Trump Blinks

By

Leonard Zwelling

There’s no doubt who won this round. It goes to the Speaker proving that she is a match and more for the denizen of the White House, the bloviating Agent Orange.

Trump opened the government by signing the three-week extension that came to him from Capitol Hill. Federal employees can get back to work and give the parties until February 15 to find a way around the issue of The Wall, which is just what Mexican migrants will do as well, even if it gets built. Find a way around it. The Wall will not offset any of the issues plaguing the southern border from drugs to illegal migration. A comprehensive and thoughtful new approach to immigration policy is what is called for and that cannot be hammered out in three weeks. We could be back here again, but at least federal workers should get paid today or soon.

This is a really big deal. The Speaker of the House made it clear to the ignorant President of the United States that she is a co-equal leader in governance and that if he wants to speak in her house, he will have to behave. As Speaker Pelosi has said, she is a mother and a grandmother and knows a temper tantrum when she sees one. That Trump can be bested by a girl is even richer. His misogynistic comments and nasty characterization of women by their looks has finally seen him hoist on his own petard. He loses. Period.

Now where do we go from here?

It is most unlikely that the House will authorize any funding for the border wall, certainly not now. They may give Trump a package of border security money, but they may constrain his use of it to modern surveillance and more personnel rather than the construction of a useless barrier for $5.7 billion.

What this really signals is a return to regular order. Congress, in the person of the Speaker, has reasserted its role in the running of the country and this has been long overdue. Now let’s hope some of those House committees with new Democratic chairmen and chairwomen will begin a thorough investigation of the Trump White House, its relations with the Russians, and its general comportment in the conduct of the country’s business before and after the 2016 election. That’s the oversight Congress is supposed to exert. Let’s get started.

I also think that Speaker Pelosi has emasculated Mitch McConnell making him seem impotent compared with her. All he can do is ask the president’s permission to bring bills to the Senate floor. Mrs. Pelosi is leading. Majority Leader McConnell is following.

With the arrest of Roger Stone, the pending testimony of Michael Cohen in the Senate, and the general shrinking of the noose around the White House, the press is salivating to pounce on the president and his limited remaining minions. Sarah Sanders was given an awful time on CNN this morning and more of this is likely.

Mueller is nowhere near done. He’s just moving up the food chain. Stone is just another rung on the ladder up to the president. Look for the kids to be next. Just remember, this is moving much quicker than Watergate or MonicaGate, both of which were in the SECOND terms of their respective presidents. It took Trump less time to get into hot water than an English Breakfast tea bag. He’s in it now. Up to his ever-disappearing neck.

Leonard Zwelling