Make no mistake about what happened here. Donald Trump got his ass kicked. Period! And the person who administered the ass kicking was none other than Nancy Pelosi. For 35 days, Trump huffed and he puffed and he shut down the government trying to extort $5.7 billion for his wall; a wall he promised Mexico would pay for. And Pelosi said no.
He tried temper tantrums; that didn’t work. He tried dangling a temporary fix for dreamers; that didn’t work. He took away Pelosi’s traveling privileges; she took away his State of the Union address. The man who has made a living getting his way by bullying his opponents, not only didn’t get his way, he now knows his principle protagonist isn’t remotely intimidated by him and, even worse for him, isn’t going anywhere.
This wasn’t just a cave; it was a cowering. The great deal maker negotiated himself into a corner with no exit strategy. He needlessly dragged this country through five weeks of hell, threw members of his own party under the bus – including the current majority leader of the Senate and recent inductee into the witness protection program, Mitch McConnell – and recklessly brought pain and suffering into the lives of eight hundred thousand government employees, all to appease the likes of Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh.
In the end, the reality TV president came face to face with reality. He was forced to sign a three week continuing resolution to reopen the government without one cent for his pitiful wall; the same CR, mind you, he could’ve signed back in December. It’s bad enough coming up empty handed, but taking five weeks to get there is the very definition of adding insult to injury.
Clearly Trump is not accustomed to being told no, especially by a strong woman like Pelosi. And it’s driving him up the, you’ll pardon the pun, wall. It’s time to admit the obvious: all the Debbie Downers out there like me who were publicly questioning whether it was time for Democrats to find a new, younger leader were dead wrong. Three weeks into the new session, Pelosi has been nothing short of brilliant. She hasn’t just vanquished her political foes, she’s served notice to this president. If you’re going to behave like a child, you’re going to be treated like one.
The difference between Trump and Pelosi could not be clearer. The former is reactive, relying mainly on his instincts, which are typically wrong; the latter might be the most strategic Speaker we’ve had in over a generation. While Trump leaps before he looks, Pelosi is always thinking two or three moves ahead. It’s like watching someone who’s only played checkers try their hand at chess. Trump is so out of his league you almost feel sorry for the bastard. ALMOST!
Not only doesn’t Trump have any leverage over Pelosi, thanks to this stunt of his, he may very well have lost a good chunk of the leverage he had over his own party. Did you notice that right after he capitulated at his presser in the Rose Garden he tweeted he might shut down the government again in three weeks if he doesn’t get his wall funding? You can take this to the bank: there’s no way in hell McConnell is going to let that happen. We are done for the foreseeable future with Lord Fauntleroy burning down the village. If it’s a wall he wants, he can build it with Legos.
For now, Trump’s biggest problem might be with his base. After swearing up and down that he wasn’t going to end the shutdown without funding for his wall, old blood and guts came off looking like the pussy he usually grabs. Ann Coulter lit him up on Twitter. Sean Hannity, who’s so far up Trump’s ass it would take the jaws of life to pry him free, did his best to defend him on his radio program, but to no avail. You can take the tiki torches away from the Hitler Youth, but you can’t take away their rage. And rage is the fuel that drives Trumpism. Let’s be honest here: the one thing this president can’t afford to lose is his base. They’re the reason he beat Hillary in 2016 and they’re the only chance he has of winning reelection in 2020. Without that 30 to 35 percent of the population – yes, God help me, it’s that large – he’s finished and he knows it.
And that’s why I’m worried he might do something even more stupid than shut down the government. He could start a war. Did you notice his recent comments about Venezuela? For a man who campaigned about not getting entangled in foreign conflicts and who probably can’t locate Venezuela on a map, don’t be surprised if in a couple of weeks – right about the time McConnell informs him he isn’t getting his fucking wall – we end up invading that country. With Robert Mueller closing in on his family, he desperately needs a large distraction. A war would certainly suffice.
I tell you we are dealing with man who is not stable. A narcissist with no moral compass, incapable of feeling empathy and possessing all the impulse control of a four year old. Those are the character traits one would expect to find in a patient residing in a mental ward. Unfortunately for us and the world, he resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Progressive but pragmatic. Lover of music, die-hard Giants’ fan and reluctant Mets’ fan. My favorite motto? I’d rather be ruled by a smart Turk than a dumb Christian.