Pelosi baited Trump into blowing up the infrastructure deal -- and boosted Democrats' 2020 prospects: Paul Krugman
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) -- CNN screenshot

In column following his return from vacation, Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman applauded House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for baiting Donald Trump into blowing up a proposed infrastructure deal which could have helped him with disgruntled voters had he agreed to sign it.


According to the New York Times columnist, the Democrats sorely want the infrastructure bill that would boost the economy and create jobs, but as Krugman points out, Trump would have taken credit for it during the run-up to the election.

"As everyone knows, Trump stormed out of a meeting on infrastructure, apparently out of uncontrollable rage over Pelosi’s remarks pointing out that the administration’s stonewalling on all fronts, including raw defiance of the law requiring that it provide the president’s tax returns, obviously amount to a coverup of something (and maybe multiple things)," he wrote. "And Democrats should be grateful."

The devil, he notes, is the political reality of the moment.

"You see, a major infrastructure push is a very good idea, one that Democrats would find it hard to oppose in good conscience," he explained, "Yet it would also be politically good for Trump, helping the economy, giving the public a sense of progress, and also making him seem more like a normal president. And Democrats would have had a hard time avoiding making him this gift."

"A big infrastructure push makes a lot of sense; it would also be good politics for Trump. Yet 2 ½ years after Trump took office, and after a series of 'infrastructure weeks' that seem to come almost as often as the president’s golfing trips, nothing has happened," he added.

According to Krugman, Trump likely thinks it was a good idea to walk out on the Democratic leaders in a huff, thinking it makes him look like a strong leader. But it was a gift to the Democrats -- much like the government shut-down.

"Let’s not try to pretend that there was any clever political strategy in Trump’s walkout; it was just his immaturity and insecurity, but even more obvious than usual. And the attempt to portray Pelosi as out of control is so ludicrous that only totally deluded people – i.e., around a third of the country – could possibly believe it," he wrote.

He then gave some unsolicited advice to the Democratic leadership.

"So if I were Pelosi and Schumer, I would be quietly expressing thanks to Trump for throwing a tantrum, and extricating them from a potential political trap," he suggested.

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