Republicans keep making videos to show how serious the border issue is, but they end up making themselves looking very silly.
Members of Congress are currently in the middle of a two-week recess for the Easter and Passover holidays.
And while this is usually a time for members to head back to their districts to listen to constituent concerns, a number of GOP lawmakers have instead traveled to the U.S.-Mexico border to carry out ridiculous stunts to try to build support for Trump's wall.
There was Rep. Matt Gaetz, the Florida Republican who says his purpose in Congress is to protect Trump, who posted a video claiming to show the wall being built, when in fact he was showing a wall prototype that was not even close to the actual border.
Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), indicted last year for using his campaign cash as a personal piggy bank and awaiting trial, nearly violated his parole when he filmed himself showing "how easy it is to cross the border in Yuma, Arizona." Had he actually crossed the border, he would have violated his bail conditions that ban him from leaving the United States. Luckily for Hunter, he was lying.
"What [Hunter] crossed was a vehicle barrier," Customs and Border Patrol spokesperson Vincent Dulesky told the Times of San Diego. "That is approximately 75-100 feet from the border — the border is actually the river that's west of that."
And now there is Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI), who filmed a "MUST WATCH" video showing how "easy" it is to cross the border into the United States, but didn't actually do it himself. Instead, he pointed at a river that he said marked the border, insisted he'd been told it was easy to cross, and then claimed there were hundreds of undocumented immigrants waiting in the bushes just across the river.
However, Duffy, a former cast member on MTV's "Real World: Boston," was apparently too scared to wade into the water to prove how easy it is to cross the border, or show people the immigrants he claims were waiting in the wings to enter the country.
— Sean Duffy (@RepSeanDuffy) April 17, 2019
The stunts are clearly an effort to scare people into thinking that Trump's wall is needed. As of now, polling shows the public thinks the wall is unnecessary, and none of Trump or the GOP's fear mongering about immigrants has worked.
And based on the replies to these GOP members' stunts, the theatrics at the border won't change things, either.
"This is about as far from your northern WI district as you can be," reads one reply to Duffy's border wall stunt video — pointing out that Duffy wasn't actually listening to his constituents on recess.
Another came at Duffy with some cold, hard facts about Duffy's claim that the border is porous and not well guarded without a physical border wall structure.
"Sean, our southern and northern borders are mostly like this. However, your statement that there is 'no security' is baloney," another person replied. "CBP and Border Patrol employ numerous measures to protect the perimeter. In fact, don't I hear sounds of an ATV and a helicopter in your video?"
If Republicans are trying to prove how serious Trump's so-called border crisis is, silly and dishonest stunts that end up making them look bad are unlikely to help them make the case.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.