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Immigration

President Trump changed the conversation to immigration before the midterms. Brilliant or bust?

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President Trump changed the conversation to immigration before the midterms Brilliant or bust

The answer to the question won’t be known until next Tuesday night. Logic tells me it’s a bust, but here’s the thing. Many of the President’s moves before the last election could be considered busts from a logical perspective and it all worked out well for him in the end. I’m not a betting lady, but if I were I’d put my money on the President’s uncanny ability to turn controversy into victory.

One thing is certain: most major news outlets are discussing birthright citizenship more than they’re discussing the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre, the mail bomber, or President Trump’s “hateful” rhetoric.

When he first announced his candidacy, he did so by ruffling feathers instantly. By directly attacking illegal immigrants using language people weren’t accustomed to from a serious presidential candidate, he was declared by most analysts as a sideshow, not a serious candidate, or someone who would fade away in time. That didn’t happen. Once he secured the nomination, the media destroyed him over every new controversy that came out every week or so leading up to the election. They were handing the election to Hillary Clinton. That didn’t happen either.

But it isn’t the President who’s running in this election. It’s his agenda and the ability to fulfill it. Some will argue that the immigration debate will not be beneficial to Republican House candidates in areas they need to win, but again I defer to his uncanny judgment on such things. He and his team are banking on Americans being concerned enough about spiking illegal immigration and violent migrant caravans. It’s a gamble, one that defies logic since many of the most competitive House races are far from the border.

I’ll say it a third time: I’m not ready to bet against President Trump’s election magic even if logic says I should.

Fan versus foil

One interesting takeaway on this is a tactic we haven’t seen from the President: offering a way for Republican candidates to differentiate themselves from the President. He is obsessed with loyalty, so much so that he’s put the wrong people in the wrong positions based solely on their perceived loyalty to him. That’s why it’s hard to imagine he was considering this when pushing out the birthright citizenship narrative, but let’s roll with it for a moment.

Candidates in blue districts are able to use this issue to present themselves as a foil to the President’s agenda. By coming out publicly opposed to ending birthright citizenship, GOP candidates in blue districts can show voters at this late stage that they’re willing to go against the President when they disagree with him.

Of course, this is an issue that can rally the President’s base for candidates in tough races in red districts. Those candidates will be able to point to the President lovingly and ask voters to help bring his full agenda forward.

Inspiring conservatives

If internal polling showed the President and his team that candidates in tough races aren’t getting enough support from conservatives to get them out to vote, this might be the move that reinvigorates them to vote Republican. He’s been travelling the country doing everything he can to get the base juiced up, but there are still conservative critics who are disappointed that there’s no wall, Obamacare is still intact, and/or Planned Parenthood is still alive and well.

The migrant caravan was looking like it could be the spark to reach these voters, but mainstream media and Democrats have done a fine job at minimizing the perceived threat they pose. Birthright citizenship is an evergreen topic; it doesn’t matter whether a voter fears the caravan or not. It’s a problem that truly needs a solution and now the President is offering them one.

If there’s a mistake being made here, it’s that he didn’t say he’d have to sign an executive order IF they lose the House. Perhaps he didn’t want to diminish the message by acknowledging an executive order would be weaker than legislation. Or he could be concerned challenges to legislation would be harder to overturn at the Supreme Court than challenges to an executive order. The other possibility is that he doesn’t think he would get legislation even if they retain the House, which based on Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s comments, may actually be the case.

Whatever motivated him to go down this path, he’s pulled the conversation back towards him from the opposite perspective than it was before. Instead of undecided voters getting pummeled by media reports that he’s to blame for violence and hatred by American citizens, they’re now saying he’s to blame for bigotry against illegal immigrants. That message suits him better even if it’s framed in a negative connotation.

Wait until Tuesday

The President understands how important it is for his agenda to keep going that they retain control of both chambers of Congress. It appears likely they’ll retain the Senate, though trends in some races are worrisome. The House is definitely in jeopardy.

The best thing Republicans can do at this point is follow the President’s lead on messaging and focus on illegal immigration. Tax cuts and healthcare are important, but the President chose to sprint to the finish line on birthright citizenship. Let’s do the same.

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Democrats

Dan Crenshaw: Only six Democrats voted to pay federal employees affected by shutdown

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Dan Crenshaw Only six Democrats voted to pay federal employees affected by shutdown

While most were drinking the mainstream media Kool-Aid that Republicans and President Trump are responsible for keeping paychecks out of the hands of federal employees affected by the government shutdown, a bill was brought to the House floor that would have paid them their first paycheck of 2019.

It failed. Despite six Democrats voting in favor of the bill, the Democratic majority shot it down, preventing their political pawns – the 800,000 people directly affected by the government shutdown – from getting paid.

Representative Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) pointed it out and received a good amount of interactions on Twitter, but most in mainstream media refused to run this narrative-busting truth.

It’s crystal clear to anyone paying attention that their anti-wall rhetoric is driven by the good optics they’re getting from the press. If the people would stop being sheep and listen to that quiet voice of reason in the back of their minds, they’d realize two things:

  1. Democrats don’t oppose the wall. They oppose giving the President a win. They will keep the government shutdown going as long as possible and any attempts to help the people affected by it will be shot down.
  2. All of the false claims about the wall are politically motivated outside of the realm of common sense. The latest talking point, that the wall will be ineffective, is contradicted by every statistic that compares illegal immigration with or without a wall.

This is clear proof the Democrats have no desire to help the people if it means taking away their leverage on the President. Given the choice between paying federal employees or harming the President politically, they chose political expediency.


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Economy

Local communities giving support to border agents during shutdown

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Local communities giving support to border agents during shutdown

One of the most prominent stories the media has been pushing since the beginning of the partial government shutdown is that services are being hampered by federal employees calling in sick in large numbers. They are not getting paid (though they’ll receive back pay when the shutdown ends), so whether they call in sick or not makes no difference to their bottom line. The TSA in particular has been highlighted as long wait times at airports hamper travelers.

There’s one government agency affected by the shutdown that doesn’t appear to be having the same problem, and local residents and businesses are being partially credited for making this possible. Border patrol agents aren’t calling in sick or taking leave any more than usual, according to a report by Anna Giaritelli at Washington Examiner:

Locals help border agents survive the shutdown with free meals, zero-interest loans

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/locals-help-border-agents-survive-the-shutdown-with-free-meals-zero-interest-loans“Although I don’t have official agency numbers, it is my understanding that call-outs or sick leave is at or near the same levels as in similar times in years past,” National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd wrote in an email Monday. “We certainly aren’t experiencing the same level of call-outs as TSA. As far as I’m aware, and again that is without official numbers, we have the same workforce reporting for duty under the shutdown as we regularly do under normal circumstances.”

The kindness and respect residents and businesses are giving to border patrol agents isn’t just a sign of support for those who keep the border secure. It’s a testament to the concept of philanthropy being more powerful than government. It’s often said that government does the job that people won’t. In reality, it’s the people who do the jobs the government can’t. Moreover, it’s the people who are able to do these jobs better than the government in most situations.

While I would never condone the use of civilians for our military defense or even border patrol, there’s one very clear example of how private solutions are beating government solutions, and oddly enough it comes from far-left San Francisco. Unlike most airports in the country, the lines at San Francisco International Airport are no longer or slower than before the government shutdown. This is because their security agents are not federal employees. TSA contracts with Covenant Airport Security. Their agents are getting paid through the shutdown.

My Take

As the government shutdown drags on, we should all be thankful that border patrol continues to do their job and that local communities are pitching in to keep these brave men and women taken care of until DC gets its act together.


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Immigration

Steven Crowder talks to wall protesters with predictable results

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Steve Crowder talks to wall protesters with predictable results

The intolerant left really wants to be heard. They just don’t want to listen. That’s not unexpected, as the entire wall issue is one that drives people to contradiction. We saw this in clear display as conservative funnyman Steven Crowder took a second stab at “Build the Wall, Change My Mind.”

There were many telling exchanges as he approached a crowd of protesters who had gathered, holding signs and chanting about racism, tolerance, and immigrants being welcome. One particularly interesting exchange happened when Crowder talked to a woman holding a sign that read, “Immigrants are Welcome, Change My Mind.”

Unfortunately, the sign was a lie. She wasn’t really asking to have her mind changed. She continuously described how she felt uncomfortable talking to Crowder, which is understandable considering he had a mic and there was a camera, but it’s still disingenuous to hold a sign that says “change my mind” when there was no willingness to have a dialogue about the issue.

The difference between conservatives who want a wall and progressives who don’t is that many who support the wall are willing to have civil discourse on the issue. Many who oppose the wall must rely on false accusations of racism to make their point.


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