Via the Daily Rushbo, it did look that way last night and early this morning. By mid-morning, though? I don’t know. I don’t know. Having conservative talk radio chieftains warning their populist audiences that Trump’s on the verge of selling out might force a rethink.
“Once they get away with it,” says Rush of the Democrats’ shutdown gambit, “they’re going to keep trying it.” That’s true and that’s why it’s silly for Trump to have bluffed here (if he’s bluffing), especially so soon after he got caught bluffing on wanting the House to vote on the Trump/Ryan health-care bill. His opponents in Congress, both on the left and the Freedom Caucus right, are learning early that standing up to him is apt to pay off — even on a priority as cherished in the White House as the wall. Why Trump would choose that, of all things, as material for a bluff, I don’t know. If he ends up backing down, it’ll suggest that nothing in his agenda is so important that he’d go to the mat over it; and if he doesn’t end up backing down, he’s left staring at the real possibility of the federal government shutting down over funding for something that isn’t popular outside of Trump’s base. What’s the smart play now? Cave and be shredded by gleeful Democrats and angry right-wing populists for backing down or stand your ground and risk being blamed by the public for a shutdown that many will view as needless?
What would be really bold is if Trump caved and then tried to sell the right on the idea that illegal immigration can be effectively deterred even without a wall. He’s proving it right now!
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