Sunday, February 16, 2020

What did Donald Trump do today?

He got stuck on his wall.

Shortly after taking office, Trump abandoned all pretense that Mexico would pay for his proposed border wall—although he did privately beg the Mexican president to go along with the charade. Since then, Trump has done everything in his power to seem like he is taking action on the wall, including siphoning money away from schools for the children of military servicemembers and shutting down the federal government for a record 35 days

Everything, that is, except build a wall. All of one mile of new fencing has been completed, and Trump's campaign is reportedly worried that his base will notice the lack of progress. That may be why, on a day otherwise taken up with campaign stops and a staffer's Trump-property wedding, Trump made time to tweet in defense of a recent fence-related debacle.

Trump actually has the basic facts more or less correct here—but then, so does the "Fake News." A section of replacement fence fell over in 37-mile-per-hour winds because its concrete base had not yet cured, as was reported on at the time.

What Trump didn't mention is that the wall did very little damage because it only fell a few feet, onto tall trees long ago planted along the Mexican side of the border. In the unlikely event that potential border-crossers in the large city of Mexicali could not find a place to buy a ladder or basic power tools, and if they lacked the climbing skills of an eight-year-old, those trees would have provided an easy route to the top of the wall.

Why is this a problem?

  • Just because something makes the president look bad doesn't mean it's "fake."