Donald Trump dropped any pretense of governing in a remotely constructive manner on Sunday morning. He delivered a 280-character ultimatum to Congress–fund his much-ballyhooed wall at the Mexican border, or else he will shut down the government.
You would think that a president whose party has complete control of the federal government would recoil at even the prospect of Congress not being able to do something basic as passing a budget–especially in an election year. But Trump doesn’t seem to mind.
At least one radio host with close ties to Trump’s base doesn’t seem to mind either. Namely, American Family Radio afternoon drive-time host Bryan Fischer. In his latest column for the American Family Association’s official blog, “The Stand,” Fischer enthusiastically endorsed Trump’s decision to make building the wall a red line for getting a budget.
Fischer claimed that while “the Swamp” feels keeping the government running is more important than a wall, the GOP base feels exactly the opposite. He felt the need to write this column after hearing that Trump was making noises about backing off his initial shutdown threat.
Trump has already folded once on his threat to shut down the government over wall funding, and he’s making noises like he’s prepared to do it again, and put off the shutdown until after the election. Bad idea.
Eighty-eight percent of Republicans support the president right now. These are the people that elected him because of his promise to build the wall. If he presses down on his shutdown threat, his base will stand with him and behind him. If he caves again, even his base will begin to entertain doubts about his resolve.
Seizing on Senator Richard Shelby claiming that “we all fear a government shutdown,” Fischer urged Trump to dig in, since “their weakness is your greatest strength.” He believes Trump should take advantage of that weakness to the full.
Shut ‘er down, Mr. President. Shut ‘er down.
Let’s not sugarcoat this. Fischer is urging Trump to drop any pretense of bringing the country together, and instead listen to his base. Never mind that nearly every poll in recent months showed solid majorities against a wall. Never mind that a wall would do serious, and potentially irreparable, harm to wildlife along the border. Never mind that Trump is trying to send taxpayers the bill for this boondoggle after trying to strongarm Mexico into paying for it.
But apparently Trump has never had to take such matters into consideration. Remember, he has never worked for anyone not related to him before. He knew only one employer before becoming president–what is now the Trump Organization. In that time, he was either the heir apparent or the CEO. Chances are that he has never had to take any constructive criticism worth mentioning. He is used to seeing his orders obeyed–and consequences be hanged. And he feels that he only has to listen to those supporting him–including the likes of Fischer.
Fischer doubled down on this line during the Thursday edition of his show, “Focal Point.” Watch here.
Fischer believed there was a simple reason why Trump won the GOP nomination and ultimately the presidency–“One word: wall.”
He claimed that people have been “waiting for two decades” for someone to tighten border security, and didn’t think Trump could afford to wait until after the election to move forward on it. He claimed that the only way to fulfill that promise is to force a government shutdown. Waiting until after the election would simply “kick the can down the road.”
No, Bryan. It would show that Trump is actually willing to be constructive. After all, there is ample evidence that a wall is not only unpopular, but would be an environmental disaster. But then again, you’re speaking to an echo chamber–just like Trump thinks he can govern in an echo chamber.
If Trump takes Fischer’s advice, all indications are that he’s going to learn the hard way that the American people are not willing to pay for that effing wall.
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