First Donald Trump publicly bragged that if there was a government shutdown over his border wall, the shutdown would be his responsibility. Then after he shut it down, he tried to blame the Democrats for it. Now that he’s failed in this effort, and polls say most Americans accurately blame him and his party for the shutdown, Trump is blinking.
Remember when Donald Trump said he would accept nothing less than $5 billion for his pointless wall? The longer his disastrous shutdown has dragged on, he’s gone from having little leverage to having even less. So now, according to CBS News, he’s announcing that he’s given the Democrats a new number lower than $5 billion, though won’t publicly say what that number is. That means he’s blinked. Trump is a habitual liar, so it’s possible he’s lying about this. But even if so, simply by announcing that he’s partially backing down, it still means he’s blinked. So what now?
Imagine you’ve taken a place hostage and demanded a certain amount of ransom money. Then a bit of time passes and you realize you’re not going get it, so you ask for a fraction of the ransom money instead. By blinking like this, you’re merely giving away that you know the other side has all the leverage – which tells the other side that it doesn’t have to give you anything at all.
At this point the Democrats simply have to wait five days until they take control of the House, then pass a continuing resolution that includes zero wall funding and is agreeable to sixty Senators, and then dare Donald Trump to refuse to sign it. Considering that Trump has already blinked, he won’t have much choice but to swallow whatever he’s handed.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report