Friday, January 04, 2019

No Deal

On Thursday we were reminded- aside from cost, ineffectiveness, and nostalgia for the Berlin Wall- there can be no Wall.

There actually are two additional reasons, alluded to in chat with Trump lackey Lindsey Graham and henchman Sean Hannity. The South Carolina senator argued

The compromise is [to] give the president the $5 billion we need for walls [and] border security as a down payment to securing the border. The DACA population is about 700,000. Give them work permits, three-year work permits, so they don’t have to worry about getting deported anytime soon. The TPS people who came here years ago from war-torn areas, hurricanes, and floods, and renew their legal status — no pathway to citizenship — and call it a day. It’s called a compromise.

That's no compromise.  A survey taken ten months ago "found that 76 percent of voters say that those who were eligible for protections under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program should be given a pathway to U.S. citizenship." That's not work permits so they "don't have to worry about getting deported anytime soon," while they worry about being deported in 3-4 years. It's injecting greater uncertainty into a situation in which neither recipients nor the broader American public want uncertainty.

Of course, it would benefit employers, who would be happy to have at-will employees always anxious about their situation and subservient to their employers. It would reinforce a gig economy which already artificially distorts the employer-employee balance and is one of the major driving forces in hollowing out the middle class.

A few moments further into the conversation, Hannity remarked

If this takes 150 days, I think the Republican Party needs to stand united with the president. I have confidence in you. I don’t have confidence in some of your colleagues, but saving lives, stopping drug trafficking, and human trafficking is worth the fight. Will the president hold the line?

This has little to do with saving lives, stopping drug trafficking, or stopping human trafficking. However, if President Trump gets any money for The Wall, he will not only declare himself the "winner." He will claim that he has saved lives and stopped drug trafficking and human trafficking, and perhaps achieved peace for all time.  The sunk cost fallacy will set in- now that we've gotten $5 billion for a wall and it has started going up, what's $10 billion more?

President Trump could tell his supporters: we're not getting a wall but will provide security at the border some other way. He could tell even boast of "the greatest security, ever, really strong borders, better than any other President."

He won't, of course, because he lacks any modicum of courage and needs to give a middle finger to Mexico and Mexicans. It's up to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, then, to make good on her assertion "We're not doing a wall. Does anyone have any doubt that we're not doing a wall? So that's that."

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