Washington -- Here's a way to end the shutdown quickly: agree to appoint a High Commission to handle border security enhancement, and empower it to make decisions as to where on the Southern border to build physical barriers and where to use other means and measures. Give it two years and an appropriation made up of new money and money previously appropriated but unspent, not to exceed $5 billion.
The High Commission would be headed by George Schultz and George Mitchell, impeccably credentialed statesmen, who would seek the advice of security and legal experts to help guide the decisions.
The president said on national television that he was following the advice of experts, so this should satisfy him, as should the designation of a High Commission. Democrats have previously acknowledged the need for physical barriers of some nature in some locations, so this should satisfy them. No one needs to blink first.
This is not so much a compromise as a expedient way forward that would result in better border security as well as reopen the government.
The country is in a perilous state, vulnerable to health, transportation, and national security dangers far more serious than any dispute over physical barrier design. We need to press for solutions to open the government, commensurate with growing risks.