Stephen Collinson of CNN wrote Monday that President Trump still has not absorbed the new reality.
“It’s as if President Trump’s humiliation over the government shutdown and his failed push to honor is core campaign promise never happened,” Collinson wrote in “Shutdown debacle leaves Trump with stark choices.”
After quoting a few Trump tweets – including one in which he declares “Does anybody really think I won’t build the WALL?” – Collinson takes another opportunity to spike the football.
“But whether the president is simply defiant or in denial or is yet to process the lessons of the 35-day impasse that ended with his capitulation on Friday, he’s facing wrenching political choices.”
Either “he will have to adopt a fundamental change of approach if he is to wring money for his border wall from Congress and revive a presidency badly damaged by his loss to Democrats in the first clash of the new era of divided government,” Collinson wrote.
Doing that will require him to face “significant political risks” and “require an ability to work the levels of power in Washington that Trump was unable to show even when the GOP had a monopoly on congressional power.”
“Trump’s refusal, so far, to moderate his position does not take into account damage to his political standing in a shutdown that now looks like a grave miscalculation.”
A second shutdown, Collinson reasoned, “could turn into an even bigger disaster for Trump.”
This “political jam,” Collinson wrote, “is the reason that the president now faces a crossroads that could fundamentally alter the character of his presidency and change the foundation of a political crusade that is based on scorched earth immigration rhetoric.”
The New York Times’ story, “With Deadline Looming, Border Security Talks Face Hurdles in Congress” by Sheryl Gay Stolberg, acknowledges the president “is a wild card” who “will have the final word on any deal” who already has vowed to shut down the government again or invoke emergency powers and build the wall “if Congress does not offer a solution he likes.”
It acknowledged he has softened his message – “We do not need 2,000 miles of concrete wall from sea to shining sea. We never did,” the president said last Friday – and that Democrats have “moved closer to Mr. Trump’s $5.7 billion asking price.” It even acknowledges “the broad outlines of a deal” already may be in place – funding for various kinds of border security, including a wall in some places, for protection for Dreamers and those in the U.S. on Temporary Protected Status from war-torn countries.
But it also points to what it considers the new landscape. “Progressives especially are feeling emboldened and do not like the idea that Mr. Trump is once again tying the debate over border security to a threat to shut down the government,” Stolberg wrote.
She then quoted Ro Khanna, Democrat from California and a leader in the House Progressive Caucus. “The vast majority, not just the progressives, will say not a dime goes for the border wall,” Kanna is quoted as saying. “And that’s especially true because we just won this fight.”