Trump grounds Pelosi junket
When Nancy Pelosi seemed to cancel the State of the Union address in the House of Representatives' chamber that she controls, did she imagine that President Trump would passively absorb the insult, based as it was on a phony contention that security concerns were the issue? President Trump is a man who openly boasts that he "hits back ten times as hard."
So, as Pelosi and a "codel" (congressional delegation) complete with entourage were on the buses taking them to Join Base Andrews for an Air Force private jet to whisk them to Brussels for a grueling stay in the culinary hotspot, before continuing on to Cairo and Afghanistan ("to thank the troops"), President Trump pulled the plug on a resource that he controls:
Takeoff on a private 757 not gonna happen for Pelosi anytime soon.
C-32 executive transport, Air Force version of the Boeing 757-200 (same plane Trump used as his private jet before election), typically used for Congressional delegation travel (Air Force photo credit).
Subsequently, the delegation headed by treasury secretary Mnuchin, set to travel to Davos for the World Economic Forum, was also grounded, as Pelosi's claim that the partial government shutdown changes all the rules becomes operational.
Was it retaliation? Of course, and the pro forma denial that it was is window dressing. Pelosi started this fight using her control of the House Sergeant of Arms to deny access to Trump to the traditional venue for the SOTU. But Trump has the better case, since Pelosi was making it impossible for negotiations to take place for a week during her trip. She wants to make the partial shutdown a crisis, and now she will live with the consequences of that position.
The president controls a lot more resources valued by Pelosi than the speaker controls resources valued by Trump. I think she is going to find out more things she wants that can be denied to her because of the crisis she proclaimed.
It's hard to be too cynical about this:
How will these poor, downtrodden members of Congress do their jobs if they can't pocket outrageous taxpayer-funded per diems and use military jets to avoid paying customs duties on all the expensive merchandise they purchase overseas? https://t.co/dRBDYMBHk7— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) January 17, 2019
The media reaction is predictably stupid:
Pelosi postponing State of the Union based on unsubstantiated security concerns="power move"— Michael Shapiro (@mis2127) January 17, 2019
Trump postponing CODEL at the last minute="low road" pic.twitter.com/c1MAnvQSTh
Pelosi is so rich that she could easily afford to pay for her own travel, first class. She won't.
I doubt very much that this is the last move that President Trump will take, denying resources to Pelosi.