In their remarks on Tuesday night following President Trump’s address to the nation, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi accused him of holding government workers hostage in his bid to obtain funding for a border wall. Once again, they are requesting that Trump sign their spending bill without the wall funding to end the shutdown and then, they can work on fixing border security. I was reminded of the well-known fable, “The Scorpion and the Frog.”
A scorpion asks a frog to help him across the river. The frog hesitates because he is afraid the scorpion will sting him. The scorpion says he would never do that because they would both drown and the frog agrees. Halfway across the river, the scorpion stings the frog. Stricken, the frog asks him why he did it. The scorpion replies that he could not help himself because it was in his nature.
Do Schumer and Pelosi honestly believe Trump would sign a spending bill to resolve the shutdown and trust them to do the right thing later on border security? Seems to me Democrats tried the same thing with Reagan who surprisingly, but unwisely, did trust them.
Trump made an effective case for the wall in his Oval Office address. He came across as compassionate and concerned, as a President who wants to protect the citizens of his country from a threat that Democrats refuse to acknowledge. Not only did he cite statistics, he discussed specific cases of Americans who have been killed or assaulted by illegals. He spoke of meeting with their family members. Contrary to Schumer’s portrayal of Trump as one who “pounds the table” and “throws a tantrum,” Trump appeared quite reasonable and yes, even presidential.
In reference to Nancy Pelosi’s claim that a wall is immoral, Trump said, “If a wall is immoral, why do wealthy politicians build walls, fences and gates around their homes? They don’t build walls because they hate the people on the outside, but because they love the people on the inside.” This was effective. Instead of calling them hypocrites, he gave a compassionate reason for building a wall, inferring that he would like to build his wall because he wants to protect Americans.
Democrats continue saying that Trump wants the wall only to fulfill his signature campaign promise to help him win reelection. But let’s look at why Trump chose the wall as one of the major themes of his campaign. He strongly believed then that security at the southern border of the US was inadequate and his perception of the problem has not changed. He is not wrong. Of course, he wants to fulfill a campaign promise, but it is a promise that he firmly believes in and his position has never wavered.
Unlike the positions of Democrats who once endorsed a border wall and then changed their minds.
Democrats refuse to provide $5.7 billion, an amount that represents .14% of annual federal spending, for wall funding and are willing to continue the partial government shutdown to withhold the money from Trump. However, there was a time before Trump’s arrival on the political scene, when many of them supported the construction of a border wall including Schumer (who voted for the Secure Fence Act along with then-Senators Obama and Clinton) and Pelosi herself. It can’t be denied that border security has only deteriorated since that time, so if they supported a wall then, why do they oppose it now? No Democrat will answer that question.
DNC Chairman Tom Perez spoke to Fox’s Bill Hemmer, who asked Perez for an answer. Perez dodged the question again and again saying “We want smart border security…Trump is just trying to fulfill a campaign promise…This is a manufactured crisis, even Fox News has the word “crisis” in quotes on their chyron.” Perez ended with another call for Trump to sign the original December Senate bill and then we can work on border security.
Trump called for compromise. He said, “To those who refuse to compromise in the name of border security, I would ask: imagine if it was your child, your husband, or your wife, whose life was so cruelly shattered and totally broken?”
The Washington Post’s Marc Thiessen pointed out that “Pelosi and Schumer failed to use the one word that millions of Americans were longing to hear — compromise. But Trump did. That is why the president won the night. Schumer and Pelosi appealed to their base, while Trump made an effective appeal to persuadable Americans.”
Thiessen said that “Pelosi and Schumer came across as small and intransigent. (He also pointed out that, other than for the State of the Union address, it’s unusual for the opposite party to request equal time for a rebuttal.) He added:
They accused Trump of using the “backdrop of the Oval Office to manufacture a crisis, stoke fear and divert attention from the turmoil in his administration.” They were partisan and petty. To normal Americans watching in the heartland, and who are not steeped in Trump hatred, the president must have seemed like the adult in the room.
Newt Gingrich gave the President high marks for his address, saying that Trump “had the clearer, better case.” He praised Trump for using “facts and references that built the argument for protecting our southern border as a matter of protecting Americans. The party that wants to protect Americans will almost always win against a party that wants to risk American lives for ideological and political objectives.” He added:
When the president asserted that, “In the last two years, ICE officers made 266,000 arrests of aliens with criminal records – including those charged or convicted of 100,000 assaults, 30,000 sex crimes and 4,000 violent killings,” he was being the commander-in-chief defending Americans from danger. The liberal media will do all it can to debunk and undermine this claim. However, every time an illegal immigrant kills or attacks an American, the public will move a step closer to President Trump.
Regarding Schumer and Pelosi’s response, Gingrich said “Smart congressional leaders never pick themselves to respond.” He said the rebuttal would have been more effective if, instead of Schumer and Pelosi, they chose “a young Hispanic member of Congress, speaking with intensity and sincerity. (That) would have been 100 times better than the Nancy and Chuck show.” He added:
The self-destructive appearance of Pelosi and Schumer reminded me of “The Ev and Charlie Show” named for Senate Republican Leader Everett Dirksen and House Republican leader Charles Halleck. They tried to compete with President John F. Kennedy, who was a young charismatic master of television, and they ended up being ridiculed and becoming a symbol of ineffective old politics. Nancy and Chuck were building that reputation last night with their appearance.
So, here we are. It’s just been reported that, during this afternoon’s meeting at the White House, Trump asked Pelosi if she will provide funding for the wall. Pelosi refused once again. And Trump has walked out.
No offer of compromise, simply another one-sided call for Trump to sign the bill that provides no funding for the wall to reopen the government and afterward they will discuss ways to secure the border. No give and take, as bipartisan deals normally get done in Washington, they simply repeated the same request they’ve been making for weeks. Because they are scorpions. They can’t help themselves, because it is in their nature.