Trump's 2020 strategy taking shape with government shutdown looming

It seems almost suicidal. Donald Trump said recently that he would be "proud" to shut down the government in order to get his border wall funded. This means that, when several federal agencies - including Homeland Security - run out of money and are forced to close their doors next Friday, Republicans and the president will be kept holding the bag.

"Blame" for even a partial shutdown of government is never decisive politically and is usually soon forgotten. But a shutdown would reflect badly on the GOP and, outside of his base who are salivating at shutting down the government over funding for a wall, would damage the president with independents.

Out of this fight emerges Trump's 2020 stratgegy; energize, anger, and scare his base of supporters so that they turn out in huge numbers in 2020.

The declining influence of political independents means that every election is now a base election. Obama won in 2012 despite a horrible economy and missteps in foreign policy because he had the most sophisticated get out the vote organization in electoral history. The nuts and bolts of GOTV strategy will never be the same. Obama's campaign was able to indentify, target, and get to the polls large numbers of people who ordinarily wouldn't have voted. It worked and Trump knows that he has to get his base of white, middle class Americans - many of whom haven't voted in recent years - to vote in order to survive.

So why shut down the government?

The Hill:

Frustrated Senate GOP leaders appeared to throw up their hands heading into the weekend as they await some direction from the mercurial president.

“There is no discernible plan, none that’s been disclosed,” said Senate Republican Whip John Cornyn of Texas.

It’s a perilous moment for the Grand Old Party. Either Trump folds and backs off his demand for the wall — the signature promise of his 2016 campaign — or the government will shut down over the holidays.

“The odds are 65/35 we're shutting down. I'm not optimistic we're going to see some kind of compromise on appropriations on Homeland Security,” said Rep. Paul Mitchell (R-Mich.), the freshman representative to the GOP leadership team. “I don't see that they're going to get done bickering.”

“Trump will get the blame, but he won’t care,” added a second GOP lawmaker. “And the base will love him for it.”

It won't matter to his base if Trump is indicted. It won't matter to them if he's impeached. In fact, I suspect most of the president's core voters would see being indicted or impeached as a badge of honor. It might even energize his base to get out and vote even more, given the circus that Democrats will make of impeachment.

A recent CNN poll found that 50% of Americans do not want to see Trump impeached. Only 12% of Democrats don't want to see impeachment. The Democrat's base will drive their party over a cliff to get Trump, regardless of the political cost.

More than that, Democrat's anti-Trump hysteria is their only agenda going into 2020. Are they really going to push "Medicare for All"? Let's pray they do. The point being, Democrats have nothing to say, nothing to offer, except they are "the resistance" and should be elected based almost solely on that.

This plays beautifully into Trump's hands. He doesn't have to care about the Republican Party. All he has to do is carve out a sizable element from it and drive those voters to the polls. 

And a government shutdown would be a good start.


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