Will Republicans fall for Biden’s Border Security Trap?
In a December 15, 2023 article on rvivr.com, I wrote this about the border issue:
“Leftists understand the importance of a pause or temporary crackdown on illegal immigration in 2024, which will appease the most liberal independent voters. However, once the election is over, you can bet there will be an immediate return to open border policies and intensified efforts to pass amnesty and voting rights for illegal aliens… Also, watch the monthly southern border crossing numbers. According to the Associated Press, illegal crossings from Mexico declined by 14% in October. This trend will likely continue if not accelerate.”
Along with lower gas prices, lower inflation and higher wages, the border is part of the 2024 “Good News Joe” strategy to trick the American public into thinking everything in the U.S. is just peachy. Of course, behind the scenes, Biden is doing everything possible to keep the surface of our economy shiny while hiding the rot that’s just below. The U.S. is like a house that presents well on a walk through but has a cracked and crumbling foundation underneath the pretty wood flooring.
Leftists Set the Trap
For Republicans, the list of headline issues they can use to attack Biden during the 2024 campaign is dwindling. Job creation is at an all-time high, wages are up and outpacing inflation, and the stock market is setting new records. Gas prices are down from a high of $5.10/gallon in 2022 to $3.14/gallon recently. Inflation is down from a high of 9.2% in 2022 to 3.4% in December 2023.
Ask yourself how much you’ve heard about CRT, transgenderism, reparations, climate change and the Ukraine war lately? Even the unpopular regulations that would have banned gas stoves have been recently abandoned. When was the last time Antifa or BLM staged a riot? Isn’t it interesting that the most radical elements of the Democratic party have gone silent?
Because it’s an election year, Democrats know Republicans will do their best to expose the damage the radical left has done to the country over the past 3+ years. As a result, Biden and his handlers are doing everything they can to control the narrative. That means limiting their exposure on key issues, most notably the economy, while setting up a trap for Republicans, who, unfortunately, are stumbling right into it.
It’s really the only issue the media and Republicans have been focusing on so far in 2024. Yeah, it’s a mess, and there is no doubt the open borders policy of the Biden administration is purposeful and deliberate. Leftists want to flood the U.S. with enough illegal aliens from socialist countries that they build a super majority to ensure victory in every future presidential election and gain enough seats in the House and Senate to control Congress forever.
Yet, three years of Biden’s border policies have negatively impacted the lives of ordinary Americans in profound ways. Democrats know this, so they want to keep the issue focused on the most recent engagement numbers at the border, rather than the consequences of the policies.
That’s the trap.
A “bi-partisan” border bill that was drafted in the Senate would essentially legalize admittance of 4999 illegal aliens per month without consequence. More importantly, leftist Democrats and their media allies claim that the border cannot be controlled without passage of the bill, even if President Trump was able to do it despite intense leftist opposition. Since Democrats knew beforehand the legislation was doomed in the House, if not the Senate as well, it provided the excuse they needed to blame the border crisis on Republicans.
More sinister but brilliant, they maneuvered Republicans away from the issues Democrats are most vulnerable and shifted 100% of the focus on another problem they know they can easily fix, at least temporarily, and that’s just what they’re doing.
With Democrats, there is no such thing as coincidence, so when border crossings dropped 50% in January after a secret meeting between Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, it was obvious that some sort of temporary deal had been struck.
As the months unfold, expect to hear more good news about the border framed as, “Heroic President Biden is doing everything he can to address illegal border crossings, but imagine what he could do if Republicans weren’t obstructionists and had passed the border bill?”
Republicans Need to Keep Their Eye on the Ball
I fear that Republicans are going to be badly outmaneuvered in 2024 by focusing on the wrong issues. Since inflation has declined, they will probably ignore it instead of hammering home the effects of 20% cumulative inflation since Biden became president. It’s a gift that keeps on giving, and American consumers are repeatedly reminded every time they encounter the sticker shock of high-ticket items they purchase infrequently. Every day, people who need to get their house painted, replace their furnace or buy a new washing machine are confronted with outrageous prices compared to what they paid just a few years ago.
Even a Big Mac combo meal now costs $18.
Remember Republican candidates, it’s about cumulative inflation, not just January’s CPI.
In the coming months, Biden may slow down the crossings at the border, but he can’t undo the havoc that illegal aliens have wreaked on local communities. That should be the emphasis of the border issue in the campaign.
The Ukraine war has been purposely pushed to the back page because Ukraine is losing. In essence, Ukraine is running out of soldiers, and the average age of a person on the front lines has risen from 30 to 43. Both sides are now dug in along lines that roughly resemble Russia’s territorial demands before the war began. This is the single most damaging issue for the Biden campaign if Republicans choose to exploit it. Besides stalling until after the election, there isn’t much Biden can do to alter the outcome. Ukraine has become a money pit, which only benefits defense contractors and hedge funds. If America First Republicans aren’t intimidated by their neocon colleagues, they can hammer Biden on Ukraine. It’s a $100 billion boondoggle that has resulted in the complete destruction of Ukraine’s infrastructure, and 500,000 lives have been needlessly lost, and it was entirely avoidable.
The point is that whether it’s crime, the border, inflation, climate or the Ukraine war, Republicans must emphasize the effects of Biden’s policies rather than what he’s doing in an election year to temporarily minimize the damage. It is not as daunting a task as it might seem because the American people instinctively smell a rat, anyway. A president governing over an economy with 3.7% unemployment, rising wages, robust job growth and a stock market in record territory should have a commanding lead at this point in the campaign.
Yet, Biden trails Trump in the polls, and he has the lowest approval rating of any president since Jimmy Carter.
Repeatedly reminding the American public of how Biden’s policies have degraded their quality of life, and making sure they understand that much worse is coming if he wins a second term, is a winning formula.
Let’s hope the Republican brain trust stays on point and isn’t sucker punched into another 2022 debacle, where they fell into the abortion trap and squandered the opportunity to control both houses of Congress.
The stakes this time are much higher. They must get this right.