Important to Keep In Mind

Trump’s President. He can shut down the government. Some compromises are necessary. But these are points well-taken. From TPM Reader JB

Without quarreling with those who are arguing today that the leadership deal to fund government agencies is a humiliating defeat for Trump, I think we ought to remember a few things.

One, several hundred million taxpayer dollars wasted on ornamental fencing and barriers that will rip up land in the lower Rio Grande Valley is to be the price of saving a little face for Trump and his anti-immigrant supporters in Congress.

Two, this deal on appropriations will evidently not constrain ICE and the Border Patrol from continuing to abuse migrants at their discretion (as a deterrent), or alter the Trump administration’s program to discourage asylum seekers by making them wait years in Mexico before their cases can be adjudicated.

Three, this leadership deal is apparently so fragile no amendments to it can be entertained in either the House or the Senate. Nothing that might complicate the task of rendering one man quiescent can be allowed, national legislature or not.

And four, the end of Fiscal Year 2019 is only seven months away. Last night’s “finish the wall” messaging notwithstanding, there was never any way one year of funding would accomplish any such thing. We have no practical assurance that, after the President shut down federal agencies for over a month, he will not do so again before this year is over.

Trump will brood, and pout, and tweet, but within weeks he will have manufactured a new reality for himself to keep his ego upright. Meanwhile the Congress has twisted itself into a pretzel and given the taxpayers an extra bill to pay for the task of Trump Maintenance. Yes, by making a ridiculous demand to honor a dishonest and frivolous campaign promise Trump set himself up to be humiliated. Fine. But it’s hard for me to see how this deal is much of a victory for anyone else, apart from representing a defeat for him.

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