Wednesday, December 6, 2017

What did Donald Trump do today?

He accused the Democrats of wanting to shut down the government on behalf of DACA recipients when he apparently wants to shut down it down on behalf of his poll numbers.

Asked today about the possibility of a government shutdown later this week, Trump responded, "It could happen. Democrats maybe will want to shut down this country because they want people flowing into our country."

It would be virtually impossible for Democrats alone to cause a government shutdown: they are the minority in both houses of Congress, and while in theory Senate Democrats could filibuster a spending bill in the Senate, their leadership has explicitly ruled this out. One reason that a shutdown might happen anyway is because House Republicans are deeply split over spending priorities and some are threatening to withhold their votes for temporary funding bills.

But the more likely reason that a shutdown is possible is that Trump has told his advisors that he believes a shutdown would help him rise in the polls.

Trump does appear to be learning some caution on the subject, though: in May, he openly called for the United States government to shut down, rather than trying to blame it on his political opponents.

So what?

  • It's bad if a president is actively trying to make Americans suffer so that he can gain political leverage.
  • Blaming your opponents for things you want to do is called projection, and it is not a sign of mental stability.