to check the president’s behavior. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who pledged to block Kavanaugh’s nomination with “everything I’ve got,” recently brought up a statement the nominee made about United States v. Nixon. During a panel discussion in 1999, Kavanaugh suggested that perhaps the tension at the time of that court case caused the court to rule “erroneously.”

“Aha!” Schumer said. That proves Kavanaugh would have let President Nixon off the hook! Surely he’d do the same for President Trump. Schumer ignored the other times Kavanaugh applauded the court’s decision demanding Nixon give up the Watergate tapes. The least these Democrats can do before further derailing Kavanaugh’s character and stating their “implacable opposition” is meet with the guy, Cornyn suggested.

About the Author

Cortney O’Brien writes for TownHall.

The Rushmore Report – President Trump’s Most Risky Move

President Donald J. Trump has said and done a lot of things that have been met with both praise and condemnation. Despite the media’s 90 percent negative coverage of his first 19 months in office, his achievements are hard to ignore – retreat of ISIS, progress in North Korea, significant tax cuts, greater border security, low unemployment, sanctions against Russia, strong judicial appointments, reduction in food stamps, and 4.1 percent economic growth for the most recent quarter. And now, with the midterm elections looming, the Republican Party has much to run on. On the other side of the aisle, the Democratic platform seems to simply be one of opposition and no new ideas. Now, against this political landscape, the president is considering doing something based on principal. But it would be his riskiest move yet.

Trump has announced his willingness to shut down the government if Democrats refuse to give him the necessary funding for the border wall. In his own words, via twitter:

“I would be willing to shut down the government if the Democrats do not give us the votes for Border Security, which includes the Wall! Must get rid of Lottery, Catch & Release etc. and finally go to system of Immigration based on MERIT! We need great people coming into our Country!”

In April, at a campaign rally, the president said, “When we come up again on September 28th, and if we don’t get border security we will have no choice, we will close down the country because we need border security.” He continued, “First, we must protect the American people, the homeland, and our great American way of life. This strategy recognizes that we cannot secure our nation if we do not secure our borders. So, for the first time ever, American strategy now includes a serious plan to defend our homeland.”

The risk is clear. Every time there is a government shutdown, the party held responsible loses the national debate. Just ask the Republican leaders during the shutdown of the Obama administration. Or ask Chuck Schumer, in light of the more recent shutdown.

It is inarguable that the party held responsible for the shutdown suffers political loss. And with the midterm election just six weeks after the date on which Trump threatens this shutdown, it is the Republicans who would lose. With a tenuous hold on both houses of Congress, they cannot afford to lose any seats due to the timing of such a shutdown.

Is the president right to fight for the wall? Yes. Throughout the world, there are at least 36 physical border walls, erected to secure the sovereignty and safety of the people. And few, if any, of those 36 countries are considering the removal of their walls. Data concludes that a) any nation has a right to secure her own borders, and b) physical walls help to do that.

But timing, as they say, is everything. One can certainly argue the merits of spending billions of dollars on a wall along our southern border. But to shut down the government over this – six weeks before the midterm elections – would be President Trump’s riskiest move to date.

To be clear, Trump would not actually be shutting down the government himself. It would only happen if Democrats insist on blocking funds for the border wall (which the President was elected to build). But the result would be the same. There would be a shutdown. The president would pay for it in the polls. And Republicans would pay for it in November.