President Trump caved today over border wall funding and agreed to reopen the government for three weeks, proving once again that his reputation as a legendary dealmaker is nothing but reality television fiction.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has outplayed the president left and right since the beginning of the shutdown, culminating in her victory today. While Trump has tried to downplay his surrender, the more radical elements of his base are already calling him a coward and a sellout. Make no mistake, this is a devastating setback for the administration.
Pelosi, who seems to take genuine delight in her current legacy-making task of humiliating and neutering Trump, couldn’t resist the urge to dance on his political grave. John Harwood of CNBC reports that the Speaker was asked how she thinks Trump will spin the fact that the shutdown is ending without any money for the border wall secured.
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“We could plant these flowers along the border and he’d say, ‘I got my wall,'” Pelosi said, indicating her office decorations.
A funny comment to be sure, but also an astute assessment of the way in which Trump completely ignores reality to sell his followers a racist dream. Even if the wall is never built (and it seems increasingly likely that it won’t) Trump can just lie to his supporters and say it has been.
A not insubstantial portion of his base eats up whatever he says as Gospel, which is one of the things that makes him so dangerous. Lucky for the United States, we are in very capable, confident hands with Nancy Pelosi leading the charge against this would-be authoritarian.
Pelosi, asked how Trump will handle backdown on reopening government without wall money, gestures toward her office decorations: “we could plant these flowers along the border and he’d say, ‘I got my wall.’ “
— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) January 25, 2019