It’s not just the left wing of the Democratic Party that seems to be settling in on “hell no” as the answer to Trump’s border wall. Never Trump conservatives David Frum, Rick Wilson, and Tom Nichols all appear to be settling in on it as well. Wilson in particular is significant, as he is quite good at telling when the Democrats are vulnerable (he made a career of it as a Republican political consultant). More significant yet is this rant by newly-elected centrist (so far to the right in the Democratic Party that he was one of the small group of centrists who thought Pelosi too liberal to be speaker) Representative Max Rose.
It’s really starting to appear as if there’s an increasingly strong consensus among the Democrats to stand firm and not be pushed around on this, and increasing wavering on the Republican side about standing firm. This was always a very real possibility (it’s why I gave the Democrats significantly lower odds of caving than is typical).
If the Democrats do cave, it will just make things worse for them. It will teach Trump that the Democrats are indeed the party of craven weakness. He will continue to use shutdowns or the threat thereof to neuter the opposition. Voters, meanwhile, will lose faith in the Democrats; more will decide to sit things out (or back third parties) in the next election, given how disappointing the results of voting Democratic were in 2018.
Time will tell which of the two outcomes happens, of course, but as of now things are hinting at the encouraging option being the more likely one.