Trump Throws A Temper Tantrum As Shutdown Enters Day 20

President Trump stormed out of a meeting with Congressional leaders as the shutdown drags on with no end in sight.

President Trump reportedly stormed out of a meeting with Congressional leaders intended to seek an end to the ongoing government shutdown, setting the stage for Federal workers to miss their paychecks tomorrow and for the shutdown to become the longest in American history on Saturday:

WASHINGTON — President Trump stormed out of a White House meeting with congressional leaders on Wednesday after Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she would not fund a border wall even if he agreed to reopen the government, escalating a confrontation that has shuttered large portions of the government for 19 days and counting.

Stunned Democrats emerged from the meeting in the White House Situation Room declaring that the president had thrown a “temper tantrum” and slammed his hands on the table before leaving with an abrupt “bye-bye.” Republicans disputed the hand slam and blamed Democratic intransigence for prolonging the standoff.

When the meeting was over, talks to reopen the government appeared to be in disarray. The contentious, brief and futile session underscored an impasse that is looking each day like an insurmountable gulf between the two sides. Mr. Trump will visit the border on Thursday in McAllen, Tex., leaving little hope of a resolution for a shutdown that will tie the longest in the nation’s history on Friday.

“It wasn’t even a high-stakes negotiation; it was a petulant president of the United States,” Ms. Pelosi said as she returned to the Capitol. “A person who would say, ‘I’ll keep government shut down for weeks, months or years unless I get my way.'”

Mr. Trump called the exercise “a total waste of time.”

“I asked what is going to happen in 30 days if I quickly open things up, are you going to approve Border Security which includes a Wall or Steel Barrier? Nancy said, NO. I said bye-bye,” he posted on Twitter.

Day 19 had begun with what looked like signs of splintering support within the president’s own party. Senator Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska, pledged to confront Mr. Trump in a closed-door lunch at the Capitol, while more mainline conservatives like Senator Pat Roberts, Republican of Kansas, expressed misgivings about the president’s strategy.

Though Senate Republicans had not yet reached a breaking point, Mr. Roberts said, “We’re getting pretty close.”

But those differences largely had been papered over by day’s end. The House voted 240 to 188 to fund the Treasury Department, the Internal Revenue Service, the Securities and Exchange Commission and other agencies, including White House operations. The eight Republican defections exceeded last week’s vote to fund the government by only a single vote.

Mr. Trump, for his part, held out the possibility that he might declare a national emergency to build his promised border wall and circumvent Congress altogether — a deeply divisive option even within his own party that could allow him to use money allocated for the military and one that would almost certainly be challenged in court.

“There was no discussion about anything other than solidarity,” Mr. Trump said after his lunch with Senate Republicans and before the White House negotiating session.

As the sides feuded, 800,000 federal workers were going without pay, and government agencies continued to reduce services, part of the cascading effect of a partial shutdown now possibly headed for a fourth week.

So frayed were feelings after a frantic 24-hour period of accusations and recriminations, including dueling nationally televised addresses, that Republicans and Democrats emerged from the White House meeting unable to agree on what had happened in the room.

On this they did: Mr. Trump insisted again on $5.7 billion in border wall funding, and asked Democrats, who he pointed out have supported money for physical barriers in the past, if they would capitulate if he agreed to reopen the government. Democrats told him again that they support increased funding for border security, but refused to commit additional money for a physical barrier that they believe is a waste of money. They laid out what they said was unnecessary damage being done to federal workers.

“You are using people as leverage; why won’t you open the government and stop hurting people?” Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, asked Mr. Trump at one point during the meeting, according to Democratic congressional officials and a White House official familiar with the exchange.

“Then you won’t give me what I want,” Mr. Trump replied, the congressional officials said. The White House official said that Mr. Trump added, “I am trying to do the right thing for the country. This isn’t about politics.”

But there are signs of strain. After his lunch with Senate Republicans, Mr. Trump declared that the party was “totally unified,” even if he faced some questions about “strategy.”

More from Politico:

President Donald Trump stormed out of a bipartisan meeting with congressional leaders and rallied the Senate GOP to his position on the border wall on Wednesday, raising the prospects for the longest government shutdown of all time and increased speculation that Trump could soon declare a national emergency.

After speaking with Senate Republicans, the president cut short his meeting with Democratic and Republican leaders after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she would not fund his border wall regardless of when the government reopens. The president tweeted the meeting was a “total waste of time.”

“The president stomped out of the meeting when he said to me, ‘Will you support a wall?’ and I said no. Now they’re trying to mischaracterize what he actually said,” Pelosi said of GOP leaders. “It was a petulant president of the United States.”

Trump made clear to Democrats that “there will be no deal without a wall,” said Vice President Mike Pence. It was the third such bipartisan meeting in a week, all of which were unproductive. But this was the shortest, clocking in at about 30 minutes.

In the bipartisan meeting, Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Trump, Pence and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen did almost all the talking, according to a person briefed on it.

The president also remained equally defiant in a lunchtime huddle with Senate Republicans on Wednesday, insisting GOP lawmakers are unified behind him even as some GOP senators push for the shutdown to end. Taken together, the two meetings suggest that the government shutdown, already on its 20th day, could drag long into January. The longest shutdown in recent history was 21 days in the 1990s.

Both Democratic and Republican sources questioned the episode Wednesday afternoon, wondering whether Trump had staged the entire meeting to try to make Democratic leaders look unreasonable and better position himself to make an emergency declaration in the coming days.

The president said he has the authority to declare a national emergency but added he prefers not to do so, according to GOP senators who attended the lunch. Trump also said he believes federal unions will put more pressure on Democrats to come to the table, though those unions have largely backed Democratic leaders’ position.

“We have a very, very unified party,” Trump told reporters after the meeting.

In the wake of what ended up being yesterday’s very short White House meeting, there were a few pundits who suggested that the entire event may have been staged to give Trump a forum in which to bring the Congressional leadership into a place where he’s in charge, the White House, and appear to be “the tough guy” who isn’t going to give an inch. Others have suggested that he’s following the script laid out in his 1980’s book The Art of the Deal, which was actually ghostwritten by someone else, and hoping that he can somehow rope the Democrats into capitulating on something they have already said they are never going to agree to. Indeed, as Shannon Pettypiece and Margaret Talley note at Bloomberg, storming out of a meeting in this matter has been part of Trump’s negotiating strategy both in business and personal affairs. In one well-known incident that occurred during his divorce from first wife Ivanka, Trump walked out of a settlement negotiation being presided over by a Judge and didn’t return for more than two hours. In that case, the other side apparently became so concerned that they wouldn’t be able to reach a deal at all that they caved on several outstanding issues to get a deal done. Whether this is what Trump was doing here, or whether he’s just being the manchild we all know him to be, is unclear, but if he thought that the dramatics were going to suddenly cause the Democrats to change their tune, he was obviously mistaken. If anything yesterday’s meeting means that both sides are going to further dig in their heels.

In any case, all of this leaves us in basically the same situation we have been in since the shutdown began. Those agencies and departments impacted by the shutdown remain shutdown, with some 800,000 Federal workers furloughed while a substantial portion of so-called “essential” employees are being required to report to work. Neither group is going to be paid before the shutdown is over notwithstanding the fact that they are supposed to have their paychecks by tomorrow. In addition, we’re starting to see stories about the real-world impact that the shutdown is having both on Federal workers and the public as a whole. This includes closed museums in Washington D.C., Federal workers who are finding themselves forced to apply for unemployment compensation as the shutdown drags on, married couples in Washington, D.C. being unable to get marriage licenses since the District’s budget is tied up in the shutdown, and Federal Courts facing a funding shortfall in coming days as the efforts to rely on money from fines and other sources comes to an end. The shutdown is also having an impact outside the Federal Government as Federal contractors and businesses that rely on Federal workers are starting to feel the pinch. Finally, people who rely on food stamps and early tax filers looking to get their refunds from the Internal Revenue Service are likely to be impacted as the shutdown goes on. The longer the shutdown goes on, the wider the impact will become. And the President’s response to all of this? Slamming his fist on the table, saying “Bye Bye,” and walking out of the room. So much for leadership.

FILED UNDER: Borders and Immigration, Congress, Deficit and Debt, Donald Trump, Politicians, US Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds 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. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Individual-1 has made several comments, and tweets, that clearly show this is all more about politics than security.
    When he declares a National Emergency, and that inevitably goes to court…all those comments and tweets will come back to bite him in his fat orange ass.

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  2. MarkedMan says:

    So the Democrats say Trump had a temper tantrum and stormed out of the room and Trump and a Tea Party House member says it didn’t happen. How can we ever know the truth? Oh wait, yeah. Trump is a liar so it goes without saying that what he says has zero weight. And his main corroborator is a Tea Partier, so again, either a liar or a clown so self deluded he couldn’t reliably testify to his own stupidity. Let’s face facts, the Republicans have become the party of lies. First with the soothing tones of Reagan, then with the angry, shrill, hectoring voices of Gingrich and the Fox News crazies, until now Republicans lie about everything, all the time. Are there Dems who lie? Of course. But you can evaluate whether a Dem is credible. But it’s a waste of time to try to figure out if a Republican is lying. The only interesting question left is whether the lie is directed at us or at themselves.

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  3. Kathy says:

    Are the Republicans offering anything besides funding what’s left of the government? If not, they’re the ones whoa re not negotiating in good faith, if they can be said to be negotiating at all.

    Government is not something that benefits only the Democrats.

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  4. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @MarkedMan:

    How can we ever know the truth?

    I understand you were being facetious.
    That said…there is a reason they held this in the Situation Room, out of sight from cameras.
    I’m willing to believe Schumer et al exaggerated. But temper tantrum fits Dennison’s history. And this entire episode is just one big temper tantrum, thrown because Coulter and Limgbaugh ridiculed the big orange baby.

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  5. CSK says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    Coulter is now happy with Trump for keeping his campaign promise, so expect this to go on.

  6. James Pearce says:

    This includes closed museums in Washington D.C., Federal workers who are finding themselves forced to apply for unemployment compensation as the shutdown drags on, married couples in Washington, D.C. being unable to get marriage licenses since the District’s budget is tied up in the shutdown, and Federal Courts facing a funding shortfall in coming days as the efforts to rely on money from fines and other sources comes to an end.

    Whatever it takes to stop the Orange Hobgoblin (or whatever he’s being called these days) right?

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  7. Bill says:

    The news is becoming ridiculous blaming all sorts of bullshit on the govt shutdown. For instance- https://www.abcactionnews.com/news/region-hillsborough/businesses-receiving-more-robocalls-as-do-not-call-service-is-down-during-government-shutdown

    Do Not call has been a known joke for this. The Govt shutdown has nothing to do with people getting spam calls.

    The businesswoman portrayed isn’t all that smart. I a SB owner and I have had Nomorobo since 2014. That stops most spam calls after 1 ring.

    and

    https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/09/us/shutdown-noaa-nws-weather-wxc/index.html

    Weather forecasting beyond a few days is always a guessing game and even more so when you’re talking weeks ahead. Hurricane season is still 6 months away.

    Reporting the shutdown’s effect on people’s lives is fine, but the above stuff is bullshit.

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  8. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @James Pearce:

    Whatever it takes to stop the Orange Hobgoblin

    More insipid nonsense from you that ignores the facts.
    There was a deal that Individual-1 agreed to. Then Coulter and Limbaugh made fun of Individual-1. So he reneged on the deal. This isn’t about stopping the fat orange blob. This is about the fat orange blob doing what the right wing echo chamber tells him to do, and Democrats not caring what the right wing echo chamber wants.

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  9. Kylopod says:

    @Kathy:

    Are the Republicans offering anything besides funding what’s left of the government?

    That’s one the things that’s not being reported accurately in much of the coverage: there’s this constant assertion that both sides are being equally intransigent, with Dems being just as opposed to budging on their opposition to a wall as Repubs are in their commitment to building one. But we know that isn’t true, because last year the Dems accepted a deal that included wall funding in return for protection to DACA recipients, until Trump scuttled it. So it isn’t that Dems are refusing to compromise, it’s that Trump is demanding the Dems give him what he wants without getting anything in return.

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  10. MarkedMan says:

    Reposted from another thread:
    You know, if I wanted to run cover for my boy Trump in this comments section, I wouldn’t trot out a well honed and logical defense because, well, such a defense is not possible. Instead, I might spout the most ludicrous and inane positions, setting up big juicy targets for the other commenters to heap scorn upon, thereby sidetracking every discussion about Trump and Republican malfeasance into a bunch of nonsense posts. Just sayin’…

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  11. Kathy says:

    Kathy’s first law of Football states “When the game is lost in one play, it really was lost in many other plays.” Meaning that allowing something like three unanswered scores puts you so far behind, that even if you stage a comeback odds are you’ll lose when you fail to make one big play.

    I bring this up because in Football no team allows three unanswered scores, or tries to bring the game down to the wire, on purpose. There is no brinkmanship on purpose. On the other hand, El Dennison seems to like brinkmanship and the resultant drama and suspense.

    Think, he could have demanded wall money from a GOP Congress for months last year, not to mention the year before, and quite possibly gotten it, even with the 51-49 split in the Senate. He didn’t do this, but rather waited until literally the last minute to demand it, after everyone else had done the work needed to keep the government funded.

    Clearly this wasn’t not just not the only way to get funding, but also not a very smart means of doing so. He either wanted the drama, or he is so transparently manufacturing a crisis to be able to use emergency powers that the GOP establishment should turn his back on him. They wont’, of course, as said back lacks a spine.

    From this we learn that Trump’s base likes being manipulated. And they like it so much,t hey won’t stand for other in their party not going along.

  12. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Kylopod:
    In addition there is a deal that Dennison agreed to here, that includes border security…just not his stupid wall.
    And to be clear…there is no plan for this wall. Where it is going isn’t clear. Land has not been procured. Environmental Impact studies have not been done. Individual-1 is simply asking for a $5.7B blank check. Remember that Individual-1 is an un-indicted co-conspirator, and has settled many fraud cases filed against him. Hardly the guy you want to hand a blank check.

  13. Michael Reynolds says:

    If Trump wants to negotiate he can put DACA on the table. That is the only thing that has any chance of getting Dems to give the clown some money. But he can’t do that because: RWNJ’s on radio and TV will scream about amnesty.

    Trump is too weak to negotiate. He lacks the spine to stand up to Ann Coulter and we are not going to negotiate this or anything else with Ann Coulter.

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  14. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    If Trump wants to negotiate he can put DACA on the table.

    There are some moderate Republicans in the Senate working on this…but I think you’re right…Coulter won’t let Individual-1 consider it.

  15. mattbernius says:

    For anyone who doubts the current strategy that the Democrats are currently employing, I strongly recommend the following book on negotiation tactics:

    Never Split the Difference
    by Christopher Voss and Tahl Raz
    https://www.amazon.com/Never-Split-Difference-Negotiating-Depended/dp/0062407805

    The only thing I would change about their strategy is having leadership actively talk about DACA and other immigration reforms as a necessary part of any compromise for agreeing to the $5 Billion in funding.

    The reality remains, contra to some people’s assertions here, the Dems have as much if not more leverage in this situation due to a host of factors (many created by Trump himself). Without a doubt that can change, but it has yet to.

  16. Liberal Capitalist says:

    Strictly from a political observationist point-of-view:

    The DEMs have been very successful in using the words “Temper Tantrum”. They did it in the rebuttal, and they keep hammering that meme.

    No question that they have been successful in promoting the concept. The question is now: what is Trump’s out?

  17. Kathy says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:

    No question that they have been successful in promoting the concept. The question is now: what is Trump’s out?

    In a rational world? Ask for less money and give something in return other than reopening the government.

    In Trumplandia (or Dumbfu***stan), throw a bigger tantrum.

    BTW, if there is an emergency at the border, does it make sense to take 15 years to fix it? Or do the good people of Dumbfu***stan think a wall can spring up overnight? They should remember that it took even the god Poseidon one year to build a smaller wall around Troy (and he got stiffed by King Laomedon afterwards).

  18. James Pearce says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    This is about the fat orange blob doing what the right wing echo chamber tells him to do, and Democrats not caring what the right wing echo chamber wants.

    Yes, Trump is more afraid of Ann Coulter than Nancy Pelosi…you noticed? Does this influence, in any direction, your opinion of our new/old Speaker?

    @Michael Reynolds:

    If Trump wants to negotiate he can put DACA on the table.

    Trump doesn’t want to negotiate.

    You think you’re going to be discussing a truce between warring nations? No, man, you’re going to be discussing terms of surrender.

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  19. An Interested Party says:

    Whatever it takes to stop the Orange Hobgoblin (or whatever he’s being called these days) right?

    Not exactly…it’s a little trickier when you are dealing with a hostage situation…

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  20. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @James Pearce:

    Yes, Trump is more afraid of Ann Coulter than Nancy Pelosi…you noticed? Does this influence, in any direction, your opinion of our new/old Speaker?

    First…I am not a huge fan of Pelosi. I do think she is playing this episode pretty well though.
    The fact that Individual-1 is more afraid of Coulter than Pelosi is only a reflection of Individual-1 and his own neurosis.
    The idea that you think my opinion of anyone is formed by Individual-1’s opinion of them speaks volumes about your cognitive limitations.

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  21. mattbernius says:

    @James Pearce:

    Yes, Trump is more afraid of Ann Coulter than Nancy Pelosi…you noticed? Does this influence, in any direction, your opinion of our new/old Speaker?

    What your biases cause you to interpret this as Pelosi’s weakness. More astute folks — including a number on the right — recognize this as Trump’s weakness in this particular negotiation.

    Coulter is a stand-in for Trump’s base. He is suddenly actually fighting for a wall (which he didn’t do in earnest while he still had control of Congress) because he knows that if we doesn’t get on now he is sunk. Again he as everything to lose.

    The Democrats, on the other hand, have been given the mandate from their voters to do exactly what they are doing.

    So, understanding these things, Pelosi and Schumer recognize that they have (at least) three paths to victory:

    1. Eventually, reach a deal that gives Trump some amount for the wall in return for DACA. This one is highly unlikely, but its still there. Its a victory because they end up with a better deal than the $25 billion deal Trump walked away from earlier this year.

    2. Have enough vulnerable Republicans cross lines and send Trump a stopgap funding measure. This is probably the second most likely option. If he chooses to veto a measure that vulnerable members of his party vote for, he’s again 100% in ownership of the shutdown and he’s going to alienate voters for both him and those representatives. I think the more likely this is to happen, the higher the probability that #3 is where we end up.

    3. (The most likely) Trump declares a national emergency and goes for military funding. Dems win in this case because they didn’t give him money (keeping with their campaign promises) and this move is going to alienate Republicans who are not his base. And that, again, has implications for the 2020 elections. Additionally, the resulting lawsuits will mean that no work begins on the wall until at least 2020.

    My gut is number 3 is the eventual outcome, but not for at least another week.

    Of course, my guess is you will define all of these as “failures” for the Democrats. Which is of course your prerogative.

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  22. Joe says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:

    As far as messaging, I would like to see the Dems make more of out of “here is the border security we are willing to fund and here’s how it addresses the actual problems.” Then the Trumpublicans also become the party that is blocking meaningful border security.

  23. Lit3Bolt says:

    I see James Pearce is still shitposting, then complains it smells like shit in here, waits for rational commentators to clean up his mess, and then disappears in a sulfuric cloud of Fox News talking points.

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  24. KM says:

    @Kathy:

    Or do the good people of Dumbfu***stan think a wall can spring up overnight?

    Pretty much. They really do believe that a continent-spanning wall can be built rather swift, regardless of it’s actual dimensions, materials or locations. It may not be the widest part of America but it would still need to be from sea to shining sea to be even *remotely* effective. I make sure to use that imagery so they really get just WTF they are asking to be built and why it’s not happening before their great-grand-kids graduate from college at best!

    These are the idiots who also think using eminent domain to take land from gun-toting, fed-hating, possibly-militia-leaning conservative land owners in the South will go over with no issues in order to “protect” those same people on that same land. “Yes, sir we’re here to take your land against your will for pennies on the dollar (if you’re lucky!) for the wall so that you can ranch on your land in peace. What, you won’t have land to ranch on if we do that? Not our problem that you screamed about federal invasions during lib Presidents but accept jackbootery when Trump showed up. Where the hell did you think the Wall was going to go anyways?”

  25. KM says:

    @mattbernius:
    That Trump, President of the United States, gives a flying crap about what Ann Coulter, hero in her own mind, thinks to the point it affects his actions is ABSOLUTELY his weakness and no one else’s. She’s not even a big name in conservative circles anymore, which just goes to show how out of touch he’s becoming.

    He’s trying to justify crazy person logic and failing badly. Being more afraid of gremlins then something like a mass shooting means you think fiction is more dangerous then reality. That’s on nobody but the nutcase.

  26. Joe says:

    Or do the good people of Dumbfu***stan think a wall can spring up overnight?

    Well, ya know, Kathy, Rome was built in a day and a journey of thousand miles ends with the first step. Why do you always make things so complicated?

  27. Kathy says:

    @KM:

    They also don’t seem to believe that everything costs more and takes longer.

    Even assuming no major problems stealing land from private owners (ha!), and even if construction could begin tomorrow, it will be several years before the wall is completed.

    Given there will be problems acquiring the land, and construction cannot even begin for at least months (more likely years), I think Cl Cheeto should declare an emergency and then try to defend it in court.

  28. Michael Reynolds says:

    @James Pearce:
    Was it your mommy who caused you to despise women? Or is it just that women don’t like you?

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  29. James Pearce says:

    @An Interested Party: From your link:

    The reason those bills haven’t become law is that McConnell refuses to let the Senate vote on them, and Trump refuses to sign them.

    This is what’s described as a “hostage situation.” The Republican Senate and the Republican president refuse to do what the Democratic House wants.

    That’s not a hostage situation. That’s politics.

    And look, I get it. The “blue wave” was supposed to strengthen the Dems’ position…but they lost seats in the Senate, which left them with a weakened position. (I pointed this out some time ago, to much insult.)

    Nancy Pelosi was supposed to be such a badass, and yet she appears to be merely annoying the guy she’s supposed to wringing concessions from, to the point where it’s not even clear if $5.7 billion is enough to get this dude to re-open the government.

    @mattbernius:

    1. Eventually, reach a deal that gives Trump some amount for the wall in return for DACA. This one is highly unlikely, but its still there.

    I think a deal where Dems get some concessions is the unlikeliest deal. Especially as this drags on.

    2. Have enough vulnerable Republicans cross lines and send Trump a stopgap funding measure.

    This is my preferred approach, but the Dems don’t want to partner up with Republicans. They want to stereotype them.

    My gut is number 3 is the eventual outcome

    You may be right. If he does, then this won’t be a political issue anymore. It will become a legal one. And we don’t have a swing vote on the SC anymore. If Trump goes with number 3, that will be the end of trying to work with Democrats.

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  30. Jen says:

    @KM: Last night, I saw a 65 year-old Texan interviewed about this standoff/the wall. His family has owned acres of property that borders the Rio Grande since the 1950s. If the wall/fencing/whatever goes up, it will have to be on the US side of the river (for obvious reasons). It would basically put the property that has been owned for generations inside a no-man’s land that is technically the US, but is on the other side of the fencing.

    This whole notion that a physical barrier is the right solution, in every case and across the entire border, is so utterly nonsensical.

  31. Scott F. says:

    @KM:

    They really do believe that a continent-spanning wall can be built rather swift, regardless of it’s actual dimensions, materials or locations. It may not be the widest part of America but it would still need to be from sea to shining sea to be even *remotely* effective.

    They believe this because this is what they’ve been sold for decades and The Wall in the end is just a rhetorical device. An effective, sea to sea wall is an impossibility. Construction is physically impossible due to the mountains and rivers along the southern border; Construction is legally impossible due to the property seizure that would be required; Effectiveness is impossible, because walls can be breached and most illegal immigration doesn’t come across the border away from entry points. The Wall is a fantastical idea, designed as a mnemonic tool for a dumb as dirt candidate and deployed as an applause line to a gullible base.

    Rhetoric is easy and reality is hard. The Wall is a Side Show. Neither the barker or the audience wants to give reality a second’s thought.

  32. James Pearce says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Was it your mommy who caused you to despise women? Or is it just that women don’t like you?

    Now you’re talking about my mom? God, you’re witless.

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  33. MarkedMan says:

    Y’all know I don’t usually just post a link without explanation. But this one is just too funny to pass up, and describing it would spoil the surprise. FWIW, Snopes confirms that it is real.

  34. Michael Reynolds says:

    @James Pearce:
    Dude, you’re a misogynist. Men who hate women have no moral ground to stand on.

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  35. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @James Pearce:
    Someone bookmark this comment so we can get back to Pearce on his prognostication abilities.

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  36. KM says:

    @Resistance Ron:
    Trump didn’t even give it 15 minutes according to all sources. He seems think “negotiations” means “allowing you the privilege of giving me what I demand” and deliberately walked out when that got shot down at the beginning.

    There’s a difference between getting fed up with listening to someone’s BS and just storming out when the opening salvo isn’t “sure, we’ll give you everything!!”

  37. MarkedMan says:

    @Resistance Ron: Thank you for showing up here. It is only right that Trump’s defenders have their chance. I know these times must be very humiliating for you, as it becomes more and more apparent that you are like the guy who has been loudly insisting that “NO, MY GIRLFRIEND IS NOT CHEATING ON ME, taking out credit cards in my name and using them to buy meth, and there are absolutely innocent explanations for all of it and I can’t believe what losers you guys are to suspect such a great gal of anything shady. The money is all for really amazing ideas that will make us rich and you guys are too stupid to understand so of course I gave her power of attorney.! I LOVE HER AND TRUST HER 1000%!!!!”

  38. Kathy says:

    Why doesn’t Dennison simply resort to good old-fashioned Republican ingenuity, and clandestinely sell arms to rogue countries to get wall money?

  39. Mikey says:

    @Jen: It bears mentioning that lawsuits challenging these sorts of eminent domain seizures for border fence construction have been in the courts since the G. W. Bush administration.

  40. An Interested Party says:

    That’s not a hostage situation.

    Of course it is…President Pissy Pants is holding federal workers hostage because he’s not getting his wall…and you are in a distinct minority to think that this is the fault of the Democratic House…

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  41. James Pearce says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: Bookmark it.

    @KM:

    He seems think “negotiations” means “allowing you the privilege of giving me what I demand” and deliberately walked out when that got shot down at the beginning.

    If that’s the case, Chuck and Nancy agree with Trump’s definition of “negotiations.”

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  42. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Resistance Ron:

    You know, back in 2011, the Hill ran an article

    First and most obvious tell; if J-enos doesn’t provide a link then he is misleading at best, and likely outright lying.

  43. Blue Galangal says:

    @James Pearce: I realize it’s futile to ask this, but what’s your take on Trump agreeing to sign the CR in December, having it passed unanimously in the Senate, then saying less than 24 hrs later that he would no longer sign it because it didn’t have wall funding?

    It did not have wall funding when he originally agreed to sign it. No one held it up in the Senate for any reason.

    He unilaterally added wall funding to his terms & conditions after a bill he had already agreed to sign was passed.

  44. KM says:

    @James Pearce:
    Because isn’t necessary to this process AT ALL. This is a Congressional issue that’s falsely being pushed as a Presidential one by the cowardly GOP. Mitch allows the vote, Trump has his hissy and votes, it goes back to Congress where it’s on them to override it. You know, like the Founders intended? There is nothing in the Constitution that says all bills must please the President – in fact, there’s a deliberate mechanism to override the veto SPECIFICALLY for situations like this.

    Pelosi and Schumer should ignore the manbaby and focus on Mitch since if we were really following the Constitution, he’s as useless as a screen door on a submarine to this process.

  45. James Pearce says:

    @Blue Galangal:

    what’s your take on Trump agreeing to sign the CR in December, having it passed unanimously in the Senate, then saying less than 24 hrs later that he would no longer sign it because it didn’t have wall funding?

    Pretty typical of Trump and the main reason I don’t want him in the Oval Office: he’s terrible at the job.

    Also one of the reasons why I think it’s best to give him the “wall funding” he wants. The guy has such a superficial understanding of these things that he is definitely manipulable. If we had more goal-oriented folks on our side (as opposed to the image-fixated clowns we have now) he’d be bragging about a complete and utter failure.

    @KM:

    Pelosi and Schumer should ignore the manbaby and focus on Mitch since if we were really following the Constitution

    I’m telling you. You are going to get absolutely no where with a resistance-approved agenda. You don’t have to believe me.

    But examples are piling up…

    Maybe it’s time to swallow your pride and corrupt the most corruptible president of the 21st century.

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  46. Scott F. says:

    @KM:

    Schumer put it on Mitch from the Senate floor earlier today. The Republican Senators’ constituents will put it to them as well over the phones. The call volume will pick up significantly with the first missed payday tomorrow and will only increase over time.

    Co-equal Branches is the Design – the messaging can be pretty straightforward.

  47. Scott F. says:

    @James Pearce:

    (I may regret engaging, but…) I’ve got to walk through this, because what you are saying would be the “best” plan is just unfathomable to me, so maybe I’m truly missing something.

    The Democrats give Trump the “wall funding” he is asking for. Do the quote marks get included in the appropriations bill? If not, then funds – $5.7B in funds!! – have been appropriated toward building a southern border wall. Trump and his puppet masters have been clear that even $5.7B earmarked for “border security” generally won’t be good enough, so it’s going to be “for wall” written into the bill.

    So $5.7B has been appropriated for this wall. Just how is Trump’s superficial understanding manipulated at this point? The law now dictates how the appropriated funds must be used on a wall, so it’s not like the money can now be directed to something more worthwhile for public funding. So Trump gets manipulated into what exactly?

    And how does anyone call out Trump for his misplaced bragging about a complete and utter failure? Is there any meaningful way to do this short of waiting years for the wall to fail to be built or longer still for it to fail to work? Is it at this point that Democrats would get to say I told you so? $5.7B is pretty steep for a long delayed “Nyah, Nyah, Nyah.”

    Finally, you’ve just got to explain how your best path forward is more goal-oriented than image-oriented. What goal? Profound government waste? Deferred comeuppance for the Republicans in 2020? Proof positive elimination of an unworthy response to illegal immigration? Or is the only goal re-opening a government that serves the whole country (both Democrats and Republicans) and that should never have been closed in the first place? Is the goal to show that the country can be extorted to the tune of Billions merely for the restoration of normal operations? I see no negative consequence from that kind of bad precedent, do you?

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  48. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Lit3Bolt: Yeah. I was wondering where he was for a couple of days but it turns out I didn’t really miss him being here at all and the reading the comments goes a lot faster skipping posts by him or @ him.

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  49. James Pearce says:

    @Scott F.:

    So $5.7B has been appropriated for this wall. Just how is Trump’s superficial understanding manipulated at this point?

    It took 14 years and about $2 billion to build the new VA hospital here in Denver. Not saying that it’s not a lot of money –in truth, the price tag for the hospital was a huge scandal– but put it into perspective. $5.7 billion isn’t going to buy Trump his impenetrable “wall” and they’re not going to build that anyway. In some places it will be a fence. In others, it will be held up for years in lawsuits. In yet others, nothing at all will be done. All that money spent, and for what? His wall would be like his casino. Overwrought and ill-conceived, unworkable from day one, a cone of shame to hang around his neck, or perhaps enough rope to, well, you know.

    Why would we just hand him a political victory by prolonging the shutdown? The government will, at some point, re-open, and since this is “Trump’s shutdown” it’s going to be on his terms. “His Senators” will help him make sure of that. They want some red meat to feed the base too. To them, $5.7 billion really isn’t that much money. They spent a third of that on a hospital in Colorado and this, unlike that hospital, this can be demagogued.

    If the Dems could come down from their cloud, they might be able to see a gentler path, one that doesn’t count the federal workforce as part of the collateral damage. You ask me what the goal is? It’s the same as it’s always been. To provide a physical and political space where people can have prosperous lives. How long do you think federal workers should stand on principle if they can’t pay their mortgages?

  50. James Pearce says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    I was wondering where he was for a couple of days but it turns out I didn’t really miss him being here at all and the reading the comments goes a lot faster skipping posts by him or @ him.

    Well I missed you.

    Sorry my comments slog down your read. I happen to think they contain various insights and pithy observances. We can agree to disagree on that one, I guess.

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  51. Blue Galangal says:

    @James Pearce: So Chuck & Nancy agree to give him $5.7 billion in wall funding, McConnell passes it, then Rush & Ann say wait, why wasn’t it $25 billion, and Trump turns it down again.

    The real problem isn’t Chuck & Nancy’s understanding of negotiation, as you said above, or even McConnell’s cowardice. It’s Trump’s understanding of negotiation compounded by the reality that Trump is negotiating (as it were) with the voices in his head/Rush & Ann/Fox & Friends. We’re seeing it happen in real time.

    Additionally, there’s a report out right now that he’s enjoying the shutdown. That he honestly thinks everyone affected are all Democrats.

    Chuck, Nancy, and Mitch can’t give him “victory” because he’s going to constantly be redefining what “victory” is. I very much doubt he’d reopen the government if they did agree. He doesn’t really know what it is he wants. It’s like talking to a two year old who, when you ask what color the sky is, says that the sky is “couch.”

    And IMHO they’re correct not to, because once he reneged on the first deal, it became quite clear that no deal will happen with him. The deal will have to be in the Senate and despite him.

    So I’m not quite sure how anyone can negotiate with the current situation, or how it’s Chuck & Nancy’s fault that Trump is a megalomaniacal blob of Knox gelatine.

  52. MarkedMan says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: many thumbs up…

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  53. James Pearce says:

    @Blue Galangal:

    So Chuck & Nancy agree to give him $5.7 billion in wall funding, McConnell passes it, then Rush & Ann say wait, why wasn’t it $25 billion, and Trump turns it down again.

    If they’re willing to appropriate $5.7, they’re willing to spend $25. That VA hospital was supposed to cost something like $300 million and yet they plunked down $2 billion.

    It ain’t about the money. It’s about denying Trump the political victory.

  54. Jen says:

    @Blue Galangal:

    The real problem isn’t Chuck & Nancy’s understanding of negotiation, as you said above, or even McConnell’s cowardice. It’s Trump’s understanding of negotiation compounded by the reality that Trump is negotiating (as it were) with the voices in his head/Rush & Ann/Fox & Friends. We’re seeing it happen in real time.

    THIS.

    I also think that Trump is enjoying the shutdown. It is swamping media coverage, burying the Manafort news, Cohen testifying before Congress, and everything else. I wouldn’t call it a winning strategy, because he still doesn’t seem to get that appealing only to his base isn’t going to be enough. He is extensively fundraising off of the shutdown, too. A friend of mine gets all of his email appeals, and there has been a barrage of fundraising emails for the last few days. It must be working.

  55. Moosebreath says:

    @James Pearce:

    “So Chuck & Nancy agree to give him $5.7 billion in wall funding, McConnell passes it, then Rush & Ann say wait, why wasn’t it $25 billion, and Trump turns it down again.

    If they’re willing to appropriate $5.7, they’re willing to spend $25. That VA hospital was supposed to cost something like $300 million and yet they plunked down $2 billion.

    It ain’t about the money. It’s about denying Trump the political victory.”

    So your way is to ensure Trump doesn’t get a political victory is by giving him everything he wants and getting nothing in return. Such a cunning plan! Are you sure your name is not Baldrick?

  56. James Pearce says:

    @Moosebreath:

    So your way is to ensure Trump doesn’t get a political victory is by giving him everything he wants and getting nothing in return.

    What do you expect to get in return?

  57. JohnMcC says:

    Remember those disagreeable trolls who would show up, leave some turd laying around and disappear. Never come back and argue.

    Good times.

  58. Moosebreath says:

    @James Pearce:

    What do you expect to get in return?

    See here.

  59. James Pearce says:

    @JohnMcC:

    Remember those disagreeable trolls who would show up, leave some turd laying around and disappear. Never come back and argue.

    What makes one a “disagreeable troll?” Trying to make an unpopular point? Or the multiple people who’s only point is “I don’t like Pearce?” (Which is apparently a very popular point.)

    @Moosebreath:

    Therefore, either there needs to be (a) no money for the wall as part of the resolution, or (b) enough wins for the Democrats included in the resolution, so that Trump views this as a tactic not to repeat.

    Trump’s already telling everyone what he’s going to do if he can’t get the funds from Congress. He’ll get them from somewhere else, and by the time that makes its way through court, the money will have been spent. On a “wall.”

    And the reason Trump sees this “as a tactic” is because the Dems are using it as a tactic. Why is that not clear?

  60. MarkedMan says:

    “And so”, Charlie Brown thinks to himself, “If I explain just one more time to Lucy how she is holding the football wrong, at last she’ll start doing it right!”

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  61. Moosebreath says:

    @James Pearce:

    “Trump’s already telling everyone what he’s going to do if he can’t get the funds from Congress. He’ll get them from somewhere else, and by the time that makes its way through court, the money will have been spent. On a “wall.””

    And your response is that the Democrats should just give him all he wants, thereby agreeing that the wall should be constructed, while getting nothing in return? Thanks, but hard pass.

    “And the reason Trump sees this “as a tactic” is because the Dems are using it as a tactic. Why is that not clear?”

    Again, you are reversing time. Trump made this a tactic first, not the Democrats.

  62. James Pearce says:

    @MarkedMan: Go get those six upvotes, bud…

    @Moosebreath:

    And your response is that the Democrats should just give him all he wants, thereby agreeing that the wall should be constructed, while getting nothing in return?

    I’m sorry that Democrats will not be able to get anything in return but they only control the House. They lost seats in the Senate, bolstering Trump politically.

  63. James Pearce says:

    @Moosebreath: Also:

    Again, you are reversing time. Trump made this a tactic first, not the Democrats.

    “They started it” is a rather juvenile approach.

    You are literally expecting “something in return” for ending the shutdown. It doesn’t matter who started it if you’re rolling up your sleeves and getting dirty too.

  64. wr says:

    @James Pearce: “All that money spent,”

    Tell you what — you pledge every penny you pay in taxes to build his wall — hell, offer to pay double what you pay now — and I’ll be wiling to believe you think this is a good idea.

    Pissing away five BILLION dollars for absolutely no reason except to flatter one man’s vanity is not something I want to see done with my money.

  65. Moosebreath says:

    @James Pearce:

    “I’m sorry that Democrats will not be able to get anything in return but they only control the House. They lost seats in the Senate, bolstering Trump politically.”

    I’m sorry Trump won’t be able to get money for his wall, but Republicans only control the Senate. The lost the House, bolstering Democrats politically.

    @James Pearce:

    ““They started it” is a rather juvenile approach.”

    Says the person who keeps saying the Democrats started it.

  66. Kathy says:

    @James Pearce:

    You are literally expecting “something in return” for ending the shutdown.

    No. We are expecting something in return for giving Dennison money for his vanity wall. Have you a clue what the shutdown is about?

    Let me tell you something else: unconditional surrender is neither a winning strategy nor anyone’s first choice.

  67. James Pearce says:

    @wr:

    Pissing away five BILLION dollars for absolutely no reason except to flatter one man’s vanity is not something I want to see done with my money.

    Don’t even pretend this is about the money…

    @Moosebreath:

    I’m sorry Trump won’t be able to get money for his wall, but Republicans only control the Senate.

    The Senate, the White House, and the SC.

    At what point will it be acknowledged that the only thing Democrats are “stopping” is the federal work force from getting their paychecks?

  68. James Pearce says:

    @Kathy:

    Let me tell you something else: unconditional surrender is neither a winning strategy nor anyone’s first choice.

    Pretty sad when appropriating money for “border security” is considered “unconditional surrender.”

    I mean, Donald Trump didn’t back you into that corner.

  69. Moosebreath says:

    @James Pearce:

    “At what point will it be acknowledged that the only thing Democrats are “stopping” is the federal work force from getting their paychecks?”

    When it becomes true. Note that there has been no construction of a wall yet, nor even any monies appropriated to build a wall yet. Pro tip –that means it’s still being stopped.

    @James Pearce:

    “Pretty sad when appropriating money for “border security” is considered “unconditional surrender.” ”

    Almost as sad as when you can’t tell the difference between “border security” and a wall which does not enhance border security.

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  70. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @James Pearce: Why don’t you post something interesting every now and again about something you’d be intimately familiar with? Like which porn star Trump’s B@ll$ smells like on a particular day.

  71. James Pearce says:

    @Jim Brown 32: Are you kidding? The only “porn stars” that’s seen Trump’s balls since he ran for office are named Banana Boat and Goldbond.

  72. Lit3Bolt says:

    @James Pearce:

    Did you get your potato and wodka ration for the day, comrade?

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  73. JohnMcC says:

    Remember when disagreeable trolls would drop some turd here and leave? Never hang around and argue?

    Maybe if people ignored disagreeable trolls they would all go off to troll-ville.

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