Okay, it’s not literally happening. But it’s seriously happening. Every great journey begins with a small step and on Thursday, the group Americans for Legal Immigration announced a push to draft Ann Coulter for a presidential run.
And then, as if in answer, on Friday Donald Trump walked out into the Rose Garden and announced a deal to reopen the government for three weeks with exactly zero funding for the wall. Zip, zilch, nada.
So let’s talk about Ann Coulter for president.
Honestly, Coulter vs. Trump is the 2020 campaign America deserves. Is it unlikely? Yes. But it also has a weird sort of logic to it.
(1) 2020 is the last chance to get a wall. It’s true that the wall is unpopular among the general American public. But let’s set that aside for now because we’re looking at this question from Coulter’s perspective.
If you believe that a wall on America’s southern border is important, then 2020 is your last shot to get it.There’s not going to be any wall built between now and then because it can’t be accomplished legislatively and the courts are highly unlikely to allow it via executive action. At best, an executive order could start the long, long process of eminent domain seizures, but the entire project would be zeroed-out the minute the next Democrat wins the White House.
If Trump loses in 2020 the wall is doomed, too. He’s poisoned the idea so completely that no Republican who comes after him will be able to mention it without becoming toxic.
To get a wall, you’ve got just one option: Win back the House and get Trump re-elected in such a manner that he has to swear on a stack of Bibles that the firstthing he’ll do in January 2021 is push through legislation for it.
How do you achieve that? You primary him from the right and hammer him, over and over, on his broken promise until he (a) admits he hasn’t build the wall and (b) commits to passing a specific plan for legislation as soon as his next term begins.
(2) If Trump is primaried from the center, he’ll give even more ground on the wall. Trump started out promising a giant concrete structure, paid for by Mexico, and running from the Pacific to the Gulf. We’re now down to plans for a steel fence . . . in certain strategic areas . . . that America would pay for. And even to get to that deal—which he couldn’t, by the way—Trump was willing to throw in temporary amnesty for the Dreamers.
If Trump is primaried by someone like Larry Hogan and he needs to pivot, who knows how much more ground he’ll give up.
The only thing that could keep him honest on the wall is someone coming at him from his right.
(3) Coulter is one of the only conservatives willing to hold Trump accountable. If Coulter doesn’t run to try to pin Trump down on the wall, then who will? It won’t be Judge Jeanine or Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity or anyone else from Conservatism Inc. who reflexively defends whatever Trump is doing at this this moment. Say what you will about Coulter, but at least she has the courage of her convictions. If not Coulter, then who?
(4) Coulter doesn’t have to start running now. Pat Buchanan didn’t launch his challenge to George H.W. Bush until December 11, 1991. The New Hampshire primary was held just 10 weeks later and Buchanan captured 38 percent of the vote, shocking Bush.
(5) Coulter doesn’t need any resources. For essentially the cost of a rental car, gas, and hotels, Coulter could make a real run. If she were to barnstorm New Hampshire, pointing out “Border Wall Construction Update—Miles of Wall Completed Today: 0” over and over and over, the media would cover her like a warm blanket.
There are only two things you really need to run for president: exposure and an idea. She would have them both, in spades.
If conservatives want a wall, then a primary challenge from Coulter is their last, best hope.