President Donald Trump is meeting with congressional Democratic leaders tomorrow to negotiate a way out of a government shutdown, which Trump has threatened if he doesn’t get more funding for his bullshit border wall. Luckily, it seems that after two years, at least a few key Democrats are finally starting to catch on to his game.
Per Politico, a number of Senate Democrats are skeptical that anything productive is going to come out of this meeting for the simple reason that Trump is the biggest flake (aside from maybe that other Flake) in the government:
“We’ve had limited success in dealing with this president,” said Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.). “His word isn’t good. Within 48 hours he reverses himself. It’s very difficult to enter into a long-term agreement.”
“We’ve said we’ll fund the wall in exchange for addressing the Dreamers and immigration issues. He said ‘fine,’ and then he reneged,” [Sen. Jeanne] Shaheen said.
That this kind of skepticism is coming from the likes of Durbin and Shaheen—two Democrats considered to be pretty firmly in the center of the party’s Senate caucus—indicates it’s a fairly prominent feeling among congressional Democrats. But more important than the skepticism, it seems, is the fact that Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi (who still has a speakership vote to win next month) are starting to actually fear the left wing of the party, according to Politico:
Pelosi is working to win over 218 Democratic votes for her speaker bid and can’t afford to alienate an emboldened left wing of her caucus. Schumer, too, is trying to brush off criticisms over his negotiating record from liberals who think he shouldn’t give the president any spending at all on a border barrier, even as Congress provided more than a billion dollars last year.
Pelosi has previewed her posture in recent remarks, saying she wants to punt the debate altogether with a stopgap Homeland Security funding bill.
Pelosi knows she can’t be perceived by her caucus as acquiescing to Trump. That could anger many of the Democrats she’s counting on to deliver her the speakership, a group that includes incoming freshmen who want to abolish some immigration enforcement programs entirely.
And perhaps speaking to just how dogshit of a leader Schumer is, even Pelosi’s vocal opposition in the House trusts her not to give away the farm more than the Senate Democratic leader, who wants to give Trump $1.6 billion for border fencing. You know, that classic compromise between having a wall to keep out desperate migrants and not having a wall to keep out desperate migrants. (Trump said that’s not enough; he wants $5 billion.)
“This is a New York City conspiracy, and Schumer is on the verge of giving Trump his third down payment on the wall,” Texas Rep. Filemon Vela, a member of the Blue Dog Coalition, told Politico “You might as well call this the Schumer-Trump wall in my view.” Not inaccurate!
Given the Democrats’ recent history of selling out undocumented people in shutdown negotiations, and the fact that it’s unlikely they’ll even try to include protections for Dreamers as part of their demands to keep the government open, it’s way too early to give the Democrats a medal here. But thankfully, it appears, a couple of years of being kicked in the head by Trump and the GOP has begun to knock some sense into them.