So Congress finally passed a budget. It's a blockbuster—$1.3 trillion, or around four thousand dollars for every man, woman, and child in the U.S.A. Basically it is a compound made up of (a) anything Leftist Democrats could wish for, and (b) anything that the Jeb Bush wing of the Republican Party, and that wing's Big Business donors (but I repeat myself), could wish for. But how about the things that sixty-three million of us voted for in 2016, awarding the Presidency to Donald Trump?
There has to be some of that in such a colossal budget, doesn't there?
After all, Donald Trump is President, isn't he? He signed off on this thing, didn't he?
Well, to be perfectly fair, if you apply a microscope to the budget bill's two thousand-odd pages, you can find a teeny-tiny sort-of concession to Trumpism hidden in there among the gov-speranto.
There is, for example, $1.6 billion—one-eighth of one percent of the total budget—for border security, probably the single issue more than any other that brought voters out for Trump in 2016.
How will that $1.6 billion be spent? Congressional Republicans have told us it will be spent on, "replacement (of existing barriers), bollards, and levee improvements.” Congressional Democrats have told us that the money will not be used for any new concrete wall.[U.S. Congress unveils $1.3 trillion spending bill as shutdown looms, Reuters, March 21, 2018]
Got it. Probably those prototypes will still be standing out there in the desert a thousand years from now, testifying to the suicide of our nation, while round about them, boundless and bare, the lone and level sands stretch far away.
Twiddling the knobs on my microscope a little more, I see that there's funding for DHS to hire 351 new Customs and Border Protection agents.
Not 350, please note, nor 352: just precisely 351. Let no-one accuse the Congressional drafting committees of imprecision.
Customs and Border Protection are the guys at our airports, seaports, and border posts. CBP has 60,000 employees, according to their website, so that 351 additional is better than a half of one percent.
Don't you feel safer already?
And what about ICE, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the guys who do the intelligence and muscle work—interior enforcement, workplace compliance, and deportation of illegals? Do they get 351 more agents? Or perhaps 263, or 155?
"Barely 100" is the best number I can find in the news reports. [Why Trump is threatening to veto the omnibus bill over immigration, By Dara Lind, Vox.com, March 23, 2018]
It is now in fact fashionable on the political Left to call for the outright abolition of ICE. [ICE deserves to be abolished, by Molly Roberts, Washington Post, March 13, 2018]
This is quite a recent development, which bears watching. The old commies at The Nation magazine got the ball rolling earlier this month with an article calling ICE "incompatible with democracy and human rights."[It’s Time to Abolish ICE | A mass-deportation strike force is incompatible with democracy and human rights, By Sean McElwee, March 9, 2018] Now the cry is being raised all over the CultMarx-o-sphere: "Abolish ICE!"
If the Democrats pull off a congressional sweep in November, abolition of ICE will likely be high on their agenda. And that will be the end for interior enforcement of our immigration laws.
In fact, the budget that Congress just passed is a big negative for patriotic reform. It includes an expansion of the H-2B guest-worker program, undoubtedly with the approval of Republican congressvermin cucking to their donors. (H-2B is the low-skill equivalent of the H-1B). That’s more cheap labor for the business donors—fewer jobs for low-skill Americans.
The budget also further extends the EB-5 investor-visa program, which lets wealthy foreigners buy themselves green cards, and which we at VDARE.com have been railing against for years.
It's not just us Dissident Right crazies, either: Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa recently opined that the EB-5 has been "hijacked by big moneyed New York City real estate interests."[Sen. Grassley Opposes Short-Term Extension of EB-5, but Big Money Prevails, By David North, CIS.org, March 21, 2018]
So much for the immigration components of the budget bill—which, once again, let me repeat, was not thrown out with howls of outrage from the Republican-majority House and Senate: they passed the filthy thing.
But does the bill go any way towards winding down our World Policeman role, with our troops stationed in, or covertly active in, 177 countries?
Remember candidate Trump telling the South Koreans to nuke up and take care of their own defenses? Any help for that in the budget bill?
Not at all. The bill in fact includes a $61 billion increase in “defense” spending over last year, a bigger than eight percent increase.
So I guess we shall keep those 39,000 troops in Japan, those 35,000 troops in Germany, and those 12,000 in Italy, just in case WW2 flares up again.
You remember WW2. That was the one your grandfather fought in, the one that ended 73 years ago.
I guess we'll keep our 23,000 troops in South Korea, too, since that country is obviously incapable of defending itself against North Korea, in spite of having twice the North's population and fifty times its GDP.
I wonder: Do our troops in, say, Djibouti, or Thailand, or Jordan ever wonder what the heck they're doing there to the advantage of the U.S.A.? Or do they get together and sing the song the war-weary Tommies sang in WW1:
[Sound clip: We're here because we're here,
Because we're here, because we're here.
We're here because we're here,
Because we're here, because we're here …]?
This budget bill is, in short, a middle finger to President Trump.
Its larger message: populism is no match for the Deep State. The contest is an unequal one. It's almost cruel the way the congresscritters—Chuck Ryan and Paul Schumer, Nancy McConnell and Mitch Pelosi—it's almost cruel the way they are grinning and chuckling and high-fiving among themselves over how easy it's been to kick sand in the President's face.
I’m afraid we can now see that the populist victories of two years ago that filled us with so much hope were in fact a false dawn, a mirage. For all its spirit and vigor and successes, the populist movement is amateurish and uncoordinated. It's no match for the seasoned, hardened operatives of the Deep State, with their decades of experience at gaming Western democratic systems.
It's the same across the Pond. The second great populist victory of 2016—second, I mean, to the election of Donald Trump—was the Brexit vote in Britain, to leave the European Union and restore Britain's national sovereignty.
The Brexit vote was in June 2016, nearly two years ago now. Britain and the EU are still engaged in talks about talks. [Brexit: All you need to know about the UK leaving the EU, By Alex Hunt & Brian Wheeler,BBC, March 19, 2018] In theory Britain will leave the EU a year from now, March 29th 2019, but there is no certainty this will actually happen.
On the optimistic assumption that it does happen, there will still be a two-year "transition period" during which free movement of people from Europe—including Albanian gangsters and Romanian gypsies—will continue.
It'll be 2021 before Britain can control European immigration; and given their utter failure to control non-EU immigration, I wouldn't rest much hope in things changing even then, five years after the Brexit vote.
The Deep State, in short, can take care of itself pretty well, and is ingenious in finding ways to thwart the populist will.
But…but…it doesn't help that the chief representative of populist will in the U.S.A. is President Donald J. Trump.
I know, I know, a lot of Trump voters don't want to hear criticism of our President. When I posted the Z-Man's remarks three weeks ago, calling Trump "just a stupid bullsh*tter who got very lucky," I received some angry emails from listeners. "Hey," they were saying, "you stuck-up metrocons with your Gucci loafers and designer glasses and imported cheese, you may be abandoning our guy, but we real Americans are still loyal!"
That's what I was getting. People were cutting me out of their wills.
All right; but I'm a commentator. I have to call things as I see them. What I see is, that President Trump is not a very reliable friend of Trumpism.
Here for example was the President's tweet at 8:55 Friday morning:
Can't load tweet https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/977166887493799936: Sorry, you are not authorized to see this status.
Well, it's nice that Trump grumbled about not getting the border wall—but his first grumble was about nigh-on a million illegal aliens not getting Amnesty.
Elsewhere he gloated over the extravagant increase in military funding—taxpayer money that will be piddled away in chasing bandits futilely around the Hindu Kush and sparing the Japanese, Koreans, and Europeans from having to manage their own defenses for, presumably, another 73 years.
I see Trump there on my TV screen, in my newspaper, on my Twitter feed; but I don't see Trumpism. Where is it?
A friend has an adjective he deploys to describe Trump: "anticompetent." A merely in-competent ruler, my friend says—like the child rulers who sometimes took the throne in old dynastic monarchies—could skate along without doing much harm by relying on advisors. Trump goes beyond that to anti-competent, sabotaging himself at every turn, taking advice from Deep Staters who sneer at him behind his back and detest the people who voted for him.
And Trump signed the wretched budget bill anyway—another surrender to the Deep State. Chuck Schumer is delighted. [Chuck-You Celebrates: The Era of Austerity Is Over, Rush Limbaugh, March 22, 2018]
But as of now I say: so much the worse for populism; so much the better for Chuck, Nancy, Paul, and Mitch, and all their lobbyists, donors, and flunkies—the Deep State.
John Derbyshire [email him] writes an incredible amount on all sorts of subjects for all kinds of outlets. (This no longer includes National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and fired him. ) He is the author of We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism and several other books. He has had two books published by VDARE.com com:FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT (also available in Kindle) and FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT II: ESSAYS 2013.
Readers who wish to donate (tax deductible) funds specifically earmarked for John Derbyshire's writings at VDARE.com can do so here.