Donald Trump lost on Wednesday. Badly. He decided to announce that he would simply show up to the House and deliver his State of the Union address even without Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s approval, thus gambling that Pelosi would back down and let him get away with it. Instead, Pelosi reminded the nation that Trump can’t do that without a House concurrent resolution first, which she has no intention of giving him. Accordingly, Trump launched into a berserk late night meltdown about it.
Sometime after 11pm eastern time, Donald Trump posted this two-part rant: “As the Shutdown was going on, Nancy Pelosi asked me to give the State of the Union Address. I agreed. She then changed her mind because of the Shutdown, suggesting a later date. This is her prerogative – I will do the Address when the Shutdown is over. I am not looking for an alternative venue for the SOTU Address because there is no venue that can compete with the history, tradition and importance of the House Chamber. I look forward to giving a “great” State of the Union Address in the near future!”
So where does this leave us? Make no mistake about it. For all his angry bluster and bravado in the above statement, Donald Trump just caved. He agreed to essentially forfeit his opportunity to address the nation and try to steer Americans toward siding with him on his government shutdown and racist border wall.
Donald Trump set himself up for failure, and Nancy Pelosi won simply by standing her ground. By caving on the State of the Union, Trump just inched himself closer to having to cave on his government shutdown, which in turn puts Trump closer to ouster from office. When it comes to negotiating a deal, Trump is an all-time weakling, and he just reminded us of it yet again.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report