He’s saying this as a newly minted Trump supporter, remember. This isn’t him trying to take down a guy he despises. This is him politely reality-checking a candidate whom he supports.
Increasingly, though, I think that if Trump really does possess some form of political genius, it lies in his understanding that voters — at least his voters — view policy as a window onto character, not as a concrete promise that they expect to be kept. This is a guy, after all, who’s reportedly told reporters that he’s more flexible than people realize on immigration; who apparently told Paul Ryan that mass deportation isn’t really part of his agenda; and who boasts openly that “Build the wall” is something he trots out at rallies when the audience seems bored. “Build the wall” doesn’t necessarily mean he’s going to build the wall. “Build the wall” means he’s willing to think things and say things that America’s decrepit political class views as racist, stupid, or simply uncouth. It’s a totem of political incorrectness. No wonder it’s his most popular applause line.
Real wall, virtual wall, no wall: Who cares? The elites are snooty jerkoffs. That’s all that matters.
“That’s not going to happen,” Hamby said.
“Well, it’s not,” Perry replied. “It’s a wall. But it’s a technological wall. It’s a digital wall. There are some that hear, ‘This is going to be 1,200 miles from Brownsville to El Paso. Thirty feet high.’ And listen, I know you can’t do that.”
But Trump has promised a “real wall.”
“What we’re doing is we have 2,000 miles, right? Two thousand miles. It’s long but not 13,000 miles like they have in China,” Trump said on MSNBC in February. “Of the 2,000, we don’t need 2,000. We need 1,000 because we have natural barriers.”
I wonder if Trump has been consciously BSing people about the wall or if he really thinks it’s going to happen but just hasn’t really thought through the political and logistical barriers, like eminent domain, to getting it done. When he was asked months ago about supposedly telling the NYT that he was flexible on immigration, he emphasized that he was flexible on some things but not flexible on others. His chief example of something on which there’s no flexibility: The wall, of course. But again, is that because he really thinks it’s going to happen or because he’s shrewd enough to realize that retreating on this would mean discarding the biggest anti-PC totem of them all? He’s already crept away from his plan to bar Muslims from the country based on religion and he’s been winking at a touchback amnesty for deported illegals for ages. Last week he replied to the ambush attack on Dallas police not with fire and brimstone about left-wing radicals running wild but with calls for “love and compassion.” Even his fans will tolerate only so many panders towards “electability,” I think. He’s got to stick with the wall, come what may. Or … does he?
Two clips for you here, one a few seconds from Perry’s “wall” comments and the other of Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto noting that no, in fact, his country will not be paying for whatever barrier, virtual or otherwise, ends up at the border. What about with remittances, though?