Observing the struggle between Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and President Trump over this ongoing government shutdown — the longest in American history — has been like watching a chess grandmaster put a trained seal into checkmate again and again. Or, to put it more simply, it’s like watching a brilliant, lifelong dealmaker bulldoze a man who only played one on TV. Trump is outmatched in every sense, and he’s starting to realize it.
Pelosi has made it abundantly clear that she will not be coughing up money for Trump’s asinine border wall. She knows the vast majority of the country doesn’t want it, that funding it would be a huge and thus dangerous political win for the president, and that its construction would constitute the enshrinement of what has inarguably become a powerful symbol of racism.
While Pelosi has been steadfast in her assertion that there will be no wall, there has been talk that the Democrats might cave to the president’s hostage-based stubbornness. Now, the Speaker has dispelled those fears.
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The Hill reports that Speaker Pelosi stated at a press briefing that there is no truth to rumors that Democrats are secretly working up a counteroffer to Trump’s border wall funding demands in the hopes of ending the shutdown.
“That’s not true. That’s not true. That’s not true,” she said. before reiterating that Democrats will maintain their course by passing the spending bills that Republicans have already signed off on until the president stops vetoing them and opens the government.
“We are doing what we have been doing all along: working on our congressional responsibility to write bills, appropriations bills, to keep government open,” Pelosi explained.
If Trump was holding out any hopes that the Democrats might meet him halfway despite his having no leverage, Pelosi has dashed them. There will be no wall and he will not fulfill his signature campaign promise. The best he can hope for is some pennies thrown at some other form of border security, which will never be enough to placate his frothing base or the Anne Coulters and Rush Limbaughs of the world.
This is a presidency in free fall and Nancy Pelosi knows better than to hand Trump a parachute.