Eugene Robinson's Tuesday column in The Washington Post was a wakeup call to President Donald Trump that his dream of a "big, beautiful wall" is crumbling faster than it can be built.
Trump and his team have already admitted that the claim that "Mexico will pay for it" will really be a delay. American taxpayers have to front the bill for now and eventually Mexico will reimburse the United States. Trump expects Mexico to gladly hand over money at a later date so he can get the wall started.
"To put those weasel words in context, let me ask a question of all you small-business owners out there," Robinson begins. "If a customer brings some merchandise to the cash register and promises that one of his neighbors will pay you for it 'eventually . . . at a later date . . . in some form,' what are your odds of ever seeing that money? How likely is it that 'in some form' means cash? Do you let him walk out with the goods, or do you remind him you weren’t born yesterday?"
The assumption is that no business owner would do anything of the kind.
Robinson gathers Trump "is desperate not to have to acknowledge that his outrageous, ridiculous, impossible campaign promises were, in fact, outrageous, ridiculous and impossible."
He also points out that many of the people whose land will be seized to place the wall are ranches, who likely supported Trump and will ultimately have him to thank for taking pieces of their ranches.
At the same time, the overwhelming opposition Trump is facing from Democrats Congress isn't enough to be blocking his agenda.
"Someone should remind the president that Republicans control both chambers of Congress," Robinson wrote. "He should be threatening Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, not Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. Someone should also inform Trump that he runs the executive branch now — and if he chooses to sabotage the ACA, he’s welcome to the blame."
According to Robinson, Trump also promised a "Muslim immigration ban," and the courts have blocked it, but he could pass one through Congress.
Robinson also points out that Trump has backtracked on a series of promises.
"He said NATO was obsolete but now says it’s not," Robinson wrote. "He promised health insurance 'for everybody' but supports a bid by House Republicans to snatch it away from 24 million people. He promised to 'drain the swamp' but refuses to address his own and his Cabinet members’ many conflicts of interest."
Robinson reminds Americans Trump "lied to us, repeatedly and shamelessly. His supporters may not care — yet — but history is unforgiving. Yelling “fake news” cannot mask a fake presidency," he wrote.