He’s backed into a corner now.
President Trump knows that he’s being blamed by the American public for a government shutdown that he once said he’d be proud to start and is now trying and failing to portray as the fault of Democrats who are easily outsmarting him at every turn.
With presumed incoming Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) having already outlined a strategy to separate border security funding from the rest of government funding in a series of appropriation bills at the top of her agenda when the new Congressional session commences on Thursday, Trump and his Republican-controlled Senate will be put into the position of being the only barrier to reopening the shuttered federal agencies and restoring the paychecks of hundreds of thousands of government workers.
In a desperate situation now, President Trump is now doing his Monty Hall routine and begging Pelosi to make a deal.
Any other president would normally handle this type of negotiation through confidential phone calls directly to the Democratic leader or through White House and Congressional intermediaries.
This being Donald Trump, however, the plea to come to the bargaining table was made on Twitter where the president displayed his pitiful attempt at shaming Pelosi into making concessions to his lust for a physical border barrier for all to see.
Border Security and the Wall “thing” and Shutdown is not where Nancy Pelosi wanted to start her tenure as Speaker! Let’s make a deal?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 1, 2019
Trump’s reference to the “Wall ‘thing'” is most likely as much of an indication that he is trying to slowly distance himself from the idea of a concrete barrier without losing face as it is another example of his fractured misuse of English grammar and syntax.
As the president’s tweets slowly start to replace references to the “Wall” with “Border Security,” he is telegraphing his desire to salvage any funding beyond the unspent 2018 funding for border security that is still left on the table after he rejected Senator Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) offer of $1.6 billion earlier in the negotiations before the shutdown.
He obviated the need for any telegraphing, no matter how unsubtle, by his tweet this morning that begged for a deal with a tentative question mark appended.
With the cards in Pelosi’s hands for now, the end of the shutdown— a closure that polls show Trump is rightfully being held accountable for — is in the hands of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) who will have to decide how to handle whatever bills Pelosi sends him from the House and President Trump who will ultimately decide whether to abide by the will of the majority and sign the bills funding government operations or continuing his tantrum with a veto that will extend the shutdown even further.
Those who already knew what a disastrous businessman Trump has been during his bankruptcy-filled career are not surprised that the supposed expert negotiator and dealmaker has miscalculated his leverage so badly that he’s resorted to begging. He’s had to do the same thing with banks and creditors throughout his life.
Unfortunately, now his poor decision-making skills affect the entire country not just his real estate schemes. Let’s hope that Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats keep to their position and don’t trade it in for what the duplicitous president has behind his curtain.
Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter.