With usual propaganda-driven hyberbole, Donald Trump and his advisor Stephen Miller, keep trying to gloss over the president’s staggering loss of influence over Congressional Republicans.
Trump continues to insist he must get the $5 billion he wants to build the border wall between the U.S. and Mexico or he will shutdown the government.
Wasn’t that the wall that Trump claimed Mexico would fund? Uh huh.
Trump and Miller claim Congressional Democrats are stalemating the wall but latest counts by Republican leaders say the don’t have the votes within the Party of the Elephant to carry the day, so forget what the Democrats.
Earlier this year, Trump claimed he had the votes to get his wall and keep a Republican majority in the House.
A strong stance on immigration is a vote getter, Trump and Miller crowed.
Didn’t work. “They ran the most virulently xenophobic nationalist campaign in memory — and lost the House by the largest raw-vote margin in midterm elections history,” writes Greg Sargent in The Washington Post.
In reality, it’s not even clear that Trump has sufficient Republican support to get his wall money out of Congress. The New York Times now reports that Republicans aren’t even sure that this funding would pass the House, because many Republicans who were defeated in the midterms might not bother showing up to vote for it.
Wait, this cannot be! Miller, after all, spent much of his “Face the Nation” appearance excoriating Democrats over the wall. Democrats have instead offered far less in border security funding, with restrictions against spending it for that purpose. Miller suggested Democrats have the weaker position, claiming they must “choose to fight for America’s working class, or to promote illegal immigration.”
Wow, what a powerful message! That must be the same message that carried Trump and House Republicans to a great midterms victory! Oh wait, the opposite happened. This has gone down the memory hole, but last summer, Miller vowed that precisely that same contrast on immigration would prove potent for Republicans. They ran the most virulently xenophobic nationalist campaign in memory — and lost the House by the largest raw-vote margin in midterm elections history.
The meta-message that Miller hoped to convey is that Trump retains formidable strength in the shutdown battle over the wall, but the real story right now is that Trump is weakened. He lacks leverage in the shutdown fight, and it’s plausible that he’s losing influence over congressional Republicans.
The quick move by the Senate that moved quickly to deliver back-to-back rebukes of Trump by voting to end U.S. participation in the Saudi-led war in Yemen — with help from seven GOP members — and then unanimously blaming the kingdom’s crown prince for the grisly murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi also shows growing resistance against Trump.
“What we showed in this vote is that Republicans and Democrats are ready to get back in the business of working with a president — and sometimes against a president — to set the foreign policy of this nation,” said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.). “The United States has said, through the Senate, that our support for the Saudi coalition is no longer open-ended.”
“The current relationship with Saudi Arabia is not working for America,” said Trump ally Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.). Then Graham told Trump: “I think you’re wrong about what’s going on up here. I’m never going to let this go until things change in Saudi Arabia.”
The message to Trump is clear. His blank check to Congress has bounced.
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