'So much stupidity' surrounding battle over border wall: Jonah Goldberg

As the ongoing political battle over funding for a border wall carries on, both sides are bringing “stupidity” to the table, National Review senior editor Jonah Goldberg argued Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., sent a letter to President Trump, calling for a delay of his State of the Union address, which had been scheduled for Jan. 29. Pelosi cited security concerns amid the partial government shutdown.

Meanwhile, some 800,000 government workers, including members of the Coast Guard and agents with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) continued to work without pay.


During the "Special Report" All-Star panel, Goldberg -- along with Federalist senior editor Mollie Hemingway and Washington Post opinion writer Charles Lane -- weighed on the latest developments of this showdown over border security.

“There’s so much stupidity in the way we talk about the wall stuff. They’re inanimate objects -- they’re literally tools, sometimes they’re useful, sometimes they’re bad, sometimes they’re good ... ,” Goldberg said.  “And both sides have turned the wall into what in Hollywood they call a ‘MacGuffin,’ which is what the hero wants -- or according to the Democrats, what the villain wants.”

“There are enormous, easy, low-hanging-fruit, public-policy solutions here. There are lots of serious immigration restrictionists who would take visa reform and e-verify and all of these kinds of things in exchange for some of the wall,” Goldberg continued. “The Democrats are in favor of border security where it exists, they just don’t want it anywhere else. The problem is that it’s just so symbolic that it’s become zero-sum. If they win, we lose.”

Lane insisted that the Democrats are “loving” this battle, saying it’s “pure energy for the base” and pointing to how most Americans blame President Trump and Republicans for the shutdown.


Hemingway, however, disagreed, arguing that it “isn’t particularly good” for Democrats to take over the House of Representatives and then have a government shutdown where they don’t appear to be “serious” in making a deal.

“At some point, I think people are going to have to stop thinking about who gets credit or blame, who does this help or hurt and just remember: There’s a government that shut down,” Hemingway told the panel. “There’s a fairly modest proposal at the table for border security and other issues that will help with the inflow of drugs and other problems that happen over the border and at some point, the adults are going to have to actually take it up and move forward.”