January 29, 2019


Republicans Are Ditching the Wall (WILLIAM SALETAN, JAN 29, 2019, sLATE)

In TV interviews last weekend, Republican lawmakers bent over backward to avoid the word wall. "I happen to agree with the president on barriers," said Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine pledged "to continue to build physical barriers." On Fox News Sunday, Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, used the word barrier 13 times. Trump is "winning the battle on the importance of a barrier," said Mulvaney. On Face the Nation, Mulvaney boasted that Democrats were privately telling the White House, "We think you might be right on this barrier thing."

Barrier thing? If Trump is winning, why is everyone around him afraid to say the word wall?

The answer is: Trump isn't winning. He's been losing on this issue for a long time. The wall, as he originally proposed it, was a dumb idea. Border security experts told him so. Democrats rejected it, and polls backed them up. Trump tried to get his way by shutting down the government, but nobody budged, and his approval ratings tanked. So now Republicans have retreated to a fallback position. They're claiming that renovations and extensions of current border infrastructure--in short, the status quo--count as Trump's wall.

Posted by at January 29, 2019 9:49 PM