In case you haven’t heard, which is highly unlikely, Donald Trump is threatening a full-on government shutdown unless Congress provides funding to build his border well. An interesting threat considering, as many have pointed out, Trump spent his entire campaign promising that Mexico was going to pay for it.
I’m sorry, but anyone who actually believed he was going to make Mexico pay for his wall was probably ignorant enough to have voted for Trump in the first place.
See how that works?
Nevertheless, after his embarrassing failure to repeal Obamacare, Trump’s more desperate than ever to get anything accomplished.
So, lacking any true skills at leadership or negotiation, Trump’s doing what he always does when hoping to get his way: he’s making threats.
Only this time, Trump’s out-of-control arrogance and ineptitude just set himself up for one of his biggest humiliations.
If there were to actually be a government shutdown related to funding for his wall, the only people who’d be on his “side” would be his supporters. Sure, that’s millions of people, but their numbers would still pale in comparison to the 65-75 percent of the country — even many Republicans — who would likely oppose shutting down the government over funding his border well.
Are there people who want to see a border wall built? Sure. But even some of those folks probably wouldn’t support shutting down the government to get funding for the project. As it is, polls from just a few weeks ago showed 58 percent of Americans oppose new spending for the border wall.
Trump has practically no leverage here.
The promise to build a border wall has always been nothing more than a talking point used by Republicans to pander to conservative voters who were gullible enough to think it could be built and foolishly believe it would deter illegal immigration. Trump just took things a step further by comically promising that Mexico was going to pay for it, even though anyone with a shred of common sense knew there was no way he’d be able to make them.
In other words, Trump’s threatening a government shutdown over an issue that the vast majority of Americans either oppose or don’t really care about.
Though let’s say there is a shutdown over this issue, talk about a historic embarrassment. It would look incredibly bad on both Trump and the GOP to have Republicans control the House, Senate, and White House — yet still end up shutting down the government. While I’m sure they’d try to somehow blame Democrats, most Americans wouldn’t buy that nonsense. Some would, yes, but I believe the vast majority would put the blame of any shutdown, and the ramifications of it, solely on the shoulders of Donald Trump and the Republican Party.
Then there’s always the possibility, though it’s impossible to say for certain at this point, that if Trump were to veto any bill sent to his desk, depending on the level of support in Congress, lawmakers could override it. Which means not only would Trump’s threat have been completely ignored by both Republicans and Democrats, making him look weaker than he already does, but it would effectively force him to sign a bill he didn’t want to sign.
Much like he did when he was forced to sign new sanctions against Russia.
This is what happens when an imbecile tries to “pick a fight” that he really can’t win. Now he’s backed himself into a corner where there’s really no path to victory for him or his administration. It really comes down to:
- He’s going to force Republicans to try to pass a bill with funding for his wall that’s unlikely to have the support to get out of Congress.
- Republicans will ignore his threat and work on a bill that doesn’t include funding, effectively calling the “president’s” bluff.
- He’s going to force a government shutdown that’s not going to accomplish anything, will backfire badly on his administration and his party, and ultimately not end with Congress funding his wall.
- Back down from his threat, sign a bill that doesn’t include funding for his wall, and suffer another massive legislative defeat.
How this all plays out is anybody’s guess. I can guarantee everyone reading this that we’re headed for a very interesting next few weeks. One where Donald Trump’s own incompetence could lead to one of the biggest humiliations of his “presidency.”
Considering who we’re talking about here, that’s definitely saying something.
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