Scott has described the briefing in which the White House tepidly defended (if I’m reading Scott’s post correctly) the spending deal. Since that briefing, President Trump seems to have abandoned any pretense that the deal is acceptable. As Scott later noted, Trump has tweeted that “Our country needs a good ‘shutdown’ in September to fix mess!”
Trump needed to distance himself from the deal. Rush Limbaugh has panned it. My inbox is full of expressions of disgust from conservatives.
David French at NRO calls it a deal Hillary Clinton would have liked. French explains:
The wall has to wait. Planned Parenthood gets its cash. The administrative state continues to grow.
Yes, the GOP did win some limited victories — like boosting defense spending — but the GOP won limited victories back when it only controlled the House. Considering Hillary’s well-established hawkish tendencies, increasing defense spending is exactly the kind of concession she’d make.
So it’s understandable that Trump is distancing himself from the deal. But the angry conservatives I’m hearing from want to know where he stood on it before it passed. If he didn’t like it, what did he do to try and stop it?
I assume that Trump didn’t like the deal, but realized the only way to stop it was to accept a government shutdown — something he was unwilling to do. But if that’s the case, why should we (or the Democrats) take seriously his threat to shut down the government in the Fall?
Maybe Trump thinks the timing will be more favorable then. For one thing, people (Trump included) won’t be obsessing over the ridiculous 100 day theme. For another, maybe Trump’s approval rating will be higher.
Maybe. But I don’t expect a government shutdown this Fall; nor do I expect a meaningfully better budget deal. Rather, I expect that Trump will once again calculate that a shutdown will hurt him politically and that a better budget deal isn’t worth that risk.
Does he really care if Planned Parenthood, a group he has praised, keeps getting federal cash. How sincere was he about building that “beautiful wall”?
If Trump is actually contemplating a government shutdown, the worst thing to do is to say that he’d like one. A president’s attitude towards a shutdown should always be “more in sorrow than in anger.”
When the next big spending battle rolls around, the Democrats will throw Trump’s tweet in his face, and probably to good effect. That’s another reason why a shutdown seems unlikely, barring a major shift in the political landscape.