As the partial government shutdown drags into its fourth week, with no clear end in sight, it seems like the mainstream press and the majority of Twitter users remain skeptical of Trump’s chances to successfully acquire his requested funding of the U.S.-Mexico border wall. With neo-conservative critics like Ann Coulter decrying the president’s latest gambit — Trump’s offer to extend protections for DACA recipients by three years, per Axios — and Democrat boosters simply reiterating their position against the border barrier writ large, to many it may look like Trump has exhausted all options.
Despite the fact that an estimated 800,000 federal employees remain on furlough or on delayed pay schedules, this may actually present an opportunity for the president. A recent op-ed by a purported member of the Trump administration to the Daily Caller makes the case for an even longer freeze-out, one that would eventually see the bloated bureaucracy forced to trim the proverbial fat.
“As one of the senior officials working without a paycheck, a few words of advice for the president’s next move at shuttered government agencies: lock the doors, sell the furniture, and cut them down… Federal employees are starting to feel the strain of the shutdown. I am one of them. But for the sake of our nation, I hope it lasts a very long time, till the government is changed and can never return to its previous form… The lapse in appropriations is more than a battle over a wall. It is an opportunity to strip wasteful government agencies for good.”
Going on to accuse their coworkers of laziness, graft, and ineptitude — all entirely funded by private sector taxpayers — the anonymous writer excoriates the increasingly large and increasingly lumbering federal service for any number of wrongdoings, most notably the sin of dogmatic abeyance to “the process.” Paperwork for paperwork, meetings over nothing in particular, and no incentive to produce results — lest your position then be considered redundant — the vast majority of workers, many of them working for minimum wage at the McDonald’s and Burger King restaurants recently mocked by the press, may be unlikely, and indeed unable, to sympathize too much.
Great, anonymous op-ed in @DailyCaller today: I’M A SENIOR TRUMP OFFICIAL, AND I HOPE A LONG SHUTDOWN SMOKES OUT THE RESISTANCE
Take a read. Makes a lot of sense—and echoes the bureaucratic rot that I hear from many friends in and around government.https://t.co/dI0hrUnyxz
— Pete Hegseth (@PeteHegseth) January 15, 2019
Aside from the fact that the majority of Trump’s base already shares an antipathy towards the elite — we should remember that Trump was elected on the populist promise of a border wall, and as such has a mandate to carry the will of his electorate out — it seems foolish to presume that a man who continually defies the expectations of the establishment legacy media organs would, on this issue, deign to fold.
If Trump backs down now, and refuses to begin building the border wall, the chances of his re-election take a dire hit. His base, despite allegations that they are cracking, per the Hill, is not going anywhere.
Tired of incessant cries for impeachment — fully convinced of the reality of an orchestrated character assassination campaign against him — that 30 percent to 40 percent of American electors who lined up behind Trump are still there. The only thing that could cause them to stay away from the voting booths in 2020 is, likely, a failure to make an earnest attempt to secure funding for the border wall. To assume that Donald Trump and his advisors aren’t aware of this is partisan folly.
— Marco Gutierrez (@MarcoGutierrez) January 19, 2019
Polls are generally meant to influence future behavior and contemporary perception — that’s where the term “push poll” originates from.
If they were accurate during periods of political fracture to the point of demonizing those who hold dissimilar views, Hillary Clinton would be president.
Nate Silver, a renowned and much-ballyhooed pollster of the so-called progressive inclination was proven desperately wrong on election night in 2016 — as were most other professional prognosticators. No better than Nostradamus or the cable-access weatherman, these pundits wearing statistician’s masks sought to stymie the swelling populist sentiment sweeping America — both in terms of their models and in terms of their off-the-cuff commentary. Nate Silver, it should be remembered, was even forced to issue a public apology for having “acted like a pundit,” per FiveThirtyEight.
Donald Trump and his administration may note polls, but unlike traditional presidencies of the past, they do not govern by them.
It simply doesn’t matter how long the shutdown takes. Either Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, and the Democratic representatives come back to the table and seek the best deal they can get in exchange for the wall funding — or the government does not re-open. They would be wise to gain as many concessions as they can in the process. After all, should the issue be forced further, into a declaration of emergency, the partisan divide will only deepen as the duly elected president attempts to keep another of his promises to the people who put him into office.
Despite the tidings of woe on a daily basis from CNN and the rest of the rogue’s gallery — the same outlets hysterically crying that Trump would usher in an era of economic ruin and war before he actually ended up attempting to broach peace with North Korea, and began withdrawing from Syria — the average person on the street doesn’t seem to be seeing the sky falling.
All of the frantic headlines in the world — chock full of loaded language and insinuation from “sources familiar with the president’s thinking” — aren’t likely to budge Trump, or his base, from the positions they held in 2016.