August 29, 2017

ALL BULLY, NO PULPIT:

Why Trump's Wall Is Not Going To Happen (Steve Chapman, August 29, 2017, Creators Syndicate)

To get a bill with wall funds through the Senate would require 60 votes. Every Republican and eight Democrats would have to agree, and that is not going to happen. Both Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi have invited Trump to take a long walk off a short pier. They say they won't support the barrier under any circumstances.

This response no doubt makes many Republicans secretly grateful, because they regard the proposal as what the late Democratic Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan referred to as "boob bait for Bubba" -- a tough-sounding but dumb idea useful for appealing to a certain segment of the electorate that is not well-informed or discerning on matters of policy.

Plenty of GOP members would rather put Barack Obama on Mount Rushmore than underwrite this addled project. The Department of Homeland Security says it would cost $22 billion -- and a study by the Democratic staff of the Senate homeland security committee priced it at nearly $70 billion.

In April, The Wall Street Journal reported, "Not a single member of Congress who represents the territory on the southwest border said they support President Donald Trump's request for $1.4 billion to begin construction of his promised wall." That's one reason he's angry with Arizona's two Republican senators.

Doubt has seeped out of Trump's Cabinet room. As secretary of homeland security, before becoming White House chief of staff, John Kelly admitted, "It's unlikely that we will build a wall or physical barrier from sea to shining sea." Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has also been equivocal.

Trump faces some daunting obstacles in trying to get his way. One is that the wall is not very popular. A poll by Rasmussen Reports found that only 37 percent of likely voters support the idea. Another is that Trump is not very popular, with an approval rating matching that of the wall. Those numbers won't intimidate many members of Congress.

Posted by at August 29, 2017 5:53 AM

  

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