“Read my lips, no new taxes,” President George H. W. Bush told the Republican convention in 1988. The crowd went wild. He, the heir to Reagan, would hold the line on taxes as Democrats were clamoring for more. But it did not last. Bush, with the support of Democrats in Congress and Republican opposition, approved a tax increase and the country headed into recession.
In 1992, Pat Buchanan challenged Bush from the right and delivered a near fatal blow in New Hampshire. Bush hemoraged to the finish line where Bill Clinton finished him off. And history repeats itself.
The moment Donald Trum got off the escalators in Trump Tower in July of 2015 to declare he was running for President, it was clear the wall with Mexico would be a core issue. To stop criminals and rapists from crossing the border, Trump would build a wall and Mexico would pay for it.
He mocked people like Rick Perry who suggested we just needed better border security. Perry advocated for a “virtual” wall that included lasers, aviation surveillance, fencing in key places, and more border guards. That was not the wall Donald Trump wanted. Donald Trump’s wall would be glorious. It would be so big and built so deep that Mexicans could not get over it, under it, or around it.
And it is not to be.
President Trump has cut a deal with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. He will allow DACA immigrants to stay in the country, which is something he campaigned against. He will increase border security, but he will cave on his plans for a wall. Instead, he will embrace Rick Perry’s plan that Trump pilloried in the primaries.
If anything, this is a bigger cave than “no new taxes” because the tax pledge was not the centerpiece of George H. W. Bush’s 1988 Presidential campaign, but the wall very much was the centerpiece of Trump’s campaign.
Trump supporters are now blaming Republicans instead of Trump. Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell have forced Trump into the open arms of Nancy Pelosi. But that is not the Trump they claimed he was. Trump was a fighter who would drain the swamp and get the best deals and make Mexico pay for the wall. If Ryan and McConnell can manipulate Trump like this, Trump is a weak kneed gimp. Maybe they will ball gag Trump’s twitter account now.