Friday, January 04, 2019


From Donald Trump's point of view, this makes perfect sense:
President Trump on Friday threatened a years-long shutdown of the federal government to get the money he wants for his U.S.-Mexico border wall....

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said the Situation Room meeting with Trump had been contentious. They said they pleaded with him to reopen most of the government, while setting aside the dispute over the wall — but that he refused.

“He resisted,” Schumer said. “In fact, he said he’d keep the government closed for a very long period of time, months or even years.”

But when Trump appeared in the Rose Garden a short time later, he ... confirmed that he’d told congressional leaders the shutdown could go on for years, although he said he didn’t think it would.
Trump cares only what Republican voters think -- or perhaps it's more accurate to say that, after years of binge-watching Fox News, he believes that all real Americans are Republicans and therefore agree with him on everything, including his hard line on the shutdown. (The people who turn up in polls as his opponents, on this and other issues, either are brainwashed by "the fake news" or are, presumably, non-whites on "the Democrat plantation" or undocumented people who are allowed to vote -- in polls as well as elections -- as part of a "Democrat-media complex"/Deep State plot to destroy America.)

The members of Trump's GOP base hate government and won't mind that it's shut down indefinitely, until government services they personally rely on become unavailable -- at which point they'll blame Democrats. (Actually, they already do.) The shutdown could literally last through the end of Trump's term -- hell, it could last through the end of (God help us) Trump's second term -- and no one in his base will blame him or congressional Republicans for it.

If Democrats want to end the shutdown, they need to persuade Trump that losing to them will actually be a victory for him. If I were Chuck and Nancy, I'd try to make him believe that Democrats are holding firm because their far-left base has become insatiable. I'd try to "let slip" that the leadership knows the base is nuts, so Democrats have no choice but to deny him the wall, even though they fear he can use the issue against them and kick their asses in 2020. If Trump thinks losing now will ultimately lead to a victory next year, maybe he'll agree to no wall as a reelection strategy -- I doubt it, but I can't imagine any other reason he'll agree to end the shutdown without his wall money.

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