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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.

The Rushmore Report – Will a Wall Really Matter? Border Commissioner Answers

Candidate Donald Trump ran for president on the promise of building a “beautiful world-class wall” on our southern border. Now, his border demands are mired in uncertain legislation, budgeting, and endless debate. Here’s the critical question: Would a wall really matter? Ronald Vitiello, Customs and Border Protection Deputy Commissioner answers that question – with clarity and certainty.

Yes, it will matter – a lot, Vitiello contends.

The acting commissioner met with national media members last week. He declared that the simple truth is that “walls work and the data shows it.” Then he raised his primary concern – lack of funding.

Vitiello called for a “balanced investment in physical infrastructure, access, patrol roads, and technology, as well as personnel to support critical border security missions.”

He added, “A border wall system is a comprehensive solution that provides a wall, lighting, enforcement cameras, and other related technology, and all-weather roads to impede and deny illegal cross-border activity.”

The U.S. government recently allotted $1.6 billion for border wall construction security. On that note, Vitiello said, “We appreciate this down payment, but it does not fully fund our needs in the most critical locations.”

For perspective, Vitiello said “$25 billion would be enough to replace or upgrade existing fencing and add about 300 miles of new pedestrian barrier. Vehicle barriers account for 300 miles of current fencing. The rest is higher and intended to keep out individuals,” reported the Dallas News.

There are currently 654 miles of fencing on the southern border, but that number is not even close to enough to secure the 1,954-mile border. According to Customs and Border Protection, “when fully funded, about 1,000 of the nearly 2,000-mile U.S./Mexican border with have a border wall and other critical infrastructure.”

Vitiello said, “We’re on track to replace 20 miles of a primary vehicle barrier in Santa Teresa, New Mexico. Ground breaking is scheduled for early April. But we need much more. Anyone who says otherwise is informed by their politics rather than the facts.”

The Rushmore Report: Democrats Who Were for the Border Wall – Until Trump Was for It

Today’s Democratic Party screams “Racism!” at the mere mention of a border wall. They ignore a few poignant points. First, dozens of countries around the world have border walls; this isn’t something new. Second, many prominent Democrats were for the border wall – until the unthinkable happened. Donald Trump was elected President. If he is for something, by definition, the Democratic Party is against it.

In 2006, several Democrats supported the wall, including a certain Senator from Illinois named Barack Obama. A leaked internal memo from his 2008 presidential campaign confirmed his support for fencing, in order to cut down on illegal immigration.

One of Obama’s “core goals,” according to the memo: “Preserve the integrity of our borders to reduce illegal immigration.”

Obama’s position was confirmed in the following words: “Securing our borders will not solve the illegal immigration problem in isolation, but combined with an earned path to citizenship for the undocumented and new legal alternatives to unauthorized entry, some additional fencing could help get the border under control.”

A section titled “Fencing” says Obama “supports physical fencing along the border under very specific  circumstances, where it makes sense as a matter of security and to act as a deterrent to unsafe undocumented entry.”

So, judged by today’s Democratic definition, Mr. Obama was a racist. (They are clear – anyone who supported border security is racist.)

The Washington Free Beacon has found clips of other Democratic leaders who were for the border wall – until they were against it. These include Hillary Clinton, former Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), and current Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).

So, playing politics with border security is in the Democrats’ playbook. They were for border security until they found out President Trump was for it – so now, naturally, they are against it.