Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Trump -- Terrible Negotiator and a Bad Bluffer

Trump slouched to victory last November partly on his ability to rouse an ugly xenophobia. Typical call-and-response at his rallies:

"I'm going to build the wall. And who's going to pay for it?"

"Mexico!" shouted back his reality-deprived followers.

So, naturally, Trump sent out his budget director, Mick Mulvaney, last week to declare that any temporary government-funding bill must include funding for Trump's wall. Shutdown looms this weekend without a funding bill; presumably, rapists and murderers loom without a wall. Do the math, bitches!

The bluff didn't work, so throughout last weekend, Trump admin officials (including Mulvaney) upped the threat level: Trump might veto any funding bill without wall money in it.

Trump chief-of-staff Reince Preibus said Trump meant business. No funding for the wall, no signing of a funding bill.

Some 24 hours later -- yesterday, Monday, to be exact -- Trump caved: "In the face of fierce Democratic opposition to funding the wall’s construction, White House officials signaled Monday that the president may be open to an agreement that includes money for border security if not specifically for a wall, with an emphasis on technology and border agents rather than a structure."

By Monday afternoon -- yesterday -- Trump was telling a gathering of conservative media mavens "that he was open to delaying funding for wall construction until September, a White House official confirmed."

They called his bluff. He folded. Again. Just like he did about repealing Obamacare. Those bragged-about negotiating skills are just more snake oil.

Though in this case we can be glad if the xenophobic symbol of Trump's inner demons is delayed into infinity and then completely forgotten.

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