The government shutdown is good for Trump and good for the wall. He said what he meant and he meant he wasn’t bluffing. Good, old fashion follow-through is one of DC’s lost virtues. If the current budget isn’t passed by the start of the new 116th Congress on January 3, then it will die. It already has approval of the White House and has passed the House. The quickest way to end the government shutdown is for the Senate to pass the bill.
Ultimately this is a game of “chicken”. Either way, we should expect whining everyday. The key to Congress surviving a government shutdown is the theater of talking everyday as if “today’s the day” that the government will reopen. It’s somewhat akin to the act that Democrats and drive-by news anchors put on about how “today’s the day” when they will find the “silver bullet” to stop Trump.
There is no such silver bullet, not even today.
The main actors rising above the dust are the Kushners. Jared and Ivanka are drafting deals and growing coalitions, no matter their father’s opponents. Their progress should be bigger news.
So, over Christmas, the worms of Capitol Hill take pot shots at each other and the president is referred to as a child for sticking to his promises, just as Clinton did when he vetoed the budget. One of the best kept secrets about government shutdowns is that the government doesn’t actually shut down. To some, that’s a disappointment. Even Mueller’s investigation continues, but the Supreme Court might stuff coal in his stocking. The holiday season has many more surprises yet to come.