Trump’s Bad Bluffs

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The GOP has offered a new plan to ensure the government stays open and it does not include funding for a wall…

A new Republican bid to keep the government open past Friday includes no fresh money for the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, diminishing the chances of a last-minute spending fight.

The decision to withdraw a roughly $1.5 billion request to begin building a physical barrier between the two countries may eliminate the White House’s best chance to secure the funding and begin construction this year. Nonetheless, President Trump and his aides vowed Tuesday that a wall will be built by the end of his current term.

For President Donald Trump it is not complete capitulation, but the backlash has begun.  On his Tuesday radio show Rush Limbaugh warned his audience about Trump’s reaction to the threats…

“I’m not happy to have to pass this on. I’m very, very troubled to have to pass this on. And I want to say at the outset that I hope my interpretation is wrong, and I hope this is not the case. But it looks like, from here, right here, right now, it looks like President Trump is caving on his demand for a measly $1 billion in the budget for his wall on the border with Mexico.”

It can never be a good sign when Maha Rushie uses the phrases “not happy” and “cave” to refer to a move by President Trump.  However, the bigger problem for Trump is not his base or even the wall.  Trump’s biggest problem are the democrats.  Yes, I understand that is always going to be a big problem for a Republican president.  However, Trump’s ultimatum backtracks has really hurt any chance he had at forcing the Democrats to the negotiating table.  Aaron Blake explains…

This kind of bluffing and having it called is undoubtedly something Trump is used to in the business and real estate worlds. But in the political world, you are negotiating with the same people over and over again. And the lesson of the first two big congressional debates is that when Trump says a bill must contain XYZ, he doesn’t really mean it; it’s just posturing. And that doesn’t bode well for future Trump demands.

President Trump has already faced an unprecedented level of obstruction (Yes Democrats, worse than Obama).  The democrats have no incentive to work with Trump.  Now that the President has flinched twice they have even less reason.  Many of Trump’s supporters and hard-line conservatives might argue it’s the capitulation that is hurting Trump.  They are wrong.  Trump knows PR.  He knows when to fight and when to back down.  I trust that his reasons for backing down are valid.  It’s not the pivoting that’s hurting him.  It’s the tough talk with no action that is costing him.

The simple solution for Trump is to better evaluate the fight before commenting.  In order to be able to back talk with action one need to know if action is even possible.  If President Trump wants to start picking up some W’s he needs to be more involved to better evaluate the situation so he can properly comment on it.  The more situations he ends up flinching in the more likely he is to not only lose the democrats but his base as well.

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