The self-described world's greatest dealmaker just got played.
Late Wednesday night, Trump was forced to admit before all the world that he had been handily defeated by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“As the Shutdown was going on, Nancy Pelosi asked me to give the State of the Union Address. I agreed. She then changed her mind because of the Shutdown, suggesting a later date. This is her prerogative,” Trump tweeted after 11 p.m. “I will do the Address when the Shutdown is over.”
That, of course, is exactly what Pelosi had instructed him to do.
“I am not looking for an alternative venue for the SOTU Address because there is no venue that can compete with the history, tradition and importance of the House Chamber,” he continued.
This was a complete reversal for Trump, who had very publicly insisted that he would deliver a State of the Union address to Congress, even after Pelosi strongly suggested he should open the government first.
He even went to far as to send her a letter on Wednesday saying he didn’t care about the concerns she had expressed for Secret Service agents and other government employees who would be forced to work — without pay — to provide security during such a speech.
“Therefore,” he wrote, “I will be honoring your invitation, and fulfilling my Constitutional duty, to deliver important information to the people and Congress of the United States of America regarding the State of the Union.”
Pelosi responded with a letter of her own, informing he that he was officially banned from addressing Congress until he did his job and ended his petulant and increasingly dangerous shutdown.
Less than 12 hours later, Trump conceded.
In his earlier semi-threat to Pelosi, he had warned, “It would be so very sad for our Country if the State of the Union were not delivered on time, on schedule, and very importantly, on location!”
Obviously, Trump is the so very sad one now.
For a man who holds himself out as a master negotiator, Trump has thus far demonstrated an utter lack of understanding about how to negotiate anything. He has kept the government shut down for more than a month, forcing 800,000 employees to go without pay, and even requiring some of them to show up at work for free.
All of the polls are against him; Americans overwhelmingly want him to end his shutdown, without getting $5.7 billion to build his vanity wall on the border.
Now, despite all the posturing from the White House that Trump could somehow out-maneuver Pelosi and get to deliver his big prime-time speech before Congress, he has been beaten yet again.
“Mr. President, I hope by saying ‘near future’ you mean you will support the House-passed package to #EndTheShutdown that the Senate will vote on tomorrow,” Pelosi responded even later on Wednesday night. “Please accept this proposal so we can re-open government, repay our federal workers and negotiate our differences.”
By Thursday morning, Trump had yet to respond to Pelosi’s latest request that he end his extended tantrum. Instead, he tweeted about “Fox & Friends,” attacked his own former longtime attorney Michael Cohen as a “bad attorney,” complained about the “Fake News Media” not giving him credit for his relationship with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, and recited his new campaign slogan: “BUILD THE WALL AND CRIME WILL FALL!”
Trump rolled out his shiny new rhyme earlier this week and has repeated it several times since, declaring it the official 2020 campaign slogan for the Republican Party. it’s an odd slogan to claim, since Trump had promised during his last campaign that he’d immediately build the wall if elected in 2016.
But it’s also quite perfect for Trump: proudly admitting his failure without even realizing it.
Published with permission of The American Independent.