On Tuesday, President Trump tweeted out that he didn’t see solid prospects for a successful negotiation with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to avert a government shutdown.
Pelosi and Schumer cancelled their scheduled meeting with Trump and Republican leadership. Schumer then claimed that Trump had scuttled progress.
"The staffs were making great progress until the president stepped in," said Schumer. "We were very close on a number of issues."
So Trump immediately held a press conference at which he decried Pelosi’s and Schumer’s unwillingness to negotiate. He left chairs for Pelosi and Schumer empty:
He stated, “They’ve been all talk, but they’ve been no action.”
Pelosi responded thusly:
Pelosi, of course, knows a fair bit about posturing and photo ops. But she was outplayed here. She now looks like an obstructionist, and so does Schumer.
Trump should play this string out all the way to the end: he should force Democrats to greenlight funding for the border wall, alongside funding to prevent a government shutdown.
The Republican Party has always run from government shutdown fights in the mistaken belief that they couldn’t win a PR war without the presidency; now they have the presidency, and Democrats should be forced to come to the table and make concessions.