The Wall Fight Shrinks the GOP

Donald Trump loves his Wall.   The metaphorical wall that exists only in his mind.  As Ezra Klein points out, he actually doesn’t want to build it.  He just wants to fight about it, to keep his racist base riled up.  But that begins to become a problem for him on two levels, as we will see below.  But first, Klein:

The $5 billion in funding Trump is demanding isn’t actually enough to build the wall. Estimates of the total cost range from about $20 billion to $70 billion. Securing funding at either level would require a much bigger deal, with much more significant concessions from Trump.  

But Trump isn’t offering a deal, and he isn’t constructing the kind of process where anyone might offer him a deal. Instead, he’s looking for a photo op. He’s looking for a clip of himself he can see played, and praised, on Fox & Friends.

The deal often hurts. It often disappoints some of your supporters. The reason politicians make deals, though, is that they care about the thing they’re trying to get done. They care about it enough to give up something of value in order to get it.  Trump doesn’t care enough about the wall to give up anything in order to get it. He didn’t care enough when Democrats offered to fund the wall if Trump would protect DREAMers, and he doesn’t care enough now.

He just wants the fight.   Probably because he sees polling like what a new 
Democracy Corps survey has found.  The issue of Immigration, and specifically the conservative framing that Democrats are for open borders and sanctuary cities, works really well in motivating the racist Republican base.   It was the top reason, by a landslide, among the base as a reason to vote against Democrats this past election.   Trump’s divisive rhetoric and hostility to immigrants pushed up Trump’s “strong approval” with all types of Republicans.

But, the intense focus on these immigration issues also made the party smaller, pushing away key segments of the Republican Party, either into the arms of the Democrats or onto their couches at home.   

Democracy Corps found that nationally, a noticeable 12 percent of Conservative Catholics and Secular Conservatives did not vote. The Moderates are one-quarter of the GOP and just 69 percent of them voted Republican, 12 percent defected to the Democrats, and 19 percent stayed home.  The “persuadable GOP” — a group of targetable Republicans developed by Democracy Corps— were 40 percent larger than the Moderates and may have played an even bigger role in the election: one-quarter voted for Democrats and 14 percent stayed home.

Those Republicans who considered voting for the Democrat said they were motivated “to make the economy work for everyone, not just the rich and corporations,” (48 percent), to “send a message that we need decency and honesty in government,” (48 percent), and to have a “check on Donald Trump” (38 percent). 

So the focus on the wall has one immense problem for Trump: it has made his party smaller.   The second problem is that, with all this intense focus on the wall, the wall that Trump doesn’t care enough about to actually make deals to build, the longer the wall doesn’t get built, the more Donald looks like a failure.  How long is the patience of the Trump supporter?   

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9 comments on “The Wall Fight Shrinks the GOP

  1. I know an assortment of Trumptards, some rabid, some vaguely rational. None supports the famed beautiful wall, all dismiss it as a political stunt. It’s a good illustration of the perils of constantly playing to the lowest part of your base, admittedly for Trump that’s most of them.

    • can we not use “trumptard”? it’s like using homophobic language to mock trump and putin. That shit is for the Magats.

    • According to the poll above: “Reasons to vote for a Congressional Democrat”, the ‘Suppport DREAMers, oppose family separation’ is a distant 7th from the top and only alludes to a wall.

      This is a losing issue for the Dems and the Trump party knows it.

      If the Dems were serious about refugees, they’ed get serious about the Obama/Clinton era US-Honduras foreign policy that created the refugees in the first place………But that would be awkward.

      • This is one of your worst efforts yet at finding a reason to complain about Obama and Clinton. Reagan, not the Democrats, fomented the wars in Central America. But, as ever, you have not a single word of criticism for Republicans.

        • Attributing the Honduran coup to Reagan is absurd considering the coup happened when Reagan had been out of office for 20 years and dead for 5.

          If you want more criticism of Republican from me on BD or DL, well that would be a “coals to New Castle”, doncha think ?

          • I consider the funding of the Contras the kick-off to the entire 40-year cycle of violence all over the isthmus. Your opinion apparently differs, but it doesn’t change my mind, or my point.

            You apparently think a president or House speaker should expend all political energies on your priorities, without consideration that there would be considerable resistance on those changes. In short, your constant idealism grates because you never acknowledge political realities that are there whether you consider them or not.

  2. RE Vanella

    Clinton backed the 2009 coup ousting (democratically elected) Zelaya when he moved further left and into potential regional alliances with Chavez, Castro (Raul), etc.

    Strange but true!

    File this under ‘A’ for another-thing-we-aren’t-suppose-to-mention.

  3. RE Vanella

    Right wing coups have been across the aisle types of deals. Bipartisan.

    File this under ‘P’ for purity test.

  4. RE Vanella

    Foreign right wing coups are across-the-aisle type of deals historically.

    File under ‘B’ for bipartisanship

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