With 25% of the gubmint shut down, Prznint Stupid is increasingly isolated in his demand for $5 billion for a border wall and his demented, insane, and disgusting tweet that the deaths of two child migrants in U.S. custody was the result of the Democrats not giving him the cheddar to build his racist monument to himself.
Tiger Beat on the Potomac (thanks Charlie!) morning email thingie leads with “Six Smart Thoughts on the Stupid Shutdown” – as always, enigmatic emboldening is theirs:
1) House GOP hardliners don’t have an end game strategy. The Freedom Caucus types know how to start a fight, but they don’t know how to end one. This feels like the 2013 government shutdown for House GOP hardliners all over again, except this time Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) won’t bail them out. There aren’t many good options here since there’s no clear bailout opportunity, or backroom dealmakers who can talk this out in private.
2) Few Republicans are breaking with Trump. The shutdown won’t end until that happens. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) made some noise on Sunday, but it was just Graham freelancing. Rs are sticking with Trump so far, especially McConnell. Dems are counting on R senators who are up for re-election in 2020 (Cory Gardner, Thom Tillis, Susan Collins) to pressure McConnell to put a stop to this. So far, it hasn’t happened. Congress hasn’t been in session, either, which makes this the strangest shutdown ever. That changes later this week when the press begins to hound rank-and-file lawmakers and leadership to find a solution.
3) Trump’s threat to shut down the border feels like a bluff, according to top GOP and Democratic sources. Even Republicans say that in private. It’s a “nuclear bomb” that will do serious damage to the U.S. economy and shock Wall Street. No one believes Trump will go that far, even though White House aides continue to study the issue.
4) What we have here is a failure to communicate. In this age of hyper-partisanship, all anyone cares about is messaging to their own side. That makes it harder for lawmakers to work across the aisle.
#4 is of course the razorblade in the apple: BOTH SIDES! They had to do it, they couldn’t help themselves.
5) Trump and GOP leaders have misjudged how much ‘The Wall’ has become a moral issue for Democrats. The president is counting on pressuring Dems — via the government employee unions — to get the anti-wall activists to back down. But for Dems, rejecting the wall has become a rejection of all that is Trumpism. Stop the wall, the thinking goes, and you stop Trump — even if he is still president.
6) Trump will actually have to lead us out of this morass. Dems don’t trust him; Republicans don’t totally trust him either. He will have to put an offer directly to Pelosi and Schumer — then back it up publicly — for anyone to even start negotiating. Nobody else can do it — not Mike Pence, not Mick Mulvaney, not Jared Kushner. It has to be Trump.
We can argue about the smartness (or not) of these thoughts, but it is startling to me that they only had one BOTH SIDES!!1! moment. This really shows me that even inside the Village, even the Villagers know that the Republicans own this, lock, stock, and pork barrel.