She regained the gavel just over 96 hours ago, but there’s already bad news for Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi: Americans want border security.
An Associated Press poll taken just before the shutdown shows that border security is among the top five concerns for the American people.
A recent Gallup Poll — seen as the gold standard in polling — also reported that border security had moved into the top-two concerns for Americans just after the 2018 midterm elections.
A Rasmussen Poll shows that nearly one-fourth of Americans would contribute their own money to build a border wall.
An Economist/YouGov poll shows that a whopping 62 percent of Americans view illegal immigration as either a “very serious problem” or a “somewhat serious problem” — with only seven percent of Americans believing that illegal immigration is “not” a problem.
Suffice it to say, poll numbers are not on Speaker Pelosi’s side in her government shutdown negotiations.
However, that won’t stop Pelosi and the Democrats from trotting out stories from entitled Americans who will see disruptions to their government-funded entitlements if the shutdown continues.
In fact, Pelosi’s allies in the mainstream media are already doing the public relations work for her.
Over the weekend, CNN called upon viewers to submit their sob stories.
However before they could even run the results, the “fake news” mongers over at CNN ran a disclaimer stating, “CNN hasn’t been able to independently verify all of these accounts. The responses have been lightly edited for clarity.” So, for starters, we’re not even sure if any of the stories are true. (How’s that for a story that appears on CNN’s site as a “news” item?)
The complaints include government workers complaining they need to get new jobs, allegations of delayed medical treatments, delayed adoptions, even delayed tax refund checks. The complaints go on and on.
It is true that some government workers and Americans who utilize some government services will be inconvenienced during the shutdown, just as they were during President Obama’s shutdown in 2013 over his pet project, “Obamacare,” and just as Americans were during President Bill Clinton’s government shutdowns in 1995 and 1996 – both of which affected government workers and services even worse than President Trump’s “partial” shutdown.
This fact won’t stop Pelosi and the Democrats from angling for sympathy from the American public over the Trump shutdown.
Luckily, we’re wise to this tactic as we’ve seen this page from the Democratic playbook before.
During budget negotiations in California under Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger a decade ago, many of us witnessed firsthand Democrats parading entitlement victims around the state capitol and stacking budget hearing rooms with the most sympathetic among society. (Nevermind that many of those individuals in wheelchairs with debilitating disabilities might have been better off in the comfort of their own homes, rather than sitting in the halls of the capitol for hours.) Like Trump, Schwarzenegger faced a similar public relations onslaught and grappled with how to keep checks flowing.
It is a public relations tactic as old as time – show the American people that real human beings are being hurt during the government shutdown, and you just might be able to apply enough pressure on the president to ultimately affect the outcome.
However, this time it’s different.
For once, Americans have witnessed tragic stories on the other side. In California, an illegal immigrant gunned down Officer Ronil Singh, who left behind a wife and baby. In San Francisco, Kate Steinle pleaded for help from her father while dying on a pier. In Long Island, New York, MS-13 gang members killed two young girls. And in towns across America, tons of illegal Fentanyl are making their way from Mexico into suburban teen parties and killing our children.
When it comes to this PR war, Speaker Pelosi has a formidable opponent: the truth.
It remains to be seen whether polls showing overwhelming support for border security will fall on Pelosi’s deaf ears, but one thing is certain: Americans want border security, and they want it now. This alone should be compelling enough to get Democrats back to the negotiating table as the clock ticks on the dangerous border crisis.
Jen Kerns (@JenKernsUSA) served as spokeswoman for the California Republican Party; spokeswoman for California’s Proposition 8, which went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court; and as a Fox News writer for the 2016 U.S. presidential debates.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.