Zoolander and what it would have taken to get Democrats to support a border wall

President Biden has ostentatiously deported, contrary to international law, at least a small percentage of the Haitians who walked across the river in Texas. This has been done in a manner far more aggressive than anything Donald Trump ever did and thus has revealed that a Democrat-ruled U.S. will roll out the welcome mat for almost anyone, but not absolutely everyone.

In light of this new information, i.e., that there are some migrants whom the Democrats will not welcome, I wonder if the best way to understand the 2016-2020 conflict between Trump and the Democrats regarding the border wall is by studying the Derek Zoolander versus Hansel conflict:

  • Derek Zoolander: “And all he had to do was turn left. [to win the walk-off]”
  • Matilda: “What do you mean?”
  • Derek Zoolander: “I’m not an ambi-turner. It’s a problem I had since I was a baby. I can’t turn left.”
  • Matilda: “Derek, that’s nothing to be ashamed of. I’m sure there are a lot of people out there who can’t turn…I mean, there have got to be some people out there just like you who can’t…turn…turn…left.”

Is it fair to say that all Donald Trump would have had to do to get Democrats in Congress to fund his border wall was find some Black people who would agree to show up on the southern banks of the Rio Grande?

Related:

  • “‘They treated us like animals’: Haitians angry and in despair at being deported from US” (Guardian): The Biden administration’s decision to deport thousands of Haitians under such circumstances drew opprobrium around the world, and prompted the US envoy to Haiti to resign in protest. Haiti is “a country where American officials are confined to secure compounds because of the danger posed by armed gangs in control of daily life”, he wrote in his resignation letter. “Surging migration to our borders will only grow as we add to Haiti’s unacceptable misery.” Last week, the world was shocked by images of police officers on horseback charging at desperate Haitian migrants near a camp of 12,000, set up under the Del Río-Ciudad Acuña International Bridge. Delva was on his way to buy food and water for his family when the cavalry charge sent him and dozens of his compatriots running in a frenzy. “We were rounded up like cattle and shackled like criminals,” he said, having spent the six-hour flight from San Antonio with his hands and legs tied. US authorities were so slapdash in their rapid deportation of the migrants that they also swept up an Angolan man who had never set foot in Haiti. “I told them I am not Haitian,” said Belone Mpembele, as he emerged, dazed, from the terminal. “But they didn’t listen.” New arrivals each received about $50 in cash as well a hygiene kit including toilet paper, soap and toothbrushes, emblazoned with the USAID logo and slogan: “A gift from the American people.”

27 thoughts on “Zoolander and what it would have taken to get Democrats to support a border wall

  1. “Is it fair to say that all Donald Trump would have had to do to get Democrats in Congress to fund his border wall was…” — doesn’t matter what you add next, because he wouldn’t do it. No need for compromise in his book, ever. Maybe that was his downfall? Without garnering that tiny sliver of extra support (that he needed, and had back in 2016) from “caving in to other interests” he lost everything. [P.S. “Turn Left” is also a Dr. Who episode. ;)] These deportations will be portrayed as Hait crimes?

  2. The Donald’s problem was not lack of compromise, it was too much. And too much trust. Many problems would have been avoided had he demanded the instant resignation of the top 5 officials in every department and agency of the federal government and sacked the Joint Chiefs of Staff in their entirety the day he took his oath and then fired everyone who even looked at him crossed eyed thereafter.

    Republicans held the House, Senate and Presidency during the 115th congress. His willingness, and the willingness of many Republicans in Congress to compromise, resulted in his inability to repeal of the Affordable Care Act, build a Border Wall and tighten immigration controls.

    • That’s because Repblican politicos are pretty much all ball-deficient cucks. That, and they are all afraid that they won’t get invited to the parties with cool Hollywood kids.

    • 115 congress was all about cheese profits in 1st Wisconsin congressional district if I recall correctly. First things first.

  3. All he had to do was not make “build the wall” part of his campaign. If he hadn’t, the Democrats would have spent those four years continuing to fund the border wall that started under the Clinton administration instead of pretending to care about immigrants. It was obvious and inevitable that they would stop pretending to care as soon as Trump was out of office.

  4. You can tell the die hard conservatives because they’re the ones who are seriously asking what could have been done differently on a political level to get the wall built, rather than what’s the point of a 2,000 mile wall that: a) can’t be secured any better than the imaginary border itself, b) is easily defeated with various tools(ladders, shovels, angle grinders, demolition hammers, etc.) available at any hardware store for a cost of $100-200. And this is the party who’s anti government, anti waste? Do you folks really think a wall would work, or are you just into the audacity, nastiness and rage of the proposal? And, Mexico paying for it? That’s embarrassing and juvenile even for republicans. Seems like that’s a theme among the current crop of republican stars, each one dumber and more juvenile than the last. Trump, DeSantis, Greene, Bobert, Paul, Abbot, etc.

    My hunch is, if the proposal had been the slightest bit reasonable in scope, rather than the nonsensical moonshot fiasco that was pitched, Democrats would have gone along.

    • The great precedent is of course the East German Wall (866 miles), which was almost impenetrable. It was called the anti-fascist protection wall, which should please Democrat voters and Antifa!

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inner_German_border

      If you don’t like anti-personnel mines (even if they protect against fascists!), the Israeli West Bank Barrier (440 miles) is another example:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israeli_West_Bank_barrier

      2000 miles honestly does not sound like that much.

    • Doesn’t seem that the dems are interested in securing borders because the influx and promises of free stuff increase dem voters & increases the servant class who serve the wealthy dems. Otherwise just who is going to deliver your avocado toast in NYC or trim the grass in Marin. Opposing Trump and his loudmouthed belligerence was a pretext.

    • Anonymous – the German wall was so successful the entire country collapsed some 38 years later. Sounds amazing.

      Jack – it’s a convenient and popular fantasy among conservatives to lay the immigration and border problems on the democrats. Except that no republican has done any better. Not Reagan, the two Bushes, nor Trump. And, Arizona quickly rescinded their immigration crackdowns once it backfired spectacularly.

    • Senorpablo: I’m confused: The U.S. is already adopting speech control, cancel culture, virtue signaling, bureaucracy etc. directly from the former East Germany. Why not add a wall that prevents free travel for its citizens?

    • Senorpablo: In response to my attempt at humor, you raise a serious question about whether Trump’s wall would have worked better than the 649 miles of existing barrier (not to say “wall”) built by previous Presidentes (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mexico%E2%80%93United_States_barrier ).

      I did not intend to imply that I have the answer to that question!

      Personally, I think the U.S. welfare state (2nd largest in the world as percentage of GDP, after France; https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/robert-samuelson-our-giant-welfare-state/2014/11/25/28f815bc-74c1-11e4-a755-e32227229e7b_story.html ) is more important in driving migration than the ease of crossing the border. We offer free housing (“means-tested” public housing) that has a value of $millions over a lifetime, free health care (Medicaid) that should have a value of about $1 million, free food via SNAP/EBT, and free smartphone (Obamaphone). Unless the planet is populated by 7.8 billion people who put no value on leisure time, that should be an attractive offer.

      The generosity of the U.S. welfare lifestyle brings up a serious inequality question. Some of the Haitians who have recently arrived in the U.S. were deported and received a “gift from the American people” worth about $100 (plus free economy-class transportation back to Haiti). Others were given at least 3 or 4 generations of free housing, health care, food, and smartphone (i.e., $5-10 million in benefits). How is it fair for similarly situated people to be given such different amounts?

    • @Senorpablo,

      If walls are not effective, as others pointed out, previouse presidents both Republicans and Democrats would not have built it.

      If walls are not effective, gated communities that host both Republicans and Democrats would build them.

      If walls are not effective, checkpoints at boarders, passports and visas would not be required to enter/exit any country.

      If walls are not effective, doors with locks for homes would not be required.

      All of the above “walls” can be breached with a low cost $100-$200 tool from your local hardware store.

      So the question is, why accept “walls” built by one party but not others? Why build “walls” for some but not others? Isn’t this discrimination and anti-inclusion?

    • George – One could play your game all day. If walls were effective, why do cars and houses get broken into anyway? They’re a deterrent to be sure. Many of your examples work fine to deter folks who have something to loose, which isn’t really the case with immigrants. Regardless, in order to be effective, border walls need to be manned. It makes perfect sense to have a border wall in some locations. Hence my comment above: “My hunch is, if the proposal had been the slightest bit reasonable in scope, rather than the nonsensical moonshot fiasco that was pitched, Democrats would have gone along.”

    • Walls do not necessarily keep out someone who is determined and well-prepared.
      What they do is raise the cost of crossing so that it does deter:
      1. the ‘casual’, single migrant or small group who may be able to wade a shallow stream but not evade searchlights, electronics, drones, or climb a tall barrier.
      2. the cost-conscious migrant smuggler/ human trafficker, who is running a business, and for whom the extra investment isn’t worth what he can squeeze out of those he has conned.

  5. What did it take to turn Democrats into the pro-war party that wants to meddle in the Middle East forever? Just Trump saying that we should get American troops out of Syria.

    https://theintercept.com/2019/01/11/as-democratic-elites-reunite-with-neocons-the-partys-voters-are-becoming-far-more-militaristic-and-pro-war-than-republicans/

    Basically the Democrat platform for 4 years was “the opposite of Trump.” I think it’s safe to say that if Trump had come out saying that a border wall was ineffective and we should leave the border open, Democrats would have demanded a wall. But that only would have worked while he was in office, I don’t sense the same opposition for the sake of opposition anymore.

  6. If democrats thought that the folks coming in through the southern border ( largely latino) were going to vote Republican ( they will be given voting rights eventually) the Dems would build a wall overnight. Dems are turning back Haitians and Cubans because they’re likely to vote Republican because they’ve already lived a Authoritarian nightmare.

  7. Trump’s issue for losing the election wasn’t the wall or immigration or welfare or ____. Trump lost the election because:

    1) He was not a smooth-talked that will sell you a snake oil, and
    2) He was very public about his views instead of “keeping it in the Oval office”.

    Do you think Biden, Obama, Bush, Clinton, Reagan, et. al. give a f*ck about immigration, welfare, BLM, et. al.? Do you think any president has *real* control over the issues they want to “fight” for, for you? If so, I have a bridge to sell you.

    Biden is as a liar as Trump is, as a manipulator as Trump is and as a backstabber as Trump is. Biden does it in private, Trump does it in public.

    • George A: Fully agreed. Biden is much better at it than Trump, because he has this face that people perceive as honest. If I’m watching his speeches (e.g., him spinning the narrative about border guards whipping people), I have to make a conscious effort not to believe him.

    • George – this is another conservative fantasy: they’re all crooks, they’re all the same. Why don’t democrats ever get caught then? Why were the Clintons never convicted of a single crime despite being the most investigated politicians in US history? Hilary answered questions under oath for 8 hours. Trump wouldn’t have made it three minutes. Why do republican white house officials get convicted at a rate 38x(!) that of their democratic peers? What ever happened to Hunter Biden’s laptop? LOL! Republicans and Trump reached an all new level of depravity. Extorting Ukraine and the subsequent election tampering was so brazen and corrupt, I can see why you’d want to convince yourself the democrats do all that and more but never, ever leave any proof or witnesses. It’s such a miracle that Satan himself must be behind it all.

    • Senorpablo: Remember “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.”?

      To Clinton’s credit the delivery of that line was not flawless, you could see he was uncomfortable.
      Today’s politicians deliver lies flawlessly.

    • Anon – at least the Clinton’s showed up to the questioning. Trump is a chronic liar who would have perjured himself countless times under the same scrutiny, and relating to meaningful things. Sure, Clinton lied about getting a bj–it’s of zero interest to me, and most American’s who don’t have a political axe to grind. Plus, the investigation that kicked it off was illegitimate and unfounded.

    • Lol Sénior, unfounded. Founded and proven right but a little to flimsy for presidency investigations, and republicans are still paying for that. But that was a payback for prior baseless Reagan investigations by Democrats. Bill Clinton was had to be investigated for treason but we have two tier justice system – one slacking for top Dems and top bureaucrats and other too severe for others.

    • Roger – Regan was perhaps the most corrupt administration in modern history. He was a likeable guy so he got away with a lot more than he would have otherwise. Despite that, his administration appointees were convicted at unprecedented rates. Like I said, it’s a miracle that they’re all crooks, but only the republicans get caught. It’s truly remarkable.

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