"Prisoner of his own impulse": Inside Trump’s cave to end shutdown without wall https://t.co/db2hTlBGxN— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) January 27, 2019
I touched on where Trump stood with regards to the shutdown and how he could just do the right thing a few days ago. But in all honesty, he never should have shut the government down. It actually shouldn't be a thing that ever happens. He should have, if he really wanted the wall, and if he thought there was a national emergency, accepted the offer the Democrats once made of $25 billion dollars worth of wall money, made fully one year ago. Instead of getting anything like that, after 35 days he's accepted reopening the government to wait and see if he can negotiate getting his wall, and if this doesn't happen, well, maybe he'll call it a national emergency.
The kind of national emergency that you can sit on for a whole year after rejecting full (ish) funding, then have a 35 day tantrum about, then admit you'll wait 15 days over because (SOTU, the planes won't take rich folks to the Super Bowl, needing to regroup because shit got entirely too stupid), and then, and only then, call a national emergency because you have not got funding for your big, beautiful wall, is not a national emergency, but a massive erection fetish gone badly wrong. A big old wall will take years to build and more dollars than Trump has even been asking to be made a reality. It is prone to tunnels and escalations of the ladderly variety. There are better, smarter, more targeted ways to address illegal immigration anyway, like eVerify and the Dept of Labor addressing employers who behaved illegally, not people looking to work. There has always been the option of tightening border security by increasing people-power and technology at entrance-points to locate contraband and note who seems to be carrying people who don't appear to leave. The wall was always bad posturing for this fight--he wanted it too much, and so the only work Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer ever had to do was say "No" to it.
It was a false argument for a bad gimmick. Democratic voters never fell for the immigration rhetoric, which Trump should have known because of the outcome of the midterms, which was largely based on his caravan-scaring. There was no reason they would change their mind just because he did not understand that the maxim "Elections have consequences" applied to his midterm defeat, and that his duct-taped women fear-mongering would start to seem so over-the-top weird and propagandistic.
Funding for the wall was never a good card. It was only a shiny object that appealed to his base. There was never any reason he should have thought Democrats would be impressed by any pretended need for it. He should have discarded it at once upon realizing it was a trash card and played the hand where opening the government was good for him as a guy who gets things done.
But he already showed how much value he placed in the wall. He will never get it now. Ever. He can shutdown the government again. And no Democrat will cry, because he won't get his shiny, and his approval ratings can sink like a stone, and he will give up in less time, next time. Because it already has been proven--the shut down doesn't work, and next time, there probably will be strikes. And he will be given all the more reason to cave--sooner than later.
Trump is an ex-casino guy. When Paul Ryan was Speaker of the House, Trump could have been playing with "house money". But leave it to a guy who got multiply-bankrupted while running casinos to not understand that the House had the advantage when Nancy Pelosi was in charge of it. Mr. Art of the Deal couldn't even start to make a deal with her. He got trashed in every which way.
Some of Trump's die-hards are doing back-flips on these Internets trying to pretend Trump made a strategic retreat and will do better the next go-around.
Bet? Because Trump doesn't really look like a strategy guy, and it actually looks like trying a shutdown again will only demonstrate a failure to learn from past mistakes. And the National Emergency argument should be a clear non-starter.