Friday, January 11, 2019

Shutdown and the Wall. Year Not Ending Well for Trump.

At the December 11 famous televised meeting with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, President Trump, in one of his exuberant moments, said that the “wall” was worth a government shutdown and he will be “proud to shut down the government…I will take the mantle.” Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell worked around Trump’s shutdown impulse on December 19 with a Senate voice vote. But, Trump under pressure from his base, demanded the House pass a new resolution with $5 billion for the wall. On December 20, they did, partially to prove they could after several failed efforts. Pelosi had claimed they didn’t have the votes. She even inspires Republicans to extra efforts.

House rebels (Freedom Caucus, such as Jim Jordon and Mark Meadows) and his far-right wing supporters – Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Laura Ingraham, Breitbart and Drudge – began criticizing Trump and Republicans and advocating a veto and holiday shutdown. They completely captured Trump and the White House and there may well be a shutdown into the new year.

The reality of the politics is that the wall is good for a segment of Trump’s base, but not much else and has considerable downsides. Most Republican leadership believe the wall is a presidential promise devoid of much real benefit for U.S.-Mexico border security and doesn’t have the support of the public. And, under no condition is an extra $3.4 billion for a construction project worth shutting down the U.S. government over the holidays. But, of course, arguing for the hardliners is that next year the House, under Democratic control, will be even less hospital to President Trump’s wall. The latest polls show:

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