President Donald Trump is again under fire from Democratic partisans, as former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe took to making accusations about his mental and emotional state while being interviewed on CNN’s State of the Union earlier today, December 30.
Per Breitbart, McAuliffe wasted no time in placing the blame for the partial government shutdown squarely on Trump’s shoulders. He elaborated on his political positioning while being questioned by CNN television personality Dana Bash.
“The Democrats should not give an inch on this. Donald Trump owns this. He has been in the White House. He has been isolated. He is too emotional. He is too unstable. And he has now forced people to go through the holidays without a paycheck… He is an angry, emotional, unstable man sitting in the White House.”
During a verbal sparring match prior to the beginning of the partial shutdown between President Trump, Chuck Schumer, and Nancy Pelosi, Trump made it plain that he would welcome a shutdown over the issue of border security, likely believing that the wedge issue of the migrant caravan — and illegal immigration writ large — would not only play well to his base but to the independent American electorate.
According to Fortune, this stance echoes remarks which Trump had made as early as mid-November, saying at that time that it was currently an ideal time to call for a shutdown over the above issues, and that if Democrats didn’t “come to their senses,” then it was all but assured that the Trump administration would be victorious in the next significant election.
.@realDonaldTrump is an angry, emotional, unstable man who shut down the government because he is scared of folks like Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh. 800K+ Americans lost their paychecks over the holidays because Trump is a weak man who’s unfit to serve. pic.twitter.com/7CptMdqNeP— Terry McAuliffe (@TerryMcAuliffe) December 30, 2018
It doesn’t seem as if Donald Trump is alone in that assessment. Penning a column for the Journal-Gazette, writer Carter Askew suggests that the shutdown is a win-win scenario for the 45th president. Positing that, should Schumer and Pelosi fold on the border wall funding demand, Trump claims an obvious victory. Askew goes on to point out that should the two Democrats drag their feet on resolving the shutdown, they begin their new legislative session under the auspices of appearing “weak.”
“Trump is betting that neither Pelosi nor Schumer can afford to appear weak in their first encounter with the president after their midterm victories. The wall is an anathema to progressives, and the last thing Pelosi and Schumer want is to sully their fresh start by caving into Trump’s demands… But the longer the government stays closed, the less chance for Democrats in Congress to get off to a strong start as both sides in the dispute appear feckless and blameworthy… The president has lured the Democrats’ leaders into his very sloppy barnyard and he figures he has nothing to lose. After all, he can claim he is fighting on a popular principle: protecting Americans from illegal immigration.”
While construction — and renovation — of the border wall has begun, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the larger project remains in financial limbo. Small projects are set to join the existing array of barriers, per WTRF, with a six-mile section of wall set to begin construction in February of 2019, in the Rio Grande Valley. It is likely that authorities will seek to build barriers in areas of high traffic first, targeting regions where illegal immigrants and human traffickers cross the U.S.-Mexico border most frequently.
Great work by my Administration over the holidays to save Coast Guard pay during this #SchumerShutdown. No thanks to the Democrats who left town and are not concerned about the safety and security of Americans!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 30, 2018
With many left-inclined media outlets producing polls which suggest that the majority of American voters do not see the border wall as a concern, or want Trump to compromise on the issue — according to NPR, the Hill, and Business Insider — it looks like not everyone is on board with the president’s plans.
Polls, however, have been notoriously unreliable when it comes to gauging Trump’s level of public support. Many pundits, including Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight, were proven spectacularly incorrect with regards to their predictions surrounding the 2016 presidential election — forcing Silver to pen an apologetic op-ed in response.
No matter what the polls might say, it looks like the partial government shutdown is not over yet — and it’s not clear whether or not former Governor McAuliffe is correct in his assessment of Trump’s emotional frame.