Earlier this month Donald Trump told Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer in front of the television cameras that he was willing to shut down the government if that’s what it took to get his border wall built. Trump has since indeed shut the government down, because no one is going to pay for his stupid, racist, pointless wall. Trump has been retreating even while pretending to stand his ground, and Pelosi just called him out for it.
Donald Trump started off by insisting that he would build a concrete wall across the border. He’s since changed that into a combination of walls and fences. Now he’s settled on a “steel slat barrier” complete with a mock-up that looks like it was made by a kindergartner with a broken computer. It’s clear that Trump has settled on this design because someone is looking to kick part of the funding back to him. But it’s also quite a retreat on Trump’s part, because this isn’t a wall.
In a new interview with USA Today, Nancy Pelosi pointed out the increasing absurdity involved: “[Trump] says, ‘We’re going to build a wall with cement, and Mexico’s going to pay for it’ while he’s already backed off of the cement – now he’s down to, I think, a beaded curtain or something.”
Donald Trump has nowhere to go from here. It’s clear that Congress is not going to give him the funding for his wall/fence/curtain/piñata whatever it is. If he reopens the government without getting the funding, his racist base will turn against him. If he keeps the government shut down long enough, dragging the stock market down further, the big-money conservatives will seek his ouster. Trump can’t win. Perhaps they can hang a beaded curtain in his prison cell.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report