President Donald Trump had a tense meeting with Congressional Democratic leaders today, during which he was humiliated by their sharp rejoinders to his claims on the coming showdown over the budget and agreed to take responsibility for a federal government shutdown.
Conservative Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin has a new piece in which she argues that Trump has “already lost” the fight.
“The first rule of shutdown fights is never say you are for a shutdown,” she writes, because very few voters support them—especially when they have Christmas presents to mail. “Since Republicans control everything and are likely to be blamed for shuttering the government, the last thing President Trump wants to do is say he is for a shutdown. And that’s exactly what he said Tuesday.”
As Rubin writes, the Democrats Trump met with, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) “tried to spare Trump the embarrassment” of declaring that he favored a shutdown by holding their meeting behind closed doors. Trump refused.
“It was an extraordinary moment when Trump not only lost the high ground as president but made Democrats look like the grown-ups,” she wrote. “It is not clear how Trump could have appeared any more irrational and unhinged.”
Instead, Rubin said, the Republican-controlled Congress appears poised to oversee a shutdown with a Republican president, right around the holidays.
That shutdown will, she writes, “put an exclamation point on one of the worst years in memory for Republicans.”
Read the full column here.