Almost one month ago, I wrote concerning the looming government shutdown and how President Donald Trump had “fixed” the Democrats in place. And while I encourage you to go back and read “The Civil War Began This Week,” since we are now almost three weeks into the partial government shutdown, I would like to update you on what I see as the end of the shutdown, as well as what will happen afterwards.
This game of “chicken” which I outlined in the previous article, and the intransigence of all involved, has been evidenced throughout the shutdown. And nothing provides more evidence to what I previously wrote, than the interaction between the President and Democratic congressional leaders at the White House yesterday.
President Trump had invited several congressional leaders, including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to a meeting to discuss possible deals to bring about the end to the shutdown. The previous night, Trump, Schumer, and Pelosi had appeared on national television, laying out their case on why the other side was to blame and why they would not be compromising. Under the backdrop of those national speeches, President Trump held a negotiation meeting to see if the ball could be moved down field.
Unfortunately for those furloughed due to the shutdown, as well as those depending on the services that were provided by those departments and agencies, neither side was prepared to move. And while this whole mess may be the fault of both sides, we must also understand that perception is reality. And the perception of the public on what the problems are at the border, as well as who is at fault for the shutdown, is causing the public to move away from the Democrats.
Polling data currently suggests that in regards to the shutdown, they now hold both President Trump and the Democrats equally responsible for the current situation. This is a change in the numbers, as early on, the majority had expressed that it was the fault of President Trump.
Added to this, a recent poll found that over 79% of the American public believe that there is a crisis/problem at the border. Only 12% in the Politico poll stated that the border is not in crisis nor a problem.
This is why the meeting yesterday went like it did, and why President Trump is not only driving the agenda here, he continues to fix the Democrats in place.
Last night, when Pelosi and Schumer and company arrived, President Trump brought them some candy. And then, as it was time to start the meeting, President Trump (slightly different versions of this exist, depending on who in the room you ask) asked Pelosi if she was willing to fund the border wall (barrier) if he agreed to quickly open the government up. Speaker Pelosi told President Trump “no,” with which President Trump did his best impression of himself (“you’re fired”), ended the meeting immediately and walked out. Essentially telling the Democrats to get out of his house.
The civil war I spoke of is still in full swing. And it will NOT end when this shutdown ends. How this shutdown ends is KEY to understanding how the civil war will proceed.
My prediction is that the shutdown will end in the next 14 days or so. And unless the Democrats under Speaker Pelosi’s leadership, decide not to “die” on this hill and back down (not likely at this point), President Trump will use the intransigence of the Democrats to declare a national emergency and to divert the $5 billion in funds he requested from the Department of Defense and build the next section of the wall.
Now some say this would be illegal. That may not be true, and Committed Conservative will discuss this in the future, if it happens. But with Trump continually asking the Democrats to meet, and them continuing to say “no,” he has not only fixed them in place, he has set them up.
Whether the national emergency would be legal at this point, is irrelevant. President Trump could declare the national emergency (for which the Democrats will assuredly petition the Supreme Court to review and stop it) and short of a court injunction, begin work on the border. He would then also sign the bills sitting in the Senate, re-opening the government.
Now, what would be the results of this course of actions? Well, first… for his supporters… he has done what he can do to get the wall and has begun building. If what he would be doing was legal, then he gets $5 billion worth of wall. If it isn’t, then he can tell his supporters he tried, and that they need to elect him and a Republican Congress in 2020 in order to seal the deal (to include a 60% margin in the Senate). This means, no matter what, President Trump “wins” politically if he pursues this course of action.
The question at that point will be: what about the Democrats? How will they fair when this happens? First of all, with their hard core supporters, they will be thrilled that the Democrats held the line and didn’t cave. But what many will not understand is that their main objective, that of hurting President Trump politically, actually backfired on them. He either gets his wall, which helps him in 2020… or the SCOTUS shuts down his emergency, giving him a HUGE campaign theme for 2020 (remember the 79% who have the concern about the border which I referenced above!).
Not only will they have strengthened President Trump by not making a deal with him, they will have gotten NOTHING out of the whole shutdown. Right now, if they agreed to the $5 billion for the wall/fence/barrier, they are likely to get President Trump to agree to a whole laundry list of things that the Democrats want and would likely help them in 2020. One example of that is there a good chance that they would get some kind of movement on the Dreamers.
Instead, by digging in their heels and letting President Trump move forward in this way, they strengthen him and get nothing in return. Oh, and one more thing… it would also embolden President Trump to not negotiate with them in the future on issues they don’t agree on.
But for now, President Trump has fixed the “enemy” in place, and is about to flank them. This will be in the end, a brilliant tactical victory. But it is only one battle in what is likely to be a long and messy war.
Now that the civil war has begun, we will continue to write about how this divide will actually worsen… and how this partial government shutdown is only a shadow of the things to come.