The party of boondoggles

Chagrined by their own fiscal recklessness, congressional Republicans scheduled a show vote on a Balanced Budget Amendment. The move was derided by the conservative commentator Barbara Boland, who wrote that enacting “gargantuan spending of this size and then claiming to support a balanced budget amendment is like gorging on a sumptuous feast while insisting that you want a svelte physique.”

The attempt to cover up their abandonment of fiscal prudence, she wrote, “only proves there is no low to which the GOP will not stoop as it continues to insult the intelligence of its voter base.”

This wall-induced shutdown is the greatest insult yet. Republicans in Congress must know that Trump’s campaign pledge will do nothing to address immigrants who overstay their visas, drug trafficking, asylum seekers, or the overall question of immigration reform. Leaving aside the ugly symbolism of the United States building a massive border wall, it would require the promiscuous use of eminent domain to seize private property, trigger an environmental nightmare, and cut off vast swaths of territory from access to natural assets such as the Rio Grande. Could it be that even private-property rights have gone the way of spending cuts and fiscal restraint? If Ann Coulter wants a wall, she must get her wall.