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Team Biden’s Lose-Lose Approach to the Border

Posted on Monday, January 29, 2024
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by AMAC Newsline
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29 Comments

AMAC Exclusive – By Walter Samuel

President Joe Biden, joined by Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, meets with guests aboard Air Force One, Sunday, January 8, 2023, en route to El Paso International Airport in El Paso, Texas to visit the U.S.-Mexico border. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)
President Joe Biden, joined by Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, meets with guests aboard Air Force One on their way to Texas to visit the U.S.-Mexico border.

Give the Biden administration credit: If there is one skill they have demonstrated time and again, it is an aptitude for identifying the strategic low ground in political confrontations, and then positioning themselves so that they consistently fight their battles from that ground. That has once again proven to be the case in their recent confrontation with Texas over the ongoing historic border disaster.

Democrats, and their allies in the media, will be quick to assert that the Biden administration has the law and Constitution on its side, having secured a narrow 5-4 Supreme Court Decision allowing the federal government to remove border barriers constructed by Texas. This is technically true, but the political value of the Court’s ruling is dubious.

While Joe Biden would like to be Abraham Lincoln or even Andrew Jackson in a new sectional crisis, his moral and political position is weaker, largely as a result of his own actions.

Leaving aside how both Lincoln and Jackson have been cancelled on the left, it’s worth noting that Joe Biden and the Democrats have gone out of their way for years to suggest that the Supreme Court as an institution is not and should not be the final say on constitutional questions. They have also argued that Supreme Court decisions are purely political.

It will be difficult now for Democrats to generate a crusade in defense of a Court they themselves have disparaged, especially when the deciding vote in the Biden administration’s favor in this case was cast by Amy Comey Barrett, who Democrats insist was illegitimately appointed. Exclude her and the balance is 4-4, with Texas’ position sustained.

In short, the Biden administration’s efforts to justify itself on the basis of defending the rights of the Supreme Court place it at odds with the rest of its messaging, messaging it is likely to resume later this year if the Court overturns Chevron deference or issues any number of other rulings liberals are sure to be outraged about.

Similarly, it is far from clear that Democrats want to go to war, figuratively, on the principle of federal supremacy and power. Prior to 2016, many Democrats allowed themselves to believe that they would always control the levers of federal power, and it is clear that for at least some Democrats the Trump presidency did not disabuse them of the notion.

In recent years, however, it has largely been blue states defying Washington. That defiance was not just of Donald Trump, nor did it end in January 2021. The greatest clashes of the last few years on gun rights, abortion, and environmental regulation have pitted blue states and cities against the U.S. Supreme Court.

New York, for instance, has indicated a desire to defy gun rights decisions from the Court, while it seems probable that blue states will want to reserve the right to nullify any future Supreme Court disapproval of new Biden regulations allowing for the interstate mailing of the abortion drug Mifepristone.

A few Democrats seem vaguely aware of this, at least enough to lack the enthusiasm if not bloodlust their more foolish colleagues are displaying for the confrontation over the border. They recognize that not only is the principle at stake one of dubious value to their cause (would they want the president using troops to enforce Supreme Court decisions against California or Massachusetts?) but that the prize at stake is a poisoned chalice.

Biden is, after all, forcing a confrontation with Texas and 25 other state governors over his power to remove barriers from a border Biden cannot control at a time when overwhelming majorities of Americans, including a large portion of Democrats, want nothing more than for the border to be secured.

Battles, whether political or military, require an objective to be successful. If those pursuing them cannot even define what “success” is, failure is guaranteed. Biden presides over a party and movement which is not even sure what a successful border policy looks like.

Some, including an increasing number of younger activists, hew to the view that there is no “problem” at all except for what they regard as a xenophobic hate campaign stirred up by the right-wing media, and the purpose of Biden’s border policy should be to “protect” migrants from these nefarious forces which include the state of Texas.

Others believe that the only problem with illegal immigration is that it is illegal, and primarily want to regulate the arrivals, not stop them.

Finally, there are voters and the Democrat politicians closest to them who believe things must stop but lack a policy other than the one associated with the hated Donald Trump. They hoped to use the Senate talks on linking border security to Ukraine aid as a vehicle to sneak “Republican-lite” border policies past their base without the need for open confrontation, or to go far enough to fix the situation. With that option off the table, taking a tough stand on who controls the border allows them to temporarily avoid the question of what they would do if they controlled it.

The Biden administration has tried to reconcile these irreconcilable visions by remaining mum on why precisely the border patrol needs access to Eagle Pass and other illegal crossing hotspots. One moment it is to protect migrants, another it is because Texas is somehow undermining efforts to control the border, and in between the administration tries to avoid the question entirely by focusing on the constitutional and political elements.

True to form, this has left Biden in the worst of all possible positions – battling to uphold the power of a Supreme Court majority including Amy Coney Barrett, who the left argues is illegitimate, to carry out a policy which is unpopular and will make a situation worse, to set a precedent which will endanger the causes his own supporters hold dear.

Equally true to form, the administration developed no Plan B in the event their Plan A, the “bipartisan” Senate deal, fell through, and with that killed by Donald Trump, Biden has no option but to pursue a policy he knows will fail and to do so at enormous cost to the causes and principles he purports to care about. Biden is guaranteed to lose no matter the outcome. That, sadly, is the tale of his presidency for America.

Walter Samuel is the pseudonym of a prolific international affairs writer and academic. He has worked in Washington as well as in London and Asia, and holds a Doctorate in International History.

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Clifford U
Clifford U
1 month ago

It’s merely the culmination of one democrat after another making horrible decisions. I haven’t seen much of anything good from a democrat since at least Truman.

There is only one thing that will make democrats serious about the border and it make come sooner than we think and that’s if they start voting Republican.

anna hubert
anna hubert
1 month ago

The last democrat was JFK When he died the party died with him What is now calling itself democrat is anything but

John
John
1 month ago

Gov. Abbott my hero. Stick it to them.

GMA
GMA
1 month ago

Biden was Never a President.

Randall L. Beatty
Randall L. Beatty
1 month ago

Biden and his so called team do not have a clue how to keep this country secure or the border and they could care less. We need new leadership time to vote him and his team out of office.

Jackie
Jackie
1 month ago

If that’s the notion that the Democrats have about the Supreme Court then why do they fight so hard every time there is an opening or even a strong, conservative action coming before the court?? I hope that even enough Democrat voters are upset about this border situation to vote something other than Democrat in November because if this open border continues, we will have no country at all!!!

Rick Jory
Rick Jory
1 month ago

It’s my understanding that the Supreme Court gave the federal government the right to REMOVE the barriers Texas was erecting. It did not address Texas’ right to put up the barriers to begin with. So Texas should continue erecting barriers. Also, I don’t see how the Supreme Court or any federal agency can demand access to Texas land other than specifically the border. And last . . . cities have gone against law by declaring themselves sanctuary cities. And the feds to nothing. Zero. Zip. Nada. Zilch. Part of the problem is our DOJ/FBI picking and choosing who it wants to go against . . . mothers concerned about what their children are being exposed to, members of the Catholic Church, private citizens who want to make America great again. This is why there needs to be a major house cleaning.

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
1 month ago

Congressional representatives are depends on population: more people equals more representatives … too bad Abbott moved them all out of Texas, huh? Democrats now have to flip seats the old fashion way by stuffing ballot boxes or spreading fear.

Alex
Alex
1 month ago

Democrats have once again painted themselves into a corner and it is oh so entertaining to watch. Biden either backs down from Texas and looks like a (word often used to describe a cat or a female body part), or he follows through and goes on record as trying to further open the border.
As the author succinctly put it, lose-lose.

Don R
Don R
1 month ago

The main issue is that Biden carved out an administrative loophole in the asylum program which let 2 million more migrants in on the honor system. The American public still seems unaware, keeping them in the dark is strangely the Democrats’ pattern, so everyone who watches mainstream news will be convinced that a new $12 billion law is needed to fix this, when in reality they just need to close the asylum loophole that Biden created, which should be free!

KS
KS
1 month ago

This article is a day late, as the Senate with the help of RINOs have approved the bill linking border security to Ukraine funding!! What saddens me more than anything is that these supposed votes-in representatives of the American people are putting their own personal interests, esp interests to fatten their own wallets and to cover up their questionable associations with the corrupt Ukraine government, and totally throw by the wind what is absolutely crucial to the safety, security, and well being of our country! But when you examine in detail, they are merely carrying out the wishes of a One-world globalists who don’t believe in the sovereignty of countries, and where “you own nothing and you’ll be happy!”

Ross
Ross
1 month ago

The anti-American party, AKA demonrats will slow the immigration when they have enough voting their way.The open border is by design of the marxists in power.

james carlyle
james carlyle
1 month ago

I have never heard an assessment of Joe Biden’s competence as a member of Congress-there should be plenty of history to do an evaluation.

George Looney
George Looney
1 month ago

How much longer must we wait before we make being a liberal a crime far worse than dealing meth?

George Looney
George Looney
1 month ago

Like:
BIDEN IS NOT MY PRESIDENT
#RESISTBIDEN2024

Harry
Harry
1 month ago

The debt the Democrats have accumulated and the cost of the border invasion will put this country in third world status. When that happens people will go against and fight each other until they realize its the elites who have caused all the trouble, then they will merge to take them on!!

Wayne
Wayne
1 month ago

Nice Legs on that girl in the photo

Personal responsibility
Personal responsibility
1 month ago

So I told the guy from Texas yeah you can still get social security if you leave the union lol

An older blonde women laughing in the kitchen with a grey haired man.
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President Joe Biden delivers his State of the Union address, Tuesday, February 7, 2023, on the House floor of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)
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