Trump’s speech from the Oval Office on Tuesday night was meant to emphasize his racist propaganda that immigrants and refugees pose an immediate crisis to this country. Of course, the facts don’t support that claim. But the more the president ramps up his talk about a crisis, the more he undermines his favored solution: a wall that stretches across our southern border. Here are some facts that he doesn’t want you to know:
The design of Trump’s border wall could still change — and already has fluctuated with the political winds. During the 2016 campaign, Trump talked of a solid concrete border wall. Then it was steel slats. Sometimes he called it a wall, other times it is a fence. He has described it stretching for 2,000 miles and 1,000 miles and even just 700 miles…
If Trump’s border wall gets funding, construction would not begin for at least six months — and likely longer, Zarenski said.
Land along the border still needs to be acquired.
Soil and environmental studies need to be done…
Even if these huge crews broke ground today, they would finish just 86 miles of border wall by year’s end. By Election Day 2020, 161 miles of border wall would be done. It would take 11 years to reach 1,000 miles. And that is assuming 10,000 workers going all at once, five days a week.
Given the fact that people who currently own the land that will need to be acquired are gearing up for a protracted legal battle, we could add years to that estimate. For some of us “oldies,” that means that a 1,000 mile wall might not be completed in our lifetime because it could be 2030 before it’s finished. Never mind how long it would take to build one across the entire 2,000+ mile southern border. Meanwhile, the so-called “crisis” Trump is trying to sell will continue.
The fact is that nothing about Donald Trump’s position right now makes any sense. That is why this captures exactly what is going on:
— Mac McKinsey (@MacMcKinseyIV) January 9, 2019
Dana Milbank wrote the words to go with the image.
He shuts down the government, maybe for “years.” He wants a wall that is “transparent,” then concrete, then slatted, then steel. One moment he’s leaving Syria, the next he isn’t. He’s watching too much TV and yelling at everyone.
This is all to be expected. President Trump is entering his terrible twos…
If you want to understand this White House, turn off Wolf Blitzer and pick up Benjamin Spock. The ninth edition of the late pediatrician’s famous guide, first published in 1946, tells us all we need to know about this presidency as it approaches its second birthday:
“This can be a physically exhausting and trying time.”
The 2-year-old “has a hard time making up his mind, and then he wants to change it,” his “understanding of the world is still so limited,” and “he becomes bolder and more daring in his experiments.”
“A battle of wills with a two-year-old is tiring.”
“Two is a great age for whining.”
Most parents learn that it is best to tell a two-year old to go to their room when they behave like that. Instead, we get some people in the media saying things like this:
AP FACT CHECK: Democrats put the blame for the shutdown on Trump. But it takes two to tango. Trump's demand for $5.7 billion for his border wall is one reason for the budget impasse. The Democrats refusal to approve the money is another. https://t.co/9IWnqUgl2d
— AP Politics (@AP_Politics) January 9, 2019
Then there are congressional Republicans, who either praise the president’s behavior, or think they can negotiate with him. Sen. Lindsey Graham is leading the effort on the latter, which demonstrates that he learned nothing from the last time this happened. The rest of us remember that Graham worked on coming up with a bipartisan agreement to end the standoff over Dreamers and was led to believe that the president was supportive. But when he arrived at the White House to present the final product, he got ambushed and was told that we don’t need any more immigrants from “shithole countries.”
I don’t have any idea how this whole thing ends. But it’s clear that the only rational response is for someone to send Trump to his room until he can behave better.