01/12/2019

Why Trump Will Win The Shutdown

David Marcus, The Federalist

Compromise. It’s a word President Trump used several times yesterday. He is open to compromise. In this case, that means something short of the $5 billion he wants for a border wall. He’s open to taking less, perhaps in exchange for not applying the law to younger illegal immigrants. This is clearly the easiest way out of the current debacle. But it is something the Democrats, led by “No Wall” Nancy Pelosi, have said they will never support.

This is a problem. Democrats have backed themselves up against a, well, a wall. They have created a situation in which if they give even one dollar to Trump to build a wall, or fence, steel barrier, or whatever, they have lost the political fight. Pelosi, the great speaker of the House who gets things done, has left herself no leverage to get anything done. She could ask for almost anything in exchange for wall funding, but instead, she won’t budge.

Trump is channeling his inner Michael Corleone and telling Democrats that his offer is this: nothing, not even the price of the border wall, which he would appreciate Pelosi appropriating. So here we are.

We all like to knock and mock Trump’s braggadocio claims that he is the best negotiator ever. But in this case, he really has outflanked his opponents. Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have painted themselves into a corner. They have said, “No funding for a wall.” They say this despite the fact that they have supported barrier funding in the past. So in essence they have given themselves no fallback position.

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