In the world of Washington politics, Donald J. Trump has met his match.
His tortured presidency limped into its second year last month after The Donald was publicly spanked by new House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
Despite his never-ending boasts, the true State of the Union under his supervision has been weakened after a Trump-inspired, useless and costly 35-day partial government shutdown. U.S. foreign policy is in disarray, as the president remains in open defiance of the sworn testimony of his own intelligence chiefs. And he is caught in a tangled web of investigations about his campaign which is drawing in more of his closest friends and advisers. Woe is Trump.
The new Democratic majority in the House staged a legislative confrontation with Trump, refusing to fund his demanded southern border “wall,” even as the government shutdown — the bargaining chip in the political drama — dragged on for five weeks, the longest in U.S. history.
In the end, dude agreed to a three-week extension of government funding without money for his wall, although he threatened an emergency declaration to build his wall if Congress does not approve his funding demand. The Democrats responded saying “Bring it. We’ll see you in court.”
“With Caravans marching through Mexico and toward our Country, Republicans must be prepared to do whatever is necessary for STRONG Border Security,” Trump tweeted late Sunday night, ahead of his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday.
“Dems do nothing. If there is no Wall, there is no Security. Human Trafficking, Drugs and Criminals of all dimensions – KEEP OUT!” he continued.
Trump also repeated his criticisms of the intelligence community, which he tweeted earlier was “extremely passive and naive when it comes to the dangers of Iran.” Send in the clowns.
That presidential behavior sparked an “uprising” of sorts among his own party in the Senate, in the form of a slap on the wrist over his calls to withdraw troops from Syria and Afghanistan. Senators approved an amendment to a Middle East bill that warned that “the precipitous withdrawal of United States forces from either country could put at risk hard-won gains and United States national security.”
The amendment, which was introduced by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), refrained from attacking the president by name but clearly targeted his foreign policy approach.
“It is incumbent upon the United States to lead, to continue to maintain a global coalition against terror and to stand by our local partners,” said the amendment.
“The best I can figure is we know that Trump in many ways was the useful idiot for the GOP and like any useful idiot when he became and as big as he becomes a problem, they’re going to discard him,” said Dr. Greg Carr, chair of the Department of African American Studies. “It seems to me that the first time they’ve had any conflict with Trump was about this wall business and the federal government. All they needed him to do was be an ‘auto-pen’ to sign for their judges which they wanted, and for deregulation which they wanted, and for their massive tax giveaway and wealth transfer. Those are the three things they wanted and he was great with that.”
Pelosi cut her political teeth in the rough-and-tumble Baltimore political theater, where her father and brother were both mayors of Charm City, so she’s dealt with characters like The Donald before. Trump, on the other hand, is accustomed to politicians seeking to curry his favor, rather than those who will stand up to him.
“I think that she was very rigid,” Trump said of the House speaker in a Twitter storm, “but I think she is very bad for our country. She knows that you need a barrier. She knows that we need border security. She wanted to win a political point. I happen to think it’s very bad politics because basically she wants open borders. She doesn’t mind human trafficking or she wouldn’t do this.”
But Trump knew he had been bettered by the woman from California.
“She can keep playing her games, but we will win,” 45 continued. “Because we have a much better issue. On a political basis, what she’s doing is — I actually think it’s bad politics, but much more importantly it’s very bad for our country.”
Trump remains alone.
“Mitch McConnell is just basically decided this is the end for my party,” Carr said. “This is the end for my ideology and I’m going to ride this until the wheels fall off. I’m gonna get as many judges that I can get on the bench, maybe extend this thing another generation or two through the courts. And other than that, oh, that’s my legacy.”
Is a requiem for the Trumpster coming soon? Soon enough, I suppose.