Thursday, January 17, 2019


Trump retaliates:
In the increasingly personal standoff between President Donald Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the president on Thursday said he was postponing her use of a military plane for an official trip to Belgium, and Afghanistan in apparent retaliation for Pelosi asking Trump to delay his State of the Union Address until after the government shutdown ends.

"Due to the Shutdown, I am sorry to inform you that your trip to Brussels, Egypt, and Afghanistan has been postponed," Trump wrote in a sharply-worded letter released Thursday afternoon, the latest move in a memorable display of Washington political theater. "We will reschedule this seven-day excursion when the Shutdown is over."
The Christian Broadcast Network's David Brody tweets:

How is this "playing chess"? Trump isn't thinking several moves in advance -- it's exactly the opposite. He was deprived of something and now he's deprived her of something. If you're a Trump fan, you think he one-upped her; if not, you think this is childish tit-for-tat. Either way, it's a response to the Pelosi snub and no more -- there's no grand strategy behind it. The one thing it isn't is chess.

Trump's base doesn't want chess. This is what Trump's base wants: a simple, crude act of retaliation. Is it childish? No problem -- childish is good.

Breitbart posted multiple photos of the bus that was meant to take Pelosi and other House Democrats to the airport for this trip, and at Free Republic this led to the Photoshop reaction you'd expect:

And from Mike Huckabee, this kneeslapper:

This may not be the low-water mark for Republican shutdown pettiness. Recall Newt Gingrich in 1995, as portrayed by Lars-Erik Nelson of the New York Daily News.
Here was Newt Gingrich, leader of the Republican Revolution and defender of civilization on this planet, forced to sit for 25 hours in the back of Air Force One, waiting for President Clinton to stop by and negotiate a budget deal. But Clinton never came back. So Gingrich, in his rage, drafted two resolutions that forced Clinton to bring the federal government to a grinding halt.

The extraordinary behind-the-scenes tale Gingrich told yesterday morning at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast is either comedy or tragedy, or junior high school cafeteria intrigue, take your pick. It surely was not what you expect to hear from the stewards of your government.

Gingrich had been invited aboard Air Force One last week to fly to the funeral of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. With a budget crisis pending, he expected Clinton would take time out during the flight to talk about a possible solution.

But Clinton, who seemed to be genuinely grieving over Rabin's death, stayed up front in a cabin with former Presidents Jimmy Carter and George Bush on both the outward-bound and return trips.

Then, when the plane landed at Andrews Air Force base outside Washington, Gingrich and Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole were asked to deplane by gasp! the rear door.

"This is petty," Gingrich confessed. "I'm going to say up front it's petty, but I think it's human. When you land at Andrews and you've been on the plane for 25 hours and nobody has talked to you and they ask you to get off by the back ramp . . . you just wonder, where is their sense of manners, where is their sense of courtesy?"

To Gingrich, the professor of history, this was one of the snubs of the century, ranking, he said, with the time Charles Evans Hughes stiffed Hiram Johnson of the California Progressive Party back in 1916, a slight that cost Hughes the California vote and the presidency. And it was this disrespect, Gingrich continued, that caused him to send the President two temporary financing and spending bills he knew that Clinton would have to veto thus shutting down the federal government.
Gingrich is widely admired on the right to this day. He came close to being the 2012 Republican candidate for president. The GOP base likes pettiness.

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