Q&A Friday #52: What About The Wall?
Question: Hi John,
What’s your take on the signing of the Border Fence bill? Is it a baby step or is it by-and-large a result of the failure of congressional and presidential leadership?
Answer: Would it have been great to see the entire House Bill signed into law? Yes. But still, the wall is an important part of the House Bill and make no mistake about it, getting it passed is more than a baby step. It’s actually a jump forward (although it will take quite a while to finish the wall).
In fact, building a wall may be more significant than we realize. After all, the political strategy so far to get a “comprehensive” bill passed has been to hold the wildly popular security measures hostage. You know, “You can have a wall and more Border Patrol Agents, but only if you actually agree to amnesty, a guest worker program, and Social Security for illegal aliens.” Well, now that the single most popular security measure has been taken off the table, that strategy isn’t going to be as effective.
On the other hand, the Republicans in the House are the ones who have been hanging tough on illegal immigration while Bush and a number of Republicans in the Senate have been on the wrong side of the issue. So, if the Republicans lose control of the House, it may no longer be possible to stop an amnesty program if the Republicans in the Senate and Bush are still determined to team up with the Democrats to push a bill that would be a catastrophe for America and the Republican Party.
So, will Bush and the Senate GOP learn a lesson from this election? I certainly hope so. Part of the reason that the GOP has had such a tough time this election cycle is because we’ve had the President and prominent Republicans like John McCain on the wrong side of one of the most important domestic issues of the election. The foolish way that they handled this issue has done as much damage to the GOP as a whole in 2006 as the gay marriage issue did to the Democratic Party in 2004. Let’s hope that they’re not blockheaded enough to stay on the same path for another election cycle.