Emergency Wall

Written By: - Date published: 11:30 am, January 9th, 2019 - 28 comments
Categories: Donald Trump, International, us politics - Tags:

President Trump is preparing the ground to use the State of the Union address to declare that the Congress delaying funding of the wall on the Mexican-U.S. boundary is a national emergency. 

The emergency President Trump is facing is the emergency to his own Presidency. It is the one big roll of the dice that he has left, short of invading another tinpot country and going full “Mission Accomplished”.

The border wall concept during the campaign was a strong part of his appeal. Failure to deliver that campaign promise so far has been roundly criticised by Fox News and many non-msm outlets and right-leaning opinion leaders. The idea of the wall has massive symbolic power to his base. Without the wall underway by the next Presidential election, his base will likely desert him and he ends as a one-term failure.

The broader public largely takes the Democratic side on this one, with 57% against a wall compared with 38% in favour, according to a poll from December 2018.

He knows he needs a big poll bump.

The most senior figures in the United States political establishment have all declared that they do not support President Trump in this wall proposal.

But Trump is focused squarely on his base of support, declaring specifically against those previous presidents in a Rose Garden news conference on Friday: “This should have been done by all of the presidents that preceeded me. And they all know it.”

This perceived threat of latino immigration is no mere figment of political imagination. It delivers recent results. President Trump skilfully used this fear during the recent mid-term elections to secure votes in southern border states that were critical to shoring up Republican Senators.

So Trump has the political evidence of both his own campaign and the mid-terms that this close-coded race stuff works.

If you look at white voters alone from his Presidential win, you get a clear picture of where this evidence is coming from for his own re-election. Trump defeated Clinton among white voters in every income category, winning by a margin of 57 to 34 among whites making less than $30,000; 56 to 37 among those making between $30,000 and $50,000; 61 to 33 for those making $50,000 to $100,000; 56 to 39 among those making $100,000 to $200,000; 50 to 45 among those making $200,000 to $250,000; and 48 to 43 among those making more than $250,000. In other words, Trump won white voters at every level of class and income. He won workers, he won managers, he won owners, he won robber barons. This is not a working-class coalition; it is a nationalist one.

The way to re-elect Donald Trump to be President is to continue to show that non-whites are the problem of social ills.

Trump needs to continue to force an ideological frame in which white voters understand their challenges and misfortunes. Build that wall. Stop that threat to your people.

Whether this is why Trump won in 2016 is beside the point. He campaigned endlessly on the invocation of existential threats of all kinds.

For white evangelical Christians, the wall is a code for sin. Sinners – those on the outside of the wall –  must not touch the chosen people of God on the inside of the wall. Christian mythologies rely a lot on Judaic epic tales about walled cities, including Jericho and Jerusalem. Walls in this version of Christianity have moral meaning that resonate very powerfully, dividing the clean from the unclean, the saved from the unsaved, keeping sacred from the world that which is holy. This wall mythos happens to work just fine with anti-immigration policies.

I think there is a real chance that Trump declaring the production of this wall to be a national emergency will work for a while. At some point there will be limits to how much the armed forces can reallocate funding across disciplines for the task, but they won’t miss a few billion. There will be a test whether the armed forces who would be asked to complete it  consider this a military command from their Commander In Chief. With a few inevitable resignations, I think they will interpret any such order as appropriately defending the interests of the United States.

He may as well mention the Alamo.

28 comments on “Emergency Wall ”

  1. JohnSelway 1

    The suite of powers he is effectively granting himself without oversight is frightening indeed. Sure Obama did it once but it was due to the threat of H1N1 and he quickly revered the order when the crisis never appeared.

  2. Andre 2

    Kinda wonder how it’s going to shake out in Texas when the military start invading private landowner’s property to build a wall they damn well know won’t do any good (because that’s where they live).

    I mean jeez, people got all in a lather about what they imagined Jade Helm was about. If this emergency powers shit goes ahead, it will actually be the US military trampling all over US citizens’ private property rights. A particular tetchy bunch of private citizens at that.

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    There will be a test whether the armed forces who would be asked to complete it consider this a military command from their Commander In Chief. With a few inevitable resignations, I think they will interpret any such order as appropriately defending the interests of the United States.

    I suppose that depends upon how much Throne of Swords that they’ve been watching.

  4. Kevin 4

    I wonder if Trump will travel to Berlin…

    • Brutus Iscariot 4.1

      What a stupid analogy. The Berlin Wall was designed to keep people trapped inside a crappy system that they wanted to escape, not to keep people out.

  5. How long though can the Federal Government remain shut down before a large portion of its work force are simply no longer available – i.e large numbers start quitting to find alternative work simply to survive? Can they do that? And what about short term contract work whose time stamp expires whilst the people supposed to be doing the work are furloughed?

    Perhaps more bothersome what I heard from a lady who I know who used to work at Environment Canterbury and is now working with the U.S.G.S. She is furloughed.
    One of her colleagues said that whilst U.S.G.S. seismologists and volcanologists on monitoring duties are still working none of them are getting paid. The researchers doing research into seismology and volcanology are furloughed, so all research has ground to a halt.

    They wonder what will happen if there is an earthquake or other event that induces a tsunami. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center is attached to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It is shut. There might be a skeletal crew monitoring for tsunami’s and tidal related work, but they will not be getting paid.

    Lets just hope nothing big happens before this ends.

    • Andre 5.1

      They already have had a small scale trial with the Anak Krakatau tsunami. There was very little actual information going anywhere because all the systems rely so heavily on the USGS. Which was already shut down with just an unpaid skeleton crew.

  6. Sacha 6

    Trump won white voters at every level of class and income. He won workers, he won managers, he won owners, he won robber barons.

    This is not a working-class coalition; it is a nationalist one.

    No, it is a racist one.

    • Has nothing to do with racism otherwise ALL legal immigrants would be excluded. And they haven’t. Also , – there’s been plenty of Afro Americans and Latino’s who supported Trump – wealthy AND working class , so you can get off the ‘poor white trash support Trump’ clcihe’s.

      If people want to get honest about this , you will recall Trump said he was going to do something about ILLEGAL immigrants. Most of you are not Americans , and yet here you are claiming you know more than they do of what goes on in their own country.

      There are plenty of immigrants that are wanted to fill jobs in the USA – and not all of em are poorly paid sweathouse jobs, either. We have our own problems here in NZ if you care to remember…

      Maybe it has a little more to do with THIS ,…now… would you nimbys care to have these goons next door?

      Why MS-13 is more dangerous than ISIS – YouTube

      • Sacha 6.1.1

        “Has nothing to do with racism otherwise ALL legal immigrants would be excluded.”

        What? Only the brown immigrants are being persecuted. The US has a long and ugly history of white-supremacist racism and insecure white folk are a fertile source of votes for the toddler in chief and his backers.

      • Sacha 6.1.2

        “you can get off the ‘poor white trash support Trump’ clcihe’s.”

        Chump’s voters were whites, not just poor ones – in that I agree with Mickey that “This is not a working-class coalition”.

      • Richard Christie 6.1.3

        Has nothing to do with racism otherwise ALL legal immigrants would be excluded. And they haven’t.

        I don’t think you have been paying attention.

        Trump Admin’s policy has been to make it as difficult as possible for LEGAL asylum seekers who make up the majority of those they seek to deny entry to at the southern US border.

        Alleged gang members, drug runners and ‘terrorists’ are simply the distraction used to deny the real targets: brown people from Central and South America.

        And I can’t believe that you are gullible enough to proffer Tucker Carlson of Fox News as a reliable source.

    • Dennis Frank 6.2

      To debunk that claim, someone would have to do a racial analysis of the 2016 vote, eh? Google got me this: “The network exit polls had Trump winning only 8% among black voters in 2016. Hillary Clinton took 89% of their vote. That is, Clinton won black voters by an 81-percentage-point margin. Trump’s average net approval rating (approval rating minus disapproval rating) with blacks right now is -72 points. In other words, he’s shrunk his deficit by 9 points.”
      https://edition.cnn.com/2018/08/18/politics/poll-of-the-week-trump-black-voters/index.html

      However with hispanics the 2016 margin was only 36 points: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/11/09/behind-trumps-victory-divisions-by-race-gender-education/

      The tendency of racists to hit the headlines with tweets opposing racism became a thing recently. Resulting cognitive dissonance was so extreme that the Washington Post felt obliged to issue instructions to its readers explaining how to understand this. I expect them to also publish a booklet entitled Understanding For Dummies. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2018/08/12/how-to-understand-trumps-condemnation-of-all-types-of-racism/?utm_term=.74676ec06058

  7. ken 8

    I’m assuming that there will also be migratory animals that will be adversely affected if a wall is built.

  8. SPC 9

    Yup there will be a national emergency declared by POTUS to get around the shut down impasse.

    How much funding from the military budget will occur by the time the Supreme Court gets involved is another matter.

    The presumption is that the Supreme Court will decide against POTUS, but they may not – and that will raise the issue of GOP capture of SCOTUS to exercise undemocratic power outside of end time kingdom come (Christian dominionism) morality.

    Thus US exceptionalism identity being not so much a Christian new world nation, but a white race new world nation.

    Which would make a certain part of the Book of Mormon the guiding light to American governance, the idea that God curses the sinner with darker skin colour.

    The Afrikaaner laager, Zionism behind a fence, and white race America behind a wall.

  9. Andre 10

    That was quite the hostage video from SCROTUS. Reminded me of his pussygrabber tape apology. It was limp and he knows it. He looked like the bully that’s finally been called out and deflated.

    With reports of Repug senators starting to peel off and support re-opening government, it’s hard to see that he might think he can pull off grabbing emergency powers. Unless the behind-the-scenes pressure has got so intense he thinks emergency powers are his last and only chance to avoid his future featuring a lot more orange.

  10. Macro 12

    Reprt from The Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS)

    The 2,000 Mile Wall in Search of a Purpose: Since 2007 Visa Overstays have…
    This paper speaks to another reason to question the necessity and value of a 2,000-mile wall along the US-Mexico border: It does not reflect the reality of how the large majority of persons now become undocumented.

    The Trump administration has made the construction of an “impregnable” 2,000-mile wall across the length of the US-Mexico border a centerpiece of its executive orders on immigration and its broader immigration enforcement strategy. This initiative has been broadly criticized based on:

    a. Escalating cost projections: an internal Department of Homeland Security (DHS) study recently set the cost at $21.6 billion over three and a half years

    b. Its necessity given the many other enforcement tools — video surveillance, drones, ground sensors, and radar technologies — and Border Patrol personnel, that cover the US-Mexico border: former DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff and other experts have argued that a wall does not add enforcement value except in heavy crossing areas near towns, highways, or other “vanishing points” (Kerwin 2016);

    c. Its cost-effectiveness given diminished Border Patrol apprehensions (to roughly one-fourth the level of historic highs) and reduced illegal entries (to roughly one-tenth the 2005 level according to an internal DHS study) (Martinez 2016);

    d. Its efficacy as an enforcement tool: between FY 2010 and FY 2015, the current 654-mile pedestrian wall was breached 9,287 times (GAO 2017, 22);

    e. Its inability to meet the administration’s goal of securing “operational control” of the border, defined as “the prevention of all unlawful entries to the United States” (White House 2017);

    f. Its deleterious impact on bi-national border communities, the environment, and property rights (Heyman 2013); and

    g. Opportunity costs in the form of foregone investments in addressing the conditions that drive large-scale migration, as well as in more effective national security and immigration enforcement strategies.

    The Center for Migration Studies (CMS) has reported on the dramatic decline in the US undocumented population between 2008 and 2014 (Warren 2016). In addition, a growing percentage of border crossers in recent years have originated in the Northern Triangle states of Central America (CBP 2016). These migrants are fleeing pervasive violence, persecution, and poverty, and a large number do not seek to evade arrest, but present themselves to border officials and request political asylum. Many are de facto refugees, not illegal border crossers.

    This report speaks to another reason to question the necessity and value of a 2,000-mile wall: It does not reflect the reality of how the large majority of persons now become undocumented. It finds that two-thirds of those who arrived in 2014 did not illegally cross a border, but were admitted (after screening) on non-immigrant (temporary) visas, and then overstayed their period of admission or otherwise violated the terms of their visas. Moreover, this trend in increasing percentages of visa overstays will likely continue into the foreseeable future.

    http://cmsny.org/publications/jmhs-visa-overstays-border-wall/

  11. One Two 13

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-01-09/top-5-democrats-who-supported-border-security-trump-wanted-it

    Chuck Schumer

    Video from 2009 shows Chuck Schumer advocating for a fence along the southern border because it will be a “far more secure” means to creating a “significant barrier to illegal immigration.”

    “The American people will never accept immigration reform unless they truly believe that their government is committed to ending future illegal immigration,” he added.

    The old Chuck Schumer supported border security.

    The new Chuck Schumer calls a border wall a waste of money and ineffective.

    Democrats would rather risk the safety of Americans than support a word Donald Trump says. Sad!

    pic.twitter.com/pYDccxnDRK
    — Jack Murphy (@RealJack) December 31, 2018

    Democrats like walls, too… they also like to flip flop….

    Farce!

    • Siobhan 13.1

      plus…paygo means the Democrats will have to pretty much vote against anything that adds to the deficit be it perceived as Good..or Bad….walls, single payer health care, free education…its all the same to them.

      The people who are cheering now, because this appears anti Trump..they are in for a world of disappointment when the Democrats ‘pragmatically’ refuse to vote for the programs required to make America a functional country again.

    • SPC 13.2

      The sort of bi-partisan legislation for a fence was passed in 2006 under Bush. Since then there have been various budgets involving funding for it, the outgoing Congress funded money for renovation of the fence and related security arrangements.

      Asking why the Democrats don’t support the wall is silly – there is already a fence. The wall is of the vain belief that requiring a larger ladder will deter those who go over the top.

      • One Two 13.2.1

        It is all ‘silly’, SPC…

        The ‘silly’ is rubbed into the faces of those who believe the farce is somehow anything other than, reality tv….

        You can’t get lower than politics, generally speaking…US politics being at the very bottom!

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