Trump sprang three traps on Pelosi and Schumer yesterday
President Trump clearly shocked House speaker-to-be Nancy Pelosi and Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer yesterday with his televising of the Oval Office sit-down over his demand for $5 billion in funding for border security, including funding of critical mileage for his border wall. Knowing well that Pelosi had already vowed publicly that "transparency and openness" would characterize the Democrat-run House starting next month, her plaintive request to speak in private scored points for Trump and revealed her hypocrisy before any substance at all was considered.
The remarkable body language during the meeting tells the story of Trump's dominance. Here is the full video of the press gaggle, via Grabien:
That was merely the first of three traps Trump had prepared for the Democrats' congressional leadership.
Trump's second trap is his bold declaration of ownership of any "government shutdown." Democrats have convinced themselves that what is called a "shutdown," but really means furloughing non-essential federal workers, is a tragedy, a scar on the nation's psyche. The fact that federal workers are now a major and solid constituency for Democrats skews their perception of the public's concern. Aside from canceling sleigh rides in national parks and other such photo drama, the fact is that life goes on well for nearly all Americans during the furlough. They learn that there are a lot of non-essential government workers.
After multiple shutdowns, including the last one that bore the label "Schumer Shutdown" and was quickly conceded by the Democrats, the public is no longer afraid of non-essential services (roughly 25% of the government) being temporarily suspended.
Chuck Schumer took the bait on the second trap, and after the Oval Office meeting, he employed triumphantly the term "Trump Shutdown" as if he had won a victory through Trump's surrender. Thus fortified, he is more likely to take Trump's dare and refuse funding for adequate border security and metaphorically throw Bre'r Trump into the briar patch.
The third trap is maneuvering the Senate Democrats into standing for open borders, or at least ineffective border security. The current House of Representatives will pass the funding. It is the Senate, where a 60-vote filibuster could be employed, that would be the obstacle.
Never forget that Trump was the most successful producer of reality television in the history of the medium. He understands drama and a story arc. Chuck Schumer leading a Senate filibuster right before Christmas to stymie border protection is exactly the story Trump wants the nation's TV-viewers to absorb.
He is immeasurably aided in crafting his third trap narrative by the Democrats' acceptance of and belief in the narratives peddled by their allies in the mainstream media. Just as they believe that the voters share their own horror over a "partial government shutdown," they also believe their own rhetoric about a wall being "immoral" (Pelosi) or "wasteful" (Schumer).
But the arrival of the Central American caravan and the reaction of Tijuana's political leadership and citizens have changed the game. The "race card" (more properly, the "ethnicity card" for Hispanics) no longer trumps (pun intentional) the hand being played by Trump. It is obvious that a substantial portion of the populace of Central America would like to enter the United States and take advantage of our free schooling for their children; food stamps; the refundable tax credit (which doesn't refund taxes, but sends a check to poor families who file tax returns without owing any taxes); Section 8 housing; and, when their kids are ready for college, race preferences.
Trump knows he would win in the court of public opinion, by making the point that the Democrats want to let more illegals into the country, and that failure to reinforce the border will mean more caravans, more terrorists, and more welfare clients entering our country.