Shutdown Drags On With No End In Sight As Trump Refuses To Relent

After twenty-five days, there's no end in sight to the Federal Government shutdown. You can thank the President for that.

With the government shutdown in its twenty-fifth day, there seems to be little prospect of a deal of any kind, especially after the President rejected a proposal put forward by one of his most loyal supporters in the Senate:

WASHINGTON — President Trump said on Monday that he has rejected a proposal by Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina to temporarily reopen the government in an effort to jump-start talks with Democratic lawmakers on funding a border wall.

“I did reject it,” Mr. Trump said of the proposal, speaking to reporters as he boarded Marine One outside of the White House, en route to delivering a speech to a farm convention in New Orleans.

In an appearance on Fox News Sunday, Mr. Graham, a close ally of the president, pitched Mr. Trump on a plan for the president to agree to a vote by Congress to reopen the government for about three weeks “before he pulls the plug on the legislative option.” If there was no progress made during that time, Mr. Graham said, the president could then declare a national emergency as a way to obtain funding for a border wall without congressional action.

But Mr. Trump said that he did not want to extend the impasse over funding for the wall. It was not clear, however, what Mr. Trump saw as an alternative. “I’m not looking to call a national emergency,” he said on Monday. “This is so simple you shouldn’t have to.”

Mr. Trump, advisers said, has refused to allow his acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, or anyone else negotiating on his behalf to compromise on his demand for $5.7 billion in border wall funding. That has led to awkward moments in front of congressional leaders.

In a meeting at the White House with lawmakers from both parties on Jan. 4, Mr. Trump castigated Mr. Mulvaney for proposing a compromise figure between Mr. Trump’s desired $5.7 billion for a wall and the Democrats’ offer of $1.3 billion for border security, as a way to end the shutdown.

Using an expletive, the president blamed his acting chief of staff for messing up the negotiations. The salty exchange was first reported by Axios.

Mr. Trump emerged on the South Lawn on Monday after spending a snowy weekend without leaving the White House grounds. It was a rare occurrence for a president who typically spends weekend afternoons during winter on his golf course in Palm Beach.

But Mr. Trump’s physical presence in the capital has become one of the ways he has tried to demonstrate his willingness to negotiate with Democrats on funding the wall, even as he has staked out an intractable position on the issue. It is a point of pride he has highlighted on Twitter and in interviews, as he has become concerned about the perception that he is being outmaneuvered by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a veteran negotiator who even Mr. Trump has praised in the past.

“I haven’t left the White House in months,” Mr. Trump told Jeanine Pirro, the Fox News host who is also a personal friend of the president’s, in a phone-in interview on her show Saturday night. In fact, Mr. Trump traveled to the Texas border earlier in the week.

Trump’s rejection of any kind of compromise, though, is clearly exactly what seems to be driving the shutdown further, guaranteeing it will head even further into record territory:

President Trump’s dismissals of his own party’s calls for compromise and his seeming indifference to shuttered federal agencies left the snowbound capital paralyzed Monday, with lawmakers in both parties scrambling to jump-start talks but increasingly uncertain about Trump’s interest in ending the longest government shutdown in history.

“I did reject it,” Trump told reporters, when asked about a suggestion by Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) to temporarily reopen the government while continuing negotiations over money for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. “I’m not interested.”

Trump’s unyielding stance and lack of an evident plan to broker an end to the 24-day impasse comes at a fragile moment for his presidency, following a weekend at the White House during which he lashed out at critics large and small on Twitter and faced deeper scrutiny of his relationship with Russian leaders.

The standstill also underscored the dysfunction that has gripped Washington since divided government began this month. Overtures to Trump’s core voters have dominated the White House’s strategy as Democrats have looked on in confusion, after the last round of talks between Trump and congressional leaders collapsed last week when Trump walked out.

“This is a crisis of Trump’s creation,” Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) said as she returned to the Capitol on Monday. “I hope my colleagues think about all of the people living paycheck to paycheck.”

The political cost of the shutdown is mounting as more than 800,000 federal workers miss their paychecks and as a new nonpartisan poll shows that nearly 2 out of 3 American voters support reopening the government and do not back Trump’s hard-line demand of $5.7 billion for a portion of the border wall.

Worries were on the rise Monday. Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), for example, said he is concerned about the operation of fisheries in his state and is “focused on minimizing the impact of the shutdown” — a message that was echoed by other GOP senators as they returned to Washington.

The acrimony between Trump and congressional leaders prompted a bipartisan group of rank-and-file senators — including Sens. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) — to meet late Monday afternoon in fresh pursuit of an agreement.

But allies of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) were skeptical about the group’s chances of crafting a deal that could win the president’s support and pass the GOP-controlled Senate. And they said McConnell does not yet feel pressure to break from Trump’s position, despite the growing cracks in Republican ranks, particularly among more centrist lawmakers.

“He’s right where he has always been,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) said as he left a private lunch Monday with McConnell. “As soon as the president tells him there is something he’d be willing to sign, he’ll bring it to the floor. But the president’s signature isn’t a given on anything, and the leader isn’t going to go through with some futile act on something in the meantime .”

“Maybe this is all one big political game,” McConnell said of the Democrats’ position Monday in his floor remarks, which revealed no signs of progress in the standoff. “What’s happening here is that federal workers are paying for this far-left ideological crusade.”

A group led by Graham worked last week to stitch together a bipartisan immigration deal that would trade wall funding for protections for unauthorized immigrants brought to the United States as children. But the group disbanded after Vice President Pence announced that Trump wasn’t interested in such a deal.

All of this leads, as The New York Times notes, to the all-important question of how long the President can keep the GOP together, especially in the Senate:

On Day 20 of the partial government shutdown last week, a small band of federal workers, shivering in 25-degree weather, staged a rally to send what their organizer, Eric Engle, said was a message to Senator Shelley Moore Capito: “We need to end this shutdown. If it takes overriding the president, that’s what it takes.”

But here in the heart of Trump country, that message is decidedly muffled, even in Parkersburg, where the federal government is one of the two largest employers. So strong is support for President Trump, who remains dug in on his demand for $5.7 billion to build a border wall, that even some furloughed workers insist Ms. Capito must stick with him.

“We need the wall,” Jessica Lemasters, 29, an accountant on furlough from the Treasury Department, said over lunch at the Corner Cafe, a few blocks from the rally. “I don’t like being furloughed, but it happens.”

Those conflicting sentiments help explain why Senate Republicans like Ms. Capito remain in lock step with Mr. Trump, even as the longest government shutdown ever enters its fourth week and 800,000 federal workers miss their paychecks. The 24th day of the shutdown slipped by with no progress toward a resolution, and while polls show that a majority of Americans blame Mr. Trump and Republicans and do not support a border wall, Republicans are reading a different line in the polling: Support for the wall is growing and hardening among Republican voters.


Early last week, Ms. Capito, a freshman up for re-election next year, seemed to be wavering when she suggested she might be able to “live with” negotiating border security after reopening the government — the Democrats’ position.

But after Mr. Trump addressed the nation from the Oval Office and traveled to the border, she walked back those remarks, telling a local television station, “I think President Trump is going to stand strong, and I’m going to stand strong with him.”

So far, only three Senate Republicans — Cory Gardner of Colorado, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — have decisively broken with Mr. Trump and called for the government to reopen without a border wall deal. Mr. Gardner and Ms. Collins are up for re-election in Democratic-leaning states; Ms. Murkowski was re-elected in 2016.

Others are expressing their unease with caution. Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa has put distance, if only a tiny bit, between herself and Mr. Trump by saying that while she strongly supports a wall, it does not need to cover the entire southern border. Senator Martha McSally of Arizona has asked that her pay be withheld until the shutdown is over. Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina has called for Republicans to strike a deal that included “long-term security” for the young immigrants known as Dreamers who were brought to the country illegally as children. All will face voters in 2020.

“The question for Republicans up in 2020 is how long can they let this go on,” said Jennifer Duffy, who analyzes Senate races for the nonpartisan Cook Political Report. “The more uncomfortable they get, the closer they get to breaking with Trump. But they have to watch the base.”

As I’ve noted several times already, this is all starting to sound like a broken record. The President is saying that he will refuse to agree to any spending bill that does not include the full $5.7 billion he wants for his border wall. House and Senate Democrats are saying that this is a non-starter while they do appear to be willing to allocate at least some funding for border security and, at the very least, that they would be willing to continue negotiating over the border wall/border security issue provided that the President and Republicans agree to reopen those part of the government not impacted by the border wall debate, an option the President has rejected. Republicans in the House and Senate, meanwhile, seem to be standing aside and doing nothing, with most remaining loyal to the President mostly out of fear of the Republican base, being called out by Trump on his Twitter feed or in one of his campaign rally speeches, or attacked by Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, or the Fox News Channel gang.

At this point, it’s hard to say when this is all going to break. Clearly, the polls are indicating that the American public doesn’t want the shutdown to continue, doesn’t want the border wall, and blames the President for the shutdown. Those numbers are only increasing as time goes on, but the President doesn’t seem to care, in no small part because he only seems to care about what his base thinks and those same polls show that Republicans continue to strongly support the President and the wall. The only thing that could change the current situation is if the shutdown hits a crisis point, either politically or otherwise, that forces the parties to resolve this. During the 2013 Obamacare Shutdown, that crisis came as the United States approached the debt ceiling and threatened to default on debt payments and other obligations, but there’s no prospect of such a deadline in the immediate future. Perhaps it will come as the reports about the impact of the shutdown on Federal employees continue to spread, or when we hit then next deadline to pay Federal employees only to see some 800,000 of them get a paycheck for $0.00 again. Until that moment comes, though, the shutdown and the damage, both financial and political, will continue to mount.

FILED UNDER: Congress, Deficit and Debt, US Politics, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. MarkedMan says:

    There are two critical reasons the Dems can’t give in:
    1) If Trump gets his way he will reuse this tactic at every opportunity. We will see shutdowns every couple of months
    2) The only way out (given that Trump is a moron) is to break the Republican’s Party-Before-Country mentality. Ridding the body politic of the Gingrich/Hastert poison would be incredibly beneficial to the nation.

  2. KM says:

    Trump can’t give in and maintain his image. He’s the dumb kid who committed a robbery on a dare, listened to his “friends” stupid advice and decided to go after the witnesses to save himself. Instead of coming clean when the punishment would have been minor, he keeps committing terrible acts and more crimes to keep covering it up and making the situation worse. He’s committed to the course of action now, too deep to change direction without major consequences to himself – the thing he was trying to avoid in the first place.

    Ignore Trump. He’s worthless in this scenario, rejecting even GOP efforts to make this end. Focus on the weak links in the Senate and point out they are members of a co-equal branch of government with power of their own, not Trump’s bitches. Get to Mitch – remind him he’s Majority Leader for now but that can change if he keeps screwing up the party. The Senate is where we need to be hammering pressure because we only need a handful to cave for the bill to pass…. and then they’ll be under TREMENDOUS pressure to do it again once Trump spitefully vetoes it.

  3. Lounsbury says:

    KM would have it right. Trump has put himself into an impossible situation.

    The Opposition needs to play carefully, not take on Fringey Lefty immigration discourse – go for the solid border security but not idiotic walls, technology upgrade … make Trump look irrational (more irrational) to the non-politically obsessed.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:


    make Trump look irrational (more irrational) to the non-politically obsessed.

    I’m not sure anyone could tell the difference.

  5. Kathy says:

    Trump’s operating philosophy seems to be “Let them hate, so long as they fear.” But he fails to realize the fear is all on his side of the political divide. And they don’t fear him, but rather his base.

  6. rachel says:

    Trump’s operating philosophy seems to be “Let them hate, so long as they fear.”

    Some people mistakenly attribute that motto to Machiavelli, but it was actually one of Caligula’s favorites. We all know what happened to him.

    Well, all of us but Trump know because he is an ignoramus.

  7. Joe says:

    Consistent with Lounsbury‘s comment, I would still like to see the Dems talk about specific border control improvements they would like to fund, and then talk about the Republicans’ unwillingness to fund sensible border security improvements.

  8. MikeyParks says:

    So it’s only Trump’s stubbornness that’s keeping this partial shutdown going? In fact, this is the Schumer/Pelosi shutdown. This one’s on you, Dems.

  9. MarkedMan says:

    @rachel: What lesson would Trump take from Caligula? Probably that he got to have sex with a lot of women and his wife didn’t seem to care…

  10. Kathy says:


    Well, he scored a great victory against the sea. He had the shells and sand to prove it, and he paraded them in his Triumph. But he failed to appoint his horse to the Consulship, no doubt due to Deep State interference. And that bit about the Praetorian guards who might be disgruntled, that’s just fake news. Like that he has the hots for a female relative.

    Hm. Fake victories, idiotic policies, incestuous desires… I don’t see any similarity 😉

  11. al Ameda says:


    So it’s only Trump’s stubbornness that’s keeping this partial shutdown going? In fact, this is the Schumer/Pelosi shutdown. This one’s on you, Dems.

    lol … the self-styled master of the ‘Art of the Deal’ has yet to negotiate, largely because Ann Coulter warned him about caving in.

  12. mattbernius says:

    Keep telling yourself that Mikey. Unfortunately the problem is that this shutdown is all Trump’s chicken’s coming home to roost — not understanding what a shut down meant, trying to deliver on impossible promises that he made to his base, the inability to *not* take credit for anything, undercutting his own negotiating teams.

    So Trump cannot successfully brand this the Pelosi/Schumer shutdown because that means he couldn’t take credit for “delivering promises he made to his base.” As we have seen time and time again, he keeps literally taking credit for the shutdown. Because that’s part of his makeup.

  13. Kathy says:


    One thing they should propose is to open offices in embassies and consulates in Central America to inform the locals about how asylum works, and to receive asylum claims. Also they should run ads on TV and radio explaining how asylum works ans who is elegible.

    That would sharply reduce the number of people making a dangerous, arduous journey to the border.

  14. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:


    So it’s only Trump’s stubbornness that’s keeping this partial shutdown going? In fact, this is the Schumer/Pelosi shutdown. This one’s on you, Dems.

    Dude…talk to Mexico to get your Pesos for the wall.
    There was a $23B agreement. Then Individual-1 reneged.
    Then they had a $1.6B agreement. And then Individual-1 reneged.
    This is all on Individual-1. And I guess, Mexico.

  15. Michael Reynolds says:

    He’s the dumb kid who committed a robbery on a dare, listened to his “friends” stupid advice and decided to go after the witnesses to save himself.

    In my adult mysteries the protagonist is a retired thief who self-mockingly takes on the role of mentor to aspiring criminals. His (my) advice is to reference the first law of holes: when in hole, stop digging. IOW, don’t turn a burglary that will get you anything from probation to 3 years, into a murder that will buy you life. Cops will investigate a burglary, but they’ll investigate the hell out of a murder so both in terms of likelihood of getting caught, and in terms of penalty paid, you’re better off, if caught in the act, resolving it peaceably.

    I’ve said it repeatedly, Trump’s best option was early on to pardon everyone, resign and GTFO the country to some place with weak extradition laws. Now it’s too late for that. He dug the hole and he just kept on digging. His shovel is inches from tapping a big magma plume that will burn him and his world to cinders.

  16. Kathy says:


    So it’s only Trump’s stubbornness that’s keeping this partial shutdown going?

    No. It’s also his rank incompetence.

  17. Jen says:

    I genuinely do not understand the take that this is somehow the Democrat’s shutdown–there is no rational mind that can get to that. Only deep into the nonsense partisans can do the mental gymnastics to get there.

    As Daryl points out, Trump has, on several occasions, been the one to renege on agreements that he reached WITH REPUBLICANS. Even the current mess was initiated before the Democrats were even sworn in. And, as noted in the article, he’s refusing to even listen to options brought to him BY REPUBLICANS.

    Besides, even if they did arrive at an agreement, would he honor it? (No, probably not.)

  18. gVOR08 says:

    @Joe: Yeah. I’d like Pelosi to stop saying the wall is immoral. A lot of what Trump’s done at the border is immoral, the wall is just crazy. Don’t let the GOPs run around saying Ds are for open borders. Make it real, practical border security v Trump’s silly hobby horse.

  19. KM says:

    @Jen :
    Because admitting their vaunted, fiercely-defended leader is two-faced opportunist that will deliberately screw them over for a minor egotistical win is too much for some people’s psyche to handle. Their minds literally will not accept it. As Reynolds noted, when in a hole stop digging. These people couldn’t admit they dug themselves into a hole with Trump and had to keep excusing ever little thing as “Dems”, “deep state”, “liburls”, etc – anything to preserve their mental integrity and not admit they willingly support this asshat while he burned their world down around them.

    Now they’re at the point where they’re excusing Trump serving cold Big Macs and fries still in their boxes on silver platters with candles to a visiting team at the WH as somehow not being the classless, crass move it was. Kinda like an eldritch abomination, their minds look upon his absurdity, shy away in disbelief and resort to the thing that makes the most sense to them instead. No, Trump didn’t just cheap out and set the most embarrassing display of cheapness the WH has seen in decades – the players must have wanted fast food. No, Trump’s not refusing GOP deals designed to please him – the Dems are sabotaging him somehow and thus own this shutdown. No, they didn’t vehemently support the man who’s ruining them – they’re supporting a man who’s inexplicably not able to do what he’s supposedly famous for and must be being tricked somehow!!

    They’re going to keep digging that hole deeper rather then admit to themselves and the world they may have dug a grave for this nation in their stupidity.

  20. Bob@Youngstown says:


    One thing they should propose is to open offices in embassies and consulates in Central America to inform the locals about how asylum works, and to receive asylum claims.

    Absolutely!! But one question I have is: Did the Obama administration have a program to permit asylum claims to be initiated before reaching the US port of entry? I’ve heard that such a program existed (perhaps only for minors) and was shut down by the Trump administration.

    And while I’m commenting on this:

    Between 1905 and 1914… Immigration officials reviewed about 5,000 immigrants per day during peak times at Ellis Island.[39]

    How many applications for asylum are we handling per day?

  21. KM says:

    @gVOR08 :
    Agreed. The message she intends to send: “The wall is immoral because you are building it to keep brown people out instead of addressing the real issue of immigration” isn’t what’s coming across.

    Good intentions, bad messaging.

  22. Joe says:


    I imagine there are dozens of ideas that would actually address the problems at the border and with migration. I am sure that “wall” as a ubiquitous response is pretty much the most expensive and least effective of those ideas.

  23. Kathy says:

    Hey, Look Who’s Talking Too.

    Chris Christie(*) wrote his tell-all book about the Trump campaign and early transition team. I think of it as the kind of book that’s worth reading the haphazard synopsis and reviews in the paper.

    This gem stands out:

    However, one central character escapes relatively unscathed: Trump himself. The president is utterly fearless and a unique communicator Christie writes – and his main flaw is that he speaks on impulse and surrounds himself with people he should not trust.

    There are two things wrong with Christie saying this. One is that it does depict Dennison as being impulsive and lacking good judgment, just what you want in a leader, yes?

    The other is “Hey, Chris, he surrounded himself with you.”

    (*) Whenever I type his name, I feel like I’m writing dialogue for Porky Pig.

  24. reid says:

    @Michael Reynolds: His ego is so fragile that he clearly can’t admit any sort of mistake. Instead, he attacks, deflects, and blames others, and as you point out, it will all end in devastating ruin as a result of continuing to dig his hole.

  25. Kathy says:


    I really don’t know what the Obama administration did. I know they didn’t break up families, treat asylum seekers as criminals, or put children in cages.

    That aside, US immigration policy has been a cluster f**k for decades now. It’s no use saying other countries are even less permissive. That’s not the point. the point is migration is a common trait of humanity, and has been throughout the whole history of civilization. And this doesn’t include refugees fleeing war or natural disasters. It won’t stop just because some people don’t like it.

    It’s like fighting back the tide or prohibiting alcohol. You won’t achieve your goal, and you hurt yourself and the immigrants in the process.

    It’s way past time for a rational policy that takes the offer of work from immigrants as well as the demand for labor in the US, allowing for temporary/seasonal work and such. few immigrants want to uproot their whole lives and move permanently to another country.

    But prejudice has much sway.

  26. gVOR08 says:

    @KM: Yes. And a whole industry has grown up to feed them factoids and “analysis” to allow them to retain their beliefs.

    As to the hamburgers, the players might actually want them, which is why the team employs assistant coaches and probably a nutritionist to keep them away from fast food.

  27. MarkedMan says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    I’ve long felt that Trump’s ultimate kryptonite is the fact that he is a miser. One of the big reason his base supports him is their view of him as an incredibly rich man. Putting aside the question of whether that is based in reality, they get to live vicariously through him. But serving McDonalds to the winning team doesn’t jibe with that Ritchie Rich image. Bottom line: He’s lost everyone he’s going to lose over his racism and misogyny. But two-bit cheapness? That is unexplored territory.

  28. gVOR08 says:

    @Joe: Pretty much everyone who knows anything about immigration says that if you want to stop illegal immigration you upgrade and enforce use of E Verify. If you don’t you’re not serious.

    Which is why corporate America is OK with the wall. They know it will do little or nothing to stop their access to undocumented workers. (Also, they shipped a lot of those jobs out of the country.)

  29. Joe says:


    As to the hamburgers, the players might actually want them

    Personally, I love the Whopper when it’s hot. As much as I love the sound of that, there is little as unappetizing as a cold Whopper, unless it’s perhaps cold french fries. Nothing about the picture I have seen suggests that anyone is focusing on the fast food being hot fast food. I would have given him a pass, but for that.

  30. Kathy says:


    As much as I love the sound of that, there is little as unappetizing as a cold Whopper, unless it’s perhaps cold french fries.

    The least appetizing food in the universe is rewarmed French fries. I’ll eat them cold before I eat them nuked.

    BTW, the Trumpian level of tackiness (but that’s redundant) aside, I can’t quite get the need to advertise it. Was it a “poor me, reduced to serving cold burgers because of them mean Democrats”?

    Usually when a sports team visits the White House, it’s for the photo op on the lawn, with the jersey emblazoned with the president’s (or Trump’s) name. I don’t recall every reading about what, if anything, was served.

  31. MarkedMan says:

    @MarkedMan: I should have been clear in my post above that the “loss of fan base” is just a side effect of his miserliness. The thing that will get him will be his attempt to cut corners to save a few bucks. Things like jeopardizing the standing of his entire bogus charity by using it to pay for his sons $7 Boy Scout sign up fee. Of course you don’t create additional evidence of corruption in a scheme worth millions in order to save pocket change. Something like that is sure to arouse curiosity. But Trump literally can’t stop himself.

  32. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: I saw a write up a year or so ago on the proper way to reheat French fries. I only remember two things from it: The author was impressed by how well it worked. And it seemed like a heck of a lot of effort better spent driving to the local McDonald’s and getting fresh ones.

  33. Joe says:


    There is only one acceptable way to reheat french fries. Drop them in the trash and hope they burn in hell.

  34. Gustopher says:

    @Lounsbury: I think a simpler, easier message from the Democrats is “open the government, and then we can talk border security.”

    They’ve had two years to do whatever they wanted. They didn’t do anything.

    There is no reason to even meet with the President at this point, other than the optics of walking away being bad.

  35. Kathy says:


    Well, no. you could feed the cold fries to a pig, use the pig’s leavings to fertilize part of a field, grow a new crop of potatoes, peel them, slice them, and fry them.

    It may take some time, though.

  36. Monala says:

    @Joe: I heard a good interview on NPR with Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), who broke ranks with his Republican colleagues to vote with Democrats to keep the government open. He’s also working with Democrats on some smart border security solutions.


  37. Monala says:
  38. KM says:

    Not only cold but still in the box cold. Meaning any cheese congealed on the sides and sauces are all over the place instead of the bun where it belongs. Like seriously, at least take them out of the wrapping and present them better if you’re using the good silverware and candles.

    I think there’d have been a hell of lot less mockery if they’d take the basic steps of removing the food from it’s packaging. This is lipstick on a pig imagery right here. You’d never give your guests food at a nice dinner setting still in the box is came from, even *if* you got it from somewhere. The cake may be from the store but it goes on a plate, damnit even when you’re poor or don’t have a lot of dishes. If you’re resorting to eating out of the wrapper, you’re either on the go or the kind of person who doesn’t hold dinner parties to being with.

    I don’t know what optics he was trying for but what he got was “cheap, lazy dumbass”. He’s even getting flak in his normal circles for the presentation and not have basic respect for his guests. I’m only surprised there weren’t paper plates and red cups to push the whole “shutdown, no dishwashers” imagery as well.

  39. Teve says:

    To wash it all down Stephen Miller probably bought a few jugs of orange drink and grape drink.

  40. Joe says:


    Is a pig’s life not grim enough without cold french fries?

  41. An Interested Party says:

    Hmm…how many scared Republican senators will it take to get McConnell to allow a vote on reopening the government…

  42. Jen says:


    […] if they’d take the basic steps of removing the food from its packaging.

    You forget–Trump is a major germaphobe. Leaving it in the boxes is part of the magic, to Trump.

  43. Tyrell says:

    May I be so bold as to make a suggestion (and this has been done before with success): both sides agree to arbitrate this through an independent committee made up of regular people such as teachers, store workers. school coaches, bankers, technicians, nurses and the like. Politicians will sit this one out.

  44. Kathy says:


    I think there’d have been a hell of lot less mockery if they’d take the basic steps of removing the food from it’s packaging.

    I made the same point yesterday. Proving once and for all that great minds think alike 🙂

    As to paper plates, I think they’re ok for guests in outdoor events, like a BBQ or picnic, but also indoors if there is no sit-down diner. For the latter case, finger foods or dishes which can be eaten without the need to use a knife for cutting, are a good idea. But indoors, glasses should be used rather than plastic cups

  45. Tlaloc says:


    You need a lot more than a handful of GOP senators to break ranks. 5 would let you pass a majority bill but you’d need another 9 to pass a filibuster and another 7 to pass Trump’s inevitable veto. I’m not saying this isn’t the best of bad options, but it’s going to have to get really bad before that many senators break with Trump.

    At that point, you have impeachment and conviction numbers.

  46. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Tyrell: Can you sell that to Trump? I ask because it’s not “the politicians” (Mitch McConnell excluded) that are “the problem.”