Three days after Donald Trump tweeted out “Without a Wall our Country can never have Border or National Security. … No Cave!” he did the unthinkable: He caved. Sort of.
As The Washington Examiner reported a short time ago, Trump “agreed to [sic] temporarily end the government shutdown without any guarantee of more money for his border wall after the five-week funding lapse had started.” But the battle is far from over.
Trump also hinted that if Congress can’t pass legislation funding his border wall by the middle of next month, he would be forced to declare a national emergency at the border. That move would let Trump spend emergency funds to build parts of his wall, although it’s also expected to draw a legal challenge.
Many on the Right will mistake the president’s decision to end the shutdown unilatreally as an act of weakness — as a capitulation. The left-leaning Daily Beast headlines its report tauntingly, “Trump Caves, Ends Longest Government Shutdown in History Without His Precious Wall.” Democrats will no doubt gloat and claim they won the standoff, even though to do is to overlook the fine print. Namely, the administration has agreed to reopen the shuttered parts of government only through Feb. 15. Unless Democrats are willing to agree to the president’s demand as part of a deal to move forward, they now risk taking the lion’s share of the blame for any continuing stalemate.