January 24, 2019
J: Hey T, day 34 of the shutdown is here. What do you think of all this happy horseshit?
T: Another day, another round of rhetoric, but the shifts seem to be going the wrong way for the GOP.
Adelson got his fealty pledge from Romney’s daughter, while Romney himself crossed the aisle. Trump’s approval rating continues to tank, down to 39.5 and 56.8, the biggest spread in over a year. The votes today went two spots to the Dem side, not a catastrophe but not exactly a ringing endorsement for Trump’s wall.
Meanwhile, Trump is still spouting the line he’s been using since 2015 (gimme my wall!!!!) while the rest of the world is trying to say nice things about the need to compromise. What’s your take?
J: I think there’s going to be a compromise in the very near future. The Dems will roll out their border-security bill tomorrow and basically dare Trump to veto it… it’ll have money for everything in the world except the wall on it, and the fact that six Reps crossed the aisle should tell Trump and McConnell that this is probably the best deal they’re gonna get.
So Trump will agree to it and claim victory (as he usually does no matter how badly he’s had his ass handed to him). But I think we’re in the endgame now. I’d bet that the government is opened before the weekend’s out.
Editor’s note: the shutdown ended the following day.
T: I hope you are right. My intuition is that Trump won’t cave that easily, but he did cave on the SOTU speech. That surprised me.
Is he actually starting to feel vulnerable? Those tanking approval ratings sent a pretty strong message, didn’t they? I mean, 34 percent? That’s usually reserved for impeachments and depressions. My guess is that he won’t cave (wall or bust) but your guess has me doubting my guess.
J: He had no choice but to cave on the speech. Apparently it’s a law and not just a matter of policy that no one, not even the President, addresses a joint session of Congress without an invitation.
T: I thought he might hold a rally; somebody must have talked him out of it.
J: Schumer and McConnell are still talking… I think that they’re trying to get to a deal before the Dems roll out their border-security bill tomorrow. They’re apparently going to give $5.7 billion for other border-security measures, more Border Patrol agents, more judges, infrastructure at points of entry… it’s hard to see how Trump could say no to that.