Trump’s Unreality TV

Uh, it’s probably not a great idea for Democratic leaders to play Trump’s game of pretending to have serious budget negotiations on live TV. This is nothing if not Trump’s terrain.

Trump uses the others as props, to demonstrate his swagger and their supposed lack of concern for “border security,” spelled W-A-L-L. In this case, in line with Trump’s own short attention span and penchant for changing the subject, the stunt was also intended as a diversion from his own legal woes as well as raw meat for Fox News.

This time, Nancy Pelosi more than held her own, Chuck Schumer not so much. Still, despite Trump’s blather about transparency, this is not the way legislative business is done in the real world. Democrats should know better.

In past episodes of government shutdown, both sides play chicken, sometimes the government actually does shut down for a few days, and then some sort of compromise is reached. In this case, it will likely include enhanced measures on the border, some of which Trump will get to describe as a wall.

Lamentably, it will not include a serious overhaul of America’s entire policy towards immigrants and refugees. That will await the next Congress, when Democrats have the House. In the meantime, best to negotiate the final deal via the usual legislative machinery, and to stay off Trump TV.

By |2018-12-12T21:07:46+00:00December 12th, 2018|Kuttner on TAP|0 Comments

About the Author:

Robert Kuttner is co-founder and co-editor of The American Prospect as well as a Demos Distinguished Senior Fellow. He was a longtime columnist for Business Week, and continues to write columns in the Boston Globe. He co-founded the Economic Policy Institute in Washington and serves on its executive committee.

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