Trump’s surrender on State of the Union makes it even less likely Pelosi will give in on border wall – Washington Examiner

Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2019

President Trump’s decision Thursday morning to surrender to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s demand that he wait until after the government shutdown is resolved to deliver his State of the Union speech in the House chamber is going to make it a lot less likely that Pelosi, D-Calif., gives in on the funding for a border wall.

Sure, in the larger scheme of things, this childish skirmish doesn’t matter much. No lives are going to be affected by whether the date of a speech is on Jan. 29 on some other time. But in an ongoing negotiation with no real movement, any standoff is going to become a proxy battle.

In this case, Pelosi’s petulant action of rescinding her invitation to the State of the Union was an effort to flex her muscles. Trump responded, first, by canceling a congressional delegation’s overseas trip and then sending a letter on Wednesday signaling he was going to show up anyway, widely seen as an attempt to force her hand. But Pelosi didn’t flinch — she has the power to block a resolution calling a joint session of Congress and was willing to use it. Instead of trying to call her bluff by showing up, and forcing her to shut off the lights on him, or delivering the speech an an alternate venue, he instead announced he was completely capitulating.

As Mark Levin noted, Pelosi is now going to see this as weakness. Trump lashed out, he tut-tutted, but ultimately he gave Pelosi exactly what she wanted without getting anything in return.

At this point, there’s very little reason to believe that Pelosi will give in. Her party is unified behind her, Trump is the one who’s getting more blame for the shutdown, and her base would flip out if she agreed to fund the border wall. Now, on top of this, she has even more reason to believe that he’ll eventually cave.

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