Tonight, President Trump is taking a break from “executive time” for a campaign rally in El Paso, Texas—the first since the essential campaign re-launch that was his State of the Union.
He made the city a centerpiece of his SOTU, claiming that the construction of a border fence made El Paso safer. Fact-checkers and El Paso officials have since made clear that violent crime in the city actually began declining in 1993—16 years before the El Paso border fence was completed.
Meanwhile, Friday is the deadline to complete negotiations in order to prevent another shutdown. Instead of working with Congressional leaders to reach a deal, Trump is parading around at a campaign rally in a city that disproves his main point.
In fact, Trump is torpedoing any deal that doesn’t include his absurd demand of wall money. White House Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said yesterday that he “absolutely cannot” rule out another shutdown. Even if the deadline is met, and a bipartisan solution is sent to Trump’s desk, he likely won’t sign it.
Now, Trump is backed into a corner, and his only options out are dangerous:
- A: Shut down the government again over an ineffective, racist border wall that the American people don’t want. Another way to put this? Hurt 800,000 American workers over a temper tantrum.
- B: Illegally declare a national emergency.
Of course, there is a third option: Accept defeat and get to work on the issues that Americans actually care about. It’s time for this temper tantrum to end.
OFF-KILTER: THE PUBLIC DEFENDER CRISIS
Last week, New Orleans’ top public defender, Derwyn Bunton, joined Off-Kilter Podcast to discuss how the public defender crisis has set up a two-tiered system of justice based on income. Plus, a #SOTU fact-check on the state of the Trump economy.
Check out the episode here.