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Trump’s ‘Read My Lips’

Rush Limbaugh this week was comparing Donald Trump’s giving up on the border wall to George H.W. Bush’s breaking his “read my lips, no new taxes” pledge. 

Ann Coulter is beyond livid. Here’s her column washing that man right out of her hair. Excerpts:

Trump is doing exactly what I feared he would do in the worst conceivable way. He’s not building the wall, while making ridiculous promises right up until the second before he folds.  …

It’s not as if a majority of his voters weren’t clear-eyed about what kind of man he is. If anything, Trump’s vulgar narcissism made his vow to build a wall more believable. Respectable politicians had made similar promises over the years — and they always betrayed the voters. Maybe it took a sociopath to ignore elite opinion and keep his word.

On the basis of his self-interest alone, he must know that if he doesn’t build the wall, he has zero chance of being re-elected and a 100 percent chance of being utterly humiliated.

But when Trump is alone with Ivanka, they seem to agree that the wall has nothing to do with it. The people just love him for who he is! In a country of 320 million people, I’m sure there are some, but I have yet to meet a person who said, Yeah, I don’t really care about immigration or trade, I just love his personality!

What else were we going to do? He was the only one talking sense. Unfortunately, that’s all he does: talk. He’s not interested in doing anything that would require the tiniest bit of effort.

In the end, we’ll probably find out “wall” was Trump’s “safe word” with Stormy Daniels. It’s just something he blurts out whenever he’s in trouble.

Read the whole thing. 

Brutal. At some point, the Deplorables are going to figure out that the Trump administration has been mostly one big con job. As Coulter now realizes, he’s too lazy, unfocused, and narcissistic to focus on doing things other than shoot off his mouth.

To be fair, I’m all for much stronger border security, but I never believed the wall was going to be built, nor am I convinced that it ought to be built. Somebody pointed out on Twitter the other day that the particular border crisis we have at the moment is not with illegals sneaking in over an undefended border, but with people presenting themselves at legal ports of entry, demanding asylum. What would the wall do about that problem?

On the other hand, for all his many faults, Trump proved that establishment Washington was never serious about protecting the country’s southern borders. But he has also proved that neither is he. He’s not serious about anything other than promoting himself. As Coulter writes:

If you were elected president after decades of politicians doing nothing about the millions of illegals pouring into our country every year, committing crimes, dealing drugs, driving drunk, molesting children and killing Americans like Kate Steinle, and your central campaign promise — repeated every day — was to build a wall, wouldn’t you have spent the entirety of your transition period working on getting it done?

Wouldn’t you have been building prototypes, developing relationships with key congressional allies and talking to military leaders about using the Seabees or the Army Corps of Engineers to build the wall?

She concludes that either Trump never meant to build the wall, despite the fact that he campaigned on it more than anything else, or he was never interested in learning what it would take to get it done. Based on his performance with almost everything else, I’d say the latter. Trump drove away the most important and effective immigration skeptic in Washington, Jeff Sessions, because Sessions wouldn’t corrupt himself to protect his Russia dealings. That right there, combined with his collapse on the wall, tells you a lot about Donald Trump. Last week on TAC, Bob Merry told us so. 

There remains a strong constituency for economic nationalism, foreign policy realism, and a libertarian-ish social conservatism that hates political correctness and identity politics. That constituency awaits a leader who knows how to lead, whose vision extends beyond the ramparts of his own backside.


about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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