President Trump’s self-inflicted shutdown is nearing the end of its second week and is about to trim an entire 0.1% off of our nation’s GDP with no end in sight. As hundreds of thousands of federal workers toil without pay and thousands more lounge on their couches, unpaid and idling in frustration, all it takes to end the standoff is one concession from Trump that his pathetically sensitive ego won’t allow him to make.
Trump admitted that much yesterday in a private meeting with Democratic leaders Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
When pressed on why he wouldn’t just agree to re-open the government to get things rolling again and then negotiate on funding later, the President of the United States complained that “I would look foolish if I did that.”
The president is infamous at this point for his obstinate refusal to back down from anything at all, so consumed by his own insecurities and so obsessed with feeding his irrational delusions of infallible personal strength that he’s willing to pick a fight with anyone and everything — and now he’s showing he’s more than willing to let the country and its people decay if it means he gets his way.
It goes without saying that this is utterly despicable behavior from one of the world’s most powerful men. A nation of this geopolitical importance cannot be left to wither and degrade in the hands of a spoiled man-child who would rather kick over his castle than let anyone else play with it.
With the Democrats correctly refusing to give an inch and legitimize not only the president’s bad behavior but the racist narratives he’s peddling to justify the squandering of billions of dollars on his personal monument to xenophobia, there’s no end to the shutdown in sight. It appears we must wait and see how much criticism Trump is willing to take until he caves — and until then, expect to see him descend even deeper into the hole of paranoid suspicion and petulant resentment that he’s dug himself into.
Original reporting by Nicole Landford at Talking Points Memo.