MSNBC's Mika asks whether shutdown pain is worth Trump's political destruction
Mika Brzezinski (MSNBC)

MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski wondered whether Democrats should cave on President Donald Trump's obsession with funding a border wall -- or hold their ground and let his support continue to wither away.

The "Morning Joe" co-host and other panelists broke down the government shutdown's continuing damage on federal employees and on the U.S. economy, and she said Democrats face a tough political choice.

"No one sees an end," Brzezinski said. "You wonder, one thought is to give him the money. Remember, Captain Ahab's monomaniacal obsession with the great white whale which proved to be his undoing as readers reached the end of Herman Melville's classic "Moby Dick?"

"In the city lines of the muddy Potomac, Washington, it is a driven and disturbed president's focus on imaginary invasion of migrants that is proving to be the final undoing of his once iron-grip hold of a certain brand of American voter," she continued. "Even these Trumpists have decided shutting down the government and damaging the economy and making air travel less safe is not worth winning a political punchline."

She said even Republican lawmakers understood Trump's "imaginary wall" would not secure the border, and she said the president had promised voters that Mexico, not taxpayers, would pay for it.

"Donald Trump owns the shutdown," Brzezinski said.

Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN) has urged his fellow Democrats to give in to Trump's demand for wall funding, but Brzezinski said that was politically risky but arguably the morally correct thing to do.

"It seems wrongheaded but might be the beginning of Democrats' efforts to seek common ground if Trump starts grounding himself and border arguments in reality," she said. "In many ways it would be morally and uncomfortable for Democrats to give an inch, it is clear, and why should they?"

"Trump is slowly withering away politically, that is clear," Brzezinski added. "Perhaps the widespread human suffering caused by the shutdown and the danger could make some Democrats feel the need to seek common ground, go higher when they go lower and do their best to try to get the government employees back to work."

"Trump will be immature and obstinate, that is a given, we expect that," she concluded. "Maybe, just maybe, Democrats should take the high road, and one possibility would be they do that, give the money, get what they can in return for the wall and do what Donald Trump won't do, which is show humanity for the people who are suffering. It might be worth a try, something to consider at this point in Day 33."