The Democratic party appears to be in complete shambles and without any real leadership.
This past weekend, President Trump made an offer to Democrats that would bring an end to the government shutdown. It required funding for the border wall but also made sizable concessions to Democrats by providing for things they have championed, such as relief for so called “dreamers”. Trump has also toned down his threat of using a national emergency in order to circumvent congressional budgets.
But apparently the Democrats have no idea how negotiations work and don’t realize that they needed to make a counter-offer, not just outright reject Trump’s deal.
Not only that, Pelosi and Schumer along with other Democrats publicly rejected the deal before Trump even announced it. Calling it a non-starter without even knowing the full details.
All of this once again puts Trump on the high ground. Even to his enemies, he is known as a deal maker. So if Trump makes you an offer, it means he is looking for a counter-offer and may very well accept it.
Democrats missed a chance to put their true demands on the table. But they refused and now nobody, not voters and not even rank and file Democrats know exactly what they want in order to end the government shutdown. All they know is they want to oppose whatever Trump wants.
It’s really a poor display of gamesmanship by Democrats. They would have been served better politically by simply making an outrageous counter-offer than to outright reject Trump’s initial deal.
I think at this point it’s quite obvious that the reason the Democrats didn’t counter-offer is because they don’t really want anything. They simply want to bog down Trump and the country until 2020.
They’re afraid if they make a counter-offer, Trump will find a way to make the deal work or put forward a deal that the public sees as reasonable, and then the Democrats will have no choice. But by refusing to even counter-offer, the Democrats can at least try to keep up the narrative that this is all Trump’s fault. But such a strategy has become almost impossible now.
So at this point, Trump has increased his advantage from just a week ago on these negotiations. On top of that, he has an ace up his sleeve with the State of The Union Address coming up in just a week’s time.
Should the government shutdown not be resolved by then, Trump will have the national stage to make his case to the American people and show that he’s the one trying to deal, and the Democrats are simply refusing.
And after the disastrous and widely mocked video rebuttal by Pelosi and Schumer after Trump’s national address a few weeks ago, Democrats realize that can’t simply go on TV after the President delivers his speech and hope to change anyone’s mind.
This is why Pelosi tried the bizarre stunt of asking Trump to cancel the address all together. She knows it’s going to be a victory for him and do damage to the Democrats.
So if the Democrats want to at least save face, they should make a counter-offer before the State of The Union. To not do that will only give Trump more ammunition to label them as obstructionists unwilling to come to the table.
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