The Oval Office Wall Brawl

Shutdown theater returns over a couple of billion dollars and border security.

Nate Jackson · Dec. 12, 2018

“It’s like a manhood thing for him,” incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said of President Donald Trump and the border wall. “As if manhood could ever be associated with him. I was trying to be the mom. I can’t explain it to you. It was so wild. It goes to show you: You get into a tinkle contest with a skunk, you get tinkle all over you.” Pelosi’s schoolyard taunts were in response to a testy Oval Office meeting with the president, Vice President Mike Pence, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Before we dissect that meeting, however, just imagine for a moment if Trump had insulted Pelosi’s womanhood…

The meeting was televised, and it was certainly quintessential reality TV — a genre in which the president thrives. To mix metaphors, it was also a New Yorker-style rhetorical brawl, and Trump holds his own in those too.

Trump was savvy to bring in the TV cameras. “It’s called transparency,” he explained when Pelosi complained and asked that they be removed. Trump wanted the American people to see that he and his party are serious about border security, while Democrats would rather fling the door open wide for millions of illegals.

Trump wants $5 billion for the border wall, which the House gave him earlier this year. Senate Democrats were willing to give only $1.6 billion; now they’re apparently pulling back to $1.3 billion, and none of that is even for an actual wall. Yet Pelosi had the gall to insist they were negotiating “in good faith.” We’d hate to see bad faith.

Schumer blamed Trump for any coming shutdown, even though, as Trump repeatedly noted, it is 10 Senate Democrats who are the roadblock to a compromise. Nevertheless, unlike most Republicans who are afraid of their own shadows, Trump owned it. “I am proud to shut down the government for border security, Chuck,” he declared. “People in this country don’t want criminals and people that have lots of problems and drugs pouring into our country. I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down. I won’t blame you for it.”

Once upon a time, Democrats like Schumer and Pelosi, as well as Bill and Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, thought building a wall along the southern border was the responsible thing to do for a sane immigration policy. In the last few years, however, Democrats have done a 180, and Pelosi now calls the wall “immoral.” Demo Party leaders shamelessly exploit immigrants and their children for political gain, while Trump and his supporters actually want to solve the problem of illegal immigration.

As the White House email “1600 Daily” put it, “The Democrats’ priority is clear: They would rather keep the U.S. border open to illegal immigrants than keep the Government open to serve American citizens.” Of course, it remains to be seen if either side sticks with their ultimatums, or if this was just partisan showmanship for the cameras.

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