Now that the government shutdown is over (except for the long startup), let’s do a post-mortem. What are the results of the shutdown? Why did Donald Trump cave, give in, or strategically retreat (depending on your viewpoint)? Rush Limbaugh says it’s all about the SuperBowl, according to his megaditto guest, a TSA official.
Limbaugh’s caller from Houston has it all figured out.
CALLER: Atlanta is the airport where they’re having a shortage issue and the wait times are around two hours plus. But what’s happening next month, early next month in Atlanta? The Super Bowl. They just want us to open so we can process the Super Bowl passengers back and forth and then close it down.
LIMBAUGH: . . . You may be on to something out there, Nick. So we reopen things and we pay people long enough to get people into the Super Bowl (laughing) and then we shut down again until it’s time to get ’em out of Atlanta. We’ll see.
Politico notes that this was all about the airlines. If there had been a crash or other airline crisis, Tump’s name would be remembered with the likes of Benedict Arnold.
Trump decided to reopen the government Friday after the Federal Aviation Administration grounded flights bound to New York’s LaGuardia Airport because air traffic control staff, who were not being paid, called in sick.
“FAA shutting airports is a losing card,” said a former Trump adviser who remains close to the White House. “He doesn’t care about federal workers. But pissing off travelers — watch out.”
Though Sean Hannity stood his ground, defending Trump, according to the Daily Caller.
“And anyone out there by the way thinking President Trump caved today, you don’t really know the Donald Trump I know. He right now holds the cards. He will secure the border one way or another,” he added. . .
“Some of you say ‘he didn’t get any money for the wall,’” Hannity said on his radio show, according to Mediaite. “No he didn’t, but he’s going to.”
The Mediaite article The Daily Caller referred to is titled, “Hannity Goes Down With the Ship. . .”
As Hannity acknowledged the national problems that emerged as a byproduct of the shutdown, he claimed that he heard of backchannel conversations among Democratic congresspeople, asking leadership to say yes to Trump’s offer to deal on DACA dreamers.
Meanwhile, The Daily Caller says other conservatives have not been so generous with Trump.
Ann Coulter took to Twitter to express her displeasure about the deal. She tweeted, “Good news for George Herbert Walker Bush. As of today, he is no longer the biggest wimp ever to serve as President of the United States.” Coulter also suggested that the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner should be “deported.”
Fox Business’s Lou Dobbs went off on the president during his show Friday night saying, “You know I’m an animated, energetic supporter of this president. But you’ve got to call it as it is. This president said it was going to be conditional border security, building that wall, and he just reversed himself. That’s a victory for Nancy Pelosi.”
Rush Limbaugh said on his show, “Three weeks for the Democrats to get to a wall agreement with President Trump. That’s what they said they wanted. They wanted to get the government reopened ‘and then we’ll talk.’ Well, President Trump said that he ‘trusts the Democrats will negotiate in good faith,’ which is the flaw here in the thinking.”
The article also included a tweet, saying, “Losing the battle AND the war. Fox News poll finds Trump at [minus 10] on the issue of border security. This follows Quinnipiac poll that showed D’s [Democrats] ahead of Trump on border security by 7pct. Foxnews.com/politico.”
Other conservatives are angry with Trump for the opposite reason.
Democrats aren’t the only ones who wish President Donald Trump weren’t obsessed with building a border wall.
Even hard-line conservative immigration activists are frustrated with Trump’s relentless focus on a border wall — and are pushing him to embrace what they call more effective enforcement policies as part of any deal with Congress. . .
When NumbersUSA [which supports curbing legal and illegal immigration] outlined 10 steps to bolster immigration enforcement on its website, a border wall didn’t even make the list. The group, which has participated in discussions at the White House this week, sent an email blast to supporters urging them to contact the White House to include other measures.
They say it will take quite a while before the government is back up to speed. TSA is coming back. The IRS is disrupted, and the FBI is not happy, according to The Hiill. In fact, the man Trump put in as head of the agency says he’s angry.
FBI Director Christopher Wray tore into what he called a “mind-boggling” and “short-sighted” government shutdown in a video message to employees on Thursday, telling them he is angrier than he has ever been. . .
Wray described it as “mind-boggling,” “short-sighted” and “unfair” for employees to be furloughed or forced to work without pay.
The immediate impression is that Donald Trump lost this battle with Nancy Pelosi because he is not used to having a strong opponent. During the first two years, Republicans controlled all three Branches of government, including Both Houses of the Legislature. And for the rest of Trump’s life, he has never really gone head-to-head with a worthy opponent. In short, the common wisdom is now that Trump lost, and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi won.
Even Republicans seemed to concede that Pelosi was truly Trump’s match.
“She’s not one to bluff,” said Rep. Mark Meadows, the Freedom Caucus leader and Trump ally who encouraged Trump to shut the government down in the first place.
It’s also a reminder that although polls show Trump is more popular with his base than Pelosi is with her own, Pelosi’s enormous legislative acumen — sharpened by years of arm-twisting and friendly cajoling — dwarfs the political infighting skills displayed by the ex-real-estate mogul who’s long touted himself as the one of the toughest negotiators in the world.
Pelosi, it turns out, drives a much tougher bargain.
“I don’t know if it’s because she’s a woman, but [Trump] certainly underestimated her,” House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) said. “I told somebody that I don’t know what kind of nickname he will find for Nancy, but ‘Low Energy’ won’t be one of them.”
However, Townhall says don’t count Trump out. He always ends up getting everything he wants.
If there’s anything the Trump presidency should have taught people in the opinion business, it is to pause before overreacting in the short term. . .
Social media exploded with characterizations of this as caving under pressure. Some were the laments of frustrated Trump supporters; others were the gleeful smirks of his detractors. It would be wise for both groups to take a breath. . .
There must be a plan here. We just don’t know what it is.
I don’t know that the plan is smart. I don’t know that the plan will work. But I would bet that we’ll know a lot more in three weeks than we know now, and some of today’s tweets may not age well.
So, where do we go from here? It is unlikely that Trump will underestimate Pelosi again. Or that he will try to ambush her, asking her to a private meeting, at which she finds masses of media and plethora of photographers. She turned that to her advantage, getting Trump to admit and even brag that the shutdown was totally his idea (and fault).
It’s also possible that Trump will give Senate Leader Mitch McConnell some credit (and respect). If Trump tells McConnell what he wants, and promises not to stab him in the back this time, McConnell and Pelosi will come up with a new spending plan that will keep the government going. And they may even pass a law that shutdowns cannot be used as blackmail in the future. We’ll see in just three weeks.