News & Politics

'Fox News Sunday' Descends into Histrionics over Shutdown, Pullout, and Stock Market

It’s been a long time since Sunday, but I’m still reflecting on the analytical angst-fest I witnessed on Chris Wallace’s Fox News Sunday last week. Katie Pavlich had her hands full assuaging the histrionic concerns of Wallace and the balance of his panel about Trump administration “chaos.”

The FNS chaos theory, post-midterm edition, hinges (or unhinges) on three elements: the government shutdown, the Middle East pullouts (and Mattis’s departure), and the stock market.

Interestingly, in an attempt to balance the hand-wringing tenor of the analysis, Wallace latched onto substance while talking to former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. Wallace asked about the Middle East wars’ duration and un-winnability factor and President Trump’s campaign promise to end them.

The starkest truth about the connectivity of the shutdown and pullouts, a truth that inextricably links the issues but is rarely discussed in context, was nailed by American Greatness editor Chris Buskirk, who wrote after the Weekly Standard fell, “It made sense to (the neocons) to send thousands of Americans to their deaths defending Iraq’s borders, but they wouldn’t lift a finger to protect our own.”

The concept of “fighting them there so we don’t have to fight them here,” while not precisely Pyrrhic, yet, has become the following question the minds of many: If we won’t stop them from coming here, what’s the point?

For too many dustbin neocons, and news media stalwarts like Mr. Wallace who deploy any means necessary to cast aspersions on Trump administration policy, stability means endless un-winnable wars and immigration policy that is near-tantamount to open borders. To the globalist ilk, chaos comes with the implementation of a sovereignty-ensuring border enforcement regime, and our troops off the ground and home from insurmountable quagmires.

Where do the two issues most noticeably transect?

Americans, including conservatives, can argue all day long about the efficacy of building a border wall. Concerns about the preponderate degree of illegal entry as a result of visa no-shows and multiple points of entry raise serious questions. And don’t get people started on the ladders and tunnels.

But even viewed from this limited-value perspective, if nothing else, a wall high enough to seriously complicate casual illegal entry (perhaps with a razor-wire cap) will rise as a symbolic edifice signifying the resentment, and even rage, of the U.S. citizenry over our government and business leaders’ failure.

Even if it stops only 25-35 percent of incidents of illegal entry, the wall, a bargain at $25 billion, will be representationally significant: the invasion is on indefinite hold.

Neocon justification of continued U.S. military involvement in the Middle East has abjectly run its course, especially when espoused by a leadership and media class that never met an endless war it didn’t like, or a stringent border security measure—like the travel ban—it could wholeheartedly support.

The stock market? Fluctuations happen, and any significant drop is a concern  To the extent that the market is related to the shutdown and pullouts, which is arguable and fluid, it is necessary to ask if the president is supposed to renege on two key campaign promises—the extrication from Middle East conflicts and the protection of America’s borders—to ensure the stability of the markets.

Host Chris Wallace’s job is to ask the tough questions. But he and his program’s braintrust write the transitions, the introductions, and frame the questions. Tuning in last Sunday, the tenor of all those elements was in full Trump chaos crisis mode. You’d think the republic was barely able to survive until 2019.

Wallace and company should tone down the angst. President Trump has got this.