It’s nothing (well, almost nothing) but shutdown politics on today’s Sunday shows, with the unusual wrinkle that none of the guests booked has any real say in whether the shutdown ends and when. That’s especially true on the Republican side, which is momentarily a mix of brawlers who want Trump to end this with an emergency declaration to fund the wall and conciliators who’d quietly prefer to join with Democrats in re-opening the government. But what they want doesn’t matter. This is Trump’s ballgame. The press is essentially interviewing spectators this morning about the state of play.
The lead guest is Lindsey Graham, who’ll be on “Fox News Sunday” to discuss his failed attempt to broker an amnesty deal and his support for an emergency decree. Chris Wallace was hard on Sarah Huckabee Sanders about her border talking points last week when she appeared on his show. Expect him to come at Graham equally hard about the dubious legality of declaring an emergency and the political fallout for Republicans if the feds miss another paycheck for federal workers. Ted Cruz is also booked to field shutdown questions on “Meet the Press.” He’ll back Trump to the hilt on the basics of his approach thus far, but I’m curious to see how he responds when he’s asked if an emergency decree would be legal under these circumstances. He’ll dodge, of course. The only question is how.
Kevin McCarthy is also set to appear on “Face the Nation” to talk shutdown even though there are few people less relevant in Washington at any given moment than the House minority leader. McCarthy will be quizzed on signs of unrest within the Republican caucus. A few GOPers have already broken ranks to vote with Pelosi to re-open the government and more will do so as this drama wears on. Does he think there’s any scenario in which enough will defect to give Democrats a veto-proof majority? What if TSA goes on strike?
If none of that grabs you, Mike Pompeo will sit down with “Face the Nation” as well to discuss his recent speech in Egypt. He’s the non-shutdown guest I alluded to up top, although he’ll be grilled too on how the shutdown is impeding diplomatic operations. The full line-up is at the AP.