The emperor has no clothes. There is no strategy. He has no idea what he wants or what he’s doing. He doesn’t know what counts as a win. He doesn’t even have the sense to snatch a badly needed partial victory when one is handed to him. He’s throwing a tantrum for the sake of throwing one, without caring that it’s costing him, simply because he’s in a bad mood and he wants trouble. When it comes to immigration and the government shutdown, Donald Trump has backed himself into a no-win corner.
For the sake of assuring the well being of those Americans affected by DACA, the Democrats and moderate Republicans tried to give him the opportunity to save face on his imaginary border wall. They offered to give him enough funding to build a few stretches of wall, so he could pretend he’s “built the wall” and declare victory. But that wasn’t enough, for some reason.
Trump blew up the meeting with a now infamously profane tantrum. Yet the deal is still essentially on the table, and Trump still won’t take it. This can’t be a conspiracy between Trump and the Republicans to shut down the government so they can try to blame the Democrats. Based on their mad dash to try to cobble together a continuing resolution, the Republicans in Congress are clearly afraid of a shutdown; they fear the public will blame them. So this is all Trump’s doing – and there’s no winning here for him. So why is he doing it?
Donald Trump can’t possibly think there’s a better deal to be had than the one that’s on the table. This is as close to a border wall as he’ll ever get. For once, both parties are trying to hand him a faux-victory just so they can move on from the mess. Maybe he’ll take the existing offer at the last minute just to save a little face. But it sure doesn’t look like he’s heading in that direction. He’s in a no-win corner, and he knows it, and he’s in such a snit that he seems willing to give up his wall out of mere spite.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report