Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) threw down the gauntlet after President Trump’s Oval Office address to the nation on January 8. In a widely mocked response, the two aging Democratic congressional leaders decried Trump’s demand for a border wall as an act of “malice” meant to “stoke fear,” and vowed to oppose it on principle.
In so doing, they put their party comrades in an extremely delicate position. A good number are chafing at the idea of being boxed into Chuck and Nancy’s belligerent corner, realizing that championing weakness on border security is not a winning strategy for their personal political futures. It’s here where cracks in Democrat solidarity on the wall issue can be found.
In an article that was severely underreported by establishment media organs, Politico revealed the frustration felt by freshmen Dem legislators at being dragged into a government shutdown face-off immediately upon arriving on Capitol Hill. Representative Abigail Spanberger is a good example of the type of Democrat who is unnerved by the Schumer/Pelosi crusade.
“If I am getting comments and contact from my constituents expressing concern that the Democrats are not prioritizing security, then I think we can do better,” she said. Her view is not an isolated one.
Politico also reported that a group of freshmen House Dems met for a retreat over the Jan. 5-6 weekend because several of them were “freaking out” about the shutdown duel and the way it was being conducted by the Old Guard party leadership. Many of the younger Dems, of course, have stridently opposed Pelosi’s attempts to cling to power at the age of 78. They don’t see much value in her leadership to begin with, and now they are being called to unflinchingly back her holy war against Trump’s Wall.
Another newcomer, Rep. Lucy McBath (D-GA), who attended the freshman retreat, is not opposed to striking a deal on Wall funding. “I hope that we can all come to a compromise because that’s the way things get done,” she said.
“If we have a partial wall, if we have fencing, if we have technology used to keep our border safe, all of that is fine,” Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL), who represents a district that voted overwhelmingly for President Trump in 2016, told CNN in an interview.
Breitbart’s Matthew Boyle compiled comments by several Dem members of Congress who are willing to fund some form of border fencing. He lists Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD), Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Representatives such as Eric Swalwell (D-CA), Jerry Nadler (D-NY), John Garamendi (D-CA) and Katherine Clark (D-MA) as being among those willing to support construction of further barriers on our southern border.
Let’s Make a Deal
It would appear that Schumer and Pelosi have committed their party to a battle that many of its soldiers are not eager to fight. One prominent Democrat has gone on record to call their blustering jargon as a political blunder of the highest magnitude. Mark Penn was a top campaign strategist for former president Bill Clinton in 1996 and for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 run for the White House. In an op-ed for Fox News, he openly scorned the Schumer/Pelosi line in the sand against border security.
“This is about politics, not policy.”
“The idea that a few billion dollars for more walls, fences and border security rises to [a] moral level is overdone, especially since the Democrats supported nearly 600 miles of barriers across California not long ago,” Penn wrote. “This is about politics, not policy. About the partisan bases, not the swing voters. And everybody knows it.”
Penn believes it is Democrat intransigence that is preventing a deal from being struck. “Trump, it seems to me, is not the obstacle to getting these things done,” he wrote. “The obstacle is the idea that it’s better to throw up resistance to cripple the presidency than to get things done.”
When’s the last time you saw the major leftist media outlets report on a Democrat saying something like that?
As we can see, there are many Democrats who see the political folly of uncompromisingly opposing a secure border. The longer this government shutdown continues, the harder it will be for the Democratic Old Guard to keep those voices in line.