The Government Shutdown is in remission. Or, as I prefer to say, it’s an intermission. A deal has been struck (important words) to put Federal employees back to work. Some people, like Ann Coulter, are pissed off. Trump caved. The left won. It’s over.
While I love Ann (she’s an integral part of my journey to becoming a blogger) and I’m quite sure she is way more qualified than I am to comment on just about anything, I’m not with her on this. Not yet.
Nor, is everyone else.
Mr. Trump is notorious for playing the game. The art of the deal. He makes no move, no concession, without calculating something he wants or expects down the road. That’s no guarantee he will get it. But when it comes to funding a barrier on the southern border, I don’t think he’s giving that up.
Mark Davis, writing at Townhall.com, appears to me to have arrived at one of the most plausible of explanations.
A re-opened government does not exactly leave Democrats stung by immediate Art-of-the-Deal brilliance. They may well dig in harder now, joining some crestfallen Trump supporters in the belief that he has been worn down.
It might be wise to put a pin in that and see what mid-February brings. Expect the next three weeks to be filled with more of the familiar rhetoric of both sides: the President insisting on a wall, the Democrats mocking it.
Then, after three weeks of spinning tires, Trump will be able to face the cameras and say “I reopened the government. I gave them what they wanted. They said they would bargain in good faith. They lied. I have no other choice but to declare an emergency and begin protecting the border myself.”
Trump is not giving up his wall.
President Trump is looking for fresh leverage from within a degrading situation. And he is betting that the Democrat leadership will continue to do anything to keep him from getting what he wants. We might get the emergency declaration. It could end in another shutdown. Perhaps both. But I doubt Donald Trump is giving up on the “wall.”
He loves the deal, and he loves to win. He thinks long and plans accordingly. And most important of all, as a disruptor who doesn’t owe fealty to anyone inside the Beltway, he feels no need to appease any of them.
Republicans cave all the time but when it comes to Trump, Democrats and the media almost always underestimate him. Have some faith.