Donald Trump gave his “I’m reopening the government for three weeks until I have another temper tantrum” speech in the Rose Garden this afternoon playing the part of a real American hero. He could have done this any number of times the House passed a bill to end the shutdown. So, why’d it take so long?
I have a few theories:
- Trump, upon realizing two days ago that Nancy Pelosi was dead serious that he would not be giving the State of the Union address in the House chamber, came to the intelligent conclusion that she couldn’t stop him from giving the address if he reopened the government.
- After his BFF and political consultant con man, Roger Stone, was arrested this morning, Trump needed a good distraction from the negative news cycle that indicates once again that Mueller is closing in.
- This shutdown is the longest in US history. Perhaps Trump felt like he beat the all time record, so that makes him a winner. Plus, he can brag now that he, and he alone, stopped federal employees from starving or being evicted.
- The possibility does exist that Trump has gained some clarity into what the American people are thinking: the majority blame him for the shutdown; countless polls show percentage increases of Americans’ disapproval of his leadership and the now infamous border wall; the vast amount of reporting detailing the harm the shutdown has done to vital federal agencies as well as all the families who have missed two paychecks now; and let’s not forget Wilbur Ross’ questioning why federal workers can’t just take out loans instead of going to food pantries — that one landed the administration in hot water all by itself.
Of course, just yesterday the president was calling on the federal employees working without pay to make a deal with their local grocer. That’s right, he suggested they go to the grocery store and ask for free food. (This is real life, people.) So, that makes #4 very unlikely. I’d say this overnight turnaround is 1, 2, and 3 put together. You go, Mr. President. You’re a real American hero.
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