Donald Trump is spiraling out of control
Yesterday afternoon, even as Donald Trump was realizing that he had no way out of his own border wall debacle and no way to buy any more time, he posted a two-word tweet by mistake which simply said “funding bill.” The since-deleted tweet ended up being the perfect metaphor for the confusion, chaos, impotence, and sheer political incompetence that has sent Trump spiraling dangerously out of control.
Donald Trump has apparently decided that his best way of trying to save face is to swallow the new bipartisan “compromise” which still gives him zero dollars for his border wall, while declaring a pointless national emergency that even he knows will be voided by the courts without a single dollar going toward his wall. It’s his way of trying to make it look like he’s still doing something to make his wall happen, in the hope that no one will notice it’s all over.
Trump could have tried shutting down the government again, in the hope that the Democrats would end up handing him his wall funding out of sheer concern for the victims of the shutdown. But even the ever-delusional Trump seems to grasp that it wouldn’t have worked, and that it would have merely careened him closer to being ousted from office. So instead he’s making the desperate panic move of a “national emergency” declaration that will gain him nothing tangible, while handing quite an abuse-of-power argument to those who want him gone.
Winning and losing in politics is always about having leverage, and knowing when and how to use it. There are no other factors. Donald Trump, despite nominally being the most powerful man in the world, simply has no remaining leverage of any kind. He’s been reduced to playing parlor games in the hope no one will notice that he has no power to make anything happen. Trump no longer controls anything that’s happening to him.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report