We Propose A Way Trump Could Get Out Of This Mess And Still Proclaim A Win
It Would Involve The President Pretending He’s A Master Tactician, And The Whole Wall/Shutdown Thing Is All Part Of A Bigger, Well-Thought-Out Strategy
Trump “got back” at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi after she uninvited him to do a State of the Union address until after the shutdown is over, by sending her a rather silly note cancelling a til-that-moment-top-secret trip to Afghanistan via military-operated aircraft, with a stop at NATO HQ in Brussels. Unless she wants to make her “journey by flying commercial”. As if she really cares…(And if she does, he probably actually saved her from a public relations nightmare.)
He also pulled his own crew out of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland (he’d already removed himself from the event).
The sad thing is Trump has succeeded at continually forcing Democrats to deny they are in favor of open borders, even though they never have been, to the point at which they probably would be willing to invest a lot of money in border security right now, just not the wall. (And maybe, eventually, they would throw some barrier money in too!)
And building off that, Trump might even pave the way for long-elusive bipartisan comprehensive immigration legislation. Although maybe that’s asking for too much, since in order to be bipartisan it would almost certainly have to include a path to citizenship for at least some of the undocumented folks already in the country, and the people who have the President’s ear are rabidly against that. (Except for the Koch brothers, and they’ve only got his ear by proxy.) As we’ve mentioned before, most of the other things Trump says he wants (end to what he calls “chain migration”, end to visa lottery, etc.) was in a bipartisan bill that sailed through the Senate but ultimately failed 4 years ago. That bill also included an increase in the number of legal immigrants, which Trump’s people also don’t seem to want (although the President himself has wavered on this from time-to-time).
So, if Trump wants, he can just claim he’s a a master tactician, and end the shutdown, without a wall, but with Democrats revved up to give all kinds of money to all other kinds of border security. A lot more than they normally would’ve. Then he can claim victory on the basis that that’s what his fight was about all along.
Is there any chance this will happen? Or even that Trump or anyone in the White House is even thinking about it? Doubt it. Because the shutdown’s not really about any substantial policy gains at this point, it’s only about Trump holding his breath until he gets his way.