Notes on Trump 41 – the shutdown

I’m still not following it closely enough to predict an outcome. But I’m not seeing anything that suggests I was wrong to expect the media and Democrats would continue to play into Trump’s hands as usual.

Here’s CNN celebrating:

“…Trump ultimately caved, telling Pelosi he will wait until the shutdown is over to deliver the traditional address.

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/01/24/politics/donald-trump-state-of-the-union-behind-the-scenes/index.html

That is the sort of “victory” that liberals celebrate.

The shutdown is not going to end with a two-thirds majority overiding a Presidential veto or replacing Trump with Vice President Pence.

Trump’s total focus on mobilizing his base regardless of wider unpopularity has paid off.

https://thebulwark.com/trumps-loyal-senate-republicans/

Only a handful of GOP Senators feel safe enough from being primaried to openly resist. Opponents of Trump simultaneously crowing and whining that this is costing them wider public support just don’t get it. Trump still has nearly 90% approval among GOP voters likely to turn up at primaries so few of his opponents will get to campaign for wider public support. Meanwhile he still has nearly two more years for the Democrats to demonstrate that Washington will remain completely gridlocked until there are less of them in office.

According to a WAPO oped the recent Senate votes confirming that situation means that Trump has lost a lot of leverage.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/01/24/trump-just-lost-key-leverage-shutdown/

I cannot even guess why a Democrat would believe confirmation of Trump’s grip on the GOP gives them “leverage”. Presumably if they actually got a funding bill to Trump’s desk for him to veto that would count as total victory.

The shutdown might end with Trump losing in which case they are celebrating having given him the optimum opportunity to pretend otherwise as usual.

It might end with the Democrats losing. They could not resist denouncing the offer of only a 3 year delay in deporting millions of “illegal” immigrants in terms that open up the possibility of agreeing to billions for border security as long as it isn’t called a wall in exchange for Trump ceasing to pretend he could deport millions of people. Even I doubt that they are that pathetically inept but they will certainly go for “strong” gestures like not inviting Trump to speak in the House rather than actually resolving their internal differences and mobilizing a fight on immigration.

Most likely it will end with some sort of compromise, with both sides claiming victory. Again, they are celebrating having helped Trump to present himself optimally as having stuck by his base to the bitter end.

Trump’s approval rating among likely voters has declined significantly (currently at around 44% to 55%). But he has the initiative and can land it in the courts any time he wants. His preposterous claim that he could divert funds appropriated to the military for disaster relief into building his wall would be immediately blocked by court orders. Whether or not the Supreme Court agrees there is no reason for them not to take their time about it.

Meanwhile Trump gets to continue fighting elections on “build the wall” while Democrats cement their enthusiasm for gestures and gridlock.

I’m still expecting the Democrats to start embracing “victories” by delivering bipartisan huge deficits, infrastructure programs and healthcare etc that will help maximize Trump’s chances of re-election. Nothing confirming that yet but gestures like not inviting him to speak are a suitable prelude for “forcing” him into such “defeats”.

 

 

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