Pelosi and Schumer seem to be playing the Washington Generals, acting as if they are sincere, but not putting forward a formidable and convincing effort. Their resistance is a show and, by contrast to Trump, seems pathetic. It perfectly follows the tactic of “appearing to put up a fight”. The most pathetic part is that they are probably sincere.
By standing side-by-side in their televised address, they appear to show unity between them, but the impression is that of weakness: it takes two legislators in order to respond to the president. More importantly, their rhetoric was weak. By mentioning that they would make a statement after his own address, the president positioned himself as the MC who facilitates discussion from all sides. For Democrats, the dual-address to the nation was a botched failure revealing no impression of the playbook sabotage it employed.
Trump is winning the government shutdown for one reason: he set a record. Senator Graham’s desire to temporarily re-open the government was not a cave-in; it was proof of his desire to attempt cooperation of any kind. But, cooperation from Congressional Democrats doesn’t seem likely since they are vacationing in Puerto Rico during the shutdown.
Trump’s efforts to smooth relations with Russia can be interpreted from two perspectives: The first is from the one half of the masses who are suspicious of anyone who creates jobs without government. Those who don’t understand how to create revenue see big and powerful people talking and—for that reason alone—presume themselves to be victims of some malevolent plot that may not even exist. The second perspective from which we may interpret the White House’s policy with Russia is from the standpoint of the approaching conflict with China. The last thing the American people should want is Russia helping China takeover the Western Pacific. Thanks to Trump, that is unlikely. But, it’s difficult to consider the Pacific factor for the narrow-thinking breed of voters whose primary political ambition is to vote themselves money from the Treasury.
But, they’re about to learn, some of them anyway.