What Trump could learn from his shutdown
You know the system has broken down when the clearest way out of a government shutdown may be for the president to declare a fake national emergency. This was the direction President Trump appeared to be leaning on Thursday, as he flew to Mcallen, Tex., to promote his border wall—a P.R. stunt that he didn’t want to perform and that he said in advance was unlikely to bear fruit. “It’s not going to change a damn thing,” he was reported to have said, “but I’m still doing it.” He’s probably right. Negotiations to end the shutdown prompted by Mr Trump’s wall fixation have gone nowhere...and his show at the border won’t change that.
The growing sense is that to break the impasse Mr Trump will need to find a way to at least claim to be building his wall without Congress, possibly by attempting the norm-shattering and constitutionally suspect tactic of declaring the border situation a national emergency requiring military intervention. As the president stews over his wall, more and more Americans are feeling the squeeze from what, if it goes beyond Friday, will be the government’s longest stoppage ever. Millions of lives already have been upended—well beyond the 800,000 federal workers not getting paid—and millions more could be if the dysfunction continues, disrupting everything from air travel to the federal courts to basic services throughout Indian Country like health care and law enforcement.
The New York Times