When learning of Joan Crawford’s death, Bette Davis famously said, “My mother told me never to speak ill of the dead, only good. Joan Crawford is dead. Good.” The government shutdown continues to hurt Donald Trump politically. Good.
The shutdown will continue at least until January 3rd, when it will be two weeks old, and will become the fourth longest government shutdown in US history. After that it will require only eight more days to become the longest.
Polls indicate that more people by far blame Trump for the shutdown than anyone else. This is only proper, as he insistently demanded he take the blame for it during his Oval Office meeting with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer on the 11th of December.
By any normal calculus of reasoning the shutdown should have ended by now. Trump’s infantile insistence on not giving an inch, and his usual divisive, hate filled rhetoric aimed at the Democrats – reneging on his pledge to hold himself solely responsible for the shutdown – make that unlikely. Mr “Art of the Deal” can’t handle a simple government reboot that requires, well, a little old-fashioned deal making, let alone common sense.
Trump’s intransigence has nothing to do with political courage or an innate belief in his own judgment, and everything to do with playing to his bigoted base. Trump still hasn’t worked it out that the sweaty, monotooth claque of screaming, MAGA hat-wearing glandular cases at his rallies are not the ones who pay the bills. His real base, the ones who matter, the billionaires who make large political donations, are becoming increasingly restless. And the mercenary gang of Congressional Republican thugs understand this.
Trump’s only concession has been to suggest that he would be open to using “steel slats” instead of an actual wall, a compromise that addresses none of the Democrats’ concerns over a border wall. So keep it up Donald Trump. While we have compassion for the people whose lives this idiot is impacting with his fetishistic pursuit of his moronic border wall, sometimes a little pain is required to get rid of a very bad infection.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.