Though he claims to be “unhappy” with it, Trump is indicating that he will sign a bipartisan bill that will prevent another shutdown. According to The New York Times, Trump is afraid of shutting the government down again. “A shutdown would be a terrible thing,” Trump lamented to the press. More likely, with his approval rating already in the toilet, he doesn’t want it to sink all the way into the sewer. As dumb as he seems, Trump has just enough sense to know that another shutdown would effectively end his “presidency.”
Amazingly, Trump’s Fox buddy Laura Ingraham claims this as a victory, telling The Times that Nancy Pelosi said she wouldn’t give him one dollar but he’s now getting $1.375 billion. “She might not want to call it a wall, but that’s what it is,” Ingraham crows. Obviously, Ingraham hasn’t read the draft, which is clear that the funds are for fencing and detention beds—not a wall. It further restricts where fencing can be erected in the Rio Grande Valley. A victory? I think not. Even being completely generous, this situation is better characterized as “caving and trying to save face” with continued lies and exaggerations.
The $1.375 allocated to “border security” specifically excludes wall funding, and is less than the $1.6 billion offered in December prior to the longest shutdown in history. Only Trump and his supporters can see this as a “victory” in any shape, form or fashion. Of course, once Trump’s talking heads call this a “victory,” Trump’s supporters will fall in line. All one need do is look at their new signs at the recent El Paso rally: “Finish the Wall,” a painfully false claim from their fearless leader that construction has already begun on the wall. Now, he will merely claim victory, and we will move on from yet another painful episode in this man’s “presidency.”
Ever the blowhard, Trump intimated that he can build his border wall without congressional approval. Good luck with that. Trump’s repeated false claims that he would declare a national emergency are just that — false claims. CNN points out that Trump could try to achieve funding by accessing Treasury forfeiture funds, diverting Pentagon counter-narcotics funds, accessing military construction funds, or using Army Corps civil works funds. Unless Trump has magically turned the U.S. into the dictatorship he seeks, tapping into these funds will still require some type of approval, even if it’s court approval.
Barring these ideas, unless Donald Trump wants to fund the wall out of his own pocket, he’s not getting one. We all know he’s cash poor, so unless he’s going to get Saudi Arabia to finance it for him, he’s never going to get his vanity wall. That, in and of itself, is a huge victory for the American people.
Shirley is a former entertainment writer and has worked in the legal field for over 25 years