OPINION: Democrats Spurn Trump’s Effort To Deal At Their Peril
Now that President Trump has signed a spending package with partial funding for the border wall and declared a national emergency to free up additional funding to strengthen border security, you would think our elected representatives might move on to other policy challenges.
That hasn’t been the case. The ink wasn’t even dry on the spending deal before Democrats began launching measures to undermine the president’s effort to enhance border security.
Democrats apparently don’t consider the trafficking of women and children for forced labor or sex a problem. Nor do they consider the smuggling of opioids and methamphetamine across the southern border an issue worth addressing.
Democrats and the media have rushed to ridicule President Trump for his focus on a physical barrier at the border, arguing that most drugs and illegal immigrants cross at ports of entry. In doing so they have downplayed the size of the twin crises and made a mockery of the suffering of the hundreds of thousands of people who are trapped in modern day slavery and the millions who struggle with drug addiction.
There is plenty of room for compromise on border security that would allow both sides to claim victories. The president was going to find a way to secure the border with or without Congress; Democrats would have been smart to get something for their constituents in exchange.
Rather than ignore the problem, Democrats could have offered solutions and met Trump halfway. Instead they are scampering to the House floor to introduce resolutions of disapproval, which do little more than guarantee a few extra minutes in front of television cameras.
Democratic attorneys general in 16 states have jumped into the fray as well, clearly taking to heart the axiom “never let a serious crisis go to waste.” Of the state’s that are suing Trump, though, only New Mexico and California share a border with Mexico. What these states are really fighting over are taxpayer dollars, and they don’t even try to deny it.
The Democratic posture of opposing the president’s agenda at every opportunity has delivered little for their constituents. In truth, Democratic leaders barely have control of their party, as New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has illustrated in pushing her colleagues further to the left.
Open borders, abolishing the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency, single-payer healthcare, gun control, and a guaranteed federal job for everyone is the new Democratic platform. The only thing missing is free love. (Maybe that’s what “LGBTQIA+” means?)
In the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi has given the new radicals plenty of rope. The primary manifestation of this so far is the Green New Deal introduced by Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and endorsed by presidential hopefuls Sens. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand, Cory Booker and Amy Klobuchar. The resolution calls for nothing short of the complete reordering of the American economy, including the elimination of airplanes, cars and cows.
Mexican drug cartels and human traffickers are apparently not the problem — cows are.
Democrats have every intention of spending the next two years on an oversight safari looking for anything they can use against the president. Continuing down this path would be a missed opportunity. President Trump is not a typical Republican. He’s more populist than conservative. No president in recent memory is more likely to deal with Democrats than Trump.
There are areas of the president’s agenda that overlap with the concerns of Democrats — prescription drug prices, child care for working families and infrastructure to name three — where Democratic leaders could seek deals.
President Trump seems undeterred by the opposition. There are many things he can do without Congress thanks to President Obama and his “I have a pen” style of governance. Congressional Democrats have only themselves to blame for allowing the growth of presidential powers, not to mention the erosion of the minority’s powers in the Senate.
Trump’s agenda of reducing regulations, expanding energy production, rebuilding America’s infrastructure, resetting trading partnerships, supporting working parents, and championing border security will continue. Plenty of these areas have broad bipartisan support, especially among the economy and jobs voters that both parties need in 2020.
Without a dance partner on the other side of the aisle, the president should continue pursuing his pro-growth agenda of dismantling the “administrative state” and restoring balance to the third branch of government by appointing conservative judges to the federal bench.
Dan K. Eberhart (@DanKEberhart) is CEO of Canary, LLC, one of the largest independent oilfield services company in the United States.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.