If she’s going to address the president, she should show proper respect for the office. It’s Commander-in-Chief Bone Spurs.
Just passing this along to show you how nasty the #SchumerSh*tholeShutdown turned in less than 24 hours. As you may or may not know, Duckworth’s a veteran who lost both legs in Iraq in 2004 when the helicopter she was piloting was hit by an RPG. Trump, meanwhile, has made military pay a key part of his shutdown messaging over the last few days, as U.S. servicemen and women won’t get paid until Democrats decide to drop their amnesty demands and take yes for an answer on funding the government with a long-term extension of CHIP instead.
Here’s Duckworth responding last night. She starts throwing roundhouses around 55 seconds in:
Team Trump was throwing roundhouses yesterday too. This ad, accusing Democrats of complicity in murders committed by illegals, is brutal:
Hard to believe that a compromise might be within reach soon given the sudden intensity of this knife fight. McConnell’s trying to force one, though, by scheduling a new vote on ending the shutdown at 1 a.m. tonight. Both parties had a weekend to posture with limited consequences; if the shutdown bleeds into the working week, voters will begin to take it more seriously. And by “more seriously,” I mean “not very seriously at all.”
Here’s a fun tidbit from WaPo’s new behind-the-scenes tick-tock of how we got to this point. The meeting they’re describing here is the one at the White House two weeks ago that was partially aired on TV, where Trump appeared to agree with Dianne Feinstein at one point that a “clean” DREAM amnesty would be good until Kevin McCarthy intervened. After the cameras were turned off and the two sides got down to negotiating, Trump’s new DHS secretary passed around a list of presidential demands for a funding deal. Just one problem: Someone forgot to inform the president that these were his demands.
After the president ordered cameras out of the Cabinet Room that day, the group delved into the details. Kirstjen Nielsen, Trump’s homeland security secretary, and her staff passed out a four-page document on the administration’s “must haves” for any immigration bill — a hard-line list that included $18 billion for Trump’s promised border wall, eliminating the diversity visa lottery program and ending “extended family chain migration,” according to the document, which was obtained by The Washington Post.
But one person seemed surprised and alarmed by the memo: the president.
With Democrats and Republicans still in the room, Trump said that the document didn’t represent all of his positions, that he wasn’t familiar with its contents and that he didn’t appreciate being caught off-guard. He instructed the group to disregard the summary and move on, according to one of the lawmakers in the room, speaking on the condition of anonymity to describe a private conversation.
The NYT heard the same story. “I don’t know what this is,” he reportedly said of the list of demands, adding that “he did not appreciate being blindsided by his own staff.” This is what Schumer was getting at yesterday when he whined that negotiating with Trump is like “negotiating with Jell-o.” POTUS is forever being pushed by his own instincts towards amnesty for DREAMers, which he clearly wants, and pulled towards extracting a meaningful price for it by advisors like John Kelly, Tom Cotton, and Stephen Miller, all of whom want real enforcement improvements to come out of any deal and worry what it’ll do to Trump’s support on the right if he’s seen as being rolled by Democrats on immigration. This is the one issue on which he can’t afford to be seen as making a bad bargain. It could shatter his populist credibility like literally nothing else would — and yet he seems to vacillate on it constantly. It’s fascinating to imagine what sort of immigration deals would have been hatched in his first year as president if not for aides like Kelly et al. and congressional Republicans like McCarthy, John Cornyn, and Chuck Grassley yanking him away from making concessions to Democrats.
Here’s the latest White House political play to put Democrats on the defensive in the shutdown by pitting them symbolically against the troops, Mike Pence addressing American soldiers this morning in Jordan about the congressional minority that’s keeping money out of their hands. A White House speech abroad slamming the opposition is rare, although not as rare as it used to be; doing it in front of a military audience, which is supposed to be nonpartisan, is rarer still; doing it with troops as a literal backdrop to the speech is … hoo boy. Exit quotation via the Times: “Mr. Trump spent much of his day [Saturday] watching old TV clips of him berating President Barack Obama for a lack of leadership during the 2013 government shutdown, a White House aide said, seeming content to sit back and watch the show.”