Here is a belated New Year’s resolution for my fellow Republicans: In 2019, Republicans need to SHUT UP about Hillary Clinton. To this day, when conservatives criticize Donald Trump for things such as not making enough progress on building the border wall, Trumpites whine “Would Killary have given us one?” It is a truly pathetic display.
Come on guys, you need a new line. The 2016 election is over. Hillary Clinton’s political career is dead. She will never be elected to anything. The binary choice meme is dead and has been dead since November 9, 2016. It is long past time to hold Trump responsible for his actions and inaction, and his success and failures. It is time for Trump loyalists to put their big boy pants on and actually engage in the messy business of policy, rather than fawning over the President as a personality and reflexively defending everything he does.
Many of the same people who were justly scolding Barack Obama for constantly pointing at George W. Bush to distract from his own failures have been employing the exact same strategery to defend Trump from criticism, proving once again that partisanship overrides principle. At least Obama could point to someone who actually served as President, while Trumpites are pointing to someone who failed to win the White House in spectacular fashion – including being rejected by her own party in 2008.
The idea that every debate over Trump’s policies and rhetoric is somehow a binary choice is utterly idiotic. Pointing to the Democrats (especially the vanquished Hillary Clinton) is not a defense, it is a coward’s distraction. No, the Democrats would not have given us a border wall, but Trump has not done that either. Obviously there are areas where Trump can improve, and we should encourage him to be better when there is room for improvement. Good-faith criticisms are not an act of disloyalty.
As to the border wall: We should have had the wall by the end of 2017. If the Democrats cold pass ObamaCare (which was a massive policy and regulatory change) under budget reconciliation rules, we could have gotten $5 billion for the wall under the same rules. Funding for the wall is about as pure of a budget issue as there is, with no real policy change attached to it. So, no, we do not need 60 votes in the U.S. Senate to get a border wall, and we never did. The Republican leadership in the Senate did not use the “nuclear option” when they had the chance, and Donald Trump did not demand that they do it.