Donald Trump plays quite a bit of golf, and he claims he always wins. Now we’re left to wonder if perhaps he doesn’t understand that in golf, having the highest score means you’re the loser. We mention this because, based on how the government shutdown and subsequent deal have played out, Trump lost badly – yet he keeps declaring himself the winner. He still hasn’t figured out that the entire thing was a trap, that he walked right into it, and that it’s about to blow up in his face in three weeks.
The Democrats held most of the cards during the shutdown. Polls showed that the majority of Americans blamed Trump and the Republicans for the debacle, meaning that the longer it lasted, the more it might hurt Trump and the GOP. That made Mitch McConnell desperate to end it as quickly as possible, so he handed the Democrats the one card he’d been hoping to hold in reserve for the midterms. He caved on CHIP children’s health care funding, and the deal gives him just three weeks to fix DACA as well. If he fails to, the government gets shut right down again, and Trump and the GOP are back to looking like idiots.
But don’t tell that to Trump. Last night he tweeted “Big win for Republicans as Democrats cave on Shutdown. Now I want a big win for everyone, including Republicans, Democrats and DACA, but especially for our Great Military and Border Security. Should be able to get there. See you at the negotiating table!” He sounded pretty happy for a guy whose vulgar racist antics forced his own party to give away a key bargaining chip just to get itself out of the resulting hole.
Then this morning Donald Trump tweeted “The Dems have just learned that a Shutdown is not the answer!” Wait, what? Again, Trump and his party lost the shutdown standoff. They lost it in the court of public opinion. They lost on CHIP. They’re about to either lose on DACA or they’re going to be stuck taking the blame for two government shutdowns in three weeks. The Democrats set a trap by offering a deal that Trump wouldn’t allow McConnell to refuse, even though Trump and the Republicans will lose either way it plays out.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report