The wall – a mnemonic device turned symbol of Donald Trump’s legacy – is probably never happening. It’s unpopular, impractical, and expensive – and getting harder and harder to prop up politically. In the last election season, it was fashionable for the GOP-led Congress to say Democrats were about anarchy and open borders, but with each passing day, it’s clear the Republicans don’t have any alternate plans of their own.
If Donald Trump just had a bad day, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell can’t be having one that’s a whole lot better. Nearly two weeks ago, he announced his support for Trump’s blatant subversion of democracy, and his own surrender of power just so this administration could seize the funds for a steel monument to racism and ignorance. More than a dozen House Republicans voted to overrule the national emergency, and now there are far more than enough votes to overrule this bout of insanity in the Senate.
It is now required that McConnell hold a vote to kill the national emergency – the first time a Congress has done so in history. Donald Trump will probably veto it, leaving the decision up to the courts, but his party has no plans to go down with the ship. Aside from his veto, he has nothing left. It’s also hardly the moderates who are voting against the national emergency. Far right Republican Senator Rand Paul officially came out against it, worried about the precedent it would set for a future administration – and he actually went so far as to speculate that even Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh would rule against it were SCOTUS to decide the outcome.
The wall has become a thorn in the side for the GOP. First they thought Donald Trump wouldn’t win the election on the idea, then they thought that he would simply walk away from the promise – or keep delaying it, as they helped him to do while running both houses. At each step of the way, they thought the problem would somehow take care of itself. Now the message is clear: it’s all on Trump’s shoulders, and the Republicans have no desire to prop it up, particularly heading into a tough 2020 election where twenty-two of them – McConnell included – are facing potentially close races.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making