The Administration's failure to act and establish a fence along our border with Mexico is generating a pretty significant attack from the right. The Minutemen who have made a point of interdicting illegal border crossings, to the chagrin of the ACLU and other criminal enablers are now promising to do something similar on private lands bordering Mexico if Bush won't. And the fence promises to create at least some political blowback for an Administration that really can't afford another hit to its credibility.
If the fence goes up on a private basis as a form of protest, the Administration will look foolish. If it somehow seeks to block people from erecting anything, then the President appears to favor illegal foreign nationals to his own people who are trying to protect their own lands from foreign incursions. Either way, he loses.
But the damage may already have been done. Because while any fence built on private property will have limited value at best when it comes to securing the entire border, it sends the message that the White House is missing the boat on one of the biggest issues of popular concern, and the President is losing the opportunity to restore some credibility, instead trading for the likelihood that he will end up looking weak on national security, just in time for the election.
I really have no suggestions for the President other than to seal off the border to unauthorized crossing. Certainly no method will absolutely prevent all illegals from crossing into the U.S.; there are a few who will get through, but the vast majority will be stopped, such that the influx of Mexicans who enter our nation to get what they can and go home is stopped, and likewise, the trafficking in drugs and terrorists.
So if the President can offer a reason for not sealing up the leaks from Corpus Christi to San Diego, I'll hear him. But if the excuse is in any way rooted in garnering the Hispanic vote, the rationale is hopelessly flawed.
The President's approval rating has dropped to an all-time low of 33%. He can't afford any more losses in public confidence if he is going to remain a vaible political force. Those of us who rooted, worked, and voted for him are tremendously disappointed at what he has allowed his second term to become. And if he punts on this issue, leaving it to private individuals to protect their own lands with a border fence, he can likely kiss his presidential relevance goodbye.