Trump And the Wall: He's Gutless, Clueless, Inept, Incompetent, Race-baiting Captive of Rightwing Media

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Donald Trump. President know-nothing. Photo: Gage Skidmore--Flickr.

Recently, President Donald Trump brazenly boasted to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, that he would “take the mantle” and be “proud to shut down the government for border security” and that “I will be the one to shut it down. I’m not going to blame you for it.”

But after it became clear a shutdown was coming, with Christmas—and a changing Congress, in the new year—Trump does what he does best: he started lying and blaming everyone except himself. By Friday, he was tweeting “the Democrats now own the shutdown.”

The shutdown is a consequence of Trump’s fear of rightwing media—and of facing a backlash from his Republican base, who are fed a steady diet of xenophobia against anybody who doesn’t represent their warped White worldview?

With the holidays looming, Trump became the conservative grinch causing disruption to the lives of some 800,000 Americans, during Christmas, by backtracking from a bi-partisan deal to fund the government, until February—and avert a shutdown. The reason Trump did this is clearly because of the bigoted bellowing coming from right-wing media figures like: Laura Ingram, Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh—and the effect these press propogandists have on Republican voters.

The genesis of this latest shutdown stalemate may’ve started when Fox News host Laura Ingram chastised Trump, earlier this month, after Trump declared, on a news clip, that "A lot of wall has been built. We don't talk about that, but we might as well start. Because it's being built right now. Big sections of wall! And we will continue that.”

To this tall-tale, Ingram retorted "I must have missed the wall being built. What wall?" Later in the segment, Ingram said "I know it's bad cause he made the promise but they're not building the wall so you gotta stop saying that!"

Things got much worse when Ann Coulter wrote a Dec. 19 column, on the rightwing Breitbart website, titled “Gutless President in a Wall-Less Country.” I loathe Coulter. Still, she articulated a point I’ve made before, namely: why wasn’t Trump fighting for the “wall” from the minute he got into office?

Here is how Coulter put it, of course filled with the bigoted characterizations of non-White “others,” that made her a darling of right-wingers, “If you were elected president after decades of politicians doing nothing about the millions of illegals pouring into our country every year, committing crimes, dealing drugs, driving drunk, molesting children and killing Americans like Kate Steinle, and your central campaign promise — repeated every day — was to build a wall, wouldn’t you have spent the entirety of your transition period working on getting it done?”

Coulter’s racism is repugnant. Yet, she is essentially right when she says, since entering the White House Trump hasn’t fulfilled his campaign promise of fighting for funding to build the “wall.” Indeed, Trump was far more concerned with passing a tax-break bill for wealthy folks, like himself—and making business deals with dictators, like those in Saudi Arabia, who no doubt killed Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

Coulter also made another important observation “It is now crystal clear that one of two things is true: Either Trump never intended to build the wall and was scamming voters all along, or he has no idea how to get it done and zero interest in finding out.”

On this point, Coulter seems not to have entertained a third option: that Trump is both “scamming voters,” and also “has no idea” how to get “it done.” Trump is a conman who is now further being exposed as being inept as well. Anyone who files for six business bankruptcies should surely have their competency questioned.

Those who really believed Trump would build a “wall” and make “Mexico pay for it,” were clearly delusional. If Trump is against “illegal immigration” why was he still recently employing undocumented workers, like Victorina Morales, from Guatemala?

After two years of repeated failures, it should be clear enough to thinking conservatives that Trump isn’t interested in learning the art of getting things done in government. How many scandals and cabinet resignations will it take for Republicans to admit that Trump is overseeing a shockingly incompetent White House?

This latest episode of failure highlights something extremely important: the fear Trump has for rightwing media. Trump is fearful of them because: it is rightwing media which has convinced—more like indoctrinated—massive conservative support for Trump. If right-wing media withdraws their assistance for Trump, he knows he will lose the backing of the Republican base.

Besides the condemning comments of Coulter and Ingram, Trump no doubt was also scared by the statements of rightwing radio powerhouse Rush Limbaugh. Around the same time Coulter was writing her critical column, Limbaugh was opining about the bi-partisan agreement that Trump had endorsed stating “Trump’s gonna get less than nothing because this compromise strips out the $1.6 billion for the wall that the Senate Appropriations Committee had already approved weeks ago. That’s gone too. Not only is there not gonna be $5 billion, there isn’t gonna be $1.6 billion that was already allocated. So, it’s an even better compromise in the minds of the drive-by media and the denizens of the swamp. Not a penny. Forget wall.”

Not long after Limbaugh’s rant, according to Limbaugh, Trump “got word to me 20 minutes ago that if it comes back to him without money, if whatever happens in the House and Senate comes back to him with no allocation of $5 billion for the wall, then he’s going to veto it.” Here we see political policy being dictated by rightwing punditry.

Trump has little fear, if any, of the Republican leadership. In fact, when it’s to his benefit he beats up on them to assure the base that moderate—much less principled—Republicans will not be tolerated in today’s Trumpian Republican Party. Republicans are so petrified of being destroyed in primaries, by the bigoted base they’ve cultivated since the rise of the Southern Strategy, that they will do anything, and say anything, to stay in the good graces of Trump.

This is why we’ve seen Republicans, who were supposedly ethical, like South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, make ridiculous statements to soothe the juvenile ego of the most petulant president we’ve ever seen. Only, Republicans from less than rabidly red states—or, a few who say they are retiring from Congress—seem to dare criticize Trump.

But Trump is very afraid of rightwing media, and their audiences—who make-up a significant segment of the Republican base. This is why when Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Laura Ingram—or anyone at Fox News—is upset, Trump listens. Maintaining rightwing media support is critical to his political survival.

After Trump returned home, from the Helsinki fiasco, where he agreed with Russian President Vladimir Putin--thereby rejecting the assessments of America’s intelligence agencies that Russia meddled in the 2016 Elections-- we saw an astonishing occurrence: Trump actually apologized for something. That was when Trump claimed he had mistakenly used the word “would" instead of "wouldn’t,” when he was asked about America’s intelligence community’s assessment regarding Russian meddling. Of course, Trump only did this after realizing the folks at Fox News weren’t thrilled with his pathetic performance standing next to Putin in Helsinki.

Trump would be a dead fish in the political waters without Fox News and rightwing talking-heads. As a media manipulator, Trump understands that much. This is why he must kiss the behinds of rightwing press personalities like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. The opposite is true for Republicans: they must bow down to Trump.

In the end, this shutdown was engineered by rightwing media’s pressure on this unprincipled president—who was told he must get wall funding to appease the Republican base. Conservative commentators like Coulter, Ingram and Limbaugh are no doubt worrying about their own credibility with their listeners and readers.

Rightwing media are fearful their usually clueless followers will realize they are full of more fakery than so-called mainstream media.

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