THE POST’S VIEW: Build the wall, cowards.
The Washington Post’s editorial board, in another stunning display of good judgment, has decided that President Donald Trump’s request for $5 billion to fund a border wall is not a “moral issue,” but a “no-brainer” that congressional Democrats should take in exchange for a legal path to citizenship for DACA recipients. The Post writes:
Put aside Tuesday’s Oval Office theatrics and remember this: There’s a compromise within reach on the wall and immigration for President Trump and congressional Democrats — if each side has the spinal fortitude to face down its own most rabid partisans and take it.
Spinal fortitude! Rabid partisans! It’s almost as if the Post thinks there’s zero difference between wanting to pour billions into a project aimed solely at satisfying Trump’s worst racist impulses, and, uh, not doing any of that. And it’s both a gross lack of empathy for migrants seeking a better life and an odd rhetorical choice for the Post to frame this as an issue of cravenness.
After describing the benefits of their pretend offer to horse-trade wall funding in exchange for the safety for over a million DACA recipients and restoring temporary protected status hundreds of thousands of Haitians, Hondurans, and Salvadorans—a deal which, just to reiterate, has not been reported to be on the table—the Post editorial board reminds Democrats that they’ve done dumb bullshit like this in the past, so why not do it again?
Granted, funding the wall, even in stages, is distasteful to lots of Democrats; Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the likely next House speaker, has called it “immoral.” But many in the party have supported past efforts to bolster security along the border — more Border Patrol agents, more technology and more infrastructure, including, yes, barriers
Then they chastise the framing of opposition to the wall as a moral issue—“a stretch,” they sneer—and end with this:
Any compromise worth the trouble involves painful concessions for each side, but in this case, if assessed with cool heads, the concessions are a far cry from excruciating. The question, for both sides, is familiar: Do they want an issue or a solution? If it’s the latter, it’s eminently achievable.
You know they really mean business when you could take any contentious political issue over the past decade or more and plug this into it. Immigration? Healthcare? Admonishment about the deficit? It’s all deals to me, baby.
Back here in reality instead of the Best West Wing Scolds YouTube compilation the Post editorial board appears to be living in, the deal Trump is offering is to give him his wall or shut down the government. That’s it. There’s no two ways around it: Trump’s “deal” is for the Democrats to give him what he wants with a gun to their heads.
But even if something like this deal was on the table, it’s still a remarkably shitty one, and financial considerations are not anywhere remotely near the top of the list. The fact is that the wall is a moral issue. Providing a safe haven to migrants and refugees is a moral issue. Not ceding ground to fascism and xenophobia disguised as national security is a moral issue, one where the Democrats are long overdue in taking a stand.
Actively perpetuating a shift even further to the fascist right for the sake of bipartisanship, on the other hand? Not exactly what I’d call “spinal fortitude.”