border wall

Are Steel Slats a Wall, and If Not, Is Trump Betraying His Base?

A prototype of the kind of border barrier Trump now seems to fancy. Photo: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Even as the president bobs and weaves on his position concerning the border wall funding he’ll accept in appropriations negotiations with Democrats, there’s a more fundamental issue he seems to be raising: What, exactly, constitutes a “wall”? This tweet suggests a rather slippery slope on that subject:

In case you are wondering what “artistically designed” means, the president goes on to supply a more familiar descriptive term:

After years of touting a wall, however, does this constitute a Trump flip-flop, and on his signature issue of immigration? The Washington Examiner’s normally very Trumpy Eddie Scarry thinks it may well be:

The “wall” is now “steel slats.” The White House last month proudly sent out photos of said steel slats, calling it a wall. I guess those awe-inspiring wall prototypes we saw photographed in San Diego back in March were simply placed in some dump, right next to Trump’s regard for his supporters. 

Those walls were nearly indestructible. We know now that they were scrapped in favor of steel slats that look like something you might let your children play safely behind. But the southern border isn’t in a Minnesota suburb. It’s up against Mexico, where drugs and immigrants are aggressively pushed into the country, overwhelming what little security we currently have. 

“Drugs and immigrants,” just like peanut butter and jelly, right? But let’s don’t let quibbling on that insulting assertion get in the way of Scarry on a roll:

Trump said on camera last week that he would be “proud” to partially shut down the federal government if he can’t secure $5 billion from Congress for his border wall. He set himself up for failure and with the Dec. 21 deadline to pass a new spending bill approaching, he’s accepting defeat.

Trump blew it, and now he’s not even pretending that he wants to do what he told his supporters he would. If it’s any consolation, at least they all have a new chant for his rallies: “BUILD THE STEEL SLATS!”

I guess if you’re exercised about an imaginary border crisis, then these sort of design details matter a lot. Perhaps more important than distinguishing steel from concrete and slats from a wall, Trump really needs to explain the difference between any of these things and a fence, the contemptibly weak barrier Democrats and RINOs favor:

The president really is fencing himself in.

Are Steel Slats a Wall, and Is Trump Betraying His Base?