At least this time Donald Trump had the sense to get his butt kicked by the Democrats without television cameras in the room. Last month Trump famously met with incoming Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and the whole world got to see Trump get outwitted. Now he’s met with the Democratic leaders again, this time in private – and based on what’s leaked out, Trump arguably flubbed it even worse this time.
The Democrats are absolutely not going to give Donald Trump any funding for his racist border wall, which is also a fence, and has already been built, and has already been paid for by Mexico, or whatever nonsense Trump is pushing this time around. But the Democrats do want to find a way to end the government shutdown, for the good of the American public.
So yesterday the Democrats offered something of a way forward: a deal to reopen the federal government, while pushing the debate over wall funding down the road. Trump knows he’s never going to get that funding. But at least this way he could tell his base that he’s not giving up on his wall pipe dream; it’s merely been delayed.
However, Donald Trump wasn’t even willing to take this gift. Instead he told Pelosi and Schumer that he “would look foolish” if he took them up on their offer. Trump is right, of course – this would paint him as a fool who stupidly bet big and predictably lost. But the reality is that Trump is going to lose on this issue, and look foolish in the process, no matter what. This was his one opportunity to come out looking the least foolish – and he flubbed it. Moreover, he admitted how foolish he looked, apparently not realizing that his remark would promptly leak, which it did to CNN. Welcome to the big leagues, Donald; you just struck out again.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report