This week, the Oogie Boogie Man made of deflated basketballs currently residing in the Oval Office, Donald Trump, made good on his threat to shut down the federal government if Congress doesn’t approve $5.7 billion in funding for his U.S.-Mexico border wall project.
To recap, the president has previously claimed that said wall could be covered in solar panels, “see-through,” anywhere from 30 to 65 feet tall, or any one of the ugly, useless prototypes he commissioned last year. But judging from the latest iteration of the imaginary project he tweeted late Friday afternoon, which bears every indication that it was slapped together at the last minute using a gradient and Windows XP clip art, Trump is increasingly desperate to just get anything up that he can take a photo op with as soon as possible.
Enter the “Steel Slat Barrier,” which is not a wall per se but a series of upright metal strips terminating in spikes. According to Trump, it will be “totally effective while at the same time beautiful!”
(Previously in the week, Trump helpfully directed his supporters to update their oldthink to Newspeak by tweeting the Democratic Party refuses to support “Steel Slats (Wall)”. He also referred to the design as “artistically designed.”)
Presumably, the slats would be closer together than pictured in his cartoon illustration, which features gaps about as wide as an SUV tire. But Trump has a notorious reputation from his real estate days of cutting corners, and as CNBC noted, the price of milled steel products has risen 25 percent this year alone, matching “the level of import duties Trump applied in March to all steel products made outside the U.S.”
CNBC further noted that the Government Accountability Office found in August that the Department of Homeland Security had not completed an analysis of how much the wall would actually cost to construct. With some estimates running as high as $70 billion, it’s unclear how many steel slats $5 billion will purchase.
In any case, this is just one more step along the road to the president insisting the real wall was inside our hearts and minds the whole time.