To paraphrase Bobby Kennedy, some men see things as they are and ask, “Why?” Ted Cruz dreams things that never were, like using a drug lord’s cocaine fortune to construct a massive international barrier, and asks, “Why not?”

I don’t know, man. I like the idea on a gut level, but once we start playing the “let’s seize this money and apply it to that project” game progressives are going to want to play too. Should we use El Chapo’s ill-gotten $14 billion to secure America’s Mexican border?

Or should we use it to build, like, nine miles of high-speed rail?

I assume that getting our hands on his money will prove much easier said than done — this isn’t sitting in a checking account somewhere — but Cruz knows a good populist gimmick when he sees one. If this is even remotely feasible, let’s do it.

“Congress has a clear mandate from the American people: secure the border and build the wall,” Sen. Cruz said. “Ensuring the safety and security of Texans is one of my top priorities. Indeed, I have long called for building a wall as a necessary step in defending our border. Fourteen billion dollars will go a long way to secure our southern border, and hinder the illegal flow of drugs, weapons, and individuals. By leveraging any criminally forfeited assets of El Chapo and other murderous drug lords, we can offset the cost of securing our border and make meaningful progress toward delivering on the promises made to the American people.”

Currently the U.S. Government is seeking the criminal forfeiture of more than $14 billion in drug proceeds and illicit profits from El Chapo, the former leader of the Sinaloa drug cartel who was extradited to the U.S. to face criminal prosecution for numerous alleged drug-related crimes, including conspiracy to commit murder and money laundering.

Ted Cruz 2013 would have offered a bill calling for Chapo’s mini-windfall to be applied towards paying down the national debt, not funding a new obligation. Ah well. Times change, I guess. Besides, how much would $14 billion buy us in a debt context? Four hours of federal spending, maybe?

Trump said he found the idea “interesting,” which feels like damning-with-faint-praise under the circumstances. If any politician in America should be excited at the visceral poetic justice of having Mexico’s most notorious cartel leader pay for anti-illegal infrastructure on the southern border, it should be Trump. Maybe he’s pissed that he didn’t think of it first.

He’d better think of something because President Coulter is getting restless again:

The Freedom Caucus is also calling on Trump to rethink signing the new compromise bill, offering a new resolution to extend the current government funding bill by a week to avoid a new shutdown while the two sides continue to negotiate. Negotiate what, though? Nothing will change in a week to make the bill markedly more appealing to House conservatives. Trump might as well sign or veto what’s in front of him and then roll the dice on whatever executive action he’s planning. Further delay is pointless.

Via the Free Beacon, here’s Dem Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi using the same word Trump did to describe Cruz’s proposal. McConnell should put the bill on the floor for a vote, if only to force Democrats to explain why they oppose the idea of punishing a drug lord by making him pick up the tab for America’s border security. (And they will oppose it, of course.) “Pure spite” is the truth but it’s not an answer they can give. Presumably they’ll cough up something about how, if they support Cruz’s bill, they’re basically agreeing in principle that the wall should be built with only the funding mechanism left to debate. Exit question via Philip Klein: Has the Green New Deal’s rollout given Trump extra leeway to disappoint the right on the wall? The more antagonistic Republicans feel towards Democrats at a given moment, the greater room Trump has to cuck out on populist priorities. What are you gonna do, vote Cory Booker next year if POTUS tells you he’ll need a second term to build the wall? Do you really want to risk having a Democratic president sign the GND into law?