Trump was not able to get (enough) border security funding, and so due to that disagreement, the government shut down. In particular, the Senate approved a bill without that border-funding, but the then Republican-led House decided to vote on a different bill.

All this happened before the Democrats took over the House with Nancy Pelosi being elected as House Speaker, whose first statements on her agenda were:

How many more times can we say no? Nothing for the wall.

It then stands to reason that getting the desired border security funding now is virtually impossible. It didn't happen before when Republicans were controlling both chambers, so it certainly isn't going to happen now. In fact, experts and commentators suggest that all Democrats need to do now is vote (in the House) on the bill that doesn't include border security funding which the Senate already passed.

And yet, we still see Republicans consistently making promises that the "Wall" will be built (actually, it's mainly just Trump who's talking about a "Wall", most others are smart enough to only talk about border security in general). It's all Trump can talk about on Twitter, and recently Lindsey Graham came out and said that

If Trump gives in, that is the end of his presidency. If we can't provide the border security, that is the end of us.

Why are Republicans going 'all-in', so to speak, on border security funding, when, most likely, as detailed above, they won't get it? It just seems political suicide, does it not?

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    This question demonstrates a misunderstanding of the level of control Republicans had in the Senate. – Drunk Cynic Jan 4 '19 at 3:58

It just seems political suicide, does it not?

Yes and no.

No, not in the invariably righteous model of the of USA portrayed in right-wing media like Fox News. Many Republicans consider Fox News to be fair and balanced, and therefore presumably consider a Mexican border wall to be an idea worth fighting for. The Republican politicians elected by those supporters are expected to fight for what seems righteous, or risk alienating too many voters.

Yes, for the remainder of citizens who consider the aforementioned model to be misleading propaganda. (From their viewpoint many things the farther right believes in seem to border on the suicidal, or masochistic, e.g. suicide by environmental destruction, or atomic chicken, or neglect of public health, etc.)

Consider the shutdown as a game of political chicken, the outcomes for a Republican congressional incumbent in the average red state are:

  1. Dems cave, Repubs triumph. Good for reputation.
  2. Stalemate. OK... they can blame it on the Dems.
  3. Trump fails. Too bad... but his fault, not theirs.
  4. Repubs cave, Dems triumph. Re-election jeopardized.
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    Downvoted. The first part of this answer is essentially a straw-man (e.g. there are only two views of America: the right-wing media/Fox News view and the "remainder" view). The poster presents no evidence in support of this proposition, then adds a large value judgment that the people who agree with Fox News "border on the suicidal, or masochistic [sic]". The game of chicken model is a good one, and if the poster excised the first three paragraphs, the answer would be worth an upvote. – Andrew Jan 4 '19 at 18:18
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    @Andrew, thanks. I'd earlier considered whether the "suicidal" viewpoint might be better contrasted with Reps calling Dems and Libs suicidal, (which happens often). Perhaps such a contrasting array would fit better in a question about the history of political tropes about the suicidal opposition. On straw man remainders: the proposed wall tends to polarize. – agc Jan 4 '19 at 20:17

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