“Border Security” and “Negotiate” in the Same Sentence


So far, so good, I think, for the Democrats’ response to the government shutdown. But I think their message needs to be sharper, lest it lead to the impression that “border security” is something they don’t want, and are only grudgingly willing to provide for.

For that reason, I hope they stop speaking about “negotiating” on “border security” and find a more precise way to frame the issue.

By like token, I think it was unhelpful for Nancy Pelosi to declare, in a phrase well suited for a 30 second attack ad, that “The wall is immoral.”

A good portion of the border—I believe it’s around 30 percent—is fenced. Does she think that fencing is “immoral”? If she does not think so, then why might it be “immoral” to fence another five percent?

There may be a good answer to that question, but the thought needs a few sentences of explanation. For example, the answer might be that we have already fenced the part that it’s reasonable to fence, and it would be merely symbolic to waste money by fencing a larger portion. But, if that’s the point, it needs to be spelled out.

Uttering misleading sound bites does not help.